It’s hard to find silver linings in the midst of a five-game losing streak extended by a 14-point loss to the Green Bay Packers.
But for the Arizona Cardinals, there are several as the team heads into their bye week, dragging a 4-5 record with them.
Green Bay managed to sack quarterback John Skelton only twice despite being tied for the league-lead in that category heading into the game. Rookie left tackle Nate Potter replaced starter D’Anthony Batiste and played well facing three-time Pro Bowler Clay Matthews on several occasions.
Skelton himself, played relatively well, completing 23-of-46 passes for 306 yards, marking only the third time in his career that he’s eclipsed the 300-yard mark. If not for a boatload of dropped passes, his passer rating of 69.7 would have been much higher.
And then there was the play of rookie wide receiver Michael Floyd, who tied a career-high with five receptions for a career-best 80 yards. Late in the game, Floyd made an acrobatic 37-yard catch against good coverage by Green Bay corner Davon House. It was the longest catch of his young NFL career.
So did Floyd think this was his best performance to date?
“Yeah, I think so, if you go by stats, and you know, it’s all about executing,” Floyd told Arizona Sports 620’s Paul Calvisi in the locker room after the game. “My job here is to catch the ball and whenever they ask me to do something, I’m doing it.”
Some have been quick to judge the Cardinals’ selection of Floyd with the 13th overall pick out of Notre Dame last April as a bad one. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound receiver has been slow to get into the swing of things and considering the Cardinals’ struggles on the offensive line, many felt (after the fact, mind you) that Arizona would have been better served investing in a tackle with their pick. Floyd, who has 10 catches in the last two games, hasn’t let that shake his confidence.
“My confidence level is high, it’s all about getting used to the speed, getting used to the game and getting used to becoming a pro,” Floyd said.
Floyd got an opportunity to play more after fellow receiver Early Doucet dropped two passes, frustrating head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
“It’s disappointing, it’s very infuriating,” Whisenhunt said. “We had opportunities to keep drives alive and you can’t do that, not on the road against a team like this. There’s no excuse for it — no excuse to not catch the ball.”
That wasn’t a problem for Floyd, who was targeted seven times in the contest.
“They expect me to make plays when the ball comes to me, and I expect to catch the ball every time it comes my way,” he said.