When you’re bad, as the Arizona Cardinals have been over the last 10 weeks, you instantly become the butt of every joke.
Analysts had no problem ripping the Redbirds this week on national television and radio. Late-night host Jay Leno didn’t mind including Arizona in his opening monologue on Monday.
Even the editor-and-chief of Grantland and renowned pop culture buff Bill Simmons had to pull a parting shot to end the week.
In his Friday column, Simmons decided to rank the top 45 quarterbacks in the NFL based on sports movie films like The Longest Yard, Any Given Sunday, Leatherheads and North Dallas Forty.
The Cardinals active duo — John Skelton and Ryan Lindley — were obviously not as fortunate as most. Come to think of it, Simmons ranked them dead last at No. 44 and No. 45.
Nine straight losses and an historically bad defeat last Sunday in Seattle (58-0)can do that to a team.
Needing a movie to capture just how bad Arizona’s quarterbacks have been — no touchdowns passes thrown since November 4 in Green Bay — Simmons chose one of the few flicks with a Valley connection: Jerry Maguire.
In the 1996 Academy Award-winning film, Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as the Cardinals’ fictional star wide receiver Rod Tidwell. The plot details Tidwell’s efforts to try and leverage a new contract with the Cardinals, but he continually put himself in harms way trying to make tough catches over the middle. The root cause of which being of course, poor passes thrown by an unnamed Arizona quarterback.
Here’s Simmons take on the current run of futility at the quarterback position in Arizona:
It’s been one of the most incredible Bad QB runs we’ve ever seen — combined, they’ve notched 14 interceptions, six fumbles, 24 sacks, four TAINTS (touchdowns after interceptions), one FART (fumble after interception) and just two passing TDs. By any conceivable metric, they’ve been historically atrocious: QB rating (55.4 for Skelton, 42.6 for Lindley), QBR (13.9 for Skelton, an incredible 6.8 for Lindley) and especially DVOA (-35.7 percent for Skelton, -64.9 percent for Lindley). They’ve also destroyed poor Fitzgerald’s career … and he was only headed toward becoming one of the three best receivers of all time before this happened.
Fitzgerald’s last seven games: 21 catches, 222 yards, one TD
Fitzgerald’s previous 130 games: 729 catches, 10,045 yards, 76 TDs
Fact: In Fitzgerald’s last four games, he was targeted 37 times … and caught six passes. SIX!
Is reality imitating art in the Valley this season? Well, maybe a little.