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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Dec 6, 2012 - 1:09 pm

ESPN analyst calls Cardinals vs. Jets 'almost unwatchable'

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Ryan Lindley (14) is sacked by New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson, back, as safety Yeremiah Bell (37) and linebacker Bart Scott (57) help defend during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 7-6. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

No one who watched the Arizona Cardinals face the New York Jets last Sunday came away saying 'Wow, that was an outstanding football game'.

At least, no one who actually likes, you know, good football.

"It was an awful performance, both teams, offensively," ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Thursday.

The Cardinals and Jets combined for just 13 points and 426 yards of total offense on the afternoon. The Cardinals converted none of their 15 third down opportunities and the Jets needed just one touchdown -- which came courtesy of backup quarterback Greg McElroy -- to get the win.

"That game was almost unwatchable," Jaworski said.

No kidding.

Jaworski said he, along with many other ESPN analysts and employees, watched the game, and every one of them came away less than impressed.

"It was some of the most atrocious quarterback play, not only that I have ever seen on TV or on the tape, but there were probably even 10 or 12 novices there besides all our expert analysts are going 'can these guys complete a pass?'

"It was pretty hard to watch; I think that game probably set quarterbacking back at least a decade."

Probably.

The trio of Arizona's Ryan Lindley and New York's Mark Sanchez and McElroy combined to complete 25-of-59 passes for 198 yards with one touchdown and four interceptions.

So while Jaworski's words may be harsh, they're not exactly off base.

And he's not quite ready to give up on Lindley.

"He wasn't ready to come in and be a starter in the NFL," Jaworski said. "He needed seasoning, he needed work."

Jaworski believes Lindley has the requisite physical attributes to be a quality NFL quarterback, but needs more work and proper coaching before he's ready.

"To expect this young man to come in and win football games for you, it's just not going to happen," he said.

Which then begs the question: why did Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt turn the reins over to the rookie?

"I don't know what happened with John Skelton, why he lost the job," Jaworski said. "Yeah he wasn't playing well, but clearly to make a quantum leap to an untested, unproven rookie, I just don't know how that decision was made."

Regardless, Jaworski said the Cardinals, who named Skelton the starter for this Sunday's game in Seattle, should have made the change during the game in New York.

"It was pretty evident that Ryan was struggling in the game and a change should have been made," Jaworski said, before adding he's not sure what Whisenhunt's reasoning was for not making a switch. "But it was clear to me or anyone else watching the game he wasn't getting it done.

"The Cardinals could have easily won that game -- easily won that game -- yet they find a way to lose it."

He said the Cardinals did not need great or even average play from the quarterback to win that game.

As we know, they didn't even get that.

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