There was one question I wanted to ask Early Doucet after Sunday’s rollover of the Rams. On his first NFL touchdown – an 18-yard pass from Kurt Warner – what was more difficult, making the play or surviving Larry Fitzgerald’s bone-jarring thrown-down tackle milliseconds later (pictured here)?
“Surviving the tackle,” Doucet said, grinning. “He told me, ‘If you ever get a touchdown, you’ll never celebrate yourself because I’m coming to the end zone.’ ” Fitz confirmed that version, saying “He told us he had a touchdown dance and I told him he wasn’t going to do it.” So he didn’t. Doucet scored, Fitz threw him down before Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston joined in a dogpile celebration.
“He slammed me to the ground and I couldn’t do anything but enjoy the moment,” Doucet said. “It was a good feeling.”
These are the things talked about after a three-touchdown win over a team that you should beat. First touchdowns and celebrations. Milestones, like A-Dub finally getting that sack he needed for his induction to 20/20 or Warner reaching 100 TD passes with his second team or DRC getting his sixth interception, which is the most for the Cards since Dexter Jackson had that many in 2006.
So much to touch on, so before I head off to bed:
— Yes, it was a Rams’ team severely short-handed, even on defense. But the Cards took their shots downfield Sunday and even got their biggest play of the season, a 45-yard bomb to Steve Breaston (topping the 44-yard catch-and-run of Boldin in New York in October).
— The Cards have more than 40 sacks in a season for the first time since moving to Arizona. They have 41 on the season.
— Boldin should be over 1,000 yards receiving. He is 14 yards short, a number that was taken care of on a 28-yard catch late in the third quarter – except an illegal shift on rookie LaRod Stephens-Howling negated the play. “I’m very upset,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said of that penalty, because the play had “really created momentum for us.”
— With Pro Bowlers being announced Tuesday, it’s too bad Boldin’s injuries threw off his early season showing. Because he is playing at a Pro Bowl level, and he has been at that level for a few weeks now.
— Tackle Levi Brown looked like he struggled Sunday, and generally, Whisenhunt said he was “a little disappointed in our protection today at times.” Obviously, that’s an area that needs to hold up when the Cards start playing postseason games.
— The Cardinals need the Vikings to lose Monday night in Chicago to keep hope alive to achieve the No. 2 playoff seed and a bye. So Fitzgerald – who grew up in Minnesota and was a Vikings ballboy and doesn’t really hide the idea he still roots for the Vikings – was asked who he will be rooting for in Bears-Vikings. “I’m from Minnesota, man,” Fitzgerald said, pausing before saying, “I want the Bears to wi…, ahh, yeah. We’ll see what happens.” It brought laughs, even from Fitzgerald. So yeah, we will see what happens.
— Jason Wright did an admirable job filling in at fullback after the last-second neck stiffness kept Dan Kreider, the Cards’ lone fullback, out. Beanie Wells had a nice game (17 carries, 68 yards and a score) but it seemed like, with Kreider around, he might have been even more effective.
— Calais Campbell tied Darnell Dockett for most sacks on the team with seven. Bertrand Berry is just one behind. What a race.
— Considering he had some tough moments in coverage this season (I’m thinking against the Bears for sure, and maybe a couple of other instances), safety Adrian Wilson actually has done well against the pass. He now has five interceptions and he’s made some nice pass breakups too. That shouldn’t be forgotten – although I am sure he’ll have a third Pro Bowl selection come Tuesday.
— It was nice to see A-Dub get to 20/20. If it wasn’t going to happen today, though … I mean, on that final Rams’ possession in which Wilson got Null for his second sack of the season, Wilson might as well have been a defensive end. He came off the edge on the rush on every one of the five plays, including his takedown.
— Finally, Whisenhunt said he thought about taking Warner out for Matt Leinart earlier than the three-minute mark, but “I kept wanting one more score in the second half. I wanted to make sure there was a point of emphasis for our football team that we got the 10th win.”
— Oh, Warner delivered the 10th win. Heck, Warner even delivered a 10-yard run. Who’s that, Chris Johnson I spy? Nope. Just Kurt.
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Anquan Boldin, Beanie Wells, Bertrand Berry, Calais Campbell, Dan Kreider, Darnell Dockett, DRC, Early Doucet, Jason Wright, Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Levi Brown, Matt Leinart, Rams, sacks, Steve Breaston, Vikings
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