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Bengals aftermath, with more dancing

Posted by Darren Urban on November 23, 2015 – 12:55 am

There was more dancing for the Cardinals on a Sunday night. It doesn’t look like it’ll go viral, but that doesn’t mean that Smokey Brown’s post-TD celebration didn’t harken back to Drew Stanton’s shimmy-heard-round-the-world from last week.

“I had to bring it back,” Brown said. “I was in a little competition with Drew, but I didn’t want to tell him. I had to get my fans back.”

This is how it works when you win. Brown is still hurting with his bad hamstring, but he had three catches (and two jet sweeps) against the Bengals, and said his leg doesn’t hurt as much now as it did in Seattle. Winning always helps the pain. The Cardinals didn’t have Michael Floyd, but no worries, J.J. Nelson steps in with four catches for 142 yards and this team’s receiving depth is just underscored again.

Part of that is the quarterback, of course. Carson Palmer threw two bad first-quarter interceptions, and he knew it. But at the end of the night, he had four touchdown passes, and that doesn’t include the cool-as-a-cucumber, less-than-a-minute-left field-goal drive that he deftly orchestrated. That is why this team has so much faith in Palmer (and why I’m left shaking my head at the few fans who seem ready to hammer him with any early mistake.) It’s hard to believe any team who wouldn’t want him right now. Maybe the Patriots. The Panthers. Probably the Packers. Everyone else? They could use CP3.

Meanwhile, this team is 8-2 and opened the brutal second-half schedule with two wins against two playoff-worthy teams.

— It was a breakout night for the draft class. Markus Golden had a strip-sack. Nelson was great. Rodney Gunter had a sack. David Johnson had a TD catch. This is the time of year the Cardinals will need those guys.

— It would not be good, with Cory Redding down, if Frostee Rucker’s ankle injury kept him out. Rucker has been fantastic this season. But the hold-the-breath moment has to be with cornerback Patrick Peterson. No way to know how bad he’s hurt, and he wasn’t around to talk after. He’s having by far his best season as a cornerback. As much as there is belief in Justin Bethel, an extended Peterson absence would be bad news.

— I totally understand the Bengals not being happy with the final unsportsmanlike penalty call for barking the cadence. But I also like that they threw in that it shouldn’t have come to that. Way too easy for the Cards to complete three long passes in that situation. Palmer-to-Fitz seemed like the obvious go-to, yet twice it got big yards.

— Linebacker Kevin Minter was mad at himself for how Bengals running back Gio Bernard got off for 128 yards on eight catches. Minter said he should have played better technique in coverage. But that’s definitely a matchup that does not favor the Cardinals, technique or no.

— The Bengals had allowed exactly 10 points in each of their previous three games. The Cardinals scored 34, 10 more than the worst Cincinnati defensive performance previous this season.

— Getting Chandler Catanzaro a game-winning kick for the first time (pictured below) will be helpful down the road. A miss wouldn’t have meant a loss, necessarily, but that’s the first time Cat-Man has had to do that, and experience matters.

— Two exciting, nationally televised games in a row, both wins. Now comes a road game in San Francisco, against a struggling 49ers team and Blaine Gabbert. This week the story will be about not letting down, because the Cardinals will be heavy favorites.

“Bruce will tell us we haven’t done anything yet,” Palmer said. “I know that’s coming. He’s keeping us grounded, which is exactly what a great had coach does.”

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Posted in Blog | 20 Comments »


20 Responses to “Bengals aftermath, with more dancing”

  1. By JohnS on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Not sure what you’re talking about by “I totally understand the Bengals not being happy with the final unsportsmanlike penalty call for barking the cadence” on the calling the cadence call. If you watch the telecast the announcers did a good job showing the ref was very close and could hear what was happening and knew it immediately. They said it was the right call no question at all. You could also read BA’s lips and he knew it too. As far as I’m concerned they tried cheating and got what they deserved.

  2. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    If our O-lineman hadn’t jumped, then there’s no issue. But since he did jump, it had to be called either a false start or a penalty on the defense. And a false start would’ve ended regulation (notwithstanding the fact that Al & Chris totally forgot this point on TV, since they were just saying it would’ve been a longer FG — clock was running so there would’ve been a run-off, and there were only 6 seconds so the Cards wouldn’t have even had the chance to try a kick).

    Credit the refs for making the right call in a tough situation. The Bengals may not like the call, but I haven’t heard Peko deny that he was doing exactly what the penalty was called for. All I’ve heard him say is, he’s never seen the call made.

    That said, if you’re a lineman, why would you ever move on a play where we’re spiking the ball? There really isn’t any need to block anyone. Just tell yourself, no matter what the defense does, I’m going to stand here in my stance like a statute until I hear the whistle blow ending the play.

    Some fans will probably complain about getting too conservative with a lead, but some of those same fans are the ones who complain when we go for chunk plays on 3rd and 2.

    Bengals mismanaged the end of the game, leaving too much time on the clock for us. There was no reason for them to rush once they got as close as they did.

    Wasn’t real happy about Arians throwing the challenge flag in the 4th quarter… seemed like the runner’s knee was clearly down… certainly wasn’t going to be overturned in our favor. It wasn’t so much that it was our last timeout, as the fact that it meant we were without any challenges for the rest of the game. If a critical call had gone against us later (but before the 2 minute warning), we’d have been screwed. Kinda like last week when he used up the last challenge on a big pileup where there was almost no chance of a review revealing anything.

  3. By Darren Urban on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Kevin S —

    RE: Peko deny

    Actually, he did deny it: http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Cardinals-Adjust-Without-Patrick-Peterson/9bf5c07b-76ae-497c-a6d1-f13362522d3a

  4. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    I’ve been following the Cards since 1976 and I haven’t seen many wins more impressive than the last two weeks in primetime, primarily because of this team’s resiliency and ability to deal with adversity. This is the best team the Cards have had in a long, long time.

    Gutsy performances by Iupati, and great play by the OL.

    Just so happy for Fitz. He’s showing the nation why the Cards kept him.

    Great game by JJ, but we also missed Floyd and need to resign him.

    Just so proud to be a Cardinals fan this morning. GREAT JOB TEAM!

  5. By Scott H on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Darren –

    I think we all know / understand how important Palmer is and there is always confidence ( for me ) in his capabilities. But I’m shaking my head at YOUR shaking your head at the concern there was for his early game mis-fires night. Because they WERE what-was-he-thinking throws. And it’s not like no one else noticed. The broadcast crew was scratching their heads, too. Seemed like BA was, too. That doesn’t mean we were ready to “hammer” him for his early mistakes. If Brady starts a game like that, I don’t think the general early reaction is any different. It’s what fans do. It’s not like I turned off the TV in a huff and went to bed after the first quarter….

    ….and good thing I didn’t! Because that 3rd quarter performance was worth sticking around for. Wow, talk about a man ( Palmer, of course ) on a mission! Since I made reference to Brady above, I’ll do it again here because the focus and intent to destroy that Palmer in the 2nd half were 2015 Brady-esque as well. I found it kinda ridiculous that one of the TV crew made a reference to Palmer possibly being a little off due to “missing” Floyd. Because that showed NO recognition of how well Palmer has been playing all year ( early game mistakes and all ), with or without Floyd. Palmer has been rolling since week one. Floyd didn’t start to roll until mid-October.

    Good point, Darren, that it was a very good night for the draft class. GREAT night for Nelson. Not sure if the 2nd Palmer INT was on him or not, but….if yes, he more than made up for it.

    Fitz just keeps rolling, himself. His willingness to embrace this new role is paying dividends. Nothing shy of amazing that he has adopted this new role, which calls for so much more blocking, yet also re-established himself as one of THE truly elite WR’s in the game at the same time. At the age of 32.

    Bengals fans have to be in agony over the penalties this morning, but….not like they were getting bad calls they didn’t deserve. Heck, the Cards hurt themselves plenty with some 3rd down penalties that kept the Bengals on the field.

    Great to have stayed ahead of the Seahawks by 3 games. I take nothing from them beating up on the 49ers yesterday. The extent to which the Cardinals have surpassed the Seahawks – simply by staying healthy – is becoming apparent to everyone at this point.

    More later.

  6. By Brad on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    I hope Powers does plenty of tackling practice this week, and finds another gear in speed, it was scary how many times he got beat in this game either in coverage or missed tackles, not like him hope he can turn it around

  7. By sherrie savage on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    so happy for our team,way to go cardinals.keep it up.you will always be #1 with me

  8. By Big Ken on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    I was worried JJ Nelson was a track star trying to be a football player, not gonna make it. Boy was I wrong.

  9. By Canadian Redbird on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Great win for the Cards, love to see the peanut butter and jelly dance by JB. Darren, are you aware of what the Bengals did to receive the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with 30 secs left. Initially I thought that we were guilty of a procedure. Thx.

  10. By Darren Urban on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Canadian —

    RE: Final penalty call

    We covered it here http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Cardinals-Win-Another-Primetime-Thriller/648f182b-f902-4eb5-8fe8-2c1f736785f9

    and here http://www.azcardinals.com/news-and-events/article-2/Cardinals-Adjust-Without-Patrick-Peterson/9bf5c07b-76ae-497c-a6d1-f13362522d3a.

  11. By clssylssy on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    I don’t know why the Bengals would be upset over the Unsportsmanlike Conduct call,when you try to cheat with a ref standing behind you and get caught,the best thing to do is accept that the desperation misdeed was caught and it wasn’t worth the penalty, but DON’T try to create far fetched excuses! On the other hand, it should never have gotten to a tie game in the first place, and was hardly one of our better showings. The depth of this team is amazing and, I think, a huge surprise to others around the league–how thrilling for JJ and the other young guys getting their “firsts” on primetime! Nonetheless, as it has been pointed out, Carson didn’t take advantage of his best weapon, Fitzgerald, at times when he could have, and likely would have alleviated some of our problems. Every week Fitz provides unbelievable support quietly doing the dirty work which makes him all the more remarkable in this day’s NFL–so proud he wears a Cardinals uniform!
    Our defense seems to get the job done while flying by the seat of their pants (which are getting a little thin) and seems rather porous when attempting to dial up the heat on opposing QBs, allowing some big plays that have hurt us repeatedly. It seems that SK still hasn’t found the answer to replacing DW but the addition of Dwight Feeney has helped to some extent. Props to Frostee Rucker who also has been a quiet hero.
    Don’t know if anyone else is paying attention, but, I see the Rams have added Joe Flaaco to their QB hit list, and hope we can do a REAL good job of protecting Carson when we go to St.Louis in a few weeks. It’s not like we don’t know what to expect with their dirty deeds!
    This game was more of a nail biter than it needed to be and at this point, I have to wonder how we would do against the Panthers? But, for now, we have to focus on the 9ers, and hope that we don’t fall because we underestimated them. All teams rise from the dead when playing a Division Rival! Go Cards!

  12. By Chuck 1 on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Kudos to Butler for some big boots and getting the ball out quickly.

    On the last drive (in 50 seconds), kudos to the offensive (for protecting Palmer), BA( for his play calling),and Palmer (for throwing darts on target).

    I realize that Powers is injured, but Keim needs to find a replacement in Free Agency. Powers has been and is getting burned.

    Keim also needs to find a taller Safety or Corner to cover TEs. Honey Badger is doing the best he can, but isn’t big enough..

  13. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Thanks Darren. Yeah, I saw your article (and one on SB Nation) later. The first articles I saw, he was just quoted as saying he had never seen that call made before, but he wasn’t actually denying that he was trying to disrupt the cadence.

    Regardless, the fact that there were Cardinals pointing at him as soon as the whistle blew… seems pretty clear to me something fishy was going on.

  14. By erik on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    I agree with Brad. I hope Powers starts to focus a bit more. But, unfortunately, I think the fact is he is not as physically gifted as most of the WR he faces. I’m glad they put Bethel back on Green at the end of the game. I think the only big plays Green made were when Powers was guarding him. Powers has actually been giving up plays for weeks now. I know we have four DBs set to be free agents this offseason (Bethel, Jefferson, Johnson, and Powers). In my mind, the three we should try and keep are pretty clear.

    But I am not here to complain. The Cardinals won another amazing game against a great opponent! So happy to see the young guys step up. If they stay healthy, the Cardinals are EASILY the best team in the NFC. Not even worried about Carolina. GO CARDS!

  15. By tkm on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    —I just want to say I have been critical of the punting and would have had no problem with butler being let go ,but he stepped up big time last night and I thought if I can be negative about him at times I should also be positive when it calls for it.thought he did a great job last night.

  16. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Clssylssy —

    I know from reading your posts how much you love Fitz, but I don’t understand your comment: “Carson didn’t take advantage of his best weapon, Fitzgerald, at times when he could have, and likely would have alleviated some of our problems.”

    Fitz had 8 receptions, twice as many as any other player on the team. He had 13 targets by himself; all other receivers and backs combined had 17. And he had two of the three receptions on the final drive.

    How much more do you expect us to throw the ball to him, then we already did?

  17. By Matt W. on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Darren,

    If the Cardinals win against the 49ers and the Seahawks lose to the Steelers, would that clinch the Division for us?

    Thank you.

  18. By Darren Urban on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Matt W —

    RE: Clinch

    It would not.

  19. By Richard S on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    The Rams took out another QB this week and ignored the concussion of their own QB. I hope the line is healthy enough when the Cardinals go back and play them. The Cards don’t need a repeat of last year.

  20. By Perry matherne on Nov 23, 2015 | Reply

    Dear arizona,great work team,just carry out orders from coach bruce,he’s been there,done that.

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