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Friday before the Texans

Posted by Darren Urban on November 8, 2013 – 3:53 pm

“I don’t know how they are 2 and 6.”

Larry Fitzgerald said that about the Texans this week. Coach Bruce Arians said something similar. Normally, eh. Players and coaches are always going to say nice things about the opponent, lest bulletin board material be uttered. But this is a week where that seems to make a little sense. The Texans have the top-ranked defense in the NFL. They have the top-ranked pass defense. They have a top 10 offense. Those things don’t usually add up to 2-6 as a record.

But it is the cracks in the armor that put the Cards in a good position coming off the bye. Those stats don’t translate into wins because the Texans don’t generate a lot of turnovers. They have a hard time stopping teams from scoring touchdowns once they get into the red zone. They’ve managed to give up a lot of points when they are playing offense (although a quarterback change has helped that) and their special teams aren’t very good.

Add in a missing head coach who also happens to be the team’s play caller, and the Cardinals seem to be set up for an opportunity coming off the bye.

– Texans quarterback Case Keenum has played very well since taking over for Matt Schaub. But for an inexperienced guy, it just feels like there will be a bump coming sooner rather than later. That could be Sunday. The Cards do a nice job against the run and tend (unless you have an athletic tight end) not to get beat deep. Keenum likes to throw the deep ball. I just have this feeling that will get him into trouble this week.

– That will obviously mean Patrick Peterson will be on display, especially since he will be chasing Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson much of the game. Johnson went off for 229 yards and three touchdowns last week. The spotlight will be on both. Peterson hasn’t given up a touchdown pass since Week 3 in New Orleans, when he was beat late on a Jimmy Graham slant. Profootballfocus.com says that Peterson has been targeted 48 times in eight games by opposing passes, and he has allowed a completion on only 50 percent of those throws.

– Cardinals tackle Eric Winston not only played with Johnson in Houston, but also in college at Miami. “Andre is that specimen-athlete-type guy,” Winston said. “He looks at a weight and he puts on weight. At Miami we made him stop coming to the weight room because he got too heavy. He ate McDonalds every day and had two percent body fat.”

– Jake Ballard will be active this week. I do not expect him to be a revelation at tight end, but the Cards hope he can show a little bit as he works back into the game following so much time off.

– Rashard Mendenhall will start. Not a big deal. Andre Ellington should get his touches. That is a big deal.

– I expect Bradley Sowell to start at left tackle. Watching how the Cardinals deal with J.J. Watt, however, is going to be a line-wide job. Can they hold him off? That run game (the Texans are just 18th against the run) is going to be so important in making that pass rush hesitate at least a little.

– Saw Jonathan Cooper this morning in the weight room. The rookie guard still has a boot on his foot but was doing some dumbbell work. A good sign as he slowly progresses in his rehab.

– Heads up for anyone going to the game Sunday. Not only is the football game going on, but there is a concert at Jobing.com Arena and then the annual NASCAR November race at PIR. Traffic is expected to be heavier than normal on the 101 and around the stadium. Be prepared and give yourself extra time. Parking lots open at 10 a.m. – remember, with the rest of the country changing clocks, kickoff this weekend is now 2:25 p.m.

– And in case you missed it, the Cardinals will be wearing their black jerseys.

– As we wrap this up, I found this Karlos Dansby video very entertaining (now the world sees what I have known for a while, how Los repeats your question.) His one comment might be the quote of the year: “Batman, man, he’s gonna have problems. He’s gonna have issues.”

See you Sunday.


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Posted in Blog | 15 Comments »


15 Responses to “Friday before the Texans”

  1. By beardinals on Nov 8, 2013 | Reply

    I hope Ballard brings it because I fear the Rob Housler experiment is over.

  2. By NJAzCardsFan on Nov 8, 2013 | Reply

    Darren- If Sowell doesn’t feel well enough or keeps getting beat… Who would replace him?

  3. By jeremy on Nov 8, 2013 | Reply

    The Texans are dangerous and Kenam could hurt us. That said, why have the Cards not worn the red on red home uniform setup.

    Darren, have the cards ever lost in the red on red uniforms?

  4. By CreditCard on Nov 8, 2013 | Reply

    The Texan’s strength will be going against the Cards weakest component, the offensive line. This game makes me very nervous. Houston can literally walk all over the Cards with their DL. I hope the Cards have game planned well for this test.

  5. By Dr. G. on Nov 8, 2013 | Reply

    Good pre-game notes… Thanks Darren. Never heard of Keenum before I saw their last game… He has good stuff developing… gotta get after him… blitz city!

  6. By Chris B on Nov 8, 2013 | Reply

    On Dansby- my favorite- “I got film! Don’t make me put it on youtube! I got film of me giving guys the business!” lol

  7. By jakeplummersghost on Nov 8, 2013 | Reply

    I wouldn’t expect to see too much of Ballard. Hasn’t even had a week to digest the playbook.

  8. By louis on Nov 9, 2013 | Reply

    we will lose this game because this is the game we need to stay alive in the wild card hunt.

  9. By Cactusdr on Nov 9, 2013 | Reply

    Mendenhall starting IS a big deal regardless of the number of touches that Ellington gets. Don’t downplay how Ellington feels about not getting an NFL start when his play says he deserves it. Mendenhall gets the start because of the veteran deference and his history with Arians in Pittsburgh whereas he’s been nothing but a free agency bust. What ever happened to starting the players that give the team the best chance of winning?

  10. By Darren Urban on Nov 9, 2013 | Reply

    NJAZ —

    RE: Backup LT

    Nate Potter.

  11. By Darren Urban on Nov 9, 2013 | Reply

    Jeremy —

    RE: Red on red

    I’m sure they have. Not that uniform combinations have anything to do with results.

  12. By Dr. G. on Nov 9, 2013 | Reply

    Playoffs – Ugh! A quick synopsis:

    If Seattle goes 4-4, (and they are better than that), the 49’ers would have to go 7-1 to win the DIV. So the DIV is basically a done deal. The 49’ers should be 1 of 2 Wild Card teams. (A collapse is not probable)

    So there is 1 spot left. We need Detroit and Carolina to lose their Division. (We have those tie-breakers). And, then we must have at least an equal record. Those are very key wins for us. All our games so far were NFC, so we don’t have as many opportunities as other teams to improve there.

    10-6 just might get us there unless some other unsuspecting teams go nuts in the last half season. 11-5 seems out of reach for the Cards, but…… How do you eat an Elephant? …. One bite at a time… And how do you go 6 and 2? ….. One game at a time!!!! Starting this Sunday!!! Reality, not math probability.

  13. By David on Nov 9, 2013 | Reply

    Will they activate quan studivant?

  14. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 9, 2013 | Reply

    Louis, are you an actual fan of this team? You refer to “we” will lose, as if you are a Cards fan, but every one of your posts you predict we are going to lose (including last week when you said we’d lose big). Next week you’ll probably be saying we’re going to be the first team to lose to the Jaguars. Why don’t you just go away?

  15. By Darren Urban on Nov 10, 2013 | Reply

    David –

    RE: Sturdivant

    Uhhhhhh …..

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