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Blogs

Friday before the Patriots

Posted by Darren Urban on September 14, 2012 – 3:18 pm

Given that Levi Brown is on injured reserve, there are just seven players left on the Cardinals’ roster who were there when the team made its last flight to New England: Adrian Wilson, Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett, Michael Adams, Lyle Sendlein, Calais Campbell and Early Doucet. What happened that day – an ugly, ugly 47-7 loss in a horrible snowstorm – had both good and bad repercussions.

The showing was terrible. It was the one, in the next-to-last week of the season, where analyst Cris Collinsworth declared the already-NFC West champs the worst to ever make the playoffs. But coach Ken Whisenhunt used it as a jumping-off point to have a padded practice in the rain that week – time to refocus – before the Cards won the season finale against Seattle to finish 9-7. They didn’t lose again until Santonio Holmes decided to rip their collective heart out.

That game means nothing Sunday, really, although it’s tough for any of those players who were around last time to just forget.

“There’s not a lot of guys on this team from the 2008 year, but we remember that butt kicking we took up there in 2008 out there and that didn’t sit well with us then and four years later it still stings,” Fitzgerald said.

“For me I’ll never forget walking off that field and looking at that scoreboard. Just the feeling of embarrassment, disappointment. … They totally tore us down that night. That’s something I still remember very vividly. That was a tough game, the worst game that I ever played in in my professional career.”

There will be no snow this time. The Cards want to make sure a lot of things are different this time around.

– The irony of Fitz saying it was the worst game he ever played in – his career-long reception, 78 yards, came in that game, a late catch-and-run from Matt Leinart for his team’s lone score of the game.

– Leadership means a lot in a game like this, I’d think. I was wondering if a guy like cornerback William Gay, who has faced the Patriots multiple times in his years as a Pittsburgh Steeler, might be able to help a little in terms of familiarity. He quickly dismissed that.

“We have leaders that have been around football for quite some time,” Gay said. “I listen to those guys. Just because I have played them a lot, those veterans still have years over me. Seeing those guys calm, it will calm the rest of the guys down, and that’s what you need. If your leaders are rattled, everyone will be rattled.”

– I don’t know how the Cards are going to approach covering the Patriots’ tight ends. I don’t know if it’ll be the safeties (pictured below) or linebackers, or a combination. The latter seems likely. I know some out there disagree, but Wilson did well in coverage last season. Now, how that will translate against guys like Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, we will see. Those two have been impressive.

– The Cards have faced Tom Brady just once – in 2004, when he came to Sun Devil Stadium and won, 23-12, when the Patriots were at the peak of their Super Bowl-winning powers. Matt Cassel, of course, was the QB in 2008 after Brady wrecked his knee in the season-opener that season.

– This is only the third visit the Cards have made to New England since moving to Arizona. The score of the 1996 trip was 31-0 Patriots, so adding in the 2008 game, it hasn’t been a pleasant place to play.

– Fitz needs three catches for 700 in his career. Tight end Todd Heap needs six for 500. And speaking of milestones, Sunday will be defensive end Vonnie Holliday’s 200th game.

– The constant talk of Skelton/Kolb has been exhausting to a point this week. Obviously I think Kolb will start this week. Everyone does, and even Ken Whisenhunt has sent everyone in that direction even if he didn’t officially name a starter. But this is a big deal for Kolb. He had his moment last week, but the moment is over. There will be plenty of eyes on him across the NFL landscape Sunday, not just those in Arizona.

– Defensive coordinator Ray Horton called his unit’s first game “an excellent start” but that it could have been better. “I was looking at the things we left on the table, and we left a fantastic, great, dominating game on the table,” Horton said. “We have room to improve.”

– This is a testing ground for the string of tough road games the Cards have this season. Trips to Green Bay, Atlanta, the Jets all come later. The long plane rides are par for the course. The Cards need to have a good showing. In a game where the Pats are opening the home schedule, and adding former fan favorite and team MVP Troy Brown to the franchise’s Hall of Fame, fighting those emotions won’t be easy.

See you Sunday.


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Posted in Blog | 32 Comments »


32 Responses to “Friday before the Patriots”

  1. By SteveG on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    Wow, that much turn over? Did not realize….

    This is a far more “solid” team than the super bowl team…(Warner the wild card)..more depth, better talent to scheme, better coaching across the board (IMHO) and real “star” players at so many ,more positions….

    Gonna be fun…GO CARDS!!!

  2. By sarah on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    Re. Kolb

    ”He had his moment last week, but the moment is over. There will be plenty of eyes on him across the NFL landscape Sunday, not just those in Arizona.” Exactly it is time for Kolb to show his worth or we move on, this game is his true test in a regular season game of merit. Skelton has shown his regular season metal and produced wins albeit ugly at times, Kolb will have no excuses after this. I wish him luck !

  3. By AzDesertRat1953 on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    This one has all the ear marks for a Hard, in the Pits, Defensive Game, with Sparks Flying every now and then!

    GO CARDS!!!

  4. By scubasteve12 on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    Sarah- What excuses has Kolb used? In all fairness skelton has recieved the same chances. Also has had an extra season on Kolb. And still no improvement. It has been said by many people Kolb can read defenses and command the offense better. You cant just give him one game and expect him to perform like Tom Brady and if he dosent that one game kick him to the curb. It takes time to develop. Not just one season and one off season. He needs more playing time.

  5. By cardsalltheway on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    Although I hope we win Sunday, I predict we’ll lose. The game is on early Monday morning my time but I’ll still be watching. We got NO running game with our guys/two RB’s on the injury report while the one guy that can run, was ready to run, and showed he can run during preseason not suiting up in William Powell. William Stephen “Bill” Belichick has got to be laughing at our running game and dumbfounded like me since our lone RB ain’t suiting up. OMG, here are some AZ Cardinal fan experts predicting a butt whooping…
    http://arizonasports.com/40/1575314/Arizona-Sports-predicts-Cardinals-vs-Patriots

  6. By dean bower on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    hey Keven… just go out and play the game… I WILL be pulling for you.the Patriots are a football team and so are the Cardinals.not that you will ever see this…Big John get well soon.

  7. By mal on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    The Redbirds will play their hearts out in this game, so I’m with them win or lose.

    But the one thing that worries me is the stinkin officials. The refs treat the Pats like gods, but the Cards get no respect. If we lose on the field, okay, just so these wanna-be zebra bums call the game straight up. In New England we wouldnt survive those bogus PI calls or 4 timeouts.

  8. By rudy D on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    unless we have a west coast offense waiting for kolb to employ it’s gonna be tuff sleding for the guy. i think we’ll have difficulty running up the a gaps with big vince wilfork plugging up the holes there. hopefully RW can bounce things outside and maybe we can execute a screen some day. here’s to the no-huddle offense and wide-outs breaking off their routes to give kolb targets.

  9. By Israel on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    First,THANK YOU!!! PLEASE SHARE WITH OUR CARDINALS!!!***Now,let me say it first,the Arizona Cardinals are one of the most talented teams in the N.F.L. & have more BIG playmakers than alot of the teams in the N.F.L. even dream about having…I KNOW FOOTBALL!!! So please ***PLEASE*** forward this to Dockett,Coach Whiz,Beanie,Fitz,Peterson & especially Kolb.Studs! I wish & pray I could just give 1 before game speech to our beloved Cardinals…We may not lose again this season!!! I was a very awarded Football player & All State High Jumper @ Alhambra H.S. in 1987/88.I am 5’9 & jumped 6’7.I jumped against & beat Phillipi Sparks a couple times & won Freshman of the Year @ Phx. College as a Defensive Back even though Coach Lavin only recruited me as a Kicker.I told him I would come kick for P.C. if he would give me a honest shot at playing DB. I ended tied with Muhammed Oliver(G.C.) for most int’s in the nation/league my Freshman year with 6 int’s.Also,I was starting Punt returner as a white boy in college…Yep,shakes… OK… Here is my Pre-game hype ready to fight speech. “Listen up team!!! You guys are such a talented playmaking team… *Kolb,EXCELLENT JOB!!! So poised & smooth in the pocket.You looked as comfortable as when playing a pick up park football game.Just do you Kevin & play ball.Don’t be shy to dump it off to a back or tight end or just take what you are given short.You are a star,BE IT! *Beanie you are the next A. Peterson yet even more punishing.Keep the dream,the Faith & confidence in your powerhouse legs,speed & vision.Your ring will come. *Dockett,WOW! Thank you for your leadership & your professionalism,it is second to none.Your power,instinct & quickness helps us immensely & has you as one of the most respected & talented D Linemen in the N.F.L. I want 2 stops behind the line & 4 sacks from our D,MAKE IT HAPPEN!!! *Mr. Wilson, you are one of the hardest hitting players EVER to play in the N.F.L. Atwater,Cecil level…That huge hit is fine if you ALWAYS WRAP UP! I want you to show these younger players & team how to WRAP UP!!! Goes for all of you we don’t care about the highlight hit WRAP EM’ UP & power them to the ground DO NOT LET GO!!! *Peterson,PICK,Punt return for TD,simple! *Adams,GREAT PLAY!!! *Fitz,this is YOUR game.They CAN’T hold you. *Roberts,AMAZING quickness & getting open ability,let’s see more of it. *D. Washington you are one of the best Backers in the game.A true knack where the ball is going & making the play!!! BOTTOM LINE… We can outplay,out hustle & out perform the Patriots & everyone else in the N.F.L. NOW let’s go out there & DOMINATE.HUSTLE.PERFORM & fight for your brothers till the very last second for this victory & we will be 2-0! Then we will do it again next week… *ARIZONA & myself LOVE you guys now let’s go get this next ring!!! I say next because homeboys second foot clearly wasn’t in bounds & we actually WON THAT GAME!!! I Love you guys…A true Az. Cardinals fan speaking on behalf of ALL OF US!!!

  10. By Kevin S on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    Sarah — are you suggesting Kolb has to beat the Patriots or we “move on”? Or just play well? Because it doesn’t matter whether we had Skelton or Kolb starting, we’d be 2-touchdown dogs either way.

  11. By rojobird on Sep 14, 2012 | Reply

    Dear Kolb,

    Please take care of the ball “no interceptions” and defense should be able to take care of the rest…. ok ok maybe but please win or loose put your best foot forward and show all the doubters that you can compete with the best…. Good luck and GO CARDINALS !!!=)

  12. By Ezz on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    I was surprised at how few people remained too, i did not think the team had changed that drastically. I went back and looked it up and it’s amazing how many of those guys are out of football right now. I guess that’s yet another testament to the amazing job that was done that year.

  13. By philly cards on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    A few thoughts it seems since the superbowl the low point was vs dallas and skeltons 98 yard game.contrast to last week was ]the first time I’ve seen fitz happy since he was so mad that day. Is the offense too complicated. The eagles offense is basic the run the same routes on both side for vick so I’m sure they did the same for kolb.why wasn’t the offense adjusted for kolb based on the investment? Why is ray horton able to attract free agents and whiz can’t? The kolb era begins tired of skelton.and if not kolb ready for draft but please let’s move on from 19

  14. By stewart badley on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    @ Philly cards.

    Skelton has a winning record 8-4, 6-0 at home, I think coach Whisenhunt has a lot of faith in Skelton, as long as he keeps winning Coach whiz will play him . Time for Kolb to win games has a back up QB just like Skelton did. Good luck Kevin I will be supporting you and my Cardinals.

  15. By Marcelo on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    Hope I`m wrong but I read this at NFL.com and I believe it says all:

    “What to watch: The starter-turned-backup-turned-starter Kevin Kolb is back in the spotlight after an injury to John Skelton. All he did was close out a dramatic win last week with the game-winning touchdown pass. Will he come back down to Earth? And how quickly will Bill Belichick’s defense gently place him there? “

  16. By CDNelson86 on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    What happend to the Ken Whiz Show?

  17. By cardsalltheway on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    Israel,
    ” *Beanie you are the next A. Peterson yet even more punishing.Keep the dream,the Faith & confidence in your powerhouse legs,speed & vision.Your ring will come.”

    You clearly don’t see things like most NFL fans. In thy dreams would anyone think Beanie better or compare him with Peterson. Last year Beanie had one stand out game in a loss, against who? This year he hasn’t done or shown anything, do you think he’s suddenly going to shine tomorrow?

    “A true Az. Cardinals fan speaking on behalf of ALL OF US!!!”

    You don’t speak for me!

  18. By D on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    This team is a franchise QB away from going on a NE type run for several years.
    I would give up 2 1st round draft picks, plus a 4th round pick and E. Doucet to the team that has the #1 draft pick next spring. (assuming it’s not AZ)

    I would call the Bengals to trade Beanie to them for a 4th round pick.
    (AZ doesnt seem to think he is a long term solution)

    Then draft the following:
    Round 2-D. Thomas OT TEN (compete with Levi at Lf Tackle)
    Round 3- S. Taylor RB Standford
    Round 4- O. Uzzi Right G. GT (replace Snynder)
    Round 5-C Carradine DE FSU (need younger reserve DE)

  19. By Red cards on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    I dont under stand why you don’t get that kolb is the BACKUP QB

  20. By Darren Urban on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    CDNelson –

    RE: “Ken Whiz Show”

    You mean the TV show?

  21. By CDNelson86 on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    RE: Ken Whiz Show

    Yes the tv show that came on after SNL… was my fav Cardinals program, to see what the team/coach was thinking each week.

  22. By scubasteve12 on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    red cards- i dont understand why YOU dont understand skelton is a 3RD STRING BACKUP QB

  23. By pedsazfan on Sep 15, 2012 | Reply

    Wow. Why is everyone so sensitive over other people’s opinions? If someone is positive and wants to compare Beanie to A.Peterson, as a true cards fan…let them. I think it’s pretty amazing that Beanie has been playing injured since he came into the league…with a an offensive line with a revolving door and has managed to do pretty well. No comparisons being made to anyone so as not to get any sensitive fans riled up.
    Also, lay off of Sarah. If you really want to look at the big picture:
    Kolb had 5 years of experience behind a QB that could very well go into the Hall of Fame and had a chance to start in a system he was very familiar with and lost the starting job. He then came to AZ, I understand in a new system with a shortened off season…but he never really picked up the system and seemed (for a guy who’s been in the league for a while) to run out of the pocket constantly.
    Skeleton, started as the 3rd string QB after being 4th string in the offseason, and still won against Denver that season. Then his second season he had a better record than Kolb, although he did not have the best overall performance. Now in his third season, in his first game he had a good first half. After the Seahawks adjusted after the half, he struggled, (the poor run game did not help). But who knows…he might have had the same result as Kolb if not injured. This is not to take anything away from Kolb. Honestly, I just want the Cards to have some success, but I agree that Kolb has to show he deserves to play. I’m not saying it has to be a win against the Patriots, but show some good decision making. I think Skelton has showed more progress in three years than Kolb has in 6. Ten, even five years ago, rookie QBs would not have been expected to quickly show progress. Now with the pro-style offense in college people expect it. But remember, Kolb was a second round draft pick from a big school with a more pro style offense and Skelton was a 5th round draft pick from a small school that ran a typical college style offense. Good luck to both QBs! I’m rooting for the Cards either way.

  24. By CDNelson86 on Sep 16, 2012 | Reply

    Darren,

    ok i guess they changed it to the “flight plan”, so dis regaurd those posts…

  25. By Derrick Haskan on Sep 16, 2012 | Reply

    Let’s go cards

  26. By Andy Kw on Sep 16, 2012 | Reply

    The Cardinals will dominate the New England Patriots guaranteed:
    First, our O-Line got drastically improved on the 1st game against the Seahawks.
    -Calais Campbell will possibly block another field goal or a pass. He might also get a sack. I don’t believe the O’Line of the Patriots can stop him.
    -Darnell Dockett was poised to at least get 3 sacks last game but missed the tackles because Russell Wilson started scrambling afterwards
    -Daryl Washington has 10 tackles and 1 sack in 1 game so he is in for a huge game today.
    -Paris Lenon had 2 sacks in one game which was a career for him and the Blitz package will confuse Tom Brady.
    -Sam Acho and O’Brien Schofield will definitely get at least 1 sack today if not, one of them because the Linebackers group provided a lot of pressure on Seattle.
    Backups Linebackers Quentin Groves and Reggie Walker all provided pressure and the Offensive Line of the Patriots won’t be able to hold up.
    -Our run stopping game has been dominant against Seattle and will be enough to stop Ridley. Ridley will probably have 1 or 2 big plays but I expect him to get no more than 70yds rushing.
    -Since Tom Brady is usually throwing a lot, I expect him to get intercepted at least once. If Adrian Wilson and Patrick Peterson are healthy enough to play which I expect they will, Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd will not be able to hold up.
    -WR Larry Fitzgerald will most likely get over 100yds receiving today because Seattle’s Cornerbacks were really tall so his production was limited but now that we have a team filled with short DBs, no matter how good their DBs are, Larry Fitzgerald will beat them.
    -WR Andre Roberts and TE Todd Heap made huge plays against Seattle and when we need them the most, they will always produce which is why I believe these players will rip apart the Patriots secondary.
    -Lyle Sendlein, Daryn Colledge, Adam Snyder, D’Anthony Bastiste, and Bobbie Massie seem to be comfortable against Seattle and I believe they will protect Kolb or Skelton well enough for the Card’s victory. Imagine if we had Levi Brown, our O’Line would be even better. Rich Ohrnberger is back in town and is ready to show the Patriots that he and the Cardinals are better than the Patriots.
    -Ryan Williams and Beanie might have had a unproductive game against Seattle but since that was the 1st game of the season, I would have suspected a slow start. I expect Ryan Williams and Beanie Wells to rip apart the 4 man front of the Patriots.
    -Kevin Kolb looked really stellar on that lone drive against the Seahawks. But I think he will be able to pull it off at the end. I still expect John Skelton to be the starter no matter how Kolb plays. If John Skelton plays, I should be very productive as well.
    -Dan Williams will be key in stopping the run game of the Patriots. He looked a lot faster and healthier that any of his previous years. If he struggles, the Cards might have a tough time stopping Ridley.
    -Kerry Rhodes just looks unbeatable when he intercepts the ball and I expect him to make huge plays to stop the Patriots. Michael Adams was one of the main reasons why the Cards won against Seattle so I expect him to contribute a lot in this upcoming game. William Gay seemed a little bit slower than usual against the Seahawks but I expect him to do fine. With Greg Toler back in action, he will be a huge contributor for this team.
    -With good special teamers in Jay Feely, Dave Zastudil, Mike Leach and Punt Returners and Kick Returners Patrick Peterson and LaRod-Stephens Howling, we can’t be beat.
    -LaRod has been spectacular and I expect him to have some rushes against the Patriots. (That spectacular overtime catch and run against the Cowboys last season might happen in this game).
    -This should be a high scoring game but Cards will win 34-27. If not, we have easy home games up ahead with the Struggling Eagles, Dolphins, and Bills. And possibly an easy away game against Minnesota before the break.

  27. By cardsalltheway on Sep 16, 2012 | Reply

    Not one mention of our 1st Round draft pick Michael Floyd, on the other hand the Patriots 1st Round draft pick(Chandler Jones) just might knock K. Kolb out of the game. Actually, I don’t hear Cardinal fans/reporters talking about out 1st Round draft pick either…
    http://www.patriots.com/news/article-1/Friday-Six-Pack-Cardinals-Edition/56ee7655-b538-4d3e-b946-51decc0be220
    “Chandler Jones has a chance for a big game this week. Cardinals left tackle D’Anthony Batiste had really never played the position before last weekend and hasn’t started in the NFL since 2007. Jones should have a chance to get after Kevin Kolb, who can be adversely affected by pressure. Arizona also starts rookie Bobby Massie at right tackle, so the edge rush opportunities could come for both sides on Sunday. Beanie Wells had just 14 yards rushing on seven attempts in the opener, so the Patriots should also be able to continue to solid start on run defense to open the season. A bad QB with an average RB behind a bad OL should mean a good day for the Patriots front seven.”

    Patriot writer’s Prediction:
    “Kolb can be sacked. He can be forced into bad throws. The Arizona run game can be held in check. I expect that all to happen. On the other side I think the Brady-led balanced attack will take advantage of Arizona’s aging safeties to make some plays over the middle and down the field. Ridley will also continue his impressive start to the year. Assuming the Patriots don’t let the Cardinals make big plays in the kicking game I think New England rolls to the 35-9 victory to improve to 2-0 heading into the big Week 3 AFC title game rematch with the Ravens.”

    I don’t expect PP to have the year he had last year returning punts/kicks, especially now with his groin. I don’t think teams need to fear our kickoff return, LaRod Stephens-Howling hasn’t done anything for a LONG TIME, in fact the Seahawks returner(Leon Washington) is more of a threat than him, although it didn’t used to be like that(2010). Heck, LaRod Stephens-Howling hasn’t done anything other than make one big play last year against the Cowboys. We need to fear other teams return game more than other teams worrying about ours because we are SLOOOOOW.

  28. By cardsalltheway on Sep 16, 2012 | Reply

    Let’s see which one of our rookies below(other than Bobby Massie) plays and/or helps us the most? I don’t count B. Massie because he wouldn’t be starting right now if two guys didn’t get hurt, not that he didn’t deserve to it’s just that Ken W. wouldn’t have allowed it.
    Michael Floyd(15),
    Jamell Fleming(23),
    Senio Kelemete(64),
    Justin Bethel(31)
    Ryan Lindley(14),
    Nate Potter(76).

  29. By Darren Urban on Sep 16, 2012 | Reply

    CDNelson –

    RE: Whiz show

    There is still a show on in that time slot. Slightly different format called “Flight Plan” but basically the same.

  30. By Brett on Sep 16, 2012 | Reply

    Speak for yourself at all times

  31. By philly cards on Sep 16, 2012 | Reply

    All I’m saying is why pay someone 20 million then limit their sanps vs a man who has more time with the team? You don’t expect failure in that situation? Kolb played behind mcnabb and vick.not ‘a hall of famer for five years’.

    Also I noticed the dennis greens 2004 scrappers had a decent showing vs pats while whiz was blown out with the best cards team ever.

    Why doesn’t the team lean on local talent like they have in the past.gronk should be a card and so should nick foles. Whiz needs a demotion if he hits ocotber with more than 5-6 loses again.let’s have some standards!

  32. By Brett on Sep 16, 2012 | Reply

    Hey how does that crow taste?!!!!!!!

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