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Bears aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on November 8, 2009 – 10:25 pm

I’m generally not a superstitious person. Jinxes don’t matter to me, and usually it’s tough to string one happening as foretelling another. But as I gathered my things outside of the meal room Sunday morning with my back to the entrance, I felt someone come up from behind and drop something in my pocket. By the time I looked behind me, Larry Fitzgerald was already several steps beyond me, apparently never breaking stride. I reached in to my pocket and found the three quarters and a penny Fitz, for some reason, decided to leave with me.

Again, it was just a random act. But I have to admit it left me with a sense of confidence for that day’s game, both for Fitz’s play and the outcome overall. Obviously, by the end of the afternoon, it became an important 76 cents, at least in my brain.

Every question the Cardinals have been asking themselves (or had barked to them by outside sources) was answered in the 41-21 win. Kurt Warner’s rebound game? Check, with emphasis, thanks to five TD passes. A running game? Check. 31 rush attempts, 149 yards in 28 attempts between Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells, with a tricky fake-end-around-to-a-delayed-end-around picking up 25 yards on the ground too. Defensively, the Cards did enough, sacking Jay Cutler four times and overcoming a bumpy early fourth quarter.

As for specific impressions:

– The offensive line has taken its share of hits this season so the props start with that unit. The protection was very good and when you run for 182 yards (and average 5.9 yards a carry overall), that’s a game that lands on the group’s permanent highlight tape.

– I’m checking on the last time the Cards had two different tight ends with touchdowns in the same game, but to see Warner hit both Anthony Becht and Ben Patrick for scores was important. Neither was the initial target – Warner found both after his first reads weren’t there – but they made the plays. It’s going to be difficult for Stephen Spach to get back on the field, methinks.

– The Cards enjoyed the win. But the message even in the postgame locker room – whether it was on their own or sparked by Whisenhunt’s longer-than-usual postgame speech to the team – was that it was time to go home and win against the Seahawks. “If we can play with the same intensity that we play on the road, we’ll be a tough team to deal with,” Fitzgerald said. “But now we have to go home and protect the nest.”

– It was very obvious in the locker room afterward Anquan Boldin was ticked off for being inactive and told reporters he wasn’t happy he wasn’t given the heads-up before it went down. I’ll admit I thought, watching him in warm-ups, Boldin would play. But with a 20-point win, Whisenhunt made the right call, and now, it’s hard to believe he won’t be in good shape to go against Seattle next weekend. I’d expect Q to be angry but I’m guessing Whisenhunt expected it too. He wasn’t going to sit unless someone made him. It’s not in Q’s DNA.

I can understand his frustration though. In the six games Boldin has missed since the beginning of last season, the Cards have won five of the games. Fitzgerald has averaged six receptions for 108 yards in those games, scoring nine touchdowns.

– I thought for sure Antrel Rolle had come up with a shoulda-downed-it-oh-wait-he’s-gonna-score-a-TD-and-be-ESPN’s-top-highlight return on the blocked field goal. The man is amazing when he gets a little bit of space to work with. He should have had an interception late that he would have returned for a score too. Not sure how he dropped it.

– I find it tough to believe Deuce Lutui had nothing to do with the reason Tommie Harris decided to slug him, but Harris has to keep his cool.

– Not the best day for Adrian Wilson, who was trying to cover Bears tight end Greg Olsen on all three touchdown catches. But what’s the cliché? It’s always easier to correct mistakes after a win.

– Fitz moves up: Fitzgerald now has 482 career receptions, passing Jackie Smith (480) for fifth in franchise history right behind Frank Sanders (493). His 100-yard game was his 22nd, three behind Boldin for most all-time in franchise history. And his 6,607 receiving yards sixth all-time, passing Sanders Sunday and leving him behind Mel Gray’s 6,644.

– On the very first TD pass to Fitz, Hightower did a great job on the blitz pickup. And that’s why Hightower still gets all those snaps, although Beanie did get a few more pass plays Sunday. Oh, and he delivered another great stiff arm too – kind of like the Cards did, metaphorically, to the Bears. Right? 

BearsAftermathBlog


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Posted in Blog | 14 Comments »


14 Responses to “Bears aftermath”

  1. By Jesse Robles on Nov 8, 2009 | Reply

    Good win, all we can do is take them how we get them. Taking nothing away from the Cards, considering I am a season ticket holder, and love them to death, until we play consistent, I feel the same way that everyone else feels about us playing very inconsistent. Although I do like our inconsistency in one way, and that is that no one takes us for real, but with our weapons we really can beat anyone. I feel we have one of the best coaches in the NFL and the Steelers messed up with passing on him and Russ. I don’t understand why he put Matt in when we were up on the Bears, but wouldn’t put him in when the tables were turned against Carolina? Also Adrian Wilson could do a lot better on coverage, it almost seemed like he wasn’t even trying to play defense. Good win and hopefully we can fix that 1-3 record at home against Seattle. Bottom line is the Cardinals are great and can be great, Beanie and Tim are great back there, and we already know our receivers are great, it was good to see our TIght Ends get in there too. Good win, but on to the next one, one week at a time, especially when it comes to NFC West games!! Lets Go Cards!! How about a good home victory??

  2. By tw3kr on Nov 8, 2009 | Reply

    First 5 TD game for Warner in 10 years? That seems significant.

    The O-Line and run-game was great to see this week (even though Fox shut me out of the second half).

  3. By Eazy E on Nov 9, 2009 | Reply

    What can I say! That was as close to a perfect game as i think you’ll get. Kurt played extremely well. 5 tds and looked good in the pocket, he has great pocket presence. Running game looked real nice. Beanie and Timmy H found holes repeatedly. Tim as usual looked good picking up the blitz but beanie looked good also, one in particular when he basically stood a defender up whoa!!!! They decided to be 1 on 1 against Fitz and it was case closed before it started. 9 rec. 123 yds. 2 tds. Breaston played well in place of #81. 5 rec. 66 yds. td. Doucet finally got a chance and showed well on bubble screens and across the middle. TE’S played well too. Patrick and Becht had a td catch a piece. The whole line played well protection wise and run blocking wise. I hate Gandy allowed that sack to alex brown but at least he recovered the fumble. Defense 4 sacks(Dockett, Okeafor, Haggans, W. Davis). Consistent pressure on Cutler. Overall stellar performance from the d save for the mini comeback. Special Teams Play was excellent and has been all year. Coverage on Hester and Knox was incredible. Drc is soooooo fast! Off that edge whoo!!! Antrel is so elusive. He looked trapped and he made some moves, made a couple bears miss and was off and running. Gould luckily tripped him up, its goin house next time. Great game Cardz!!!

  4. By SmoothCardGa on Nov 9, 2009 | Reply

    THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR!

    Yet another Balanced offensive attack that ends up in major points. Cheers all around!

    Hey Darren, I’m not sure if you posted this or plan to, But Will Davis got his first career sack! I’m liking him more everytime I see him.

  5. By ryan on Nov 9, 2009 | Reply

    Great job guys! The offensive line played spectacular. They get the game ball in my opinion.

    Coach Whiz: Please don’t scare us anymore, i don’t want to see Matt Leinhart in the game unless we are up by 21pts and there is 2 mins left in the game. Thank you for playing Doucet, he should be the clear #4 reciever when Boldin comes back. Jerehme Urban, you can play special teams.

    Adrian Wilson: Greg Olsen lit you up. Tell Billy Davis your awful in coverage and you want to be converted to a linebacker or heck, even defensive line because you are great at rushing the passer and stuffing the run. We need you at the line of scrimmage.

    Boldin: i know your pissed about no one telling you that you were going to be inactive for the game. Coach Whiz should of had a ball boy or someone let you know you were sitting out. But don’t crash the cards party after a dominating win, how about you being “man enough” to talk to the coaches instead of whining to the media? Being “man enough” is a two way street bud.

  6. By aaaaudio on Nov 9, 2009 | Reply

    I noticed no penalties on Levi Brown this week! The line play was excellent. I feel we are a better team without playing Boldin hurt. This has happened in a number of games including playoffs. I want to see more of Doucet as well. Great job Cards! Quality entertainment.

  7. By Matt in Philly on Nov 9, 2009 | Reply

    - I feel I have to do a bit of recanting on Warner this week after ripping him last week. He was the guy that we needed him to be this week: someone who can complete passes downfield when the reads aren’t there. That’s how a QB kills you, and Kurt really showed it this week. Not sure exactly how a veteran like him can have such different games back-to-back, but I really hope the switch has flipped in his mind.

    – What is is about Boldin not being in the game that makes this offense click? Honestly. I have nothing to say about, I just want an answer.

    – Is Steve Breaston our most reliable receiver right now? I mean the guy catches everything thrown his way and I can’t remember the last time he dropped a pass. I can think of at least three drops by Fitzy this year. And now he’s taking end arounds out of the backfield? Frankly, Breaston — with more yards, touchdowns, and zero fumbles to Boldin’s two — might be making Boldin more and more obsolete. It’s kind of stretch, but I know there are playoff fringe teams looking for tough receivers, and we’ll need someone to replace Dansby next year.

    – Does anyone else feel like Beanie is still holding something back out there? I don’t mean in a bad way. I just mean that when this kid gets the trust that will really give him the green light, watch out.

    – Also, has Levi Brown played a game this year without a penaly?

  8. By Tod on Nov 9, 2009 | Reply

    Consistency … it’s a wonderful thing (especially if it is winning).

    If/when the team can be consistent in winning, they will automatically receive the national respect. They won’t have to talk about it, they won’t have to complain about it. Earn it and you get it.

    Boldin … he has been consistent. He is a beast, but he is a child … grow up.

  9. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Nov 9, 2009 | Reply

    I think the team needs to wear their white away jerseys for next week’s game at home. ;-)

    All around GREAT job by the players and coaching staff, and what a way to take advantage of that unseasonably balmy November day in Chicago!!!

    The rushing stats are awesome! Maybe we can actually start running to set up the pass instead of passing to set up the run. This season and the 2009 season have proven the later just wont work, especially against the good teams. Here’s hoping Whiz will continue to call the run to take pressure of Kurt, Larry, and the other wideouts.

    You would have to figure that by being on the road for a game presents fewer distractions for the players than if they were staying at their own homes the night before a game (wife, kids, family, tickets, etc.,). Having to fly out of town as a team and rest as a team in a hotel would figure to tighten the Card’s focus and team mentality/community. Just what else is there to do on the road other than focus on the game when they’re all living so close together in a hotel or plane for 48 hours?

    That’s a not-so-flattering stat for Boldin. I know Q would he very upset if coach made him inactive next week against Seattle, but if Q is still hurting, why not rest him again, or at least give the start to Early Doucet but keep Anquan active as a backup, then evaluate Q’s progress the week before the Rams game. Two games rest on his bum ankle would have to be better than one.

    Either way Early Doucet should get more reps with the first team offense this week so he and Kurt can work on improving their rhythm. Practice time is maximized for all involved if the players//coaches Can decide early in the week is who isn’t going to be playing. Q doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone. Let’s get him healthy for the stretch run the last third of the season which is the most important part of the season. The team needs to by playing their best football in late November and December. San Fran’s recent losses and the weak division should make any decision to rest Q next week easier for coaches.

  10. By Paul on Nov 9, 2009 | Reply

    Great to see them win on the road again. But I would much rather see Kurt stay in the game and let’s pound the ball on the ground when we have a lead instead of seeing Matt come in. And that’s not completely because of his pick (although it is a little) but because the running game needs work still, and it works better with Kurt as a threat. I was at the Jag game and was very disappointed to see Matt come in.

  11. By HM on Nov 9, 2009 | Reply

    Staying on the Matt train of thought for a quick second – I wondered why, once we’d scored that last TD and the Bears’ comeback was killed, Kurt came back in to basically kill the clock. Seems like it would have been a little vote of confidence by Whiz to stick Leinart back on the field, even though it was garbage time. Not to mention the risk you always run (unnecessarily, it seems, in this case) of getting Warner hurt.

    Small stuff. The win is what matters. And I would definitely not want to be the Seattle guy charged with trying to cover Q this week. A pissed Q is a doubly deadly one.

  12. By Eazy E on Nov 9, 2009 | Reply

    Again great win Cardz. People talking stuff about adrian though. Adrian is a great safety, one of the best in the league without question. He had a mental lapse on the first td to olsen because he was right there, great coverage.I didnt see the second because Fox turned it to the green bay-tampa bay game. Then I saw the third td to olsen but that looked like that was ralph brown’s responsibility to be up top on the play and mike adams pressed him but was playing zone. Adrian is very good in coverage, he just had a mental lapse on the first one. He’ll rebound and have a great game against Seattle.

  13. By Tyrelle on Nov 10, 2009 | Reply

    Hey Mr.Urban!!!!!!!!! Is the team aware that we are 1-3 at home? Are they aware that they can beat everyone else on the schedule. If we can get some consistency then we can run the tables and finish 13-3 or get a 10 win season. Good teams win at home and on the road. We can finish number 2 in the NFC when the Vikings and Cowboys choke in the next few weeks but if we want to be considered dangerous heading into the playoffs then we have to play like it.

  14. By Betty B on Nov 10, 2009 | Reply

    Great win! Congrats to Anthony Becht!

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