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Friday before the Lions, Stanton leads the way

Posted by Darren Urban on November 14, 2014 – 4:25 pm

Fitting, perhaps, that the first game of the defining portion of Drew Stanton’s career will be against the team he grew up watching and then playing for. Stanton moved to Michigan while in high school and later played at Michigan State, and then the Detroit Lions drafted him.

It never quite worked out with the Lions, and then Matthew Stafford showed up. He went to the Jets – briefly – until Tim Tebow showed up. He went to the Colts, and at least Andrew Luck was already on his way, and at least he met Bruce Arians. But then he came to the Cardinals, and while Arians warned him the Cards were likely going to bring in another veteran quarterback, none of the names Arians told Stanton at the time were Carson Palmer. So Palmer arrived, and Arians admitted Stanton was “pissed.”

Stanton is a pro, though. He’s been the model of a great backup, right down to his fill-in stint earlier this season when he won a pair of games. It’s Stanton’s team now. Not Stafford’s, or Luck’s, or Palmer’s. This is his chance. The Cardinals don’t have to win Sunday to make it to where they want to go, but it sure would help to take another one at home, especially in the first game without Palmer.

— Larry Fitzgerald has been a huge part of the offense of late. Michael Floyd has not. It’ll be interesting to see how the passing game unfolds. Don’t forget, Stanton’s last start – against a pretty good Denver pass rush – featured Stanton completing just 11 of 26 passes, so no one was really getting the ball. That, obviously, needs to change. (Although, as it has been pointed out to me, there were a bunch of drops that game too.)

— It’ll be very interesting to see how the interior of the Cards’ offensive line handles Ndamukong Suh after the tough game that group had last week against the Rams. The coaches have had their collective back all week, confident Paul Fanaika, Lyle Sendlein and Ted Larsen will bounce back.

— Fanaika was fined $8,268 for hitting a Rams player after the play during last week’s game, a penalty that cost the Cards 15 valuable yards. Speaking of 15 valuable yards, the illegal blindside block of tight end Lance Kendricks on Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson – the one that turned a Jared Cook 25-yard catch deep into Arizona territory into just 10 yards, eventually costing the Rams a scoring chance – cost Kendricks a whopping $22,050.

– The Cardinals should benefit from the return of running back Stepfan Taylor this week. Taylor isn’t going to come in and run for 100 yards, but he can handle some pass protection and give the Cards some flexibility in what they’re doing with Andre Ellington. Marion Grice seemed to struggle last week in both route-running and pass protection.

— Don’t forget to bring some canned food to the food drive being held prior to Sunday’s game.

— Hall of Fame cornerback Aeneas Williams, inducted into Canton in August, will receive his Hall of Fame ring during a halftime ceremony.

— This is how to win games: No team in the league has been more proficient in scoring defensive touchdowns since the beginning of the 2008 season as the Cardinals have been. The Cardinals have eight defensive touchdowns in that span (six via interceptions, two via fumbles), tying them with the Kansas City Chiefs.

— If you are looking for some podcasting goodness and some perspective on Palmer’s absence, check out Cardinals Underground.

— Speaking of Palmer, his wired segment featuring last week’s game/press conference will air Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on ABC-15 (and will be posted to azcardinals.com sometime after that.)

— It’s not often that the defensive coordinators get a lot of ink before a game, even for teams with good defenses like the Cards and Lions. But Todd Bowles had his stellar year interrupted by the news of his new contract, and Lions DC Teryl Austin – who was on Whiz’s coaching staff for three years – gets to come home.

— Both these teams have been special in the fourth quarter. You know what the Cardinals have done. The Lions have won the last three games on scores inside the final two minutes (or overtime.)

“If the game is close, there is an honest-to-God belief we will win that ballgame somehow, some way,” Arians said, and it’s difficult to argue that.

— The Cards aren’t a favorite of many anymore, now that Palmer is out (and they weren’t necessarily before Palmer got hurt either). Arians doesn’t care. “No one outside of that locker room matters,” Arians said. “It’s us against the world and we love that part of it.”

Drew, you’re up.

DrewStantonBloguse


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Posted in Blog | 38 Comments »


38 Responses to “Friday before the Lions, Stanton leads the way”

  1. By Dr. G. on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Drew,

    Most NFL players do not have a legitimate college degree; you have graduated with a major in kinesiology. That is admirable, it show you can finish. You appear to be an intelligent guy. And, in the SigEP fraternity, you most certainly learned how to keep hydrated.!

    So play as smart as you are, no INTs, and S-L-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-D-E when necessary. You can probably earn 40 yards avoiding those nasty tacklers. You are not getting the credit you deserve…good to note that you were pissed when Carson came in. That shows your SPIRIT..!

    You have something to prove; go now; and let the league know that the Cardinals need to be feared the rest of the way! Finish off the Lions…

  2. By Lee W. Flanagan on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Darin, is it me or am I delirious? I noticed that when Stanton is in the game, I believe the tempo picks up and Drew tends to find the receivers that get open quickly. He tends to miss some but I believe that the offense as well as the defense responds to the quicker pace.

  3. By William Barry on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    For Lee Flannigan: it does seem that w/Drew, the pace of the game is quicker, and he spots open receivers faster…..and he moves more quickly than Carson.

    Stanton for MVP for the super bowl in 2014; Carson MVP super bowl 2015!!!!!!

  4. By Lee W. Flanagan on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    William, we could only hope so for both guys sake. I think that’s what Carson is worried about. He hopes that Drew cam pull it off for the organization’s sake and not to diminish everything that he (Carson) has done thus far but, if this happens, Carson fears that the organization may want to go another direction and he(Carson) dearly wants to be a part of it all.

  5. By Sir60 on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Lee:

    As I said in a previous post, Carson seemed tentative, as if going through all his reads looking for the best possible target instead of taking the first open read. I am not being critical of his play, but an observation, and his motive, obviously, to limit turnovers.

    I recieved several thumbs down for that post. I believe Carson is, by far, our best quarterback. But, any quarterback, who can limit turnovers, will be successful on this team.

  6. By Lee W. Flanagan on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Sir60, I agree with the aspect of taking care of the ball is the most important aspect but it must also coincide with the ability to make enough big plays down field to keep the field position in the favor of the Cardinals. This all can be muted if the defense doesn’t do it’s part by making the big play at the right time.

  7. By Bill on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Knowing Stanton was pissed that they brought in Carson is good. I think he will prove himself worthy and try to retire Carson. I like his competitive spirit.

  8. By CreditCard on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Daren,

    Does Stinson have a turf toe injury, and thus the reason for bringing in DT Josh Manua (sp?) from Pittsburg?

  9. By Darren Urban on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Credit —

    RE: Stinson

    I don’t know if it’s technically turf toe. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Mauro is here because of the injury.

  10. By CreditCard on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    This will be another tough game. The Lions appear to be a very physical team. They probably know very well, a rookie is behind Stanton.

    The Lions offense is much more balanced and Stafford is playing very well. I think the Lions are a very good team — Will be very entertaining, and as a result I’m nervous about the outcome. I am in hopes the Cards prevail

  11. By Lee W. Flanagan on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Creditcard, of course, you’re nervous. When have the Cardinals ever been a number one seed at this point of the season? You’re liking that feeling and you’re getting addicted to it as well as the rest of us are. HA. Losing to a team that is doing well but, hasn’t really been tested to much thus far, would really be disappointing. “Knock on wood and keep your fingers crossed” HA

  12. By red bird of death! on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    We need to protect Drew, they know if he goes down we are in trouble and so does every other team from now on. Clean pocket for Stanton and ice up on defense and we got this.

  13. By John on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    Drew… I’ll keep it short… The RedSea is behind you. We believe in you! Go Cardinals!

  14. By Dynosoar on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    The best matchup all year and my local station is planning to play the Eagles and Green Bay because “this is a game that has playoff implications.”

    Last I checked (and there are still six more games after this one) this may very well be a preview of the NFC championship game, can we say Huge playoff implications?

    And if the Lions lose and the Packers win, what does that do? Oh, I know the ten commandments read not to covet thy neighbors house or wife, but is it OK to covet the local Cardinals coverage of the Phoenix area. I hope so because OK or not, I’m coveting.

    The way this season is shaping up, this may be the best game of the regular season.

  15. By Dynosoar on Nov 14, 2014 | Reply

    I believe the Cardinals found a deeper well of resolve and level of play after Palmer went down. If they play the way they did in the closing minutes of the Rams game all game from here on out, No team can win against us.

    I believe they learned to dig deeper and I don’t think any of them will be able top go back to simply great players on a great team. They’ve been proven in the heat of battle, like tempered steel they’ve been battle hardened.

    As much as I hate it (the injury and the loss), Palmer may have done for this team what no else could do and that is focus them not just on winning with talent in the end because they can anytime, but to win decisively.

    That last few minutes after Palmer went down may be the best testament to his leadership, more than any words to that affect.

    This is going to be one awesome game and one for the ages. I am really anxious to see if what we saw last week really was this teams refiners fire so to speak, I believe it was, let’s see what they do.

    Stanton, it’s yours. Coaches, players, we believe.

    The Lombardi Trophy or nothing at all!

  16. By Dynosoar on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Peterson – Cromarti – Johnson – Tate

    Not necessarily in that order, this is going to be one great game!

    I don’t see our offense with our weapons having trouble scoring. And with the deep balls we are capable of, we don’t need a red zone offense, just score from 40+ yards out.

    I like that our CBs can be on an island and that last week we had a pass rush that produced six sacks. Stafford is tough, he still won’t like to be sacked six times.

    This game will be epic.

    The Lombardi trophy or nothing at all!

  17. By JohnnyBluenose on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Cheers UK Cards Fan….you may know that we just signed a new Cardinal, Josh Mauro. He was born in St. Albans, UK…. so now you have another reason to hope for the Cardinals.

  18. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    I get backing our back up QB and rooting he does well. We all hope Stanton leads us to the super bowl.

    But give me a break with this talk that Stanton and the offense is more up tempo or the suggestion that Stanton is better for the team than Palmer.

    I keep hearing give the young guy a chance – Stanton is 30 and been in the league 8 years. – Not really a young guy.

    Palmer passes for more than a yard per attempt more than Stanton. That is big

    In Stanton’s 3 starts, his comp ratios have been 42%, 54%, 48%.
    Palmer has comp ratios of 65%, 64%, 71%, 48%, 65%, 69%

    Palmer averages almost 2 TDs passing per game, Stanton averages 1 TD per game.

    Palmer averages 271 yards passing per start.
    Stanton averages 176 yards per start.

    Palmer is 6-0 , Stanton is 2-1.

    So, how is the offense more up tempo with a far less comp %, less TDs per game and a hundred less yards per start?

    Palmer is by far the better QB and will be missed. My hope is Stanton will make enough plays to win games. I bring back Palmer next year. No Doubt.

  19. By kauaicardsfan on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Just wanted to chime in about the Mad Jack piece! What a great story!!! Mahalo Mad Jack being our voice!!!

    Darren where is the link where we can make suggestions to Mad jack about Banner message ideas?

  20. By Darren Urban on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Kauai —

    RE: Mad Jack

    I think he has a twitter handle.

  21. By Mike G on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is cool!–Enjoy the game tomorrow–Looking forward to it! Should be exciting and hopefully the Card’s can continue their winning ways at home .Glad S-Taylor is playing–so he can spell Ellington and take a little heat off him during the course of the game. Looking for a big game from Carlson tomorrow. If the Card’s repeat the same old formula they should be fine–win the turnover battle and play sound defense. Don’t think the coaches will change much with Stanton starting. My biggest fear —No Injuries—they have to stop at some point. Hey Darren–Is Matt Shaughnessy on target for a return later in the season??????

  22. By Darren Urban on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Mike G –

    RE: Shaughnessy

    Can practice Wednesday. Can play against the Chiefs.

  23. By Matt on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,

    Will the roof be open on Sunday?

  24. By Darren Urban on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Matt —

    RE: Roof

    Game day decision.

  25. By Dr. G. on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    LeeW… keeping your fingers crossed while knocking on wood causes “turf finger.”

    Dyno… you are hyper-ventilating with enthusiasm… be careful

    We all know some keys manana… turnovers, our run game, shut down their WRs, run the clock, and air it out… air it out… our D-line will be lights out. If we get after Stafford from the get-go, it will set a stage we have rarely seen. Matt who? Calvin who? They will hear us ROAR!!! Keep the faith CARDS FANS…

  26. By TucsonTim on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Add 7 or 8 drops in Denver and a horrendous PI against John Brown that wasn’t called (the defender who never turned, took out his arms and a perfect spiral hit him in the helmet…remember? I have a great photo of this but can’t insert it here) and Stanton was more than adequate in Denver.

  27. By TucsonTim on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Dynosoar brings up something that made me want to block ESPN radio forever, that the Packers-Eagles game is a NFC championship playoff preview….SERIOUSLY!?!?

    The 2 best teams in the NFC are playing and it’s not Sunday night. NO RESPECT

    Well actually Im kind of glad I don’t have to drive back here at mid night. But still NO RESPECT

  28. By Dynosoar on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Dr. G.,

    I’m being careful. I live by the Stockdale Principle, having the sureness of success while at the same time facing the brutal facts.

    I loved the phrase “you are hyper-ventilating with enthusiasm” and you’d be correct. Brown paper bag is in hand. Haha!

    Having watched this team this year (and the last half of last year) I’m calm and confident we will win. Watching the way they played after Palmer went down, I don’t see how we can lose. I have that sureness of success (although the teams sureness of success is more important than mine.)

    Teams lose trap games when they have the sureness of success, but don’t face the brutal facts (Pittsburgh and the Jets anyone?)

    The brutal facts I have acknowledged are Stafford, Johnson and Tate. As well as the way their pulling out wins when they’re behind just like we are. The two I haven’t acknowledged, their coach is turning them around, just like ours And they have a lights out defense, just like ours.

    The difference that I didn’t expect before last week is the digging down deep to find hidden reserves our team found after Palmer went down last week. As soon as two weeks ago I thought this game was going to be epic and real close.

    The brutal fact the Lions have to face is what if we bring the same game against them that we did against the Rams after Palmer went down? They should be scared.

    By the way, I may have developed turf finger.

  29. By Dynosoar on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    The Lombardi trophy or nothing at all!

  30. By NJAzCardsFan on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Darren- After reading about Bowles contract extension, I was wondering … Do NFL teams have a Cap to adhere to for coaches salaries? Or is it just what they want to spend according to their budgets…..???

  31. By Darren Urban on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: Coaches/cap

    There are no restrictions on coaches’ salaries.

  32. By Nick Pepe on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    This is a big game. Home field on the line. I think the Cards, Lions, Packers are the top three in the NFt. Funny how the Cards still get no respect (except for Steve Young he did say they were a Super Bowl caliber team). But I hear local guys still mentioning Seachickens and Niners and disregarding the Cards. It’s all good.

    I think Andre has a big day on the ground and Wolfey will be able to call a big play TD of Michael Floyd’s . In fact I am saying # 15 has two TD rec’s.

    The Lions are a good team, and it will be a good game, but I think we win because we are better and we are at home. i expect the crowd to be loud and proud, Rise Up Red Sea!!!!!

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member ’70-’71

  33. By Scott H on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Well, Drew, it’s up to you now. Time for you to carry us. Actually, we really don’t need you to carry us. Just play solid. Give us the same performance you gave against the 49ers in Week 3. If the rest of the team can’t take care of the rest….then it won’t be your fault we came up short. It’s your time now. Time to show the Lions what they gave up on. Time to show why BA wanted you here so badly, why he believed you could be the starting QB for this team.

    Go Cardinals!
    Go Chiefs!
    Go Giants!
    Hope the Eagles and Packers play to a tie!

    So amazing to be thinking in terms of playing the top seed in the NFC. But that’s who / where the Cardinals are now, so…I will happily adjust my thought process!

  34. By Scott H on Nov 15, 2014 | Reply

    Dang it, just realized a MAJOR typo in that last post! Meant to say – So amazing to be playing FOR the top seed in the NFC. Saying it the way I did sounds like the Lions are the top seed.

    Hey, they want that, they gotta go through us!

  35. By Lee W. Flanagan on Nov 16, 2014 | Reply

    John TDG- Totally agree with the whole stat thing. Stats don’t lie , however, stats don’t take into consideration what defenses you are playing against or even when your playing against them or even where you are playing. Individual stats also don’t take into consideration how well everyone else is playing around you also. Sometimes playing up tempo tends to wake up players…especially the linemen. Rushing sometimes gets better. Playing a different style of game produces different stats. So getting all caught up in stats is sometimes misleading. For some reason this year, the Cardinals are defying the whole stat thing anyway. I’ve watched both of them play all year in preseason as well as regular season. Don’t seem to notice any drop off in play as a team with either. Both have their up sides as well as downsided. The numbers you put up for Carson are probably close to Peyton Manning’s. Which QB would you pick in that situation? There’s no right or wrong “thing” when people are merely giving their opinions.

  36. By rod on Nov 16, 2014 | Reply

    We are one QB hit away from Lindley…I feel sick.

  37. By clssylssy on Nov 16, 2014 | Reply

    This game is huge but not only is HFA on the line but also our future as a playoff team which won’t happen if they injure more of our players. Their D-line is monsterous so we must start fast, play smart and finish strong without letting them ever get a pass off or allow them to move the ball. They know our defense is killer so I look for Stafford to try to use his TEs a lot. Most of all, we have to take care of each other so we have no further losses to our roster and BELIEVE we can PROTECT THE NEST. None of the major networks have a clue about this team and don’t think, based on stats, that we have a chance. Looking forward to a BIG RED TSUNAMI rolling over these felines and providing all the doubters wrong AGAIN! LET’S KEEP THIS MACHINE ROLL’N!

  38. By Dr. G. on Nov 16, 2014 | Reply

    Rod… Not to worry about things we cannot control…. We have 10 other men on the field. The QB. is key, but he cannot win by himself… Standby for a big surprise..! Do not forget about OUR DEFENSE…!!

    And, take a Bromo…your ailment demos a true fan..be well..

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