Bird Bits: Cardinals slip late in Atlanta
Matt Ryan threw a career-high five interceptions and the Falcons (9-1) didn't hold a lead until midway through the fourth quarter, but Michael Turner's touchdown run with 6:40 remaining proved to be the difference, as Atlanta handed the Arizona Cardinals (4-6) their sixth-straight loss 23-19.
The Cardinals defense came up big most of the afternoon, forcing six turnovers, including three first quarter interceptions that helped build an early 13-0 lead.
LaRod Stephens-Howling also had an impressive day on the ground, rushing for 127 yards to go along with a first quarter touchdown. Stephens-Howling had two runs of 40 and 52 yards respectively -- the longest rushing attempts of his career.
John Skelton was just 2-of-7 during the first quarter, including a bad miss to Larry Fitzgerald in the right corner of the end zone. Skelton was replaced by rookie Ryan Lindley during the Cardinals' first drive of the second quarter.
The Cardinals offense did not complete a third down on their final six drives. During two short-yardage situations in the fourth quarter, Arizona predictably elected to run the ball with Stephens-Howling and the Falcons defense snuffed out both attempts.
While Ray Horton's unit kept Arizona in the game for most of the afternon, during Atlanta's 70-yard touchdown drive the Cardinals defense failed to get pressure on Ryan and the former No. 3 overall pick made them pay -- completing four passes for 64 yards.
• In his first career NFL appearance, Lindley went for 9-of-20 for 64 yards.
• Cornerback Patrick Peterson suffered a hamstring injury in the second half and didn't return after going to the locker room.
• Arizona's 13 first quarter points were the most the team had scored in the first 12 minutes of play all season.
• The Cardinals' quarterback issues once again limited the effectiveness of Larry Fitzgerald. Arizona's star wideout had just one catch for 11 yards.
• Six-game losing streaks are nothing new for the Cardinals. Last season, Arizona dropped six consecutive contests from September 18 to October 30.
Coming Up Next:
The Cardinals try to regroup with a home divisional matchup against the St. Louis Rams (3-6-1) next Sunday. The Rams were the first team to beat Arizona this season, knocking Ken Whisenhunt's squad around on Thursday Night Football 17-3.
- Karlos Dansby, Cardinals linebacker - Friday May 10Dansby tells Doug & Wolf how excited he is to be back and how he plans to contribute
- Calais Campbell, AZ Cardinals defensive end - Monday May 6Big #93 talks to the guys about the new coaching staff and becoming more of a leader
- Calais Campbell, Cardinals DE - Friday May 3Campbell talks about his inaugural charity golf tournament debuting this weekend. Also, he gives his
- Andre Ellington, Cardinals RB - Thursday May 2Arizona's 6th round pick joins the show to reminisce on his college career and talk about what he br
- Earl Watford, Cardinals 4th Round Selection - Wednesday May 1Earl Watford talked to Doug & Wolf about his strengths and being drafted out of a small school.