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Hitting 400

Posted by Darren Urban on September 12, 2011 – 9:26 am

Let’s start with this disclaimer: The Cardinals need to play better defense. Everyone knows that, acknowledged that. “We let them get some first downs, move the ball on us,” defensive end Calais Campbell said. “Cam Newton played a great game. He’s a lot better quarterback than a lot of people thought, I’m sure. But we found a way to get it done at the end.”

But — and there is always a but, right? — a bit of perspective on Cam Newton’s 422 yards passing, best pointed out by Campbell again. “We still got the ‘W’ and that’s what it is about,” he said.

On my drive home last night I started mulling the 400-yard passing games I have seen over the years. It’s a fantastic number. And frankly, it usually means a loss. Ask Drew Brees, who was great last Thursday night and piled up 419 yards passing with no interceptions and still lost to Green Bay. The rookie record for passing yards in a game, prior to Matthew Stafford’s 422 in 2009 (tied yesterday by Newton) was the Cardinals’ own Matt Leinart, who threw for 405 in Minnesota in 2006. The Cards lost that game, 31-26 (Stafford did win his game, however, 38-37 over Cleveland, with five TD passes).

Kurt Warner had a pair of monster passing yardage days as a Card. He threw for 484 yards at home against the 49ers in 2007, and for 472 in New York against the Jets in 2007. The Cards lost the former in overtime, 37-31, and the latter was also a loss, 56-35. In fact, while Boomer Esiason’s team record 522-yard passing day in Washington in 1996 was an overtime win, the next five top passing games in franchise history (Warner’s two games, Neil Lomax at 468 yards, Jake Plummer at 465 yards and Lomax again at 457) were all losses.

Steve Beuerlein, who threw for 431 yards in Seattle in 1993, did win in overtime.

Newton’s certainly didn’t pile up numbers chasing a big deficit, which is impressive. But the Cards didn’t allow the Panthers to run well — 74 yards, a 2.7-yard average — which is the flip side of the big passing day. The point, again, is that gaudy numbers are always nice. But they are hollow without the right outcome. And in the Cards’ case, they don’t sting nearly as much with the right outcome.


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45 Responses to “Hitting 400”

  1. By The Shoe on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Cam Newton should have had 1 TD pass and 2 INTs if the refs would have had their heads out of their “You know whats”. Had the refs been better, Cams numbers would have been decent, but in now way gaudy…

  2. By AndyStandsUp on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    But overall, 400 yard passer’s teams are 129-104 4 ties.
    Like you said, Newton was behind, so it wasn’t “garbage” time. It was a combination of poor coverage and good throws by Cam.

    My question Darren is, did the Cards win the game yesterday or did the Panthers lose?

  3. By Rich on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    if we had put the ball in the end zone both times we were inside the 5, the game would have been different and our defense would have played Cam differently.

  4. By dimitosesma on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    tru dat, urban.

  5. By ALONEEAGLE on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, I have to agree with what you are saying, but on the flipside with this being a QB driven league, and now more of a passing game than a running game, the Cards better shore up their pass defense quick, fast and in a hurry. Congrats to Peterson for the game winning TD, but he has a lot of work to do defensively. The team, especially defense needs to start with better communication. It is pretty sad that We won the game, and all anyone can talk about is Cam Newton. He did look pretty impressive. Also what about Gamble all but shutting down Fitz? Fitz is better than that. Kolb looked pretty impressive as well. I hope the defense improves before the Redskins game. That would be an embarrassing loss in my opinion.

  6. By Darren Urban on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: 400 W-L record

    Overall, that record is correct. But I don’t think it’s coincidence, given the direction of the league, that 400-yard passers are 13-29 since 2006.

  7. By Paul H on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Just a few thoughts. Ron Rivera gets the Hat Tip of the season so far by keeping Cam Newton under wraps in the pre-season. They fooled everyone. Newton is Aaron Rodgers that can run. Dude has a cannon. I hope Carolina is not on our schedule for several years unless its a playoff game.
    Does A-DUB know he is a “safety” ? Our deep pass coverage was bad last season and it’s not looking good again. If Adrian wants to play OLB then maybe we should rotate him there.
    Is it too late to move Levi back over to the right side and let Bridges play left tackle?
    Kolb is going to run for his life this season.

  8. By Orange slice on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    A real card’s fan knows the win in the first game is very big. Only a fool would expect perfection in the opening game. This is a good start for a team that would have lost this game last year. So you people who
    know nothing about football let your fingers rest.
    The D will get better and remember they Won the game.

  9. By MIKE G on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren– Good point on the 400 yard passers! Usually you are playing from behind and accumulate those numbers. But I think with the new rules in todays NFL everyone is throwing the ball. The defense is under the gun and just cant touch anyone. I still think you have to run the ball to win –it signifies you are controlling the line of scrimmage and the clock which in turn means you are controlling the game. Hence when you control the game–you Win..
    Stats are for losers!! What did you think of that Marshall roughing penalty?? Ridiculous huh????

  10. By AndyStandsUp on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, what’s your opinion on the 2 roughing the passer calls?
    I realize they follow the intention of the rule, but it seemed incidental on both plays to me.

    And yes, Wikipedia does rock!

  11. By Phoenixraven1 on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    How come nobodies mentioning AJ Jefferson had a decent day over all? PP is the one who was tested over and over! PP will come along…

  12. By John S on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t agree with all these so called “analysts” about Cam being some “better then expected” surprise. I watched the whole game. To me, Newton is just a wildman and yes he can be dangerous because he likes to scramble and throw way downfield. He can be lucky like he was last night, but I’d be willing to bet that Carolina ends up losing alot of games from interceptions when he isn’t so lucky. That 400 yards number doesnt mean much if you watched the game. The only thing thats impressive to me about him is he is a scrambler.

  13. By Darren Urban on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Marshall penalty

    He launched himself and that’s a penalty. I don’t think it should be a penalty in that circumstance, but under the rules, it is.

  14. By BFrye on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    ALONEEAGLE:
    “We won the game, and all anyone can talk about is Cam Newton.”

    Thank you!!! He played great, good for Carolina. If I want to read articles about him I will go http://www.nfl.com or carolina’s site.

  15. By Darren Urban on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Roughing

    As I just mentioned, they follow the letter of the law. Weak, yes. But they follow the rules. The whole point is so officials don’t have to make judgment calls.

  16. By Nate on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    I hope that cam is the real deal and our deep pass coverage is adequate, not that cam is adequate and our pass coverage is very poor. I did get a sinking feeling when Steve Smith was able to get open time after time after time… But What a game, I love football! Go Cards and go Cam!

  17. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    “There is no good time to start a rookie QB.”

    – Darren Urban (2010 – multiple times)
    – Ken Whisenhunt (2010)

  18. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    “There is no good time to start a rookie QB, especially after a strike shortened offseason…unless your playing the Arizona Cardinals.”

    – Ottis Anderson Fan (2011)

  19. By joe again on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren-

    Last year with a decent QB, we easily could have won 4 more games and won the division. This year we’ve got that QB.

    Instead of breaking down Cam, how’s about a story assessing Kolb? Thats the story of this game, I think. He impressed me with his composure — even late when we were trailing and facing third and long, and momentum had completely swung against us, he had the same calm demeanor the whole game.

    Whiz is known for being so even-keel and low-key, and I thot Kolb displayed the exact same traits as his coach. These two guys are a funny pair.

  20. By D on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    They need D. Washington healthy and playing since he is the their best LB-this game showed their two major weekeness, lack of pass rush and a shakey Left Tackle…

  21. By Paddock on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    If your gona call a game like that< then do it fair. Cam is a big guy, how about giving Porter a sack because he had him controled, but they give him an incompletion? Be fair

  22. By BFrye on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    RE: Roughing

    Yeah, that’s the tough part. I do agree that we need to ensure ‘judgment’ is limited. I think it is safe to say that asking officials to ‘judge’ intent and severity would result in many more ‘bad’ calls. I am as frustrated as the next guy about that call – it often feels like the whole force out rule (thankfully now changed) – a great play negated by a rule. Knock down the QB, pass intercepted – but you hit the poor QB too hard, play reversed.

  23. By BFrye on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Perhaps someone can help me understand something (I am asking for an education, not judging…)

    PP seemed to play several yards behind Smith on MANY of the pass plays. It seems to me that PP should be on his hip the whole time and no play such conservative defense. Is that an unfair assessment? Is that just being a rookie? Thanks!

  24. By brythybo7 on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Dont forget Carson Palmer last year. His highest passing games (345, 371 and 412) they all lost

  25. By Artie on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    I am surprised about the lack of credit the cardinals are getting for pulling out the Win. The big thing that nobody is talking about is the game plan. every team goes into every game with a game plan on not just what they are going to do, but what they think the other team is going to do. Given the history of the games with Carolina against the cardinals, plus the fact that everyone’s opinion on Cam was that his is a run first qb, I am sure the Cards game plan was to stop the run. Which they did wonderfully. Also they may not have game planned against the pass as much because who new he was going to be such a good passer. I am sure after the second quarter after we started to realize their game plan was not on the ground. The One big message had to of been, Find a way to win. Which they did. To me, that is the big take away, and that is what we lost when Kurt left.

  26. By Darren Urban on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Paddock —

    RE: Porter near sack

    Ha! I just wrote the exact same thing on the blog before I read your comment.

  27. By Darren Urban on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    BFrye —

    RE: PP playing

    Part of the defense is not getting beat deep. They were often in a zone.

  28. By DontTakeLoses on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Cowhead Cowherd was raving this am about Cam. Then he uncorked this ‘ I’m not sure I can say Kolb has the ability to make the big play under pressure” What? What an idiot. Kolb WON. See that route to Larry for 34 yards. End of inquiry.

  29. By joez on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    refs and the media had it out for the cards. Almost like they wanted newton to win. Media on tv was cam this cam that, but Kolb was better. Refs blew major calls and cards still hanged in there and won. I feel the refs league need to watch those botched calls cuz they were horriable. Get your calls right zebras!! 2 interceptions and and extra sack i counted. Newtons had 200 yards from the long ball that frankly was going to happen with our green corners, big deal. In all actuallity he would of had 200-250 yards passing. Still without the win the “TEAM” came up short. Newton and Smith are not the only team players.

  30. By CardsFan on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Great Game, Great Win for our Cardinals, PP7 WILL GET BETTER & Cam is definitely a BEAST, so fellow cardinal fans please stop hating on the kid, he’ll be one of the best if not the best in the league in 3-4 years

  31. By ALONEEAGLE on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    In response to a couple og blogs I have read thus far, You are abesolutely correct The Shoe. The officiating was less than desirable, and went against the Cards every time. The initial roughing the passer call by Marshall was a joke. I know you will disagree with me Darren, because of “letter of the law”. There was no letter of the law. It was a good clean hit. He did not launch himself, nor was there any kind of helmet to helmet contact, nor was there any shoulder pad to helmet contact. Marshall, running full force, hit Newton in the chest, under the facemask, with his shoulder pad, as the ball was leaving his hand. Clean hit!! Also let’s not forget about the non-call regarding pass-interference with Fitz. Contact was clearly made to Fitz, before the ball was even to him, and had already left Kolbs hands. Furthure more, the defender was not making an attempt on the ball himself, he was just preventing Fitz from catching it after he had clearly been beaten. One other call that isn’t being dicussed because it was reversed. How do you call for a complete pass, when you are in fact running from the play and get knocked down with your back to the play ie. Steve Smith and Patrick Peterson. As for the last roughing the passer on Haggans, incidental as it may have been, he did connect with the helmet. On a final note, BFrye, I don’t want to hear anything more about Newton, I have heard enough on Sports Center. Joe again, I completely agree!! Let’s give Kolb the props he deserves!!

  32. By wayne on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    watching the game I kept tract of the sacks and I counted 5 total sacks where the stats have the Cards for 4 sacks. I just watched the short game replay and again I counted 5 sacks. I am 100% that the Cards had 5 sacks, is there any way that the NFL would change it if the evidence shows it?
    If yes I will get you the times of the game were the sacks happened.

    thanks, Wayne

  33. By Darren Urban on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Wayne —

    RE: Sacks

    Yes, they will correct. If you kept track, e-mail me the notes (askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net). Are you sure one of the “sacks” didn’t turn out to be a gain. There was one play where the Cards got Newton down on a pass play, he had crossed the line of scrimmage. QB can’t gain any yards to have a sack credited.

  34. By Cards4Life on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    I would not be so qiuck to react to r Defense, We knew goin into this Game that Defense was still a little behind without the entire playbook installed yet. We I did like, Was when we sent 4 guys and dropped the rest into covrage at the end of the game Cam was shut down, His feet an abililit to make the throw on the run beat the rush but when in covage scheme He looked like the rookie every1 thpught we were getttin coming into this game

  35. By Andy M on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    It was embarrassing to listen to the announcers slobber all over Newton. While it is a “star’s league” and Newton has an impressive marquis, all the fuss overshadowed the competitive nature of the game and and the Cardinals got the short shrift.

    Darren, do you think that with all the blitzing the Cardinals threw at Carolina, that it was in any way effective, or would it have been better to mix up pressure and coverages to a greater extent?

  36. By Darren Urban on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Andy M —

    RE: “Better” defense

    I have no idea. Coaches believe the defense isn’t being run the right way often enough. That could change things. On the other side, do the Cards have enough defensive playmakers?

  37. By rio on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Who ever is calling the plays with 2 minutes left has to open his mind a little bit more just handing off to Beenie when the line is stack against the run is not going to work, a little play action to keep the first down markers moving would have been great, Newton would never had gotten the ball back and we would not have to go through all that last minute sweat, with the way our defense was playing they should have tried some short pass plays to extend the final drive
    with one more first down we could have run the clock out.

  38. By AZCoyotes on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Last week Carolina’s rookie quartback Cam Newton called the Arizona Cardinals secondary letting them know things just aren’t going to work out. Cam was quoted as saying “I just need a some space right now”.

    The Cardinals secondary are respecting his wishes.

  39. By Brad Wheeler on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Zastudil averaged 38yds per punt, he missed a vital opportunity late in the fourth Qtr to down them deep, all he managed was the 18 yard line, Ben Graham in that situation would have put it at the 5 yard line, that’s the difference in abilities, i hope Zastudil gets better cause at the moment it looks like they chose the wrong guy…

  40. By CardsAreWarBirds on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Here we go Cardinals here we go! We looked to me pretty darn good considering how many new players we have (we need to gel more) and our rookie situation (they will learn). Im a happy Cards fan! Go Cards!

  41. By Scott H on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    During my 35-plus years as a Cardinals fan, I have been witness to many games where one of our players would have an amazing individual performance but the team would lose the game. Know what? I like winning the game better. Let Cam Newton be the player of the week. Good for him. I’ll take the win.

  42. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Sep 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    Tom Brady threw for 517 yards Monday night and won. ;)

    I’m guessing everytime a QB throws for over 400 yards this season and wins, somebody may make note of it in this blog post.

  43. By Matt on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    Another interesting one,

    Aaron Rodgers passed for 402 yards against the Cardinals in the 2009 Wild Card game. And we all know how that ended.

  44. By Matt on Sep 13, 2011 | Reply

    @Ottis Anderson

    Chad Henne passed for over 400 yards against the Patriots, which is why Miami lost. Brady instantly avoided the “curse” shall we say by getting out of that 400-499 range.

  45. By Eazy E on Nov 10, 2011 | Reply

    Stop hating on Cam, he torched us simple and plain.

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