Around the NFC West: Cards appear shaky

The next four games for the Arizona Cardinals shape up like this: at Minnesota, home for San Francisco, at Green Bay and at Atlanta. They could easily slide from 4-2 to 5-5 or worse over the next month or so, in other words.

Around the NFC West: Oct. 15, 2012

As receiver Larry Fitzgerald put it a few days before Arizona suffered a 19-16 home defeat to Buffalo in Week 6:

"This is a make-or-break game for us realistically. We are sitting there at 4-1. We control our own destiny. We have a tough schedule coming ahead with you guys (Buffalo) and Minnesota and San Francisco, and then we have to go to Green Bay. This is one of the toughest stretches of our season and it's going to define us as a ball club."

Predicting NFL outcomes can be futile, of course, The Cardinals proved it by winning their first four games after some suggested injuries and poor quarterback play would doom them. But after successive defeats to St. Louis and Buffalo, it's getting tougher to overlook the warning signs. Injuries and poor quarterback play are still complicating matters.

Quarterback Kevin Kolb, sacked 17 times over the Cardinals' previous two games, took five more sacks Sunday during the Cardinals' overtime defeat to Buffalo. He did not return after injuring his ribs.

The Cardinals have now lost two quarterbacks to injury over their first six games.

Week 1 starter John Skelton recovered enough from his ankle injury to replace Kolb against the Bills. The interception he threw in overtime set up the Bills' winning field goal. Dating to the opener, Skelton has now completed five of his last 18 pass attempts for 70 yards with no touchdowns and two picks.