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Vikings (late) aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on August 16, 2014 – 11:35 pm

It’s preseason, and rarely do things matter less in the NFL than a touchdown scored in the waning minutes of the second oreseason game. The reality is almost every player on the field at that point in the game won’t be in the NFL in a month.

In the grand scheme of things, Zach Bauman’s six-yard lateral run (?) of the loose ball batted backward by center John Estes was the play of Saturday night, right? It’s the kind of play that might’ve lived forever had it happened in a regular season game. It was fourth down, the Cardinals were going for it down three on the Minnesota 6-yard line because there is no way Bruce Arians was going to go to overtime in the preseason, and then Estes’ snap didn’t connect with quarterback Ryan Lindley. The ball rolled around. Estes, in the officials’ eyes, batted it backward, although oblong as it is, the ball took a turn toward the Vikings’ goal line, and Bauman scooped it up and improbably scored.

“Saw a play I haven’t seen in 22 years,” Arians said, before deadpanning, “that touchdown … that was designed.”

Even Lindley was willing to have fun with it.

“You know when we ran (at practice) and coach went off the field?” Lindley said, referring to the fight-induced punishment Thursday. “That’s really what we did, we got the defense some scout team reps, and we let it ride.”

For those wondering, here was the official comment from referee Craig Wrolstad:

“The ball was snapped, it was a backwards pass. The snap is considered the backwards pass. Any backwards pass can be advanced by any team, any direction, on any down. It wasn’t a fumble because the snap was never possessed by any of the players. The ball was snapped, it rolled around, it was knocked around a couple times, nobody ever had control of the ball. Nobody ever had control of the ball, so nobody ever had possession, so it was not a fumble.”

Wild. It worked out for Bauman too, clearly.

Some other quick thoughts before I try to actually get some sleep on this flight home:

– The Cardinals know they have to be better on special teams. This goes beyond who the kicker might be. The coverage wasn’t good – Arians said as much – and Lorenzo Alexander knows it needs to improve quickly.

“They probably have one of the premier return units in the league, but as a cover unit, we definitely have to step up and put our defense in better field positions, and also create turnovers,” Alexander said, adding “we still have a lot of moving parts, lot of young guys, but it’s no excuse. Special teams is about want-to, effort and heart.”

– The only injury Arians knew of was tackle Max Starks, who tweaked the same left ankle that has been giving him trouble.

– Newly signed linebacker Desmond Bishop wasn’t supposed to dress but he did and he played. He flashed a couple of times too. The veteran was a very good player before he had serious injuries the past two years. His progress bears watching.

– The starting defense did OK. I think they’d like to do better. I thought Calais Campbell was effective early, and I thought linebacker Larry Foote was too. That group is going to jump a level when DC Todd Bowles starts game-planning.

– It was too bad the crazy Bauman play didn’t win the game, but the third unit defenders didn’t have a good night. The Cardinals probably shouldn’t have been in the position late anyway, at least not how they got there. I thought the long pass interference drawn by receiver Kevin Ozier to set up the Cards’ final TD wasn’t a good call.

– The 19-play drive that scored a touchdown to open the third-quarter was a thing of beauty in terms of possession (and in terms of a preseason game and running the clock, but that’s me being selfish). It ate up 10:06 on the clock, and 14 of the plays were runs. No runs for more than seven yards and the Cards needed to convert a couple of fourth downs, but it was an exercise in being physical.

That’s enough for now.


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34 Responses to “Vikings (late) aftermath”

  1. By br in nc on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Everything I’m reading highlights Carson Palmer & Company are ahead of last years preseason and even into the regular season, another solid outing for the Brown Brothers. Also from most reports I have full confidence that Drew Stanton could step in, take over, and barely miss a beat, running this team if need be. Although a win is always nice (even in preseason, as Darren pointed out the 2 touchdowns were scored on players who will be unemployed in a few weeks. Anyone think the injury to Max Starks will cost him a spot on the final roster?
    As well, if anyone who saw the game could post any thoughts/updates on our running game (in particular Hughes, Parmele and Taylor) Z. Bauman’s “interesting” TD scamper is part of all the recap’s I have read, but besides that unusual play, how did he, and the rest of the RB’s trying to earn playing time/roster spots perform? Thanks in advance for any information!
    Not to make you guys jealous or anything, but I’m trying to control my giddyness (probably not even a word!) while I wait to watch the local broadcast here in NC Sunday night, I’am so lucky to get to watch the Carolina Panthers, woohoo! (Can’t you tell I’m totally pumped for that one! (Insert sarcasm wherever you prefer! LOL)

  2. By br in nc on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Bishop dressing & playing is a sign of an eager and hungry man who wants to play some football.

  3. By Amir on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,
    The PI call was a good call. The defender was pulling Ozier’s jersey as was seen in the replay from the opposite angle.

  4. By Louisville Card on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    The third unit had a bad night because they were playing Teddy Bridgewater…Teddy would’ve looked really good in a cards uniform…

  5. By Michael Shuman on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Personally, I’d hang my head if I was a Vikings fan. They won, and congratulations to them, but if I was a fan of the Vikes, I’d be worried that it took the starting and second string teams to beat the second-third-fourth stringers of the Cards.

  6. By Big Ken on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Desmond Bishop did well for a guy that was on the street a couple of days ago. I hope he stays healthy.

  7. By cardsalltheway on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Fitz scored a TD but it ain’t anywhere on any highlight videos.

  8. By Big Ken on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Happy Birthday Ms. Bauman!

  9. By Cali Card fan on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Another solid showing by the first team. Offense looked pretty good even without Floyd. Defense looked good except it seems they still haven’t solved the covering the tight end problem. Still it was a great game.

    Here’s to seeing the Cards playing in February!

  10. By Darren Urban on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    cardsalltheway —

    RE: Fitz

    Fitz had one catch, for 20 yards, in Arizona territory.

  11. By William Barry on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Even though this was preseason, a couple of thoughts. The running game needs improvement. Even though Jay Feeley is a great locker room guy, its time for Cantavaro to win the kicking job. Special teams coverage needs improvement. First string offense is light years ahead of last year. I think 6 receivers should be kept, Javon Brown, John Brown, and Walt Powell. Love the speed of our WR’s. Would like to see Niklas get more involved in the game, in addition, to Rob Housler. Defense was not bad…We must get the LBs solidified…Acho and Okafor will be fine, once Minter comes back. GO Cards.

    One disappointment, the defense gave up that last touchdown., but otherwise okay

  12. By C on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Darren, do you think the run game (or lack thereof) so far in the preseason ties to a blocking scheme that the Cards haven’t implemented/won’t implement until the regular season? Does the first team O run more effectively on the first team D in practices?

    Thanks!

  13. By Dobie on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    for me I like the runs of RB Hughes we need some one like that on 3rd down and and short

  14. By Blair on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    That’s enough Lindley for now too. I really hope that’s the last time i see him in cardinal red on game day

  15. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Good recap for late night, couple more things that struck me:
    1. Loss deflates any egos (not that I saw any overly-inflated, to the contrary), even if preseason.. perfect spot to lose one, gives Arans something to yell about;
    2. Lindley’s play makes Logan’s look even better; but Lindley’s got sense of humility and humor;
    3. We are loaded at Receiver/TE, best Card group ever;
    4. Our 2nd unit is pretty good, we’re pretty deep, maybe deepest AZ Cards team;
    5. Could Bishop be this year’s Abraham?
    6. Starks is overweight and out of shape, “should” get cut, but Sowell, how bad was he.. poor guy, like him, but gone… OL still the Achilles Heel, even though better;
    7. Hughes Taylor Dwyer combo platter pretty intriguing… more intriguing is 3rd Rd Brown and Ellington on field at same time.. speedwow, and how tough /good is Jaron? Sets up a possibly great receiving corp .. even if can’t resign Fitz to workable deal 2015… which also makes Brit Golden a “wanna keeper”, reminds of that former Patriots guy that caught a million passes a year, but much faster.
    Go Cardinales!! :)

    PS: LOVED the new High Def screens at UoP… very nice upgrade, good job Bid.

  16. By Fred Garvin on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    The Tight End TD occurred when Rashad Johnson slipped before the TE caught the pass. Free run the last 20 or 30 yards.

  17. By Andy Kw on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    The roster looks clearer than ever now:
    Offense:
    QB: Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton, Logan Thomas
    RB: Andre Ellington, Stepfan Taylor, Jonathan Dwyer, Robert Hughes
    WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Ted Ginn Jr, John Brown, Jaron Brown
    TE: John Carlson, Rob Housler, Troy Niklas, Darren Fells
    OL: Lyle Sendlein, Jared Veldheer, Jonathan Cooper, Paul Fanaika, Bobby Massie, Earl Watford, Ted Larsen, Bradley Sowell, Max Starks
    Defense:
    DL: Calais Campbell, Darnell Dockett, Dan Williams, Frostee Rucker, Alameda Ta’amu, Kareem Martin, Ed Stinson
    LB: Kevin Minter, Larry Foote, John Abraham, Matt Shaughnessy, Sam Acho, Alex Okafor, Marcus Benard, Kenny Demens, Lorenzo Alexander
    CB: Patrick Peterson, Antonio Cromartie, Jerraud Powers, Justin Bethel, Teddy Williams
    S: Tyrann Mathieu, Rashad Johnson, Deone Bucannon, Tony Jefferson
    Special Teams:
    K Chandler Cataranzo, P Dave Zastudil, LS Mike Leach

    Battles:
    QB Logan Thomas over Ryan Lindley
    -Good Bye Ryan Lindley.
    RB Robert Hughes over Zach Bauman, Jalen Parmele, & Damien Thigpen
    -In my opinion, I would rather keep 3 RBs to add needed depth in other positions
    WR Jaron Brown over Walt Powell & Dan Buckner
    -We might keep 6 WRs but with Powell being quiet in Minnesota, I think 5 is most likely.
    TE Darren Fells over Andre Hardy
    -I would rather have 3 TEs than have 4.
    OT Max Starks over Nate Potter
    ILB Kenny Demens & ILB Lorenzo Alexander over Desmond Bishop
    -I really want Bishop to beat out one of these 2 for the backup role. He still has a chance so I am crossing my fingers than he wins.
    CB Teddy Williams over Bryan McCann
    -Probably the toughest choice Keim & Arians has to make.
    K Chandler Cataranzo over Jay Feely
    -Jay Feely does not have the leg strength to sail the kick out of the end zone. Cataranzo wins the starting job.

    CUT: QB Ryan Lindley, RB Zach Bauman*, RB Jalen Parmele, RB Damien Thigpen, WR Dan Buckner*, WR Reggie Dunn, WR Brittan Golden, WR Kevin Ozier, WR Walt Powell*, TE Andre Hardy, T Kelvin Palmer, T Nate Potter, G Philip Blake*, G Anthony Steen, C Tommie Draheim, C John Estes, DT Bruce Gaston*, DT Anthony McCloud, DT Justin Renfrow, DT Christian Tupou, OLB Glenn Carson, OLB Derrell Johnson, OLB Adrian Tracy*, ILB Desmond Bishop, ILB Kennan Clayton, ILB JoJo Dickson*, CB Jimmy Legree, CB Bryan McCann, CB Brandon Sermons, CB Eddie Whitley, S Orhian Johnson, S Curtis Taylor*, S Anthony Walters, K Jay Feely

    *-Practice Squad

  18. By rod on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    It was torture watching Lindley, brought me back to 2012.

    Yuck!

  19. By Braedon on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Remember, they also didn’t have AP. He would have made a bigger difference.

  20. By mal on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    The entire first team Cards defense was out there for only 4 plays. They gave up one first down, then forced a 3 and out.

    DD sat out for the next long drive by the Vikes. He came in only when they got to the 15 yard line, but then CC came out. The drive stalled at the 3 and they settled for a field goal.

    The Vikes other first half points all came with their 1st team offense against our 2nd team defense. Gotta keep it in perspective.

    Meanwhile, our 2nd team offense drove down for a touchdown against their 1st team defense.

    Have you ever broken down film just on Stanton? Holy cow, he’s pretty good. There’s almost no drop-off from Carson to Stanton. He doesnt get rattled like a lot of #2’s. We’re lucky to have such a solid back-up.

  21. By Darren Urban on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    C —

    RE: Run game

    I don’t think there is any secret run game scheme the Cards are waiting to unveil on the world. That said, they aren’t game-planning yet. The bigger deal is you will see more of Ellington when it counts. As for practice, no, I don’t see a ton more in practice, but judging the run game in practice I have found is a very hard thing.

  22. By Paul Liccardi on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    its only preseaseon I know but its kinda alarming that a big tight end had a big game against the defense yesterday

  23. By br in nc on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Louisville Card,
    Teddy has looked pretty solid, but remember he has only played partial games, and he has played agianst reserves and camp bodies only. Can’t agree that he would look good in a Cardinals uniform, not as a first round pick, or even a second round, would have to say so far Thomas has looked just as good if not better, and as a fourth round pick (Thomas as well has been playing reserves and camp bodies) Both may be solid NFL QB’s, but Thomas would still look better because of his draft position, as well if both fail, which failure is easier to admit, the lower round pick for Sure but back to Teddy, the Cardinals would have to basically wasted a first round pick where there was no need (we still have Palmer &Stanton both) we had much more pressing needs than a QB. I still believe Thomas will have the better career between the two, I will give you Teddy looks better and has performed better than I expected, but please remember it is still way to early to know if either make t as successful QB’s in the NFL.

  24. By clssylssy on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    It’s only preseason but now I’m getting worried about our defense…I just don’t see a top 5 D out there which we are going to need to make the playoffs. Sometimes a loss is just what the doctor ordered to have a sobering effect and remind everyone there is work to be done. Remember…Faith/Focus/Forward!

  25. By cardsalltheway on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Michael Shuman,
    “Personally, I’d hang my head if I was a Vikings fan..”

    They didn’t cover the 3 point spread so I’m sure there are Viking fans are doing what you suggest(hanging their heads). And I agree that the highlights were one dimensional even though Fitz didn’t score showing the Viking fans applauding when he caught a ball for 20 yards wasn’t even worth showing. Again, no Cardinals announcers during preseason.

  26. By Dr. G. on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    Fastest guy on the team – Bethel on the run down… I want to see him sprint against PP…and Brown and Ginn !!!

    Cuts – I’m thinking Keim/Arians don’t need the next 2 weeks for this… It will just be good for working the playbook schemes on both sides of the ball…

    Lindley – I hear such a good man – – but the NFL is just too fast for him despite running with 2nd and 3rd string. I saw visions of his panic echoing 2 years ago. I think Whiz ruined him by not preparing him properly. And now he presses to impress. If we lost all our QB’s, there are many waiting who could better Lindley’s performance.

    Our Kicker? – – Accuracy will be Arians’ dilemma… the distance issue is not disputable now…

    I have about 50 guys for the 53-man roster now…there are only a few surprises coming perhaps…. Cards Fans are the best….

  27. By Coach K on Aug 17, 2014 | Reply

    I can see what we need to do with our current players. This year will be completely different than last year. This year, our offense needs to be our best defense. I have serious concerns about our run defense at this point compared to last year. It is not as good with the loss of our two starting inside linebackers. I think Minter and Foote will do well, but they are not as good sideline to sideline.

    Our secondary will be strong and this will allow for more creative stunts up front. But the KEY to our winning the West, or making the playoffs will be how well our offense controls the ball and scores. I don’t think our running game will be designed for ball control, but rather used to keep the pass rush honest. Our bread and butter this year is going to be our superior passing game and game breaking receivers. Frankly, if our o-line gives Palmer time, there is no defense in this league that can cover our receivers. Can you imagine the nightmare of trying to defend a bunch formation with the receivers we have?

    Offensive ball control using the passing game is going to be our ticket to success this year.

  28. By br in nc on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Hughes has struggled to remain on an NFL roster, Coming out of high school he was one of the best, (of course most know he chose Notre Dame over my Illini, probably his first mistake) he had stiff competition at ND, whereas if he would have stayed with his first choice, Illinois, he would have been the big man on campus, and the first option on the football field, it may have very well got him drafted and he may have stuck with one team, hopefully he finds a home with the Cardinals and finally has a Breakout year, which wouldn’t need to be much, he has been signed my more teams than he has yards in his career, he has amassed a total of 5 yards in the NFL, but obviously somebody in Arizona saw something that convinced them he was worth bringing in for a shot. Given BA’s dislike of the FB position one has to believe his potential was as a 3rd down back, or a goaline punch, or possibly BA has changed his thought process and decided a solid blocking FB is not a bad idea, and could help improve a weak ground game, and it sure doesn’t hurt that he has soft hands and can catch the ball out of the backfield (though he caught less than 50 passes his entire career. at ND, as well he only rushed for around 1300 yards his entire career as well, so at least he is relatively fresh, and wasn’t wore down to the bone coming out of college). It truly intrigues me as to what his role will be if he makes the team. (Which it looks like a safe bet if the Cardinals keep 4 RB’s he will be the 4th RB.) He has always had a pretty good YPC average, but other than that nothing stands out, oh well…despite being from Entrepreneur Dame I am truly pulling for him to make the team and of course the more he surprises/shocks fans with his production, the better off the Cardinals will be, here’s hoping he has a huge Breakout season!!

  29. By clssylssy on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Thank you Coach K! However, defenses win championships and if we are to make the playoffs (especially in the NFC WEST) Keim is going to have to pull a rabbitt from somewhere and take care of the problem. We have an amazing secondary but they’re not going to be able to carry the entire defense and the Saints found out that a good offense doesn’t make up for an even mediocre defense. I have a feeling the Seahawks are counting the days until we have a rematch!

  30. By Louisville Card on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    br

    I may be biased, but Teddy looks like the real deal and has since he was a Freshman in college. Thomas has never looked as good in his career in a game as he did against the Texans. Don’t expect him to play like that regularly. He played against the 3’s of what looks like the worst team in the NFL this year…so temper you optimism and comparing Thomas to Teddy…It’s just my opinion but I would’ve loved to have kept Bridgewater in a cards Uniform no matter the pick…

  31. By Scott H on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Nothing really remarkable one way or the other. Above all else, no injuries and that IS what matters above all else. You hope to see first units looking solid and in sync even though there is no real game-planning going on. But these two Brown kids just continue to make plays on offense. THAT is remarkable, so I guess I already just contradicted my earlier statement. With everyone healthy, we are loaded at WR. Beautiful thing. But, geez…part of me almost doesn’t want us to be TOO loaded at WR. That would be the part of me that wants Fitz to be a Cardinal for the rest of his career, or at least, the next several years. Having a bunch of younger WR’s who look ready to carry the load could definitely be factor in how that plays out. For now, though, I will just love how loaded we are at this position!

    Good to see the TE’s making some catches ( TD catches!! ) in the first 2 games.

    Gotta hope special teams / cover units are better than what we’re seeing.

    And if that Bauman run isn’t in the playbook, then it should be. Seriously. How do you defend against THAT?

  32. By Dr. G. on Aug 18, 2014 | Reply

    Bridgewater – – He may be the real deal, but the scouts were unimpressed with his pro day. He cannot afford to have any mulligans. We don’t play Minnesota this year, so for me it’s mox nix. I wish him well. Our draft is over…

    Now again, for me, there are 2 linebackers ((their names escape me)) that are not here this year. One went to Cleveland and the other almost went to the big-house! It is most likely that neither will return to our team, especially after probable pending additional sanctions for 2015 for one of them. This is indeed a shame, but I recommend that our fans take BA’s position by eliminating any superfluous commentary that seems to leak into this blog… Nothing harsh intended – just reality for the day…. We need to get behind the men we have now….. Be well Cards Fans

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