Cardinals, Stanton fading fast

The Cardinals were once considered Super Bowl contenders but now might not make the playoffs.

The Arizona Cardinals are fading fast and whether it’s fair or not, a lot of that blame can be placed on QB Drew Stanton.

In defense of Stanton, he wasn’t brought to Arizona to be the team’s starting quarterback, but that’s the spot he inherited following the season-ending injury to QB Carson Palmer.

The first couple of games for Stanton were fine as the Cardinals defeated the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions with Stanton at the helm (Stanton led Arizona to a come-from-behind win against the Rams in the game Palmer was injured). Since then, however, things have gone downhill fast for the Cardinals – particularly for Stanton.

Just a few weeks ago, Arizona was the toast of the NFL. The Cardinals were 9-1 and considered a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Now, after two straight losses, Arizona might be considered a long-shot to even make the playoffs.

The Cardinals struggles started with a heavyweight bout against the defending champion Seattle Seahawks. That heavyweight bout turned into a knockout as the Seahawks won 19-3 in dominate fashion.

Next was a tricky contest on the road against the Atlanta Falcons. Despite having a record of 4-7 at the time, the Falcons stood atop the NFC South and were in need of a win to stay in first place in the division. Atlanta did just that, winning 29-18 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.

Unfortunately for Stanton, he stands as the culprit for many of the Cardinals’ current issues. Yes, more injuries have surfaced for Arizona including the likes of WR Larry Fitzgerald and RB Andre Ellington, but regardless of who’s on or off the field, Stanton has been downright awful at times over the past two weeks.

Stanton managed only 149 yards passing against Seattle while tossing one interception and looking lost at times when trying to penetrate the Seahawks defense. Arizona’s offense as a whole produced only 204 yards of total offense leaving the team little chance at a victory.

The following week in Atlanta, Stanton did rack up 294 yards passing but threw two bad interceptions that were not acceptable for an NFL starting quarterback.

Complicating matters for Arizona a week ago was the team’s complete collapse on defense. The Cardinals gave up 500 yards of total offense to a Falcons squad that wasn’t exactly lighting it up on the offensive side of the ball.

Stanton and the Cardinals must return to their winning ways if they have any hope of still winning the NFC West or even making the postseason for that matter. Not long ago, Arizona appeared to be a sure thing to be in the playoffs, with a stronghold on the division thanks to a three-game lead.

Oh how things have changed with Seattle now breathing down the Cardinals neck just one game back and a head-to-head matchup on the horizon in Week 16. Arizona’s three additional remaining games aren’t a whole lot easier, facing off against the Kansas City Chiefs, St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers.

Should the Cardinals get back on track and regain their status as a true playoff contender, Stanton will be a key component. Whether Stanton can do that or not will be answered in the next handful of weeks, but it certainly looks to be an uphill battle.


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