Updated Dec 23, 2012 - 7:42 pm
Bird Bits: Bears hand Cardinals another loss
A familiar storyline for the Arizona Cardinals -- a solid defensive performance derailed by the failings of the offense.
Arizona's defense held the Bears to 297 yards of offense, but Chicago's two defensive touchdowns were too much for the Cardinals to overcome.
In the first quarter, after Chicago punter Adam Podlesh pinned the Cardinals at their own four-yard line, running back Beanie Wells slipped as he took a hand-off from quarterback Ryan Lindley and fumbled as he fell untouched. Chicago's Zack Bowman pounced on the ball and returned it one yard for the touchdown, putting Chicago up 7-0.
Early in the third quarter with Chicago leading 21-6, Lindley threw a pass right to defensive back Charles Tillman, who ran it in ten yards for the score that stretched the Bears' lead to 22.
It was pretty much stat-padding from that point on.
The Cardinals were able to involve Larry Fitzgerald in the offense more than they had in weeks prior. The six-time Pro Bowler had just 10 catches for 79 yards in the five games prior to Sunday. Against the Bears, Fitzgerald nabbed eight passes for 111 yards. It was only Fitzgerald's second 100-yard game this season.
Punter Dave Zastudil continued his outstanding season landing six of his eight punts inside the Chicago 20-yard line.
Defensive end Calais Campbell also kept his Pro Bowl-caliber season going tying for the team-lead with eight total tackles, a quarterback sack and a pass defensed.
Veteran safety Adrian Wilson blocked an Olindo Mare field goal attempt which Justin Bethel returned 82 yards for the Cardinals only touchdown.
The offense. No touchdowns again for the Cardinals on offense. Lindley and Hoyer combined to throw two interceptions on the day. Lindley, Hoyer and John Skelton (who was inactive for the game) have combined to throw just two touchdowns and 17 interceptions since Kevin Kolb was injured in Week 6 against Buffalo.
The running game struggled mightily as well, mustering only 29 yards on 19 carries. William Powell had the longest run of the day, a seven-yard "jaunt".
• The Cardinals have gone 26 quarters without a passing touchdown.
• Fitzgerald needs 225 receiving yards in the season finale against the 49ers to extend his streak of 1,000-yard seasons to six. In other words, it looks bleak.
• This is the 15th season of 10 or more losses for the Cardinals since they moved to the Valley in 1988.
He Said It:
"We're not getting the production out of that position. It's hard to win in this league if you don't do better from that standpoint." -- Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, on the play of his quarterbacks.
Coming Up Next:
The Cardinals wrap up their disappointing season next Sunday in San Francisco against the 49ers.
- Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall calls it quits in Huffington Post article
- NFL writer: Cardinals could turn attention to Jared Veldheer if Branden Albert heads to Dolphins
- PFT: All signs point to free agent tackle Albert signing with Dolphins
- Agent confirms Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall to retire
- Daryn Colledge tweets of his release from Cardinals
- Kent Somers, AZ Central Sports Cardinals beat writer - Thursday March 6Kent Somers discusses the Cardinals' efforts to sign Karlos Dansby.
- Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com NFL writer - Thursday March 6Pete Prisco of CBS Sports discusses the NFL offseason and the NFL draft.
- Jay Feely, Cardinals kicker - Thursday March 6Would a change to the extra point actually hinder player safety?
- Dave Pasch, ESPN play-by-play announcer - Tuesday March 4Dave Pasch, ESPN play-by-play announcer, discusses UA and ASU basketball.
- It's Paul's Call with Paul Calvisi! - Monday March 3Get off Paul's Lawn!