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Blogs

Vikings aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on December 7, 2009 – 2:38 am

Just as I sat at my kitchen table a week ago considering the rubble of the last-second loss in Tennessee changing where the Cardinals stood, a week later, a trademark victory for the season once again shifts the landscape.

The Cards’ 30-17 win – one for which the cliché “not as close as the final score indicates” was created – was so important on so many levels. The sting of the Titans’ loss is gone. The fear of other things, like Kurt Warner’s post-concussion deal or how Jeremy Bridges would hold up, that’s gone too.

Just to put this out there: I always thought the Cards would be ready for that Monday night game in San Francisco. If there is a word to describe how the Cards collectively feel about that loss to open the season, it was &*%$@$!, you know, if that was a word. “We owe those guys a little something for what they did to us earlier this year,” safety Adrian Wilson said. Uh, yeah.

But before we move on to the Niners, here are some thoughts on Sunday night:

– Warner said he pretty much knew Friday he was going to be able to play. And boy, did he play. He looked great, picking up where he left off. The only concern was the significant limp he had afterward because he took a shot on that hip. It’ll be very interesting to see how he feels this week, although the Cards don’t practice until Thursday because of the Monday night game, so he has an extra day to heal.

– Scary to see Tim Hightower fumble early. That could have been disaster. But the Cards hung in there, and Hightower almost looked like he was trying to make up for it on that late 32-yard run – the play on which Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson broke his leg – by trying to barrel into the end zone.

– I was at the Fiesta Bowl between Ohio State and Miami when Willis McGahee blew out his knee and when I watched the play with E.J. Henderson, that was the first thing I thought of.

– Nice to see the Cards bomb away for Larry Fitzgerald. It didn’t work out as often as Fitz would have liked, but it’s obviously something with which the Cards should stick.

– Wilson tried to downplay what the Cards did to Adrian Peterson – “Don’t mistake it. He’s the best back in football, so let’s not get too full of ourselves,” he said – but that was a great showing to control him, especially after what Chris Johnson did to them the week before. The game was close much of Sunday night, so it wasn’t like the Vikings had pass every play. At least at first.

– Brandon Keith got into his first game and actually played for a snap at guard when Deuce Lutui got hurt. Probably not enough of a sample to judge Keith as an o-lineman yet.

– The Cards averaged 4.5 yards a carry again on the ground. The evolution of the ground game may turn out to be the underlying story of the season.

– Special teams continue to be huge. Breaston’s 64-yard punt return was the highlight this time. Special teams coach Kevin Spencer should be (and is) like a proud papa.

– When Fitz fought through six Vikings to turn an eight-yard gain into a 15-yard gain early in the second quarter, that was impressive. By the way, didn’t I say the Minnesota boy was going to play a big role? Eight catches, 143 yards. It’s his 23rd 100-yard game, a few behind Anquan Boldin (who had 98 yards at the half but couldn’t get one more catch to crack 100).

– I absolutely love Antrel Rolle as wildcat quarterback. Rolle was trying to throw deep to Breaston on his one play, but smartly pulled it down and then used his amazing scat-quicks to avoid defenders and gain nine yards on a rush.

– Alan Branch had another nice game. He’s become a force on the line, which, as a unit, has been impressive.

– Four left – at SF, at Detroit, home against the Rams, home against the Packers. 12-4 anyone? It’s possible, after the Cardinals’ greybeard outclassed the Vikings’ greybeard.


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Posted in Blog | 34 Comments »


34 Responses to “Vikings aftermath”

  1. By dimito sesma on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    12-4, sounds good to me! So proud to have our Arizona Cardinals perceived as an elite NFC team. Happy to see the Cardinals progress and oh yeah, super bowl curse, what super bowl curse? Guess that must just be fodder to fill some lines & airwaves. Ughh unless your in westen PA.

  2. By ryan on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Great game, the o-line gets the game ball! Billy Davis gets a honorable mention as well. What a great scheme against brett favre. Having Dansby lineup behind the safeties on one play, brilliant, led to Adams first NFL int.

    I love Jeremy Bridges enthusiasm, talking smack to jared allen all game. I know he got some help from Timmy and our TE’s but all i have to say is bye bye Gandy, good luck in free agency.

    Adrian Wilson, change your gloves bro, burn those ones you used last night. They don’t work. When you get gifts from farve like that you gotta capitalize, we’ll need that in the playoffs.

    Now lets spank those niners and remind them they belong in 2nd place in the NFC West! Go Cards!

  3. By bob on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Darren,

    I’d love to see something on Bridges this week. I think after you watch a replay of the game you’ll see he was a BEAST! Not only did he shut down Allen, he let him hear about it. I love seeing that fire from an O-lineman, and frankly, think Bridges might be better than Gandy.

  4. By Steve W on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Better believe our Cards can beat any team in the NFL when they’re playing their best football. Hope Warner’s hip feels better quick and let’s not relax now. I’d love to see the Cards go barreling into the playoffs full speed ahead with a 12-4 record and a high level of confidence. Though to be honest, I really don’t have any doubts about their confidence after this season and last year’s post-season. Even when things are looking down for them (either after a loss or during a game when things aren’t going their way) they find the energy and will to bounce back. This is NOT the same Cardinals team we’ve seen in years’ past.

    GO CARDS!!!

  5. By Stacey on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Did I miss the part about Anquan Boldin? Seriously, youre going to leave him out?

    Awesome game! Go CARDS!

  6. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    TEAM DISCIPLINE = TEAM RESPECT!

    Another signature win in front of a national audience. Last week’s loss may have been one step back, but this game was two steps forward (coincidently we’re 8-4). That’s been the trend this season as this team’s transformation continues.

    Kudos all around from the coaching staff to the players. Enjoy the win! It’s great to be a Cardinals fan this week!

  7. By darrenurban on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Bob –

    Already ahead of you on that storyline.

  8. By darrenurban on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Stacey –

    No disrespect meant for Anquan. When you’re putting something together at 2:30 a.m., sometimes things fall through the cracks. Obviously Anquan was spectacular in the first half. That 39-yard catch-and-run was vintage Q, something that’s been missing most of this season. I’m just bummed they couldn’t get him to 100 yards. He deserved it.

  9. By kauaicardsfan on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    I totally loved this game!!! We dominated on every phase!! Best part was that the media never gave the cards a chance in this game, Chris and Al had probably footnotes on how great Farve and the Vikings are but couldn’t use any of it. LOL

    Maybe we can give Paulie some props calling this one and saying that the Vikings really didn’t beat anyone that good on their schedule, maybe the Ravens, barely.

    Hey Darren, since you are one of the Team reporters, did any other media people come to you and tell you that they never saw this coming:)

    Now lets take care of the 49ers and clinch the Division!

    GO Cards!!!!

  10. By Tina on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Unfortunately, I recently moved to the East Coast so I was unable to see the entire game. I watched it up to the Cards field goal in the third quarter. At 2:30A this morning, I pulled the scores to see if the Cards won. As I went back to bed, I told my husband the score and then added that was the best Christmas present! The entire team played extremely well. GO CARDS!

  11. By david on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Branch and Bridges are really making a big impact.
    I agree that enough is not said about them and their play.
    Hope Kurt’s hip is OK …. and not another game time decision.
    But the play of Matt Lienart is/will be our future
    Go Cards

  12. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Very nice article by Don Banks at cnnsi.com all about the Cardinals game (he was there last night). Check out the, “Inside the NFL” column. A lot of respect earned last night!

    Also nice to see a nice big photo of Kurt on the cnnsi.com homepage (not just the NFL landing page). After last week, I made sure to take a screen capture of this Monday morning’s cnnsi.com homepage.

  13. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Yes indeed, nice to see Jeremy Bridges and Levi Brown playing a little nasty!

    Like actor Jack Palance used to say in those Skin Bracer commercials, “Confidence is very sexy, don’t you think?”

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ5spLy22mg)

  14. By TucsonTim on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Another Pro Bowl performance by Graham. Boomed it when we needed it and pinned them inside the 20 the rest of the time!

  15. By Jeff Gollin on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Some random thoughts -

    Within the context of the wins over the Giants and Bears along with the narrow-loss to Tenn., this was one of those “statement games” that helps define a franchise. IWe dominated – in all aspects of play – vs. one of the elite teams in the NFL. I don’t think we have to worry about anyone (except the clueless) not respecting Cardinals anymore.

    It seemed to me that – after the second catch by Fitz (and before the Hightower run) with 6 – 7 minutes left to play – you could sense the air going out of the Viking balloon. It was surprising to see them squibb kick after their final TD instead of going for the onside.

    Breaston’s long return was huge – perhaps even a game-changer since we hadn’t done anything during our first 2 possessions.

  16. By James Sancto (the English Cardinal) on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    This goes some way to prove my point made on the ‘Titans aftermath’:

    We love the Cards because they make games exciting and win when they are the underdog

  17. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Hard to play much more physical than the Cards did last night. They knocked six Vikings out of the game. Fortunately for the Vikes, all but Henderson was able to return. Best of luck to E.J., that was a hard injury to watch.

    Peterson had his second-worst rushing day in his career. It’s a young career, but it’s hard to see him being manhandled again to the degree the Cardinals did Sunday night.

    Keep the hammer down Cards!!!

  18. By nor cal cards fan on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Adrian who?

  19. By nor cal cards fan on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    That was the best reg. season performance i’ve ever seen the Cards play, and boy was it fun to watch. I think we have a new starting left tackle.Bridges looked very good in the trenches, and Gandy has just had too many games as a turnstile over the last couple of years[super bowl anyone?]. I also realize he got a lot of help blocking Allen from Timmy, which brings me to my next point of interest. Tim did a great job in picking up the blitz and pass protection all game.But the first quarter fumbles in prime time games are killling me ! He’s now fumbled in the first quarter against the Colts, Giants, and Vikes.This has got to stop. If he does it in the playoffs, it will come back to bite us.The way the offense played last night, i can’t help but think about the Titans game.If Kurt would have been healthy and played, we would have destroyed the Titans.They have the second worst pass defense in the NFL. With Matt at QB, we scored 10 offensive points.That loss probably cost us a first round bye. This is the last time i’ll bring it up.GO CARDS! THE NINERS ARE IN TROUBLE!

  20. By Trips Right on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Props to Bridges for stepping up to the task! Well done. Kudos to the whole offensive and defensive line for controlling the point of attack all night long. A great effort by the whole team. This is the effort we need to go deep in the playoffs again. When we play like this on both sides of the ball, there isn’t anyone that can beat us.

    Darren,

    I thought Jared Allen hit Warner late or pulled him the ground unnecessarily one or two times. Why aren’t such fouls being called especially when QB’s are going down like flies lately?

  21. By darrenurban on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Trips –

    I don’t recall anything like that. It goes both ways. On Campbell’s sack of Favre, they blew the whistle and, in my eyes, there was a chance Campbell could have been flagged when he basically threw Favre down after that.

  22. By chris on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    I think the cards just gave the rest of the NFL a way to beat the Vikings. Who knows, maybe the Vikes take a downward spiral and the Cards sqeak by and get that #2 spot? We can sure hope, though I’m not worried about any wildcard game.

  23. By Cardinals in Surprise on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    If the Cards and Vikings are tied at 12-4, do we get the 1st round bye?

  24. By darrenurban on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Cardinals In Surprise –

    Yes. Head to head is the first tiebreaker.

  25. By Patrick on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Urb: We felt sick when we saw Henderson (we’re in first row and had binoculars on him), we”re praying for him; it looked like possible permanent damage. Any news on his well being? The Vikes web site says “serious” and fractured femur. It was Theisman like. Thx. Send him all of our best if you can.

    Patrick & Ali Hoog

  26. By Patrick on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Childress 12/7 press conference; Said “Cards did a great job in all 3 phases, a desperateness and relentness that we didn’t match…out of character for us.” ..used word “dismantled”. Very cool.

  27. By Eazy E on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    Ahhhh man, what a game by the cards. Kurt played great. The running game racked up 113 yards total, impressive for their dominant run d. Larry Fitz is a monster, 8 catches 143 yds and a deep corner td. Quan with 7 catches 98 yds 2 tds, that 39 yarder was spectacular. The Te’s did a phenomenal job blocking and chipping. The O-Line from Jeremy Bridges to Levi Brown had their best game easily. NO SACKS from the best pass-rushing team in the league coming in with 40 sacks!!! Jeremy though I said was better than Gandy and Levi, but Levi looked good though against arguably another pro bowler in Ray Edwards. Deuce, Reggie, and Lyle did a wonderful job against the Williams Wall too. Kurt also barely got touched. Our D-Line with Dockett, B-Rob, and Campbell played extremely well against the run and pass. AD had 13 car. for 19 yds. Man that’s a testament to our run d, which was already good. Chris Johnson is just dominating the league, so can’t really judge them off that. LB’S played well, tackled very well, Bert with 2 sacks, Calais with the other sack. Dansby played some safety and picked that ball off playing deep. Secondary looked good. DRC and B-MAC, yeah, B-MAC, had awesome games. Antrel did look good as our wildcat qb too and as usual played well. A-Wil dropped 2 picks, but played AD really well in the box. Looked good covering a pro bowl te shiancoe. ST played a big part in the win also, with a big punt return from breaston and rackers made his as usual too. Ben Graham really is a pro bowler too. Best game of the year from the cards in the regular season. Let’s finish off the 49ers next monday and become the NFC West Champs for the 2nd straight year.

  28. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    This from Mike Sando at ESPN.com:

    “Jeremy Bridges, starting at left tackle for the first time in his career, typified the Cardinals’ bravado. With a little help, Bridges improbably held the Vikings’ Jared Allen without a sack. The Vikings might as well have had Jared from Subway trying to distract Kurt Warner with a foot-long Veggie Delite.”

    Taken from, “Cardinals storm back into NFC picture” published on December 7 at 1:30 am EDT.

  29. By WNYfan on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    I know earlier in the season I was a bit concerned for Cards wishy washy showings, but this game makes up for it and I’m glad for it. WOW, they dominated. The O line was awesome, the Defense was superb, special teams were great. They are firing on all cylinders right now. Great job to all, staff, players, etc….Top it off by beating a 10-1 super team and doing it on national TV. Great show. Keep at it cards!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  30. By WarnerWannabe on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    OMG! This is gonna be great…….SupeBowl is gettin closer and closer! I hope the players know how much we are enjoying their sucsesses!

  31. By rswkitsan on Dec 7, 2009 | Reply

    I was really P.O.ed last week at our Defense ,boy do I have to be humble now,they were excellent!!!!! It was good to see Anquan get 2 TDs…. because he is an elite receiver. Rolle was beautiful on that scramble to get those nine yards. The Cards are as good or better as any team in the NFL….and I think maybe their light just turned on and will burn bright. Can the y go to and win the Superbowl…???HELL YES!!!

  32. By big red tim on Dec 8, 2009 | Reply

    as a long time cards fan, live in st. louis, i cant wait to travel out for the first playoff win. my wife and i love the crowd shots while watching the game, we feel like we belong there what a feeling GOOO Big Red

  33. By Followed Whiz to AZ on Dec 8, 2009 | Reply

    From one Cardinals fan to many others: After the Vikes game, I discovered a delicacy that many of us can enjoy; CROW!!! (My comment before the game; “The Cards have two chances to beat the Vikings. Slim and none and Slim just left town”). Just liberally splash Tabasco sauce, salsa, mayo, ketchup, A-1 sauce and mustard on the crow and it tastes delicious.

    The players played extremely well, but let’s give credit especially to Russ Grimm, Bill Davis, Kevin Spencer and Whiz. They devised a great game plan and have continually improved the players.

    Also, let’s remember when we celebrate that Adrian Peterson was held to 19 yards, that the Vikes were without a few of their starting O-linemen.

    Oh, yes. Don’t you think that some Steeler fans wish that Whiz was their coach?

  34. By r4i software on Dec 9, 2009 | Reply

    I was little concerned for Cards wishy washtly showing, but it is game makes up for it and I’m really very glad for it. WOW, they dominated. The O line was awesome, the Defense was superb, special teams were great…and we also enjoyed it.

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