Cardinals inside the numbers

The Cardinals mini two-game winning streak came to a screeching halt Sunday at the hands of the 49ers. The final score was 23-7, but if you look inside the numbers, it should’ve been much worse on the scoreboard. 

All you really need to know stat wise is this: the 49ers held the ball for 44:16, to the Cardinals 15:44. It’s hard to do anything offensively when your defense is on the field for nearly ¾ of the football game. Despite that, the defense only gave up 23 points, which is actually pretty good considering…

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt had his usual Monday press conference at the Cardinals facility in Tempe, and was pleased overall with the performance of his defense.

“I really believe that they played well,” Whisenhunt said. “They did a great job in the first half of responding to tough situations, and keeping them from scoring touchdowns, keeping the points down.” 

“I believe the defense is improving, and that’s a great sign,” Whisenhunt said. 

Whisenhunt said the defensive players are continuing to develop chemistry with one another, and the overall communication on that side of the ball is much improved from early on in the season. 

Nose tackle Dan Williams broke his arm on Sunday, and will be out for the remainder of the season. Whisenhunt said that rookie David Carter, along with nine-year veteran Nick Eason will man the position in Williams’ absence. 

It’s never an easy thing to lose a player of Williams calibur, but Whisenhunt is confident that Eason and Carter will get the job done. Whisenhunt did say that the team would bring in another player to add to the active roster. 

“It’s a shame,” Whisenhunt said. “He’s a good young player, and he was making some plays for us.” 

On to the offense…

Quarterback John Skelton struggled mightily against the 49ers, prompting Whisenhunt to pull him for Richard Bartel in the fourth quarter. Despite yanking him, Whisenhunt said Skelton is the starter until Kevin Kolb is officially cleared to return to his regular duties. 

“Yeah…John didn’t play his best [Sunday], but he’s gotta bounce back and if he has to play this week, he’s gotta be ready to go,” Whisenhunt said. 

As far as Kolb goes, Whisenhunt said there’s no specific timeline on when Kolb will be cleared to resume his role as the starter. He said the team should know more on Wednesday when Kolb takes to the practice field. 

Finally, running back Beanie Wells has been fighting a bum knee, which limited his playing time on Sunday. He had eight rushes for 33 yards. 

Whisenhunt was asked if Wells can ever be 100 percent healthy, or will he play injured for the remainder of the season. 

“I don’t know,” Whisenhunt said. “I couldn’t honestly tell you. I would hope so.” 

“This is one of the things that he may fight the rest of the year.” w

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