NFL notebook: Cardinals offense hits a low

Questions arise on Whisenhunt's future with team
2012-12-04T00:00:00Z NFL notebook: Cardinals offense hits a lowThe Associated Press The Associated Press
December 04, 2012 12:00 am  • 

TEMPE - The Arizona Cardinals offense has been bad this season, but never worse than it was on Sunday.

Its performance in the 7-6 loss to the New York Jets was among the worst in the team's history, and that's saying something for a franchise that's had a lot of bad Sundays.

The team had five first downs, tied for fewest in franchise history, was 0 for 15 on third-down conversions and gained 137 yards, 40 of them on a fake punt. The Cardinals gained 22 yards in the second half.

Still, coach Ken Whisenhunt stayed with rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley, refusing to reinsert John Skelton, benched by the coach three games ago.

Now the Arizona losing streak has reached eight games, matching the franchise's longest in 68 years.

Exceedingly popular among fans for bringing the Cardinals to the Super Bowl in the 2008 season, and to the NFC West crown the following year, Whisenhunt finds himself the subject of the fans' wrath. Speculation is mounting that he might not return for the final year of his contract.

He said Monday that he has too much else on his mind to be concerned about his job status.

Team President Michael Bidwill, the owner's son, has not spoken publicly about the situation.

Whisenhunt is among the highest-paid coaches in the NFL, due to make $5.7 million next year, and the Bidwill family is not known for tossing around that kind of money, although the ownership has proven to be far more generous in recent seasons.

On Monday, Whisenhunt wouldn't commit to staying with Lindley in next Sunday's game at Seattle, against one of the NFL's best defenses.

Ex-Cat Foles named starter for season

PHILADELPHIA - Former Arizona Wildcat Nick Foles is the quarterback of the present for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Coach Andy Reid said Foles will remain the starter for the rest of the season, even when Michael Vick returns from a concussion. The Eagles (3-9) have lost eight straight games, a strong factor in Reid's decision.

"No. 1, I just think he's playing well enough to where I think he can win football games for us," Reid said Monday. "And No. 2, I think where we sit at this position in the season, I think it's the right thing to do."

Reid made the announcement a day after Foles had his best performance in a 38-33 loss at Dallas on Sunday night. Foles has started the last three games since Vick was injured on Nov. 11.

Foles was 22 of 34 for 251 yards and one touchdown against the Cowboys.

Families grieve over Belcher murder-suicide

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Breaking their silence for the first time, the family of the woman shot and killed by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher said Monday their "hearts are truly broken" and asked for privacy while they grieve the loss of two loved ones.

Belcher shot and killed his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, at their Kansas City home Saturday before driving to Arrowhead Stadium, where Belcher committed suicide in the practice facility's parking lot, police said. The couple had a 3-month-old daughter, Zoey.

"Our hearts are truly broken for Kasi was a beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, cousin and friend," the family said in an emailed statement.

Extra points

• Colts interim coach Bruce Arians told reporters Monday that coach Chuck Pagano is expected to finish his third and final round of chemotherapy today, and that doctors will then determine whether Pagano's white blood-cell counts are high enough to let him attend the game against Tennessee.

• The latest round of appeal hearings in the NFL's bounty investigation concluded Monday following witness appearances by former Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress, Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt and linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

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