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Friday before the Falcons

Posted by Darren Urban on November 28, 2014 – 3:54 pm

In all the seasons the Cardinals have been a franchise – and in this case, we’ll just go back to the Cards’ jumping into the fledgling NFL in 1920 – the team has won at least 10 games only seven times. Only twice has the team won 10 since the franchise moved to Arizona, last season and the 10-6 mark the team posted in 2009, the year after the Super Bowl.

The Cards would reach 10 wins Sunday with a win in Atlanta. They should win at least 10 this season at some point, but in so many ways, it’s crucial that it come this weekend, against this team. The Falcons are in first place. They do have Julio Jones and Roddy White this time around. But this is a game the Cardinals have to have, with the way the Seahawks are playing, with the way the Packers are playing, with the way the Eagles are playing.

Bruce Arians is constantly talking about how good teams don’t lose two in a row. His players parrot it. The only time the Cardinals have lost a second in a row since Arians showed up was to eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle on a short-week Thursday night. This is where we need to see that resilience show up again, against a lesser opponent.

— Larry Fitzgerald is officially questionable but I won’t be surprised to see him sit for a second straight game. It’d be only the second time Fitz would have missed back-to-back games in his career. I’m sure it’s eating up Fitz. He’s got a lot on the line here on a lot of levels, between his hot play before he got hurt, his presence that helps the offense and even his impending contract dilemma after the season. But if he can’t go, he can’t go.

— New running back Michael Bush seems unlikely to be active. Arians said this week he’s got to learn a lot and he’s here for the “long haul.” It may be a little soon to reach that point yet.

— The Cardinals are not unaware that the Falcons have Jones and White this time. Patrick Peterson said this week he and Antonio Cromartie are ready for that kind of upscale challenge. Last year, “it definitely minimized their shock plays and how they attacked our defense (having them out),” Peterson said.

— As rough as it was for the Cardinals’ offense in Seattle last week, Arians kept saying that defense was pretty good – and then the Seahawks’ D dismantled Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense on Thanksgiving night. So maybe that was more of a reflection of the Seahawks coming around than the Cards’ offense.

— Of course, the Cardinals do have something to prove offensively this weekend, at least that it was an outlier as Arians believed. This offense was fine shredding a good Lions’ D for a quarter. It’s possible. QB Drew Stanton and company just have to pull it off.

— Kickoff is at 4 p.m. Atlanta time. So the team, unlike previous Atlanta trips, doesn’t fly out until Saturday and the players will be able to play a game on a regular body-clock kickoff of 2 p.m. That hopefully will help.

— The post-Thanksgiving stretch is where divisions are won. This is where the Cards’ road begins.

flaconsbeforeUSEW


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Posted in Blog | 45 Comments »


45 Responses to “Friday before the Falcons”

  1. By Sean on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    We posted 10 wins last year

  2. By cardinalchris on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    “Only once has the team won 10 since the franchise moved to Arizona, and that was the 10-6 mark the team posted in 2009, the year after the Super Bowl.”

    Didn’t we win 10 last year to make it twice?

  3. By Dynosoar on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    That’s a sweet photo to end the article.

  4. By Cory on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    Only one time the Cardinals have won 10 games since being in Arizona? ? Come on Darren.

  5. By Darren Urban on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    All –

    RE: 10 wins

    Yes, I deserve scorn. Totally blanked on last year. Too many side glances to college football.

  6. By Tumbleweed on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    “Only once has the team won 10 since the franchise moved to Arizona, and that was the 10-6 mark the team posted in 2009, the year after the Super Bowl.”

    Don’t forget about last year (10-6)

  7. By shannon robinson on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    I’m waiting for the news that Pass Rush Specialist Coach Tom Pratt gets a game ball!

  8. By Red Dead Redemption on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    I remember early last year, when Jay Feely choked at the Rams costing the Cardinals a big win on the road. They should have won that game, and you always want to win against a team you are supposed to beat.

    A friend of my told me, “It’s a long year, don’t read too much into that loss”.
    My gut told me that lose could end up costing the Cardinals a playoff spot.
    Guess what,That would have made us 11-5 at worst. Suddenly the matchup against the 49ers at the end of the year has a playoff birth on the line.

    This game against the Falcons has the same exact feel, except a playoff spot is not on the line for the Cardinals. But how far this team goes in the playoffs will be on the line. The Cardinals at home, have a chance to hang with and beat anyone. Going on the road to Seattle or Greenbay for the playoffs and it’s all but over for Super Bowl aspirations.

    They have to win this game, it’s life or death for this team’s chance at a division title and Super Bowl run. Yes the 49ers look beatable on the road, and I do not think many expected that. The Cardinals can beat the Rams and Chiefs as well.

    But what I learned last year was if you drop games you are supposed to win against a inferior team? Offers only dire ramifications (pun intended).
    The Cardinals even won games they were not supposed to win, like at Seattle and it still could not cancel out that early year Rams loss.

    Just ask the Broncos when they lose to the Patriots on the road in the playoffs this year, if they would like that Rams win back. Or ask the Chiefs if they would like that Raiders game back, after the Broncos laid that egg against the Rams.

  9. By Andy Kw on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    I am really excited to see Michael Bush and Jonathan Cooper in action. If Cooper does play a few reps at tight end, it will give us a glimpse into the progress he has made as guard and blocker. Bush provides us with power to run through the OL and he still has some explosiveness left in him. I really hope he plays against the Falcons, this is a good way to get him back to football shape against a soft Falcons’ defense.

  10. By Andy Kw on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    We don’t need Ray Rice on this team. He will just cause a distraction and the Cards don’t need that so please, no one should ask about this. Michael Bush is a good back and was recently signed. I’m excited to see Michael Bush in action!!!!!!!

  11. By Lee W. Flanagan on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t see any reason why they couldn’t come up with a few plays for Michael Bush. Surely he can mustle up a few yards to match what Ellington was doing. Anyone agree?

  12. By Lee W. Flanagan on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    Got my AZ CARDINALS stocking hung today. Any chance I will get 8 straight wins in there?

  13. By JohnnyBluenose on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    Fitz sits. Hopefully he can go against the Chiefs but there are too many more games to play to risk having him do serious damage to his knee vs the Falcons, a team we should beat by protecting the ball and by playing hard. It would help to get an early lead and it would also be nice to see our return game do something positive for a change. 34-13 Cardinals? Hope so.

  14. By cards62 on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    Watched the 49ers game and Seattle defense did make their offense look sick. It was like watching our game over again with Seatle. Their defense is playing well and Russell Wilson is making just enough plays.

    I think for us to get over the hump we need our special teams and several of our WR to step up during the same game for us to finish the year strong and make a run.

    Go Cards beat those Falcons

  15. By grabling on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,

    Do you think Ray RIce can be hire with the Arizona cardinals?

  16. By georgiebird on Nov 28, 2014 | Reply

    Cards were 11-3 in 1975 when the league had only 14 games

  17. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Well, at least I feel a little better about our offense’s inability to get on track vs. Seattle on the road, when SF lost by the same score — at home. SF was outgained 379-164; we were outgained 293-204.

    I was hoping SF and Seattle would split. Now that looks very unlikely.

    Hopefully Philly knocks them off next week. If not, they don’t look like they’ll lose to SF or STL at home, so they’d be at 11-4 excluding the game against us. And if that’s the case, our game against them will decide the division unless we win every one of our remaining games excluding the Seattle game (or unless we lose 3 other games). And that will be very tough.

  18. By cardsfaninatlanta on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    So easily we forget about a 10-6 record last year. I will see all my Cards fans in Arizona as we will win the super bowl this year in our own Stadium.

  19. By Chuck 1 on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    First, I want to make it clear that I hope that the Cards win the remaining regular season games and go undefeated in the playoffs.
    HOWEVER, there are two NFC teams that are playing LIGHTS OUT at the present time: the ‘Hawks’ and the Packers.
    With the way the ‘Hawks’ are playing, I find it hard to believe that the Cards will be able to beat them even with the home field advantage in the last regular season game.
    That means if the Cards lose one other game (and the ‘Hawks win out which is a strong possibility), the Cards will be relegated to a Wild Card spot.
    Trying to go to the Super Bowl in that case is unlikely.

  20. By georgiebird on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Would much rather see Michael Bush take another week and get in better football shape. If we can’t beat the 4-7 Falcons without MBush, then where are we really going this year?
    The heavy duty running that Bush does is conducive to a strain or a pulled hamstring. Let’s keep him out another week and reap the rewards of a more prepared running back. Instant gratification is all the rage.

  21. By TucsonTim on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Ray Rice or Reggie Bush…let me think on which super bowl back I’d choose. What’s that, “Michael” Bush. Oh yes, of course got to be Michael Bush cause he knows the system….what’s that, he has no idea of what our system is. uhmmmm

    Good thing a certain beloved but suspended pro bowl linebacker didn’t break bones on tape ’cause video changes everything doesn’t it?

  22. By Chuck 1 on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Add to my previous post:
    And, the reason that I doubt that the Cards will be able to beat the ‘Hawks’ and not lose one more game???: THE OFFENSE
    BA (play calling), the O-Line (inability to open running lanes), Stanton (inconsistency, staring down receivers & accuracy), Ellington (averaging about two yards/carry), & the receivers (dropping too many passes).

  23. By rick on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Darren.

    Any word on when and if Palmer will be on the side lines soon ?

  24. By Darren Urban on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Rick —

    RE: Palmer

    No I do not.

  25. By Eric G on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Not going to lie, tomorrow feels like a must win. Not so much to keep up in the standings, but this is a game the Cards can’t let go. The Falcons are terrible and this is just a game where if the Cards lose, this one will sting a whole lot. I’d love nothing more than to see this team come out and kick some behind, score at least 30 and hold Atlanta to 14 or less.

  26. By Tumbleweed on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Wasn’t trying to gang up on you Darren. We appreciate the work you put in.

    Here’s hoping the offense puts together that blowout win to pick up that super momentum! Shock the world 2.0

  27. By Scott H on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    When Arians says Bush is here for “the long haul”….what exactly does that mean??? I guess I didn’t expect him to be ready this week, but….I sure hope he is ready to go for at least SOME action against the Chiefs. Otherwise, what was he brought here for???? The need for help at RB is immediate! Again, not sure what “long haul” means.

    Cards62 –

    I was kinda thinking the same as I watched Seattle / San Fran, that it resembled the game against the Cardinals – especially the final score! But despite the same end result, the Cards WERE actually a good bit more competitive. Our D got better pressure on Wilson and got him to the ground much more effectively. The Cards also stopped Lynch much more effectively. Our offense was no work of art but we weren’t as hopeless as San Fran’s.

    The key similarities were these – FG’s are huge when you’re playing a team as good as Seattle is right now. You can limit them to FG’s, but….once they put 3 or 4 of them on the board and you haven’t been able to score at all, it starts to feel like the game is out of reach. AND no matter how effectively you might contain Wilson, he ALWAYS finds a way to keep a play alive long enough to get it down the field to the open man for that ONE big play. And that ONE play can kill you. It killed us. It killed the 49ers. Russell Wilson is just SOOOOO damn good.

    Bottom line – Seahawks 38, Cards / 49ers 6 over the last 8 quarters. THAT is cause for concern.

    Sunday has to be a win. Having the best record in the NFC right now has only put us in a position to benefit from that if we keep winning. I believe the coaches will have the team prepared and focused for this one. Atlanta should NOT be able to match the Cardinals if we are as good as we were against Detroit, Philly, Dallas. Which means we only have to be as good as we’ve been on a consistent basis. And we’ve been that good on a consistent basis because of the coaching.

    Stay the course, fellas. Just do what you do and bring this one home.

  28. By Dr. G. on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Cards Fans – – I really want to the team to score a few wins the rest of the way.

    Sorry some may not agree… Is this BA or BS? Darren opens his normally pseudo-neutral position by using “”crucial”” to describe the “now.” The time is now; every tool, trick and man that can contribute needs to participate. This stretch run begins now, not next week or so.

    Now I am beginning to believe that acquiring Bush has never been Arians’ idea. Keim had to sign off and may be encouraging BA ((against push back)) to use Bush. But that is why Keim got him. Ells needs help from Bush, Taylor, Hughes or Grice; he cannot get it done alone…esp. being dinged up. Period… “crucial”

    A lot to learn? What? Bush does not need to learn everything in the book to contribute immediately ((BA or BS)) unless he is not physically fit… How hard can it be to pick up on 4 or 5 plays especially for short bull-rush yardage? Bush can catch too.
    A. QB hands off to you and you run through that hole!
    B. QB pitches out to you and you run like a mad man! Follow a blocker.
    C. Chip block for QB & Ellington and then look for a dump out pass if not handed off.
    D. Block the Blitzer if he gets through.
    All this would take about 15 minutes to ingrain…! Give the man fair credit…

    That’s only 4 Coach BA…Fish or Cut Bait…? “CRUCIAL” & “NOW”

  29. By Dr. G. on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    What? Am I missing something? This is Darren’s exact quote:

    “”Only twice has the team won 10 since the franchise moved to Arizona, last season and the 10-6 mark the team posted in 2009, the year after the Super Bowl.””

    Did he not cover “both” 10-win seasons? Ya’ll tricked him into an apology…!

  30. By Darren Urban on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: 10 wins

    I originally omitted last year. I fixed the post.

  31. By CreditCard on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    SF looks finished.

    Atlanta game will be tough. The Cards offense looks as if it is running on 3 of the 8 cylinders. Weird shaped ball, officials that see things the rest of mankind doesn’t and mankind sees things officials don’t. All this adds up to a tight game. Again, I’m nervous — game can go either way — mostly because the Card offense has looked offensive.

  32. By Dr. G. on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Darren – – Oh, OK I know that your detail is generally impeccable…

  33. By Dr. G. on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    One more gripe Fans, and I repose for now.

    Our team is ranked #31 in running the pig skin. PREPOSTEROUS..!! Only the Raiders are worse, and not by much. If BA could read my things, he may think me a burr in the saddle. But, BA, you cannot possibly maintain the same type tactic and end up with more than 1 more win, that being tomorrow.

    You are predictable, and ineffective with the MONOTONOUS approach you have been using. You need to get into the face of opponents with the aerial ball game, and use a variety of RBs to show how good we can be. Right now you are throttling back a team that has SERIOUS OFFENSE…if only you would utilize them to their best…..

    Yours very truly… You need to hear the Scorpion story sometime very soon…!

  34. By cardinalchris on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    Just watched the coaches view of the Cardinals against Seattle last week. I have not been negative on Stanton, but it’s really hard not to be after watching that film. There were open receivers everywhere he did not see. Never looking in the right spot and never moving his eyes off his first read.

    Worse than Stanton was the play of Larsen and Veldheer. You played pathetic! HIT Someone!! You block like my Grandmother giving hugs at Christmas!!

    If Cooper can’t outplay Larsen, he’s a bust. Larsen stinks to high heaven. I’d say get Cooper in there at Center too because Sendlein spent more time going backwards than forwards.

  35. By TucsonTim on Nov 29, 2014 | Reply

    I don’t know why we would be talking about frustrating a QB who has still won on his own turf. Maybe he played badly because he didn’t take the Cardinals seriously. It could be that simple.

    I remember the Falcons basically invoking the mercy rule by taking knees when the clock guaranteed the Cards getting the ball back.

    I certainly wouldn’t take this team for granted and I sure as hell wouldn’t write articles about dominating their QB. He might be ready for a little pay back.

  36. By LadyBird04 on Nov 30, 2014 | Reply

    Was away last week and didn’t have access to ANY tv – saw the AZ-SEA game and felt sorry for our Defense…Ok they allowed 19 pts but where I all that’s holy were the offense and special teams. I’m sure it’s been said before but we have to get something going with our run game and Stanton has to get better all around, he stared down his receivers and many throws that were even completed were behind or off his receivers and almost uncatchable. I don’t know if it’s him, the receivers or the o-line. The whole group looked “off”. Okay boys, erase that from memory and please play this week like we all know you can. This offense has been low-scoring all year and if we are to go forward and get and play in the post season, we must get our whole act together.

  37. By rod on Nov 30, 2014 | Reply

    Dr G,

    How in the world can Arians open up the offense when Stanton only targets his first read? He may “know” the full offense but he sure can’t execute it.

  38. By W on Nov 30, 2014 | Reply

    Darren-

    Do you know if the Cardinals will try and make a move on ray Rice? If they aren’t, can you tell us why?

  39. By Darren Urban on Nov 30, 2014 | Reply

    W —

    RE: Rice

    Why?

    Do you have to ask that?

  40. By W on Nov 30, 2014 | Reply

    It’s a no brainer, thats why??Everyone deserves a second chance and the Cardinals deserve a Super Bowl ring. Im pretty sure our weak running game warrants , at the very least, an inquiry. Are we relying on Bush?? Hope not..

  41. By clssylssy on Nov 30, 2014 | Reply

    It’s interesting that a team like the Broncos would consider signing Richie Incognito and now there is speculation that Denver or Indianapolis might be interested in Ray Rice. Why? because this is serious BIG business and these two teams have confidence in their coaches and the stability of their locker rooms; the playoffs are almost upon us, they are weak at the position of RB and this isn’t Sunday school! Ray Rice has been an exceptional RB and when the Lombardi is at stake, apparently that out weighs any concerns about public opinion.

  42. By W on Nov 30, 2014 | Reply

    Thats right CLSSYLSSY , apperently the Cardinals aren’t in that convo. Sad because just month, we were.. Another example of how politics has ruined sports.

  43. By CreditCard on Nov 30, 2014 | Reply

    Atlanta 7-Cards 0 (1st drive — looked easy for Falcons — already in the hole)

  44. By dan on Dec 1, 2014 | Reply

    They should sign ray rice they need a better run game to win games cause there getting manhandled on the run

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