Scouting report: Early look at the Cards

November, 28, 2012
11/28/12
5:00
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The Jets host the Cardinals Sunday at MetLife Stadium, another 4-7 team searching for answers. A quick look:

1. The Cards are on a historically bad run -- a seven-game losing streak. In fact, they're the first team in NFL history to fall to 4-7 after a 4-0 start, according to ESPN Stats & Information. They hope to avoid their first eight-game losing streak since 2006.

2. They feature two former Jets -- S Kerry Rhodes and PK Jay Feely, both of whom played on the 2009 team that reached the AFC Championship Game. Rhodes has two interceptions and Feely is 18-for-21 on field goals. Coach Ken Whisenhunt is a former Jets tight end and assistant coach under Al Groh (2000).

[+] EnlargeLarry Fitzgerald
Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesLarry Fitzgerald is tough to stop -- when the Cardinals' QBs can actually get the ball to him.
3. The Cards have the worst quarterback situation in the league. With Kevin Kolb (ribs, shoulder) banged up, rookie Ryan Lindley is expected to make his second straight start. It can't be worse than the first -- four interceptions against the Rams, including two returned for TDs. They also have former Fordham standout John Skelton, who was benched.

4. Kolb suffered three detached ribs in Week 7 against the Bills. It came on a botched running play. See, the Jets aren't the only team that can turn an aborted running play into headline news, but at least Kolb didn't run into a lineman's backside.

5. The Cards' offense makes the Jets resemble the Greatest Show on Turf. They've scored only eight TDs in their last seven games, failing to surpass 19 points in any of those games. How they upset the Patriots in Week 2, 20-18, truly is one of the mysteries of the 2012 season. The Cards are 31st in total offense and 31st in scoring offense. They just lost C Lyle Sendlein, who was placed on IR with a knee injury.

6. They still have one of the great players in the sport, WR Larry Fitzgerald, who leads the team with 55 receptions. His numbers are down, but it's because of a horrible QB situation. Last week, Lindley was 0-for-6 with two interceptions when targeting Fitzgerald at least 15 yards downfield, with all six incompletions resulting from off-target passes, per ESPN Stats.

7. Despite their woes, the Cards can play defense. In fact, they're No. 7 in total defense and 11th in scoring defense. ILB Daryl Washington (team-high nine sacks) is having a Pro Bowl-caliber season and DE Calais Campbell is expected to return this week from a calf injury. The Cards like to bring pressure, and they're good at it. They've held opponents to a league-low 47-percent completion percentage when sending 5-plus pass rushers, according to ESPN Stats.

8. The Cards are 3-4 against common opponents; the Jets are 4-4.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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