I thought Peyton Manning was going to end up a Cardinal. Old people like Phoenix, don’t they? I’ve been there—it’s hot, flat, and boring, and there’s 800 golf courses within a three mile radius. Sounds ideal for a cranky elderly man with neck issues. Not to mention Peyton would have gotten to throw footballs at that Larry Fitzgerald guy. Perhaps Arizona dropped out of the race due to the embarrassment of riches they felt they had at signal-caller with Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.
That QB situation led to a tale of two halves for the Cards in 2011. Wonderboy Kolb led them to a 1-7 start before being replaced by Skelton due to injury. The team then proceeded to win seven of its last nine games to salvage an 8-8 finish. It’s sort of a misnomer, though. Skelton’s completion percentage was lower than Kolb’s and he threw more interceptions. He also ended the year with a QB rating of 68.9 compared to Kolb’s 81.1. But he put up the Ws, and that’s usually good for the resume.
All this led to Arizona’s front office making the totally logical move of giving the guy who didn’t win them any games a $7 million off-season bonus. Then they made fans aware that in 2012, Kolb and Skelton would be fighting for the starting spot, and that they’d “let the process play out — like at every position” according to Coach Ken Whisenhunt. Here’s $7 million. You’re our guy. We’re behind you. Oh also, you have to compete with someone else for your job all year.
I’d calculate that QB is the one position where you don’t want any processes to play out because it inevitably screws with your team. Running back by committee works, quarterback doesn’t. Watch what happens in New York next year with the guaranteed debacle that will be Sanchez-Tebow. I promise it will not end well, and neither will the situation in Arizona if they keep waffling all year.
Oh yeah. I forgot this is a season recap, not a “why I’m smarter than everyone in the Cardinals front office” piece. Back to the boringness that is the NFC West! Here’s your Arizona Cardinals retrospective, dear readers.
Season Highlight: I don’t know. They beat San Francisco once? Us footbawl bloggers have really been abusing the ____-game win streak thing in this season highlight category thus far. And I guess I’m not impressed that this team barely squeaked out wins against Seattle, Cleveland, Dallas, and St. Louis in the final stretch of the schedule. Whoop-ding. They beat San Francisco. There. That’s what we’ll go with. I hate these .500 teams.
Season Lowlight: Showing everyone you can barely survive in a crappy division where you get to play the Rams and the Seahawks twice a year. Honorable mention goes to the other game against San Fran in week 11 where they coughed up the football five times and John Skelton gave a heroic performance with three picks and a 10.3 QB rating.
Team MVP: Larry Fitzgerald is clearly unaffected by whoever happens to be throwing footballs at him. He chalks up the same gaudy numbers anyway. 80 grabs, 1,400 yards, 8 TDs, aka typical Larry Fitzgerald year. Manly.
Needs: A less wussy logo. That bird doesn’t look mean, he just looks like he’s trying to take a dump and someone’s banging on the door.
What’s A Cardinals Fan Drinking These Days?: A John Daly. They’re quite refreshing. Seriously though, have you ever been to Phoenix? It’s hot as shit there. I don’t know why Phoenicians would ever go outside when the sun is up. It’s like that hot lava game you play as a kid except that every square inch of city is the hot lava. Maybe Peyton did make the right call in tasting the Rockies after all.
Jango Scale of Scandal Likelihood:
I’ll admit I don’t actually know what this means and can’t be bothered to look it up. I know Star Wars. I have some POTF-packaged Jawas and Sandtroopers in my storage space as we speak. I’ll assume it’s based on fan-fiction submitted by BVI to George Lucas. And in that case, I’ll rate this as low. Because the only impending threat in the Cardinals organization is them boring the general public to death with their mediocre existence.
Entirely Too Early Prediction for 2012: I don’t see them improving much but I also don’t see much of their competition improving, so it might be a wash. Hopefully they wow the world with another 8-8 finish. Man, I got gradually more testy as I wrote this. From now on I’m only writing about exciting things for this site, like whether this year’s team sideline hats with have…stripes? polka-dots? stripes AND polka-dots?! The possibilities are endless!!! Stay tuned!!!
Editor’s Note: The Seahawks are up tomorrow. Fucking Christ.