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Blogs

Titans aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on December 15, 2013 – 10:13 pm

Somehow, it turned into 2009 again. It shouldn’t have, not with the Cardinals having built a 34-17 lead and holding that lead with less than four minutes to play, but I’ll say this, the Titans kept going and Ryan Fitzpatrick looked damn good.

So, like 2009, when the Titans drove 99 yards to score on the final play of the game and rip one away from the Cards, there the Titans were, heading for the same end zone, facing a chance to score a touchdown and rip a win away from the Cards. Sure, it would just be temporarily since overtime was coming (and there was a moment there where the Titans looked like they were contemplating going for two and ending it one way or the other), but it still hurt.

The Cardinals prevailed, though, leaving Tennessee with a win that keeps their playoff hopes alive. That life span is shrinking though. The other results the Cards really could have used across the league did not happen Sunday. So the monumental task of winning in Seattle is now saddled with the realization that the Cards are going to need a sequence of events to unfold to make the postseason regardless of what they do.

– Because I’ve found on Twitter some confusion, here’s the deal: The Niners have already clinched the tiebreak over the Cardinals because of a better record in the division, regardless of the outcome of the team’s Week 17 contest. The way the tiebreaks work, a three-way tie – say between the Cards, Niners and Panthers – first checks to see if there are two of the teams in the same division. Because the Niners and Cards are, that tie is broken first, and as we already know, the Niners win that tiebreak. Cardinals are out. Which is why any tie involving the Niners is playoff death.

– Just as an FYI, I’m not interested in debating whether that’s fair or not. That’s the tiebreak procedure. It is what it is.

CLARIFYING: The three-way tiebreak does get only the first spot determined. Which does eliminate Arizona. But head-to-head between Carolina and SF is Carolina because the Panthers won head-to-head. So Carolina would be the No. 5 seed, leaving SF tied with Arizona for the No. 6. We know how that turns out. So again, a three-way tie between those teams leaves the Cards out (and by the same breakdown, the same goes for a three-way tie between SF, AZ and NO.)

– Lost a bit in the end of that thriller were the injuries to Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Ellington. Fitz got a concussion when he was hit trying to recover the final onside kick. Ellington left with a thigh bruise. Ellington was fantastic running (7.1 yards a carry) or receiving (21.8 yards per catch on four catches). The Cardinals need both of them healthy and ready in order to beat the Seahawks.

– Spare me the comments that Fitzgerald shouldn’t be out there for an onside kick. It’s called the “hands” team for a reason. You want the guys with the best hands grabbing the ball.

– Justin Bethel did not get a hand on the shanked 50-yard Rob Bironas field goal attempt. “Unfortunately I didn’t,” Bethel said. “If he would have kicked it (straight) I probably would have blocked it.”

– But it is easy to make the argument that without Bethel’s hard push from the right, Bironas would not have kicked the ball like he did.

“A miss is a miss,” Bethel said. “It’s as good as a block so I’ll take it.”

Antoine Cason with a hero game. Two important interceptions, and he recovered Jay Feely’s “mortar” pooch kickoff to start the second half. Great kick by Feely by the way, and great timing by special teams coordinator Amos Jones to call it there.

– Ryan Fitzpatrick with 402 yards passing? Yeesh.

– The Cardinals had no penalties in the first half. Then they got four on the Titans’ 16-play touchdown drive to begin the second half — two of which negated third-down stops – and the Cards were not happy. They cooled down a bit postgame (winning tends to do that) but didn’t forget.

“There were some weird things that happened,” QB Carson Palmer said. “Some weird things that weren’t called in this game. I don’t know what the penalty, as far as who had more penalties. I’m pretty sure we had more penalties than they did. It was just a weird game, kind of an eerie game like that.”

Said S Rashad Johnson (who was ticked off after his penalty for an illegal hit of a receiver near the goal line and screamed at the officials), “No matter what happened out there, what calls were made, we were going to go home with that win. It just shows the maturity of this ballclub and how much we’ve grown through the year.”

– Ellington led the Cardinals in rushing (71 yards) and receiving (89 yards). The last guy to do that? Running back Marcel Shipp in December of 2002, when he had 79 yards rushing and 79 receiving in St. Louis against the Rams.

– Palmer surpassed three Hall of Fame quarterbacks in career passing yards: Troy Aikman, Y.A. Tittle and Steve Young. Palmer now has 33,154 yards passing, 27th in NFL history.

– The Cardinals just keep winning.


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Posted in Blog | 74 Comments »


74 Responses to “Titans aftermath”

  1. By Paul Liccardi on Dec 15, 2013 | Reply

    great win

  2. By Kyle Moore on Dec 15, 2013 | Reply

    If the falcons start playing well then thw cardinals could have a shot. They play both Carolina and San Francisco

  3. By cards62 on Dec 15, 2013 | Reply

    Fitz. Ellington, Housler get well gentlemen. All hands on deck and will be needed against Seattle, best team in the league this year San Fran beat them at home last week so hopefully we can beat them on the road next Sunday. Large task but win or lose vs. Seattle I am still proud of our guys for a winning record this season and I think we can all see that the team and front office are moving in the right direction for the first time since Kurt Warner retired. I know all of us are not happy about blowing the big lead against a team that is not too good this year, but hey we did a lot better than the Eagles and Saints. Really like this Ellington kid hope he can stay healthy and Carson Palmer had another good day with no picks.
    Would be nice if they would make our game the Sunday Night Game.

    Defense rise up as we are going to need your best effort to win these next two games so go Cards beat the Seahawks.

  4. By Cardfan on Dec 15, 2013 | Reply

    Oh man, I was curled up in the corner murmuring ” The Bears, The Bears” while hearing an echo … “they are who we thought the were!” Oh the flash backs, the next announcer that calls a game before it’s over should get punched in the kidneys! But hey a wins a win and we are still (as far fetched as it is) talking playoff chances 2 weeks left into the season! That my fellow Cardinal fans is glorious!

  5. By wayne on Dec 15, 2013 | Reply

    Wow, I didn’t see the last 5 minutes of the game turning out like that. On another note Peterson had a horrible game and hopefully that will mean he plays great next week vs the Seahawks but today he was not at his best. Hey a it’s a win on the road and Cards are 9-5.

  6. By wather on Dec 15, 2013 | Reply

    Big props to Cason, the guy scored for us and then stopped their game winning drive. Hope Carson can heal up for the Hawks game!

  7. By Chuck 1 on Dec 15, 2013 | Reply

    If PP doesn’t defend ‘Hawks WRs or Crabtree any better than he defended the Titans’ WRs, it will be a VERY long day.
    As I read the NFL.com play-by-play (I didn’t get TV coverage in CA), it seemed that PP was listed too many times as the tackler after a Titan pass completion.

  8. By driftwood_91 on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Seems like the RedBirds can’t get a break with the officials. Johnson’s hit looked clean to me. Feet didn’t leave the ground, shoulder to the chest. Just my opinion. Not as upset after getting the win. But the inconsistant officiating in that quarter definitely had a huge impact on the course of the game. Defense made enough big plays to hold on. Would have been nice to see D-Wash pull in that INT and take it to the house. Maybe he should take some extra reps catching balls with Dansby. Good call on the “mortar” kick, well timed. Also, it would be a shame if Justin Bethel doesn’t make the Pro Bowl. Cardinals are starting to put together solid efforts in every phase of the game. Special team has been HUGE this season. Keep stringing together WINS.

    GO CARDINALS.

  9. By Cardsfn on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Great win but the refs almost got us again. Let’s get some revenge for last season against Seattle. Go red birds!!!

  10. By joey kreisheimer on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    playoffs or not, BA deserves coach of the year

  11. By stevenanimator on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    I thought the Offense moved the ball down the field consistently well throughout the game. Titans QB Fitzpatrick had terrific protection and the two interceptions from Cason happened when we sent extra pressure. The consistency of the secondary concerns me, though, as we now head to Seattle in what will be probably the toughest game this season. There were a couple of plays in the first half where Powers blew his coverage and when he was sent on a CB blitz on open right side, he seemed to just run towards the blockers rather than beat them off the edge. Maybe playing outside in the cold took some getting used to, but thankfully the Defensive line played solid the whole game – Dockett has a terrific season so far.

    I will say that I thought it was dicey putting Fitgerald in there for the risk of injury knowing that the Titans would be hitting hard, but I was surprised there was no penalty for the helmet-to-helmet contact that may have ended Fitz’s season. They kicked it towards him, so they must have felt that was their best option.

    What I hope the team looks at in the aftermath, is how they let a 17 point lead dwindle with only a few minutes left in the game. The Secondary has to be more consistent – Tyran Mathieu’s absence was definitely noticeable with his extra hustle and ballhawking ability.

  12. By Victor Leal on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Thank You Dave Zastudil for Your performance that typically gives our defense

    great field position!!!

  13. By Honey badger tokes what he wants on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, am i correct in think that if Carolina lose vs Saints and the Cardinals win out, Arizona go the playoffs given their head-to-head record vs the Panthers?

  14. By red bird of death! on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Wow tough game good team, glad we made it, did anyone else notice Peterson not balling? He was at the game and played but was not that effective, besides Cason the secondary was not happening in the second half. Pulled this one out so can’t complain, hoping to shock the world next week! GO CARDS! gO!

  15. By Rich on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    Kinda surprised at your “spare me” comment re Larry being on that hands team. Your point is……its not even something worthy of discussion? Not even something a fan can discuss in this forum? Its so cut and dry that there is no reason to discuss? Sorry, but I’ve been watching football for over 50 years……and I think this topic is worthy of some blog comments.

  16. By Rich on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Great win by the Cards. Carson Palmer is “one tough guy”……and everyone is seeing the kind of qb he still is. Hope they toss the one year option and bring him back for two years.

  17. By Rich on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    The refs blew two calls……the call against Rashad in the end zone, and the call against Calais on roughing.

  18. By Chris B on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    The Cards could get to 11-5…. and be 3rd in the division and miss the playoffs. Crazy.

    The refs were so inconsistent, it was maddening. Call the play or don’t, but don’t call it one time and not the next (or vice versa).

    Jeff King is out for the year and probably won’t be back next.

    Ryan Fitz-magic gave the Cards problems last year when he played for Buffalo too. Hopefully we don’t see him much anymore. Hey, some guys can just own a team.

  19. By jasonc on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Awesome game by Cason! But I was also excited to see that the guy applying the pressure on Fitzpatrick was Tony Jefferson! We needed players to step up in the absence of Tyrann and while it may take 2 guys to fill the void they stepped up and made the difference. I wish that I could be more excited about this win but it was disappointing to say the least to watch us give up 17 points in 6 minutes. A win is a win and now we have the exciting challenge to play Seattle on the road!

  20. By wampag on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    so let me get this straight, we have to win out and san fran has to lose next week against the falcons or new orleans has to beat carolina and then those some falcons have to beat carolina….so basically were huge falcons fans for now?

    that eagles game is going to curse us and they got crushed by the vikings…argh…one year they call us the worst team to make the playoffs and this year their calling us probably the best team not to make the playoffs…I also heard that this is only our 4th winning season in AZ….talk to me D tell me some good news

  21. By Eric G on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Fitz absolutely should be out there for an onside. I just wish the same rules for hitting a receiver with your helmet applied in that situation. He’s defenseless like that and the other team should be allowed to hit him helmet to helmet to cause him to drop the ball.

    I’ve never like the prevent (yourself from winning) defense at the end of games, no matter what the lead is. Playing tough D worked all day, why stop at the end of the game? Look at what happened in OT when they went back.

    Glad it all worked out in the end. Carolina can lose both games, NO next week and at Atlanta. Atlanta will take a miracle though. SF looks like they are in, ATL next week at home. This stinks that the Cards might not get in, especially sitting with a better record right now than Chicago and Philly who are leading their divisions. Ugh. It’s a good frustration to have though. Winning still feels great.

  22. By joe67 on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Great win but…………..some really stupid penalties………..D Wash…….If we play like that in Seattle, get ready for a real good butt kicking again in the northwest. some bad calls, yes, but mostly we did it to ourselves. Our defense was finally starting to get some credit and then played a game like this. Just don’t seem to be ready on the road. Maybe looking past that game. We are certainly better, but not good enough to look past anyone.
    Now go get ready for Seattle and don’t forget ………58-0

  23. By joe67 on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    BTW, I thought DD had a GREAT game.

  24. By johnnybluenose on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Of course, we will never know what would have happened but I was relieved when the Titans decided to not attempt a two point conversion. And congratulations to Carson Palmer for moving up the passing ladder, for hanging in there early in the season when he was taking hits on and off the field and for taking every single offensive snap this year ( PP may have had one or two but I don’t count them). Palmer is not one of the top ten quarterbacks in the league but he has played well for us this year and I am happy for him after what he went through previously in cincy and in oakland. Looking ahead to next year, it does not get any easier in our division but I think we start the season on par with the seahawks, niners and the rams (yes, the rams) with Palmer back and ready to go from day one.

  25. By Darren Urban on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck 1 –

    RE: Peterson

    Without knowing assignments, the second half/OT was not Patrick’s best outing.

  26. By Darren Urban on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Honey –

    RE: Tiebreak

    Correct, except the 49ers are probably in there (and would lose to Az in that scenario). It’s all in the above post. But yes, in a straight head-to-head with Carolina, Cards get the tiebreak.

  27. By Canadian Redbird on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Darren:

    What the heck is happening out there with the officials? Five plays in the last 4 minutes where the refs eiher forgot or chose to forget the rule book.

    1. The Johnson tackle in the end zone. A stinger of a hit, but text book. ( deemed a hit on a defenceless player )

    2. The Fitzgerald hit on the on side kick resulting in the fumble and more important, the possible concussion. Call it what you like- A hit on a defenceless receiver, targeting the head , launching yourself at a player – all of which are penalties. Our special team’s unit should have a couple of lineman (Alameda & co.) breaking the direct path of the opposition

    3. The tackle on Cason following his interception in OT. Face mask penalty, 9 out of 10 times, unless ………………Cason appeal fell on deaf ears.

    4. A pass interference penalty on the Cards in the end zone that was made 10 secs. after the fact, following a Titan player emphatically protesting a non call. In the end it was over turned however it shouldn’t have got to that point.

    5. On the first play of OT when one of our CB’s appeared to have intercepted the ball and ran it into the endzone for apparent touch down. While in the end zone the Titan administered a shot to the head, which there was no call. The cardinal player complained. The result should have had the Titans staarting at their own 10 yd line rather than the 20 with a 2nd and 20 vs. a 2nd and 10. ( Huge difference ).

    You watch Arians on the sidelines going ballistic,with the non calls. Hope all of this wasn’t a result of him sending in tape to the league from a previous game with regard to the officiating.

    On a positive, the Cards played a good game – could have stopped them on 3 rd down a little more. The entire receiver corp including running backs did an excellent job catching passes. Look forward to the Hawks, hope Larry and Andre are healthy enough to go.

  28. By NJAzCardsFan on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Congrats to the Bidwils, the Cards Front Office and BA/His staff for a much improved Cards team. And a winning season.
    It should be interesting next year for the Cards when the injured players return, the established Cards Offense and Defense take the field. Palmer who looked horrible in the beginning, looks good enough to be the Cards QB for the next few years. Having Dansby back is a must for the Cards- I hope he returns.

    It would be ironic/sad if the Cards end up 10-6 and don’t make the playoffs. If that is the case, the bad officating in the last 6 minutes of the Eagles game should take the blame…..

  29. By Darren Urban on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Rich –

    RE: Fitz

    You can discuss whatever you want. Just don’t include me. I was hearing people ripping Arians for having him out there. I think that’s ridiculous. He’s been on the hands team since he came into the league. He’s not porcelain. He’s a football player.

  30. By Darren Urban on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Canadian –

    RE: Penalties

    Fitz is not a receiver on that onside play. There was nothing illegal about that hit according to the rules.

    I was disappointed by the call on Rashad but it doesn’t surprise me.

    I was down on the field from the last 6 minutes until the end, so I didn’t see replays yet of the other plays.

  31. By Hammy on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    What a game! Hated to see that go to OT but in the end, a win is a win. Credit to the Titans for never giving up despite being behind. Hats off to the Cardinals for never giving up either despite the adversity. The goal should always be to win and get a chance to go to the Superbowl. I’d have to admit that I was one of many Cardinals fans that did not expect for our team to even have a chance at the postseason this year. Coaches and management have said all along that it wasnt a rebuild but rather a “retool” and they have proved that to the fans and other teams in the league that we are not that joke of a franchise we were years ago. It is just a matter of time before we become an elite team. Love the direction we are going in, hopefully we find a way to make it in the playoffs this year.

  32. By John The Draft Guy on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    The cards have 9 wins!!!

    Guys , this is only the 4th time we have had 9 wins. To go from that disaster of last year to 9 wins is huge. Three wins on the road.

    I hope we are not done. talking about 10 or 11 wins and the cards in the same sentence, is amazing.

    joey kreisheimer- you are right. BA deserves to be considered for coach of the year.

    Fitz and kick off – who else would you want to grab an onside kick? The guy with best hands should be there.

    Cason’s two picks were huge. good game for him. but jasonc is right. nice blitz by Jefferson to cause the second pick.

    Palmer has another game over 66% comp ratio and 100.8 QB rating. Congrats to Carson on passing HOFs YA Tittle, Steve Young, and Troy Aikman.

  33. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Like everyone else, I didn’t see that finish coming. Credit to the Titans for not giving up. Like someone else said above, I was very relieved when they didn’t go for 2.

    I’ve loved our D all year but didn’t understand what we were doing in this game. It seemed like the Titans would run the ball, get nowhere; throw an incomplete pass or a short completion; and end up with third and long. Then we’d bring a blitz and Fitzpatrick would find a receiver with no one in our secondary within 5 yards of him for a first down.

    I like blitzing as much as the next guy but when it isn’t working, dial it down. Fitzpatrick is a smart QB and picked us apart, and while he was nominally sacked 3 times, that was only for 8 yards total because he eluded us and only lost a couple yards each time (contrast that with our pocket passer Palmer, 2 sacks for 16 yards).

  34. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Weirdest thing about the playoff scenarios is that our chances vs. the Panthers are almost the same whether we win 1 or 2. They have to lose both their remaining games, but if they do, it makes no difference whether we win just one or both of our remaining games. That is, unless you also assume SF loses to Atlanta this coming Sunday as well (highly unlikely), in which case we set up the same 3-way tie at 10-6 that could currently also keep us out at 11-5.

    Assuming NO beats Carolina a second time though, we’re still alive if, as expected, SF also beats Atlanta regardless of what happens in the Seattle game. We’d host SF the last week with the chance of getting in if Atlanta, at home, somehow beats Carolina. And that would be one of the 1pm Eastern games so we’d know our destiny going in.

    The game against Seattle isn’t all that critical (unless you also assume Atlanta can beat SF in which case it would give us a direct path into the playoffs if we can beat SF in the final). What matters is NO beating Carolina.

  35. By mal on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Here’s the playoff picture in a nutshell:

    The Cards need either SF, NO, or Caroline to lose 2 games.

    If SF or NO lose 2, the Cards need to go 2-0.
    But if Carolina loses 2, the Cards only need to go 1-1.

    [Carolina losing just one to the Saints will NOT do it, even if we win out, cuz that leads to a 3-way tie at 11-5]

  36. By georgiebird on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Very nice win for the Cardinals.
    Once again, the Panthers didn’t impress but won. Cam Newton has been so fortunate this year. Newton can run and throw long but he has the touch of a high school QB when it comes to the short passing game. Jets game was close until the Jets self destructed in the 4th quarter. Jets could have easily won the game.
    Still think if Cards can win one of final two then the Panthers can easily lose the final two.

  37. By jstn on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    come on PP whats happening lately, team need you to get moving.

  38. By dan on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Next Sunday is our Super Bowl. Win or lose, I’m going to savor every second of it.
    I think it’s going to require several long, sustained drives, like the one we had in the second half yesterday, to win.
    Also, I’d like to see Jeron Brown in there more.

  39. By jstn on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Palmer without a doubt is a top 10 quarterback. Palmer all the way!!!

  40. By John The Draft Guy on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Winning in Seattle is next to impossible. But Possible.

    Looking at our first game, The Oline was dominated. Carson was sacked 7 times.
    But he did complete 67% of his passes and 258 yards with a gimpy Fitz.

    What that tells me is , if given the time, Palmer can find holes in this #1 defense.
    Can this oline give Palmer the time. 7 sacks and constant pressure, it is a huge question mark.

    On defense, Lynch ran for 91 yards against us but it was Wilson throwing 3 TDs against our safeties. Two went to TEs and a 31 yarder went to Rice as he beat the two safeties. There is no doubt the fact that Lynch was in the back field caused the safeties to hold or step up a little too much. We will have to find a way to stop Lynch with the front 7.

    Seattle has one of the best QBs in the game, the number one defense, and a beast at RB. They never lose at home. We saw what happened to the saints in Seattle. This will be the biggest test in BA’s Head Coaching Career. To pull this off would be huge.

    But even if we dont, if the saints can thrash the Panthers again and the Falcons find a way to win against the panthers, we could still be in with a loss. But it sure would be nice to win out.

    Loving this Cardinal team that in late December, we are still talking playoffs and not about a top 10 draft pick.

  41. By John The Draft Guy on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Mal and Kevin S;

    The Panthers vs the Saints is an early game. Every card fan should be glued to that game.
    If the saints win, it doesnt matter what we do in Seattle.
    We just need the niners to win.

    Then the following week, we need to beat SF and have the Panthers lose and we are in.

    But if we win in Seattle and the Panthers lose both games and the niners beat the Falcons. Either way, win or lose against the niners, we are in.

    Darren and guys, do I have that right. It seems to me that we just need to win one game and the Panthers need to lose both.

  42. By Rick on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    So in other words we need to finish 1 game ahead of both San Fran and Carolina ? That means we would need to win out and need one of those two teams to lose out ? I disagree with the three way tie breaking procedure. We should go before Carolina goes because we beat them. Who came up with that rule ? probably a Pather/49er fan, huh?

  43. By az boy on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    With such a good season it’s a bummer if we don’t make the playoffs. But, assuming we improve over the off season. (With returning players and a better understanding of the offense I’m confident in that) It should be a blast rooting for a home super bowl next year!

  44. By Infitzwetrust on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, or anyone really,

    Whats the best scenerio to get into the playoffs? What needs to happen aside to us winning out? Anyone able to paint the picture?

  45. By Debeezy on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    @ Rick – yes, because the rule was made just this year…Get real. Rules don’t always make sense, but it’s something. Great game and great win. I almost stopped watching after the Cason pick six haha

  46. By mal on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    JTDG-

    Right — if Carolina loses 2, we just need to go 1-1, regardless of who we beat, and regardless of what SF does against Atlanta.

    If we win in Seattle, and then Carolina drops its last 2 games, our game against SF counts for nothing cuz we’re in either way.

    It’s cuz we’ve got that tie-breaker with Carolina.

  47. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    So, Larry passed concussion tests.Whew.

    Betting we beat Seahawks.. our D has some mistakes to make up for.. and we only win if they stuff Lynch and take the ball away, very tough with Seattle. But our guys are determined. Cards 24, Seahawks 21. I’d rethink if Pamer can’t walk on Friday though ;)

  48. By Coach K on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, I think we can beat Seattle with crossing routes against Seattle’s man coverage. A combination of crossing routes in the passing game and a power run game running right at Seattle is crucial. Their defensive front wall is tough and quick, so it’s tough to run slow developing run plays, but we can be effective widening our line splits and running right at them with power and wham blocks from the tight ends. I think we have a great shot at upsetting Seattle. If we can get a lead and take the crowd noise away, that will help.

  49. By Coach K on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    I have a feeling three teams from the NFC West make the playoffs if Cards win the last two.

  50. By mal on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Here’s the nightmare scenario:

    We win in Seattle, SF beats Atlanta, but Carolina drops just one more game to the Saints.

    Then it doesnt matter what we do against SF — win and we’re all tied at 11-5 (we go home) or lose and we finish out of it at 10-6.

  51. By Matthew Thomas on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t know we all know that the Seahawks are a Huge THREAT to us is going to be HARDER beat to win. Don’t Forget Last Year we got DESTROY 58-0.

    We better not suffer another terrible Loss or where Toast.

  52. By David Brooks on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,

    Let’s see a scenario where San Francisco wins next week, Arizona wins, and Carolina loses. Arizona vs. SF is flexed to the night game and Carolina loses during the day. Wouldn’t AZ then be incentivized to throw the game seeing that if they lost they’d make the playoffs but if they won they’d be out? Weird.

  53. By georgiebird on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Yesterday’s Seattle at Giants’ game was a very interesting game for a certain reason. The Giants lost the game 23-0 because the Giants just don’t have half the talent of the Seahawks -due in part to Giants’ injuries and the QB having an off year.
    But what was interesting was the Giants took no crap from Seattle. The Giants held their ground and the chippy demeanor shown by Seattle against the Saints was missing. I realize yesterday was a Seattle away game as opposed to the home game against the Saints. But the Giants were not pushed around- the Giants were aggressive in a smart way.
    Hope the Cards are not pushed around but, instead, play an aggressive game with few penalties. The added talent that the Cards have could make the game competitive.

  54. By georgiebird on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    For all those thinking that marginal improvement will get us into the playoffs next year -you must be dreaming. This year the Cardinals should be in the playoffs because the Cards are arguably the 3rd best team in the NFC.
    But when you look at the NFC, you will see that except for the Panthers and the four West teams, no one is having a real good season.
    This was/is the year for the Cards to get into the playoffs. Next year, marginal improvement might not be good enough if some teams rebound in a more than marginal way.

  55. By ariphin on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    One thing I think people are missing with our playoff chances are Lions and Bears. They don’t effect anything if we win out. But if we lost at Seattle and NO beats the Panthers, not only do we need to win in week 17 and have atlanta beat carolina but we also need to have either the Bears or lions lose one. Otherwise, we don’t make it, at least according to ESPN Playoff machine.

  56. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    David Brooks,

    I wondered about that scenario but there is no way it could be to our advantage to throw a game. If we somehow managed to beat Seattle and NO beats Carolina, and we go into the SF game 10-5 tied with Carolina, and SF is 11-4 at that point, and then Carolina loses during the day the last week, we are in no matter what. So we wouldn’t “throw” the game, but we might rest guys who are hurting, and there would be nothing at stake.

  57. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, you covered most of the playoff scenarios. Since we lose all ties in the DIV… We can still get in at 10-6… Yes we can get in at 10-6!!

    Arizona must win out and either the Niners or Panthers must lose their final two games. As of right now, every part of that scenario looks unlikely.

    There is one scenario that allows the Cards to get in with 10 wins. They lose in Seattle and beat the 49ers. San Fran beats the Falcons. The Panthers lose their final two games. San Fran would be 11-5, Cards and Panthers would be 10-6, with the Cards holding the tiebreaker.

    This actually gives fans hope to cheer for this week – the most likely scenario for Cards to get in.

    What every Cardinals fan should now be is a Falcons and Saints fan. Both Carolina and San Fran play Atlanta in the next two weeks.

    Go Falcons! Go Saints! Go Cardinals

  58. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Darren – Kinda weird that a loss for us in Seattle and a win by the Saints still leaves us with a little window, huh? ….be well…..

  59. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Rick – The rules cannot be made up as you go. Look at the nfl breaker rules and you will see that your position is ill-informed…. G’day

  60. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Darren – I was not able to re-run that on-sides kick. Can you clarify that a “Fair Catch” is legal as long as it does not touch the ground?

    If so, why would a receiver not call and wave for it? Thanks

  61. By Darren Urban on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Dr. G –

    RE: Fair catch

    Not sure which you are referring. If you are talking about the one the Titans fumbled, yes, he could have called for a fair catch. Arians actually expected it. Fitz couldn’t have. The ball bounced.

  62. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Wow – the posting on playoffs is steaming…. Here’s another wild what-if…?

    Saints lose their last two finishing 10-6… Cards win last two for 11-5. That leaves the Saints with their heads spinning. It is reasonable for the Saints to lose at Carolina, but…not likely to lose to Tampa…

    Now, if the Saints tie Sfran, they have the breaker on them! Are 9ers out?

    We do not want to tie any team other that Carolina.

    Just thinking! So, the mathematicians can continue their remote possibility schemes… This is why it is called ” WILD” cards……. G’day…

  63. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Dr. G –

    Exactly, we can still get in at 10-6 in the scenario you described.

    What is weird is that if you assume we’re going to lose to Seattle, then we actually WANT the Niners to beat Atlanta. We can’t have SF going 10-6 along with us and Carolina… we only get it at 10-6 if it’s straight-up against Carolina.

    How odd it is that we might be better off having one of the teams we’re battling win a game. On the other hand, if you assume we beat Seattle, then obviously it’s better for us to have SF lose vs. Atlanta because then we control our own destiny and get in simply by beating them in the finale.

  64. By Scott H on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    I could not be more proud of this team than I am right now. I did not see this team coming and I admit that 1,000 times over. For everything I was wrong about, I humbly apologize.

    It is such a shame that this team may not be making the playoffs. Because they ARE one of the best 12 teams in the NFL right now, period. It sucks that we will probably watch 2-3-4 teams that are definitely NOT as good as the Cardinals playing in the playoffs while this team is at home watching with the rest of us.

    In the NFC North, AFC South, AFC North, they are a division winner. In the AFC, they are a wild-card team no doubt about it. But because of the current playoff format and how competitive the NFC is….they are on the outside looking in with a 9-5 record.

    But I reiterate – just could NOT be more proud that I am right now.

  65. By servantoftheuniverse on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Greetings;
    I have found some comments to be kidding me sincerely; I mean, don’t go
    missing church now or what have You…but within the context of the football
    community, there exist games that will prove vital to any given team.
    I call on the bluff of Mr.. KS Table and others who deem the game against the
    blindbats to not be a critical game; as if it wouldn’t factor in anyway.. Putting
    aside that the only path into the playoffs the Cards could take still depends upon
    certain conditions be reached that are outside of the team’s control; therefore, a
    split of the final two games is not an option for contentment and “winning out” at t
    his point should if anything worth dreaming about result in an outlook of a 6-0
    finish. So the truth of the matter is that which is because it has and therefore
    probably will ! There is really only one way to approach the upcoming opponents–
    from a professional athletic team supporter’s stand point that is–discard the
    playoff implications, because Big Red isn’t a wide-eyed Furby with a pocket full of
    sunshine all delighted for having now stood first in line and from the left out
    section is almost able to catch a clear view of the promised land; but see it for
    what it is, see it for what it will always be, those chickenducks and them squared
    sevens are division rivals! And where I from, every rivalry game is critical!
    Now here’s a scenario that will further let us know what type of Professional
    Athletic Team Supporter One is.
    This season the Cards have achieved what they have achieved. Obviously, every
    fan desires their team be Super Sized to achieve the ultimate form of

    contentment; but, unless You are an extremist that dwells in utter disappointment
    unless a SuperBowl is won, what achievement or observation would leave You
    content?. (Example: winning record)

    Myne will be measured upon whether I observe our players exhibit a performance
    that portrays living on a prayer; or, one that exhibits the hunt of a predator!
    Which leads me to this scenario; and without going into the specifics of it being
    probable.
    If the Cards do not enter the playoffs yet proved victorious over both division
    rivals; would You as a fan be content.
    In other words, playoffs aside, are these games truly irrelevant? or do they carry
    some sort of significance, maybe psychological.
    Thank You for Your attentiveness !!!

  66. By clssylssy on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    The Saints are unbeatable AT HOME but are not a good road team and after seeing the thrashing the Rams gave them, I have my doubts that they will beat the Panthers in Carolina. But, we can hope. My guess is that they’ll go 1-1 in the next two. Atlanta is barely breathing and to imagine them beating the 9ers @ the Stick is a little beyond realistic; if you watched the 9ers play the Bucs before our game it was the Colin Kaepernick show and he was scary amazing! The Seattle Seahawks have been described (by the NFL Live commentators) as “winning by intimidation and aggression” . Unless we can contain Russell Wilson who is part QB,part RB, as well as. cover Richard Sherman and Marshwn Lynch while keeping Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin and Zack Miller in check FROM START TO FINISH, it will be hard to pull off a victory. Add in the crowd noise, the cold and the
    fact that they are use to playing at a fast pace and have the stamina, leaves us with a monumental challenge. Watching the Hawks play, Hopefully, our guys will STUDY plenty of tape and go in prepared and ready to call them out. We have a great defense and some big, strong guys, who, with the right mindset have the skill to give them a real dog fight. I was in total disbelief over the call on Daryl Washington in Tennessee, for “unsportsmanlike conduct/taunting” until it occurred to me that is the way we play it in the NFC West–the toughest division in the NFL–the norm is just tougher LOL! I have been very pleased and impressed with Palmer’s ability to handle the pressure while playing tough and hope Fitz is well and can play. Being the competitor that he is I’m sure he wanted to be a part of that important play and BA made a good decision having him on the play as our best hands. II commend our coaches and team for focusing on staying in the moment only looking at the win. GOOD JOB ALL, START FAST AND FINISH STRONG!

  67. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    One thing is for sure… if we win Sunday vs. Seattle, we can’t be eliminated from the playoffs yet… One of Carolina and NO has to lose (or if they tie we will still be in it with a win this Sunday). The odds of either losing their finale are low, but let’s get it done Sunday and force the issue.

  68. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Servant -Along with Darren’s post, I have enumerated a couple other scenarios in which the Cards can make it to the dance… Perhaps you have not read them; there are several, unlikely as they may be. And, whatever that rambling herb is you consume from the Earth, my guess is some other fans might just like to have some of it! Be well my fellow fan, I think….

  69. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    Clssy – Remember, if the Saints lose out, and the Cards win out, the Cards are in!!*** What, what…. I think… huh?

  70. By cards62 on Dec 16, 2013 | Reply

    To Georgie Bird – I think if we stay relatively healthy next year get Cooper back on the oline add one or two more oline we will make a large improvement. Remember most important position in football is QB and Carson will be a lot more comfortable with this offense than at the start of this season and if our oline improves and give him some time to throw the ball and Ellington and others room to run we will have one of the best offenses in the league to go with a pretty good defense so I like our chances.

    Unfortunately for us two of the other best teams in the entire NFL, Seattle and San Fran are in our division and the Jeff F. lead Rams will continue to also get better.

    Still remember the 70s when the Houston Oilers were the 2nd best team in the NFL but unfortunately for them the best team in the NFL, Pittsburg was in their division, Bum Phillips kept knocking on that door but just could not kick it in.

    Those games sure were a lot of fun to watch so I will enjoy our last 2 games this year, enjoy the anticipation of the off season moves and enjoy watching our team play next season.

    What has happened to A, Roberts Cardinal fans? Why is his production so poor?

    Go Cards beat the Seahawks

    ,
    .

    ,

  71. By clssylssy on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Dr G.
    The Cards need to be a better road team to beat Seattle. While we won out in OT, that was a very ugly win and for once our offense and special teams carried the game for the most part. I do think that the Hawks, while having a gifted QB, are a lot of bluster, smoke and mirrors by the coach, and that if we can keep the pressure on Wilson (takes a seven step drop in order to see down the field for ANYBODY open) spending more time in the pocketr looking for a route he can run and get at least a first down, I believe we can do it. They are beatable on the road, and this would be a different story if it were in our house. Not having Tyrann Mathieu is hurting, but Cason and the young guys are doing a great job in stepping up. This time of the year the injuries have everything to do in determining who goes to the playoffs. Fitz , Palmer, Ellington, Housler have made a huge difference in our success and not having them healthy at this point is major.
    A lot of this game will be a battle of play callers and I’ve heard both BA’s name and Carroll’s kicked around for Coach of the Year, so I guess we’lll see. I don’t believe the 9ers, Saints or Panthers will lose their two remaining games and the worst would be a 1-1 which wouldn’t help us. It totally sucks that we are sitting at #9 in the NFL and a sleaze bag team like the Dolphins have a better shot of getting a wildcard than we do with a worse record! Still we need to START FAST AND FINISH STRONG!

  72. By clssylssy on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    One other thing…the Seahawks are so obsessed with the 9ers being their only competition, that they have disregarded us as a mere formality and could trip over their own arrogance in the stretch. I always LOVE seeing a bully go down…would be a beautiful thing!

  73. By Scott H on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t think the Saints are un-beatable at home. Yeah, if you have to play the Saints, you want to play them in your house, but they are not an un-stoppable force at home at the same level as the Seahawks in their house. And, figures, that is just where WE are going this week…

    But the schedule that the Saints have played at home is not really that impressive. Their home games have been -

    Atlanta
    Arizona
    Miami
    Buffalo
    Dallas
    Carolina

    OK. The Dolphins are in the playoff mix and the Panthers and Cardinals are very good teams. But since they have played their games against Miami and Arizona, both of those teams have found themselves. Let either team go into NO right now and it’a anyone’s game. And let teams like Seattle, KC, Denver, or San Fran go into NO and I’ll take all of them to win those games.

    Heck, the Cardinals have only lost one game at home this year and that was to Seattle, THE best team in the NFL. They are as tough at home as just about anyone.

  74. By MartinK on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Darren,
    Your comparison to the 2009 Titans game is a good one. But it also reminded me of the Superbowl loss. The secondary played too soft at the end and almost gave it away. But I also think that the bad calls contributed to that sort of passive play. Especially the defenseless player call. How can you call a player that is moving the ball into the endzone defenseless?

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