Big Red Blog: Cards' season on life support

In the midst of a seven-game losing streak, Arizona's 2012 campaign is officially on life support this week against the New York Jets.

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Cards' season on life support

Posted by Brad Wilbricht
Thursday, November 29 - 11:15 AM

In the midst of a seven-game losing streak, the Arizona Cardinals' 2012 campaign is officially on life support. Arizona would have to win out for the rest of the season to have any chance at reaching the postseason – something that would be virtually unthinkable given the team's play of late.

The Cardinals will attempt to do just that taking another long road trip against a team struggling almost equally as bad, the New York Jets.

Both Arizona and New York have been disappointments this year, particularly the Jets who came into the season with much higher expectations. The Cardinals expectations didn't commence until they started 4-0, but those expectations have quickly faded.

Arizona has already made the cross-country trip to the Northest once this year and won against the New England Patriots, but it will be a difficult task to do if for a second time. While the Jets have plenty of their own issues, they come into Sunday's matchup with extra rest after being routed by New England on Thanksgiving.

Futher complicating matters for the Cardinals are ongoing issues at quarterback. Ryan Lindley is expected to start for a second straight game and certainly looked like a rookie a week ago against the St. Louis Rams. Lindley did show flashes of his ability, so perhaps he could take a major step forward, but winning on the road is always a difficult propostion for a young signal caller.

While the Jets were lit up by the Patriots in their previous game, they still rank seventh in the NFL in pass defense allowing just over 211 yards per contest. Lindley spread the ball around to eight different receivers a week ago, but must limit the game-changing mistakes. Lindley tossed four interceptions – two of which were returned for touchdowns that ultimately propelled the Rams to victory.

New York has been vulnerable on the ground ranking 30th in the league giving up nearly 143 yards per game, but Arizona's rushing attack has been too inconsistent to count on exploiting that deficiency. Lindley threw 52 passes last week against St. Louis and the Cardinals will certainly needs to deploy a more balanced attack in order to help out their rookie quarterback.

Defensively, Arizona continues to pull its weight but the inefficiencies of the team's offense has started to take its toll. The Cardinals defense got back to its play-making ways two weeks ago against the Falcons forcing six turnovers after cooling off a bit from early in the season. Winning the turnover margin could be their saving grace on Sunday as New York is currently tied for second in the AFC with 22 giveaways.

Although Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense has been underwhelming at best this year, they've managed to put forth some respectable efforts. Look for Sanchez and company to make enough plays to send Arizona to its eighth consecutive defeat as New York takes advantage of its most winnable game left of the schedule.

Prediction: New York 23 Arizona 13

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