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Bengals aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on December 24, 2011 – 6:27 pm

It’s Christmas Eve, 30,000 feet above Missouri according to the “moving map” in the seatback in front of me, and at this point, it’s tough to not think more about my kids and the next 24 hours than the Cardinals.

That’s what happens when the finish doesn’t go the Cards’ way – a Cardiac Cards game in reverse. All the components were there for another amazing rally. I have no doubt, frankly, that had Early Doucet caught that ball, or the Cards had been able to find their way to a tying score, that they would have won in overtime. But that didn’t happen, and after so many of the late breaks that went their way over the past month, the tangling of feet just seemed bound to happen. The law of averages and all that.

The Cardinals are done, and now the game against the Seahawks next week is about the chance to finish .500 – still a feat given the start to the season – and taking second place in the NFC West.

First, a shorter (I say that as I start out) aftermath, since Christmas is on the mind:

– John Skelton, the ultimate Jekyll-and-Hyde. How does the guy who did what he did in the first three quarters do what he did in the final quarter? The pressure is off? A switch is flipped? Through three quarters, his passing rating was 18.0. Forced interceptions, overthrows, inaccurate throws.

In the fourth quarter, his passing rating was 112.8. What you saw is the reason you can’t go all-in with him. Not yet, anyway. The defense works without a net when Skelton plays like that, and he has yet to not play like that, really. I’m sure he’d love to know why too, but he doesn’t. I’ve never seen such a dramatic difference in how a guy plays. Make no mistake – the pass to Doucet was a good read and good throw. He would have had another TD pass. It’s why he’s so hard to bench. Because that streak always seems to come.

– Calais Campbell set a career-high with his eighth sack, and forced that last fumble that looked like it would get the Cards the tie.

– Safety Kerry Rhodes was back as a playmaker too – he recovered both Bengals fumbles.

– Safety Adrian Wilson forced a fumble, but the big play was his roughing the passer call that seemed iffy. Some have said the right replay showed helmet-to-helmet. I just didn’t see it, and it stole a big play from the Cards.

– A.J. Jefferson was the kickoff returner, so that LaRod Stephens-Howling – dealing with a sore hamstring – could concentrate on his offensive packages. Jefferson struggled, averaging just 17.3 yards a return.

– The Cardinals finally put Deuce Lutui in on offense. He took over at right guard in the second half. No way to know how he graded out yet, but since Lutui will be a free agent after the season, it’s interesting. You wonder if there will be some evaluating going on.

– On the play before Doucet’s miss, the Cards ran a screen to Larry Fitzgerald. It was set up well – but tight end Todd Heap missed a block, and that was the man who made the tackle. It only gained two yards, and probably should have gained more. Not that it mattered much, since the Cards needed to convert the Doucet pass, but worth noting.

– The Cardinals have played an NFL-high 12 games decided by seven points or less. That they added to the total Saturday is simply crazy.

– It was a weary Ken Whisenhunt who talked after the game. There was no anger. He mentioned the frustration many times, and he was asked if that was partly because he thought the Cards were past playing like that. A tired smile crossed his face. “I never thought we were past playing like that,” he said.

He knew his team didn’t play well enough. But he wasn’t in the mood to complain much. Maybe it was the Christmas spirit.

“It’s not any fun when it starts like that,” Whisenhunt said. “But I do have a lot of respect for our players for the way they didn’t quit. It didn’t look good there in the fourth quarter. We fought all the way back. We had chances to make plays, we just didn’t get it done. It’s disappointing from that aspect, especially as hard as we fought this year to get back to where we were.”

OK, big props to anyone actually reading this tonight. I’m taking tomorrow off, if everyone doesn’t mind. Merry Christmas.

 


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Posted in Blog | 69 Comments »


69 Responses to “Bengals aftermath”

  1. By Bill on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Great game Cards. Really impressed on how the Defense fought the entire game.

    My takes:

    1. Why don’t they play Duece earlier during the season? More competition between the Guards and spells them when need be.

    2. Skelton needs this off-season more than any player except … Kolb.

    3. That was not a helmet-to-helmet hit on Wilson. If there’s no fine then the NFL just admitted it was a mistake. That was not a helmet-to-helmet hit.

    4. Beat the Sawhags and go 8-8.

    Offseason needs:

    1. Re-sign Calais Campbell

    2. Jordy Nelson come on down to be the #2 WR for the Cards!

    3. Get healthy.

    4. Skelton and Kolb need to fight for the QB position.

    5. Draft Oline; especially tackles. Of the 6 picks the Cards currently have for this year’s draft I would take at least 2 and maybe 3 Olineman (depends on what they do during F/A).

    Merry Christmas everyone and see you on New Years Day as the Cards beat the Seahags!!!

  2. By CaptainDune on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Tough Loss.

    Does duece finally have his weight under control then?

  3. By Brandon on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Enjoy your Christman Darren. Helluva job

  4. By cardfancolorado on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL THE CARDINAL FANS!!!! Hopefully finish .500, do a lot practice and conditioning in the off-season, we will be back

  5. By lg on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    that was some great def cant wait to see yall next season off need to get it together just to many turnovers but good def give us a chance to win the game

  6. By Darren Urban on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Captain Dune —

    RE: Deuce

    I think he’s in a good place now. “Under control” is an ongoing thing.

  7. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Darren for the perspective on the game. I didn’t see it up here in Packerland, but did follow along on my iPad on NFL.com.

    I wonder, in life outside of football, If Skelton is the ultimate procrastinator?

  8. By CJ on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Yes, tough loss but I’m sure a good lesson for all. Always lots of learning. Merry Christmas!!!

  9. By Kevin $ on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    All I can say is, wow. Wow that they were even in it. Wow that the Cardinals were just a couple tangled feet away from putting up 23 points in the 4th quarter. Wow that the defense hung in there in spite of 3 Skelton INT’s. Wow at how bad Skelton can be, and then turn it around like that.

    With Detroit winning easily, our playoff hopes are pretty much toast anyway, so props to the team for not giving up. Doucet feels terrible I’m sure, but it’s just one play. Plenty of other opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on. Like 1st and goal at the 1 with over 4 minutes to go when we fumble the snap and we lose 10 yards. Punch that one in and we never would’ve gotten to the Doucet play — all we’d need is a FG to tie.

    Not that I expected them to score with 48 seconds left, but the way the Cards handled that last drive left something to be desired. Physical screwups like Doucet, OK… but not playing smart I hate. We had 27 seconds when the play to Beanie started. That play was only an 8 yard gain, and we only get one more play off for the game? And we throw that one over the middle about 20 yards shy of the end zone? Either get up there and spike it so you can take one last shot on 4th down, or get up there faster and throw one toward the sidelines so that it’s either incomplete or you can get out of bounds and you get one more play.

    Glad they didn’t quit — that is worth a lot. But so close to the comeback of all comebacks makes it tough. We actually outgained the Bengals which is incredible after the abysmal first half. Great job by the D, especially in the 2nd half.

  10. By wayne on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    On the flip TD, it was broken coverage, do you know who missed the assignment? was it Wilson? Tough loss but they didnt stop playing, i’m proud of the Cardinals and the way they have been playing.

    You deserve the day off,
    Merry Christmas to you and the family.

  11. By Matthew on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    sigh….. idk what to do about our qb position anymore. Skelton looks like a guy picked off the street to play qb in the first 3 qtrs, and in the last he looks like a tom brady. Kolb is injury prone, and will never ever lock up a qb position of his own. Especially with his terrible play. Man we suck. Eh good game tho and Merry Christmas!:D

  12. By Timmy on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Darren for the great coverage. Enjoy the holiday with your family…

    Some thoughts on why 2011-2012 season will be different from this season:
    1. We will have a full off-season and camp
    2. We will not be trying to implement a radical change in our defensive scheme on short notice
    3. We will have a young and aggressive (yet seasoned) corps of linebackers ready to turn our 3-4 defense into a true force of destruction
    4. With his experience this season, P. Peterson will be well of his way to being a true “lockdown corner” while also being a special teams phenom on the level of Devin Hester
    5. Our quarterback situation will be resolved with either Kolb or Skelton emerging as the true starter

    NFC West in our sites…

  13. By Rocky G on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks Darren… awesome job this year.. balancing all this emotion …frustration aggrivation… and tears… yes tears… after the initial shock wore off… my heart just broke for Early… Man… I can’t wait for the offseason… I LOVE THIS TEAM!!! Go CARDS>>>> PROUD OF ALL OF YOU!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS>>>

  14. By BIG RED on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Darren I have a favor to ask you. When ever you see Kurt Warner ask him why, don’t they ever mention anything about the Cardinals in the NFL Channel or ESPN. I know it might take a while for you answer. Well, anyway Merry Christmas to you and your family. God Bless

  15. By ross on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Merry christmas, Darren.

  16. By Brandon LA on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Doucet. You are STILL the man!!!!

    Beanie 1000 Yards !!!!!

    8-8 Sounds good to me

    Go Cards!!!!!!!!

  17. By NJAzCardsFan on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    3 plays killed the Cards in this game…..
    The bogus call on A-Dub when PP intercepted the pass.
    Maybe the worst one was the fumble at the 1 yd line, then they had to go for 3 pts.
    The over throw to Doucet. Skelton should have lobbed the ball to him as he was so wide open , he could have walked into the end zone.

    Maybe Kolb should play the first half and Skelton play the 2nd half.

    The defense is going to be awesome next year.

    Hopefully they can beat the Seahawks at home to finish 8-8 next week.

    2012 should be an interesting year if they get the QB situation settled.

    Merry Christmas to all…..

  18. By vsancards on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Great game Cards. I have always believed effort and heart mean a lot. This team has tons of each. Still, need to learn how to start games as well as they finish. Hopefully a focus for the off season.

    Looking forward to a good game at home. .500 means something to the fans so hopefully the team will continue to fight for one more game.

    Go Cards!

  19. By Darren Urban on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Wayne –

    RE: blown coverage

    I don’t know. Haven’t even had a chance to see the replay.

  20. By ALONEEAGLE on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Great second half to watch, enjoyed it!! I don’t blame Doucet for tripping, As I have said before, Until this O-line improves drastically and becomes more consistent, it doesn’t matter who is back there, he’ll be on his back or running for his life. Seriously need a true # 2 next to Fitz! Lets go Cards, finish 8-8, take care of the Seahawks!! It’s payback time, then we prep for next season!!

  21. By zahid on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    maybe Skelton needs a mental coach. when he looks good, he real looks good.

    better days ahead guys.

  22. By cactus_hawaiian on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    Doucet was supposed to be the replacement of Boldin, I would have to say its a FAIL.

    Besides the playoff game against Green Bay a few years back, he hasn’t done much. Wide open, with no one in sight and he trips over his own feet / slips?

  23. By cdubbbb on Dec 24, 2011 | Reply

    It was Peterson

  24. By az fan in wa on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Any word on Peterson’s injury. Didn’t seem bad but just wondering. Have a merry Christmas. Can’t believe that fourth quarter. I was just shaking my head the whole time saying ‘unbelievable.’ We sure didn’t earn it but how great would that have been!

  25. By Marcus on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Cant wait for Kolb to come back. Come back with a better O-line so he can stop collecting concussions like its freakin presents on Christmas Day. Better WR’s, so Fitz cant get more work done, or atleast work in that 4.4 TE Housler. I wasnt even mad about Doucet falling. Looking like he’s on ice skates for the first time, when ur average, that stuff happens. Kolb is THE GUY. For anyone to give-up on him after 7 games is beyond moronic. Give him over a full year in this offense, he’ll be darn good ESPECIALLY with a much improved running game w/ Ryan Williams and Chris Wells. Patrick Peterson is MONEY. M-O-N-E-Y. mula. cabbage. greenbacks. We got the best guy in the draft.

  26. By Christo on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Hmmm looks like there are about 13 teams that could end up right around the 7 or 8 win mark.

    .500 ball is nice, but without a 2RD pick do we “really” need to beat the Seahawks?

  27. By SpokaneCardsFan on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Love your blog! Can’t get enough Cards info up here…so your words are gold! Thank you for your work and Merry Christmas!

  28. By Mark on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Need to fix the offensive line. Poor blocking is what hurt Skelton who also needs a lot of work but is much better than Kolb. They need to work together and maybe look at Rich too. He does well when given a chance. Resign Campbell asap! Let Lutui go. He will come back over weight again next year and you will be able to resign him for $50 when no one wants him. Otherwise I will be there next week at the Seatle game to cheer on OUR CARDINALS who turned the season around. Playoffs for sure next year! Merry Christmas Cards fans and to the Awesome Cardinals team!

  29. By Scott H on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Since I can’t say much these days without being jumped all over for being negative, I will say at the outset that this loss does nothing to diminish how proud I am and have been of this team over the past 2 months or so. Nothing to hang our heads over here. Would have been great to win out, but…hey, we’ve won most of them lately and the quality of the wins against winning teams like Dallas and San Fran is what I take with me into next season. We absolutely could have won this game. Too bad we couldn’t have done more in the first 3 quarters…because we almost only needed one to get the job done. But in most cases, that just doesn’t work. We beat ourselves more than the Bengals did.

    If I may put in a late request for just ONE MORE Christman gift, I want a win in the last game against Seattle. Tired of getting kicked around by them in the last few games. C’mon, guys – not in our house, not this time. We got one more to play, let’s go out with a win. A great end to an un-expectedly fun season.

    Seriously, I HATE the Seahawks. Let’s punch them in the mouth like we did San Fran a few weeks ago.

  30. By AZbelgium on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    There darren you’re nearly right about the 8-8… really hoped for the 9-7 with the wildcard hopes.

    Anyway i’ve said this taht we would have a big chance on the playoffs when we won against the Rams. It came out (the most part of it)

    I said: This season we’ll get to the Play offs after finishing 9-7 OR if not so, we’ll get to the SB next year. I really see the chance of that with our D being one of the best in NFL and our Off that can only get better.

    GO CARDS!!!!

  31. By Chris B on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Dear Whiz,
    First possession of the game should be no-huddle. Both QBs get into a rhythm quicker.
    This game, and the others in which Skelton turns the ball over 3x is why he can’t be named the started yet.

  32. By Mike Ellingboe on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    @Darren,

    “Some have said the right replay showed helmet-to-helmet. I just didn’t see it”

    You know the protection of the QB’s has gone overboard when the advocates of such a call have to find just the “right replay” to possibly prove their point. On a separate note, I’ve read that Peterson’s injury is either a hamstring or an achilles, do you know which?

    Merry Xmas to you and yours.

  33. By DontTakeLoses on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    “…What you saw is the reason you can’t go all-in with him. Not yet, anyway. The defense works without a net when Skelton plays like that, and he has yet to not play like that…”

    My view: Kolb is much better prepared to be the AZ starting QB. Big IF on KOLB is whether he’ll ever play again. His inability to recover from the concussion is a huge red flag. If he returns, the next concussion could end his career …

    What to do: add another QB and 3 O linemen. Can’t go with Skelton; his flakiness eventually will break the team. Merry Christmas

  34. By Brian on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Looks as if Skelton does good in the no huddle. He needs to be able to read the defenses better so that way we can run the no huddle offense like the Colts do with Payton Manning.

    Looks like we need Todd Haley as well, the play calling isn’t good.

  35. By tom on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    darren, how do you not even gove us an update on petersons injury. thts literally the only thing i wanted to read about and you dont even talk about that

  36. By brad oneill on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    I am thinking if the Cardinals had kept Breaston we wouldn’t be in this situation right now. who knows when or if a guy is going to trip but that was not the only clutch play Doucett failed on this year. other times he got bailed out by the team and bad stuff happens but how many balls did we watch get dropped that should have been caught?

    The team fought hard and gave us something to cheer for despite everything that could possibly go wrong going wrong. That penalty on wilson could have shattered another team, but they fought through it, It is great to see guys push back so hard no matter how bad the tide turns against them.

    My wish list for next year is Calais Campbell back, Kolb healthy and skelton developing as he should.

    Proper perspective on Skelton is he is a back up at this point and a young one who hasn’t had a full camp as a starter. last year he was third on the depth chart for camp. How did Chicago, Dallas, Philly do with the back ups this year?

    Cards fans I love reading your posts all year round and I want to wish you a merry Christmas and happy new year, thanks for contributing interesting perspectives on my favorite team rather we agree or not.

    Darren Merry Christmas brother!

  37. By TucsonTim on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Merry Christmas everyone. On a remote island in French Polynesia with one English speaking sat channel devoted to news cricket and soccer and what did I see for the sport highlight…”the leap” in Cincy.

  38. By Eric Hutchins on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    You do a great job. Happy Holidays!

  39. By R Robles on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren random ? whatever happened to Will Davis I remember him alot on special teams?

  40. By sport245245 on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Merry Christmas to all, and disappointed in the outcome but sure was interesting late. Can only live on the edge for so long. Thanks for all you do Darren.

  41. By Darren Urban on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    az fan —

    RE: Peterson injury

    http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Leap-Leaves-Imprint-In-Cincy/49eb68ad-f321-40f2-aed7-3bd0dba5f28e

  42. By Darren Urban on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Mike Ellingboe —

    RE: Peterson injury

    http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Leap-Leaves-Imprint-In-Cincy/49eb68ad-f321-40f2-aed7-3bd0dba5f28e

  43. By Darren Urban on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Tom —

    RE: Peterson injury

    Guys, you can’t just read the blog. I write other stuff too.

    http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Leap-Leaves-Imprint-In-Cincy/49eb68ad-f321-40f2-aed7-3bd0dba5f28e

  44. By Darren Urban on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    R Robles —

    RE: Will Davis

    Cut after camp. Wasn’t signed anywhere.

  45. By Card's Chick on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    I was so hoping for an extra Christmas present this year *sigh* but, no mas. Still though, my guys put up a good fight. After spending last night licking my wounds (I was no doubt far less disappointed than my Card’s who battled it out on the field) I was left with only 2 resounding thoughts.

    1. O-LINE O-LINE O-LINE O-LINE O-LINE!!! I am looking forward to some Free Agency action and what the draft brings. Seriously…when the QB is running for his life what do you expect to happen?

    2. The ongoing QB saga. I have always liked Skelton. He seems to handle pressure very well…has good pocket presence. But repeatedly over throwing the WR’s (Fitz) is ab-so-LUTE-ly killing me!!!!! Seriously I am surprised you haven’t been able to hear me expressing that *frustration* repeatedly this season (my appeals to sweet baby Jesus don’t seem to work). Still though, I like him. On the other hand, I believe this year has dealt Kolb a bad hand. He was signed with only a few weeks before preseason. Did not have benefit of the time the typical FA process brings. No preseason camp. Very little opportunity to learn the offense before. BAAAM the season started! Finally, the injuries (although I am not completely convinced they weren’t *milked* just a bit. Having said that, I am extremely interested in what next year brings. I whole-heartedly believe that one of them is going to step up and give my Card’s that extra edge they need.

    Wait..one more thought…

    At this point I will settle for 8-8. My wish is for the defense to shut the Seahawks down! Please make Marshawn sit down some place…and Tavaris too…I’m just not feeling any of that!!!

    Wait…another thing (hey what can I say, I am a chick…you know how that goes)…

    As always Darren, you have done an outstanding job this season. You have been VERY objective (I think) in your commentary. I appreciate it.

    Ok, I’m done. Merry Christmas!

  46. By card62 on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Merry Christmas Darren and all Cardinal Fans.

    Great articles Darren and like you I was surprised to see Duece in the game, and Skelton is truly hard to understand, and the call on Wilson was so bad.

    Good news is watching the Cardinals this year you only have to watch the 4th quarter.

    I wanted us to bring Doucet back this year, but I have seen enough and hope we dump him this off season.

    Hate that we lost , but I hope the pressure says on Ken Whisenhunt to upgrade our offensive coaches next season.

    Even with a new offensive coordinator I still do not know if we have the right quarterbacks. I hope they pan out, but man they keep ,me talking to the TV too much and family members are beginning to talk.

    So proud that our guys keep fighting for all 60 minutes especially the defense.

    GO Cards beat the Seahawks, but I will be honest I will not be upset if they lose the game as I am already thinking about free agency and the draft, and to all a good night.

  47. By Patrick Eagan on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    I believe skelton was the reason we lost. 3 interceptions. inaccurate passes. I don’t care how he plays in the 4th quater. His performance in the first 3 quaters was too much to overcome. He looked terrible. Kolb should be the starter. He doesnt make those kind of mistakes that set the cardinals back in the game 23 to nothing going into the 4th quater. It was getting so bad that the i was hoping skelton would be taken out of the game. The cardinals defense is amazing. They should keep it up. I can’t wait to see them next year. The offensive line of Arizona NEEDS to get better. I believe a tackle and guard should be picked up in the draft and free agency. Kolb needs to stay heathly. If he wants to be a franchise quaterback he can’t miss 7 to 8 games year.

  48. By Dre1368 on Dec 25, 2011 | Reply

    Slow start but great finsh you can tell like always there is no quit in the team. a better play calling at the end would of done us better but what you going to do. I’m proud of the team and big ups to jonny s he stayed in there mental when he could of checked out . The d is strong only to see better days ahead next season . Darren thank you for all you do merry Christmas

  49. By Sarah on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Question ?

    If Arizona had beaten the Bengals would they still be playoff alive givenDetroit defeated San Diego ( critical question ) ? I thought they needed Detroit to lose to SD.

    Re. Skelton, he needs an off season for full grooming given lack of camp and off season last year. He missed several key passes but can seriously turn it on late in the game, reminds me of John Elway actually. His interceptions were really bad throws, really baffles me how he can pull it together so late as they almost did it again, it is almost as if he is working for the spread guys in Vegas. I think the fumble on the one yard line was critical as that would have added 4 more points and a field goal at the end would have tied it. That Doucet trip up was painful to relive on highlights to say the least, Skelton should have just passed it to him for crying out loud instead of leading him !

  50. By JohnfromOz on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    I can’t believe that once again people are impressed with a possible 50% winning percentage.
    Yes, this team started badly and has finished reasonably well, but they have sill only won under half of the games played. Nearly, close, just about and almost are all words and phrases that just don’t cut it.
    As i have repeatedly said, accepting a 50 / 50 season (or possibly less) is accepting mediocrity. It is saying that somewhere near enough is good enough. It is not exacting and demanding excellence.
    I understand that there are extenuating circumstances relating to injury, late start to the pre-season and so on, but geez, people – accepting that winning half of your games is a good thing? Come on!
    A new coach is needed – one who seeks and expects excellence. A new coach is needed to inspire and to lead. A new coach is needed who accepts nothing less that winning.
    Until this team finds such a coach, the Cards will be a mediocre team. Fans deserve better, players deserve better and the city and State deserve better.

  51. By JohnfromOz on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Ops Para 3 should read expecting and demanding excellence “not exacting”. Sorry!

  52. By Jesse Robles on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Funny how people want critics to apologize to Whiz for riding the Defense out this season again and keeping his job for him. Great season this year, we can only hope Whiz puts something together for this horrible Offense the Cardinals have. Defense wins Championships, but not when your Offense cannot score a point until the 4th, it works for a little bit. Cant wait for Ryan Williams and the rest of the Young guys the Cardinals have.

  53. By CoolJoeyB on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    I have been a die hard Cardinals fan, ever since they were the Phoenix Cardinals, and have ridden the waves of highs and lows for it….but, the last few years they have been playing much better than in years past, and a certain amount of consistency is showing, more than likely, due to the head coach, and staff positions staying the same year after year. My hat’s off to Coach W for turning around a team that had trouble winning, and giving us a team that others respectfully talk about to our faces…no more slams and digs, because we were Cardinals fans. I look forward to more great things in the future. Merry Christmas to Coach Whisenhunt, and all my Cardinals team…Keep up the hard work, and go get those Seahawks.

  54. By mark on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    i agree with patrick… in the NFL some one has to be accountable for the poor PROGRESS of the offense ALL YEAR and i mean the product of offense the arizona cardinals have been putting on the feild since kurt warners days … have been to say the least garbage.. i mean it took my boy beanie 3 games just to break 1000 yds..when all he needed was,now dont quote me but i think it was like 80 something yards after that big 228 yd game against the rams but it took him 3 games just to get those yards.. i believe that in ARIZONA if your a fan of any arizona sport team..(i.e. phx coyote, suns d-backs) that we have grown to be very passive to losing as sports fans and who could blame any of you. every year suns choke in playoff what do we say “oh we will get them next year the joe johnson leaves amarie leaves shawn marion left and already won a ring..all the good players left that squad , d-backs won the pennant in 01 so thats good for me still within the decade but i would love for them to do better.. coyotes well lets call that hole situations a working progress… but as long as ive been alive the cardinals have SUCKED with the exception of 08-09 year and even then espn and nfl network were still saying that the cardinals were garbage because they won the divsion at 9-7..we lose so much that when we do lose we dont even care as fans.. everyone on the blog keeps saying good job cards and we will get them next year and nice way to turn the season around stuff like that…but the fact is 8-8 is A LOSING record because that does not get us to the super bowl… as fans we have to let our voice be heard in the sense that we demand more out of our pro teams because i know when dallas cowboys lose the whole state of texas shutdown jk.. but you get the pic.. the cards wasted all that money on kolb and talk about a bust in the works and gave a up a second round pic for a injury prone qb that turned out to be a horrible call cuz now next year skelton has a shot at the starting spot because what he did this year…and arizonas luck he will win and kolb will sit for all that money remind u of anybody??? how about matt from usc and kurt kinda same situation right? all i say is dont be happy with 7-9 or 8-8 because regradless how the season started.. that losing record doesnt get us a good pick in the draft or a postseason bid so its NOT A GOOD THING TO EXCEPT LOSING in any nature close games or blow outs !!!

  55. By Darren Urban on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Sarah —

    RE: Playoffs

    Moot point anyway, but Falcons also could lose out and have opened a door for the Cards.

  56. By Mike Ellingboe on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    @Darren,

    My apologies, I got so tired of seeing that damn leap over and over that anything that made even the most obscure reference to it got ignored. About your comment in regards to Skelton, “I’ve never seen such a dramatic difference in how a guy plays.” I was hard pressed to think of an example as well, until I remembered back to Terry Bradshaw. He’d look absolutely awful, then come alive late.

  57. By Mike Ellingboe on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    @Sarah,

    “Skelton should have just passed it to him for crying out loud instead of leading him!”

    I get your frustration on that play but Skelton did everything right on it. The blitz was on it’s way, it’s not like he had time to wonder if Doucet was going to backpedal his route.

  58. By Sarah on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    So did Atlanta win ? Also i thought Detroit had to lose two games for the Cards to have any chance of a wild card berth ? It is not a moot point as some serious season blame is being apportioned here. The season was lost at 1 and 6 basically , also we need a running game not only for balance but also to keep defenses honest. I think we should be happy at the back half of the season and winning four straight, something not done since 1999 .

  59. By Sarah on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    I also think we need a speed receiver to compliment Fitz, we have no deep threat even though Skelton has a cannon, Kolb I am sure as well. Andre Roberts needs better assessed in my opinion, the short of it is we need more weapons on offense.

  60. By pipapiko on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    If Deuce Lutui has his weight under control or not? The guy can flat out play the game! What’s funny is how a lot of other players around the league are so over weight. But never has there issue put out there to the media unless the organization is trying to get rid of that player or trade him. Come over to the 49ers bro, we can use you at right guard! The Cards will never see 1 superbowl championship, let alone 5 like we got! And yes, they were all in the past but we look like we gonna get there sooner then the Cards will again?! GO NINERS!

  61. By pipapiko on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Fire Whizz and HIRE Todd Haley!

  62. By Scott H on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Card’s Chick –

    From your lips to this organizations ears! While I would like to look forward to seeing this team make improvements through FA, the past few off-seasons do not inspire a lot of confidence. All we can do is hope.

  63. By clssylssy on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    Usually I am the annoying rah-rah girl BUT…this game?? What the$%#? ! To me, it looked like the Cards were TOTALLY check out until the fourth quarter. Skelton was being used as a crash test dummy and where were his teammates? I have always known Doucet was capable of being awesome, familiar with his high school and LSU performances, but this season he can’t seem to hang onto a ball to save his life? The Cards historically have not done well in the East, and given it was Christmas eve day, the timing alone were factors that my gut told me wouldn’t end well…that being said, I STILL BELIEVED the enthusiasm of the young players and the cohesiveness with which we have been playing, would carry us and we would get it done. I think all the QB “controversy” played a role, being a distraction unnecessary with only two games left. We should have won this but didn’t have focus…and that damn flip…Simpson should have been called for celebration! Next week there will be NO EXCUSES for not beating the Seahawks at home. Let’s go Cards!, be Angry Redbirds and Fly High against the Seahawks!

  64. By MrMIkeAZ on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    @ JohnfromOz
    You said:* “A new coach is needed – one who seeks and expects excellence. A new coach is needed to inspire and to lead. A new coach is needed who accepts nothing less that winning.

    Until this team finds such a coach, the Cards will be a mediocre team. Fans deserve better, players deserve better and the city and State deserve better.” *

    I do not think you know Ken Whisenhunt at all. He does nothing but Seek and expect excellence all around him, from staff to players.. He is a great coach in my opinion and has done wonders for an organization that was not very competitive. I for one am happy that we make back to back playoff appearances for the first time in over 30 years of franchise history! And first time in 10 years also! We have a QB issue, once we resolve that we will be back in the thick of it in the NFC West. A few more pieces and its even better!

    Just having Warner and what he did should show you what Ken can and is building. And I do not believe that Ken Whisenhunt at all thinks that 8-8 is ok. But I do believe he believes its better than 7-9. I believe that not only does whis have confidence, I see him bring out great things in his players. Something we need here in AZ. Keep Ken Whisenhunt!

  65. By Eric on Dec 26, 2011 | Reply

    @pipapiko, stay on your whiner blog. Cards fans only, BRO. besides, we just handed you ladies your backsides so quit being a sour little girl. You guys are one and done in the playoffs anyway. We will be West champs again next year, so enjoy your once a decade success, now get out of the way.

    Thanks for a great year Darren of being very objective in your coverage of our beloved team. If I have a say, you get a HUGE raise!

    He is what I am seeing. We need a new offensive coordinator. The play calling is horrible. RUN THE DAM BALL!!! Beanie should have at least 1300 yards and we might have even won a few of those close games if we control the ball more, and it’s done by RUNNING. Passing on 1st and 2nd and short, constantly, not good, not smart.

    We absolutely need new OT’s. I said earlier in the year they were going to get Kolb hurt, and they did. The guy never had a chance. 54 sacks, a league high, is ridiculous. I understand the guys held ion to the ball too long at times, but they were always running for their lives way to early to even have a chance most of the time. It looks like we won’t have a shot at Kalil from USC, so it looks like we will need at least one through FA. Please don’t bring in the typical Steelers or Browns rejects, GRAVES, It’s got to be a long term solution. I’m sick of the band-aid fixes.

    I really believe we are two OT’s, a receiver, and some more depth at LB away from being very good. Ray Horton has done a great job, in fact he saved Whiz’s job, so make another smart move guys and bring back Todd Haley and let get this offense up to speed and take this division back.

    Very exciting year, I can’t say enough about the character of these guys never quitting and some very exciting games. Don’t get down on Early, there were plenty of other reasons we lost to Cincy, and the Wilson penalty was crap.

    Happy Holidays Darren, Cards, and Cards Fans!!! Beat the Sea Squaks!!!

  66. By clssylssy on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    Darren:
    Seriously…about the flip. Do you have any idea how dangerous hotdogging like that is and the potential injury to both players that could have resulted? I know it looks great on NFL highlight reels, but if that wasn’t celebration…scripted and choreographed…you gotta be kidding. That was practiced and any gymnast will confirm that a person doesn’t spontaneously flip over a large man and land it! It was spectacular and I was probably the first to say “WOW” but, I don’t know how they can call Wilson on a questionable helmet hit and then allow something that potentially could have resulted in head, neck, spine, injuries to both players and is an example to be imitated by high school kids in the future. Concern for player safety? The NFL needs to stop talking out of both sides of it’s mouth…a little enzone dance is nothing compared to that flip!

  67. By Darren Urban on Dec 27, 2011 | Reply

    clssylssy —

    RE: Flip

    Was it dangerous? Yes. Was it hotdogging? Much tougher call. Guys leap into the end zone all the time. You can make the argument Simpson just has better hops that most. The leap itself definitely wasn’t a celebration. I don’t see anything wrong with it. He had a man in between him and the end zone, and the way he scored, he avoided that tackler.

  68. By Eazy E on Jan 25, 2012 | Reply

    Man, that was so close! Skelton had a up and down game again. The first 3 quarters were tough to watch offensively. He finished 23-44, 297 yards, 2 TDs, and 3 INTs. Beanie really didn’t get going, he had 14 carries for 53 yards. Larry really got going in the 4th quarter and ended with 6 catches for 105 yards and a nice TD. Andre got going with 6 catches for 75 yards. Unfortunately Early couldn’t keep his balance for the wide open TD. Our O-Line gave up 5 sacks and have been bad most of the season as a group especially the tackles. Defense kept us in the game, what else is new? D-Line looked good against the run holding Benson to 57 yards. Dockett and Campbell had excellent games, dockett with 7 tackles total and campbell with 7 tackles total including a sack and a ff that got us back in the game. Our LBs did a really good job, Daryl with 11 tackles, Acho with another sack. Our secondary as a whole had a really nice day with Patrick shutting down A.J. Kerry had a HUGE game with being back in the starting lineup with 5 tackles and 2 huge fumble recoveries. He always seems to make big plays when you need him in the secondary along with others. Adrian really played well with 7 tackles and the other key ff that the aforementioned Kerry recovered. This definitely hurts to be getting beat that bad, come back and have a chance and then still lose.

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