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Eagles, and Honey Badger, aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on December 21, 2015 – 1:35 am

Sunday night was a good night for the Cardinals. They dominated. They won the NFC West. They had a rookie running back rush for 187 yards and look tremendous doing it. They were happy to win the division, but know they haven’t yet accomplished what they want, which is the right mindset to have.

“We want to put banners up,” defensive tackle Frostee Rucker said. “We want to keep this thing rolling, and we’re on the right track.”

But it was hard not to see the stoic faces of both Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer after Tyrann Mathieu went down on a non-contact play late in the game, his knee buckling. Non-contact plays like that are a scary thing in this league, and when Palmer said he had already been praying for Mathieu, it shows where his head was at.

No, the Cardinals have not yet reached their goals. There are a lot of boxes left that need to be checked before/if the Cards can start thinking about a Super Bowl. It would really help if Mathieu is there to help. That answer isn’t out there yet as the Cards fly home from Philly in the middle of the night.

We’ll see.

— David Johnson was tremendous. He provided an injury scare himself late in the first half – after he had already surpassed 100 yards for the first time in his career – but came back. He said he knew he was fine, and he was. Johnson had 187 yards rushing and 229 total yards and is firmly entrenched as this team’s No. 1 running back.

— This nugget from longtime Eagles beat writer Reuben Frank: Two players have ever rushed for at least 185 yards and three touchdowns in a game against the Eagles. David Johnson Sunday night … and Jim Brown.

— What was it with the drops? From jump, when Smokey Brown dropped what should have been a 78-yard touchdown on the game’s first play, it was something that receiving group never does. Brown ended up with three drops – including one in the end zone – and Michael Floyd had a couple himself. Bruce Arians said it should’ve been a big game for Brown. (There were about three other deep shots to Brown that just didn’t connect.)

— The Cardinals wanted to get better in short yardage and self-scouted to do so. Sunday night, the Cardinals had third down/goal to go and either one or two yards to make nine times. They passed it four times and ran it five – and they converted all nine attempts.

— A.Q. Shipley did a nice job in replacing the gimpy Lyle Sendlein at center.

— Two hardest hits of the night: New safety D.J. Swearinger hammering tight end Zack Ertz to prevent a completion in the first quarter to force a field goal, and tight end Troy Niklas, who accidentally belted punt returner Patrick Peterson hard enough that Peterson fumbled. Niklas jumped on the ball to save the play.

— Well, it’s very late. The attention is starting to wane, so I’m going to cut this off. The Cardinals may be 12-2, but they haven’t wrapped up a bye yet, and the team chasing them comes to town this week. Packers-Cardinals is a pretty good game, no?

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Posted in Blog | 15 Comments »


15 Responses to “Eagles, and Honey Badger, aftermath”

  1. By Scott H on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    While I didn’t notice the stoic faces of Palmer of Fitz, I DID notice how serious Mathieu looked as he was walking into the tunnel. You get used to players giving a smile or a thumbs-up to the camera or the crowd if they think they’re OK. He looked like he was walking OK, but….he was looking nowhere but down and he looked kinda concerned. Gulp.

    Let’s at least hope it is something that he might only miss a few weeks for.

    WHY WAS HE STILL IN THE GAME AT THAT POINT??? The Eagles were NOT going to stage a comeback, down 40-17 with 2 minutes left!

  2. By Darren Urban on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Still in the game

    You wouldn’t have asked this if he hadn’t gotten hurt. And why wouldn’t you ask the same of Peterson? Or Campbell? Or Iupati?

    You have 46 active on game day. Rashad was already inactive. Someone has to play.

  3. By JohnnyBluenose on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    All I want for Christmas is a healthy Honey Badger.

  4. By clssylssy on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    Well, we won the West by decisive numbers and got past a team that has historically been a burr but, it seems the Seahawks are still managing to steal our thunder & are considered “the only team who will be unable to topple the Panthers in the West”…guess now we’ll need to correct that misperception! After watching some pretty good games yesterday, it’s obvious that defenses DO win championships and ours just didn’t look that impressive with Rashard’s absence painfully obvious and now Tyrann’s injury….cause for worry as we enter this most intense period of the year. Was glad we added DJ Swearinger but still need to close up those massive holes, and get more pressure on the QB. Thought Deone Bucannon was the quiet hero of the game & did a stellar job locking down Sproles, who could have been the game changer. This isn’t the first time we’ve had problems with “drops” nor players running into each other and so their remains a bunch of “details” that need correcting if we are to get to the next level but for a day we can savor reaching the 12/2 mark & be proud of the new banner to hang in Uof P Stadium! But, miles to go…. CONGRATS CARDS !

  5. By joe holst on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    I think he tore something but will brace up and play at half speed and make some huge play to help them win a game. They are facing 2 monsters in GB and Seattle and the offense is going to have score in the 40’s. I hope John Brown corrects his dropping issue last night.

  6. By Canadian Redbird on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    Darren;

    In your opinion, would it not be a wise decision to at least investigate bringing in a new punter for a trial. I get that you don’t want to mess with the team chemistry, however last night was just another indication of where Butler got outperformed at that key position. I keep getting flash backs of last year’s punting debacle in the playoff game against Carolina.

    Secondly, why would we not consider having JJ back returning punts vs. PP. There were several times where the situation presented room to return the punt and provide us with better field position and he called for a fair catch.

    PP is a hell of a CB but can he keep it at that. Some of his side line antics last night reminded me of Richard Sherman. I get that he’s having fun and staying loose but there is a limit. Maybe he should take a page out of Fitz’s playbook on how to carry himself on the football field.

    Merry Christmas Darren and Card fans !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. By Marife on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    I love my Cards! I always pray no injury for the Cardinals before the game and other team as well. I hope Mathieu is gonna be ok and everyone that are injured. Go Cards and thank you for the joyous season! Wishing you all good health!

  8. By Robert on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    he went down on non contact just like Palmer did last year. He didn’t look happy walking off the field. I mean i watcfh 20 plus years of cardinal games on the east coast being on the other end of these kind of games, and almost never would i think i would see an empty home field stadium with time remaining in the game, then honey badger went down. I had an early meeting this am but stayed up almost all night trying to get updates. He IS the glue and guts of that defense. Like Palmer, i prayed for his health. We don’t get many shots at Super Bowls and we were this close a few years back. BA should have pulled him, PP and Campbell just like he pulled Palmer at the end.

  9. By Scott H on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    Darren –

    I hear you, but NOT entirely correct. I was also asking why DJ was still carrying the ball so late in the game. And we DO have other RB’s. And while I was glad to see Palmer come back and look to be throwing OK, he didn’t NEED to be back out there, either.

    Yeah, my angst this morning is because Matthieu got hurt. But I was asking the general question about starters still being out there while the game was still going on. I would have asked about that this morning whether someone got hurt or not.

  10. By Darren Urban on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Mathieu

    I get it. But with 46 active on game days, guys have to play.

  11. By Scott H on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    Darren –

    As always, sir….you speak nothing but the truth. Do we know when we might hear something about the MRI?

  12. By Steve B on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    Hoping the best for Matthieu! And I thought Plamer may have injured a finger. Not sure if that was his throwing hand?

  13. By Richard S on Dec 21, 2015 | Reply

    Good to see Frostee back on the field. Get well soon Honey Badger, hope you can stick around to help coach your teammates as you always seem to be in the right place, like you know what the offense is doing and I’m not sure if the team has a more sure-thing tackler. Well I guess we found out like the natives in Hawaii when Captain Cook returned, John Brown is not a God. He’s flesh and bones. I couldn’t believe when he dropped that bomb as he’s been perfect all year. Like Chris Collinsworth said I’ve never seen that before.

  14. By Eazy E on Dec 22, 2015 | Reply

    Boy that was a mismatch! We flew much higher!

    QB:

    Carson had a solid game going 20-32, 274 yards, 1 TD, and NO INTS! I’m glad his finger is ok because we don’t need 2 Major injuries(more on that later). He is in the MVP race..

    RB:

    David had a monstrous game with 29 carries, 187 yards, and 3 TDs! I wished they had got him to 200 yards though. He also caught 4 passes for 42 yards and had 229 yards total! He has 12 total TDs on the season and may get a couple votes for Offensive Rookie of The Year although Jameis deserves the award. Kerwynn even had a nice game with 6 carries for 34 yards and even Stepfan added 2 carries for 11 yards. I can’t wait until Chris and Andre comes back then we’ll have the whole crew back!

    WR/TE:

    Our receivers mostly had modest games with Larry catching 3 passes for 43 yards, Mike had 5 for 70 with a beautiful diving catch with one hand that was sensational, John actually had an uneven game because he had 3 catches for 38 yards and a nice TD, but dropped a legitimate 3 balls that could have made his day HUGE! Darren caught 3 passes for 54 yards and dragged Byron Maxwell about 15-20 yards and that looked impressive! Jaron caught a pass for 15 also.

    OL:

    I thought our O-Line blocked well both pass and run-wise. Especially the run racking up 230 yards rushing and while Carson took some shots, he was relatively clean especially with Lyle active, but injured!

    DL:

    Our D-Line shut down their running game completely(What The Heck Are They Doing With DeMarco? I live in Dallas and he was a beast, but Chip is just being ultra petty with him, but…) Ed Stinson is playing well in spurts and almost had him a safety sack. Calais, Frostee recovering that fumble, Rodney, Red are just doing their jobs at a high level! We have to get more consistent pressure and at times sacks, but pressures are most important! Josh Mauro had a nice game with 4 total tackles and a nice strip of Mathews.

    LB:

    Our LBs we’re on it also. Okafor hasn’t gotten going since the injury sack-wise, but still is playing the run well and had 3 tackles. Golden is coming along well with 4 tackles and a nice sack beating easily one of the best tackles in the game in Jason Peters! Minter collected another 6 tackles and just looks a lot better this year(Thanks Dr. J!) and Deone was a beast with 11 tackles and a pick-six.

    DB:

    Patrick was having too much fun out there, routinely messing with the Eagle fans and easily shutting down anybody in green in front of him. I did think Bettcher should have put him on Matthews from the jump because although he isn’t a true #1, he is their #1 and he had a heck of a game! Not on Peterson, but still.. Jerraud made some plays and had 4 tackles. I loved how Jefferson played with his 6 tackles and Swearinger with his 3 tackles and recovering a fumble. I really feel for my brotha Tyrann though! Torn ACL on his other knee sucks! Gosh he was playing so well along with Rashad. Our safeties we’re both elite this year(Mathieu & Johnson) and the Honey Badger had his name firmly entrenched in the Defensive Player of The Year Category with the likes of Patrick Peterson, Josh Norman, Luke Kuechly, Richard Sherman, Darrelle Revis, etc.! I was praying for him too, but when it kind of buckled and he almost instantly fell down like straight, I didn’t think the worst because I’m a positive guy, but unfortunately it wasn’t good. He is so irreplaceable and he makes so many plays for us! This type of injury can keep you from beating if we meet them like a Carolina, I’ll still root for them of course, but you need all your guns in the NFC with Seattle also, Minnesota that we beat, but their a good team, etc…. Come on back Honey Badger even hungrier if possible…

    ST:

    Chandler is a elite kicker, but he be tripping on the extra points like a lot of kickers these days, my God!

    Green Bay next is going to be a doozy! NFC West Champions!!!

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