Why would Sunday’s season finale be any different?
“I don’t think one looked up in the huddle and thought, ‘Oh God, we had a quarterback change,’ ” running back
Coach Ken Whisenhunt had said one of the reasons Anderson was going to be the third quarterback Sunday was because he might want to take a look at the play of Bartel. So it wasn’t a surprise – in a blowout game – Whisenhunt went to Bartel, who had previously never appeared in a regular-season game.
“We haven’t had any real experience with him other than practice, so it was an opportunity to get him in a game and see what he could do,” Whisenhunt said.
Bartel didn’t come in until 2:39 was left in the third quarter, but he still attempted 28 passes, completing 16 for 150 yards and throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown.
“It was fun,” Bartel said. “You put some much in and everything culminates to that. (But) you feel you will be held accountable for how you played.”
Skelton, who was 14-for-25 for 92 yards, threw a touchdown but also had a pass tipped and intercepted, probably wouldn’t have come out had the game gotten lopsided.
“It’s hard to go from starter to watch someone else play, but I can’t blame the coaches,” Skelton said. “Offensively we didn’t get much going.”
All week, the Cardinals had three tight ends working in practice, although
Then Sunday, Patrick was ruled out because of the injury, and was entered as an official inactive. A short time later, as the Cardinals came out for warm-ups,
That left rookie
“That hurt,” Whisenhunt said. “When Stephen went down, it took a lot of our package out.”
The Cardinals started the game with a two-tight end formation with guard
“That threw us off a little, but that is something we should have been able to overcome,” Skelton said.
"It’s difficult,” Hadnot said, who chuckled at the irony of his first Arizona start being at a foreign position. “At the same time, you always got to be prepared for whatever. Guys and coaches did a good job when I had to go in. You don’t expect anything like that to happen. You just do what you can to help the team.”
That was also Leach’s thought.
“Once you get out there, some adrenaline at the beginning, but then it’s playing football again,” Leach said. “I had some good plays, had some bad plays. I just hope I represented the tight ends well.”
“It was below standard,” Fitzgerald said. “I would love to be playing in the postseason. That's why we play. It doesn't matter if I had 1,600 yards or 1,100 yards, it wasn't good enough to get us to the postseason. That's what they pay me to do, they pay me to produce. That's my job.”
With Sunday’s results the Cardinals now know they will host Carolina and travel to Minnesota to round out their 2011 schedule.
The other home games will be Seattle, San Francisco, St. Louis, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Dallas and the New York Giants. The other road games will be Seattle, San Francisco, St. Louis, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Washington.