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Seahawks aftermath, before the bye

Posted by Darren Urban on January 3, 2016 – 8:06 pm

It was ugly yes, and whether Bruce Arians did indeed see it coming, I’m not sure there is a way to stem that mindset the Cardinals played with Sunday against the Seahawks. It wasn’t anything like the team had played like all season – not like the losses to the Rams and the Steelers, even though they were sluggish in those too.

Larry Fitzgerald said the game reminded him of the Packers finale at the end of the 2009 season, also a home game in which the Cards were hammered because there was nothing to play for, also as the Cards prepared to go into the playoffs (I tweeted the same during today’s game.)

But you know what game this really reminded me of, after it was over: The lost trip to New England in 2008. At least in 2009, coach Ken Whisenhunt had basically said the Cardinals were going to pull back if they had nothing to play for. But that trip to New England, it was messy because the players simply weren’t ready to play, didn’t want to play, didn’t want to be in the snow. They lost 47-7, and they were called the worst playoff team ever, and we know how that turned out.

I’m not saying that’s exactly what happened Sunday, because I believe this current team is stronger mentally than the 2008 squad. But the Cards didn’t show up against the Seahawks, like they didn’t against the Patriots, and it means, well, not a whole lot, really.

If the Cards were to be upset in their first playoff game, it won’t be because they lost against the Seahawks in the Week 17 game. This team has proven it is very good, and potentially great. For all the chest-pounding some of the Seahawks were doing after the game, they just lost to the Rams at home themselves.

Not the way you want to finish. But as Carson Palmer said, there is no panic, and talking with the veterans, it’s not just a brave face. This team understands they must do better. But they are not worried.

(UPDATE: Here’s the playoff info.)

— There were a couple of bright spots. OK, bright moments. Dwight Freeney got his eighth sack. The Cardinals finally had an opponent miss a field goal for the first time all season (which is unbelievable).

— And there were some record breakers. Smokey Brown surpassed 1,000 yards receiving, finishing with 1,003 on the season (although it was Smoke that was Richard Sherman’s target of his taunting penalty, which Sherman said was to mime Brown going to sit on the bench  — not a faux pulling his pants down.) Fitzgerald broke his own team record for receptions in a season (he finished with 109 catches). Palmer broke the franchise record for passing yards in a season (4,671).

— Some other cool numbers took a beating – the point differential, the defensive rankings – but no one will care if the Cardinals go on to win a Super Bowl. No one will really care if they don’t, in the end.

— Special teams reared its ugly head, whether it was the punt coverage on Tyler Lockett or a fifth missed extra point by Chandler Catanzaro. Catanzaro missed a field goal as well.

— After all that, the Cardinals seemed to come out pretty healthy. Center Lyle Sendlein limped off late – Bruce Arians said it was a bone bruise of some kind – but Palmer is OK, as are the top guys. Plus there is two weeks to get ready.

— That’s all for now. There’s two weeks to talk about the next game. And not much to say about this one.

AfterSeaBLOG


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Posted in Blog | 42 Comments »


42 Responses to “Seahawks aftermath, before the bye”

  1. By azjam on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    I was at the game and just couldn’t get excited as it was really a meaningless game. It reminded me of a preseason game. I was just happy that Palmer was pulled at half time. Bottom line is we will do fine in the playoffs when everything is on the line!!

  2. By NJAzCardsFan on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Darren- I think (hope) you hit nail on the head when you compared this game to the 2009 loss to the Packers at the end of the regular season., The Cards didn’t seem really into it. BA seems smart enough having beat the Seahawks at home not to give away any game planning when they have to face these guys again in the playoffs…..

    Would you talk to have Fitz and have him please teach John Brown how catch a football with his hands instead of using his forearms…..

    I am glad to see the Cards had no major injuries……

  3. By Chuck 1 on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    By Darren:

    …”But the Cards didn’t show up against the Seahawks, like they didn’t against the Patriots, and it means, well, not a whole lot, really.”

    MY RESPONSE:: Well, it does mean a whole lot, really, when the ‘Hawks came into the Cards’ stadium and kicked their ass (when it took a late drive to barely beat the ‘Hawks in Seattle)..

    …”This team has proven it is very good, and potentially great”…

    MY RESPONSE: A team that’s GREAT doesn’t lose 36-6 to anyone anywhere.

    …”Not the way you want to finish. But as Carson Palmer said, there is no panic, and talking with the veterans, it’s not just a brave face. This team understands they must do better. But they are not worried.”

    MY RESPONSE: Teams that lose by a score of 36-6 in their home stadium to teams that have won two recent Super Bowls SHOULD be worried.

    “— Special teams reared its ugly head, whether it was the punt coverage on Tyler Lockett or a fifth missed extra point by Chandler Catanzaro. Catanzaro missed a field goal as well.”

    MY RESPONSE: Butler out-kicked his coverage, apparently trying to increase his yards -per-kick. Why not kick it out of bounds when Lockett is back there?
    The Cat Man is so good on PATs that Keim should probably extend his contract. Have any other kickers missed as many or more PATs than him?

    “— That’s all for now. There’s two weeks to talk about the next game. And not much to say about this one.”

    WHAT IS TO SAY IS: The Cards are toast if they have to face the ‘Hawks or the Panthers in the playoffs.

    Bottom line: The Cards proved today that they’re not Super bowl contenders this year unless a couple of miracles occur.

  4. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Chuck 1 —

    RE: Miracles

    Impressive to see you threw out 15 previous games in favor of one.

    Will the Cards win the Super Bowl? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Is your post an overreaction? There’s no debate.

    P.S. Then I looked at Larry’s post and realized you aren’t the only one.

  5. By Larry on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Cardinals have zero chance of going far in the playoffs. After today, Seattle proved it.

  6. By Daniel Thompson on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Smoke and Mirrors needs to learn how to catch a football.

  7. By Andrew on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Has there been an announcement as to when single game tickets for the playoffs will go on sale to the public?

    Can someone attach a link if there’s been a release about this? Thanks!

  8. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Andrew —

    RE: Playoffs tix

    Tickets TBA.

  9. By georgiebird on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    No reason to replay the game today. Per BA, it was a wake up call. But here’s the most important part of today- Seahawks are the #6 seed and will play at Minnesota. If Seattle wins they play Carolina. If Seattle loses – they’re no longer in the picture.
    This does not excuse the way the Cards played today-Cards played smaller and slower than the Seahawks. Today was a day the Cards could have used tough guys like Q and DD. Thankfully, the Cards will get another tough guy back In M. Golden.

  10. By Steve on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Gotta give the Cards a mulligan for this game, they had nothing to play for and knew it. I believe we will play the Redskins here in 2 weeks to kick off our tournament!

  11. By Patrick on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    In Yuma, they switched the game to Broncos/chargers early in 3rd quarter because the game was out of reach. State of football does not include yuma?
    I liked how dj swearinger was flying around giving 100%.
    This game reminded me of last years Seahawks game. Just a blow out at home.

  12. By kauaicardsfan on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Following the Cards for so long, usually we would be wondering if we would have a new coach on Black Monday at this point of the season. For us to have a bye in the playoffs just shows we have a great team and a great coach. This will be an ugly taste just because its a division game and we looked totally bad at home but we all know this team will show up in the Playoffs and today’s game is a good reminder of not crowing ourselves to early!
    This has been a magical season! Now its time to refocus and get that Trophy!!
    GO CARDS!!!!

  13. By Cards Fan in Wyoming on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Welker’s snow angel still pisses me off!!

  14. By CARDS62 on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    13-3 I think we will all take every year.
    Hate losing to Seattle but the only 3 teams I fear in the playoffs are Seattle, Carolina, and our special teams that are not special at all. Good news is we will only have to play one of those teams, Seattle or Carolina. We just can not tackle their QBs.
    My biggest concern is our special teams as they normally get out played every week.Small margins of victory in playoffs. Cat not dependable and can not consistently kickoff deep enough. Our kickoff and punt return teams do nothing and Bethel is great on coverage, but we need much more. Butler has always scared me. This is our best team since I followed the Cardinals for 44 years so will hate to see us not win the Super Bowl because of special teams.

    Darren how did Golden hurt his knee, and can you provide updates?

    Go Cards

  15. By Darren Urban on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Cards62 —

    RE: Golden

    Bruised knee against Packers. I expect him back for the playoffs.

  16. By mal on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    After being so mentally tough thru that long grind of a season, a let-up in a meaningless game should be no concern. This was just a pre-season game for the play-offs.

    We’ve seen how they bounce back after a loss — like winning 9 straight. Now all they need to do is win 3 straight.

    This playoff seeding has worked out about as sweet as possible. Minn, the Pack, and Wash dont seem too scary.

    If we see Seattle again, it will be a home game becuz they have knocked off Carolina for us. Or if we have to travel to Carolina, then that will mean Seattle is gone.

    I think this Cards team is perfectly positioned, and poised to light it up.

  17. By Todd Olson on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    The Cardinals are always underdogs somehow – I think this plays right into the normal media and fan mojo. If I remember right when we beat Seattle at their house the last 2 years I think Carson threw how many interceptions to Seattle – and we STILL BEAT THEM.

  18. By georgiebird on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Cards don’t match up well against the ‘hawks. If Cards play well and Seattle plays poorly, then Cards can squeak out a victory. If Cards play poorly and Seattle play well then its a slaughter.
    But in the history of sports, there’s always a team that has your number. Lately it’s been Giants giving the Patriots headaches when the Pats should walk over them.
    Cards shouldn’t let this game defeat them but rather use it as a learning tool or as BA calls it “a wake up call”. .
    If we play Seattle again we should be better prepared,. If we don’t play Seattle again, then it’s a trip to Carolina.
    Horses for courses.

  19. By Scott from Aus on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    Being a long term Cards fan you can’t help but be a pessimist. Today however didn’t fool me and thought the performance/output was exactly as per expected for a team thinking long term. Couldn’t care less we lost to Seattle at home in a meaningless game. Anyone that judges the cards on this game is the fool, especially if they themselves claim to be a fan.

  20. By GG on Jan 3, 2016 | Reply

    I was at the game today and felt we were flat from the get go. From the very first play guys were lining up in the wrong spots and just didn’t seem to have their heads in. With not a lot to play for it makes sense, I’m sure they’ll remember all the trash talking the Seahawks were doing when they built a lead. I feel as though it’s nothing to worry about and would love to play them again with something on the line. All of you cardinals fans that are saying we’ll be one and done in the playoffs must be the same ones wearing packer jerseys last week. I didn’t know they gave out rings and hung banners for week 17 victories. Still have a lot of faith in the NFC Champs and can’t help but think an ass whippin going into playoffs will be good for us.

  21. By Paysonazstan on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    Arizona Cardinals have had a boogieman under their bed for a few years and it comes from Seattle.Cardinal fans know it but hate to admit it they will be fine unless,the boogieman returns to AZ

  22. By Craig & Enda on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    This game hurt me real bad, why? Because it was a big loss against the damn Seahawks. Once you get over that you look at it and realise that our key players came through with 2 week layoff to prep and iron out the wrinkles. It kills me that we didn’t play hard enough to be the seahawks, we proved we are more than a match by nearing them and their 12th man earlier in the season, we jut got wooped last night. I think we’ll miss honey badger more than BA will give credit to, but I’m confident that were heading to a championship game against the Panthers. The real showdown of the NFC that counts

  23. By Cardinal's Chick on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    Ok, that game sucked…and I spent all of the 1st half being an angry fan. But, I was also watching the Carolina game at the same time…and it became clear very quickly that there was no point to continue the battle with the Seachickens…risking injury, etc…to play for what? Pride? I hate that of all teams we lost to the one with that loud mouf Sherman. But I’m not ready to throw in the towel like Larry or Chuck1. I definitely expect to see a playoff ready Cardinal’s unit on the field January 16th. Card’s just had their wake up call…now let’s see what they do with it.

  24. By Cards fan tx on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    Wow the overreacting on here is insane, cardinals have been one of the best teams this year,you could Clearly see the cardinals didn’t don’t care nor prepare for this game,come playoffs your gonna see the same cardinals team that’s been dominant for most of the season, honestly I don’t see seattle getting thru the playoffs this year either

  25. By Marlin on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    I did like BA said. DID NOT sell my tix to yesterday’s game. Showed up loud and proud. Where were the Cardinals?

  26. By Marlin on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    Chuck, Larry……….you guys are obviously Seahawks fans. Get a Life!

  27. By Dr H on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    It’s still a win since no one got hurt.

  28. By jeff ford on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    well this one was ugly and it was clear that hawks felt they had to prove something. mite b cause i really dont like them but seemed like they took every opportunity to get in extra hits. once again they showed how classless they r…shermans…sure looked to me like he was miming pulling his pants down…maybe, maybe not but seeing him and carroll laughing together about it. really.

  29. By 70sCardFan on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    A good loss. If there is such a thing. No key players injured,Injured players didnt need to play,Over confidence out the window,Most likely a dinged up team coming to town for 1st playoff game. Barring a natural disaster things look pretty good for a 1st round playoff win. Bets are off after that.

  30. By Daniel Perez on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    Chuck 1:

    You are definitely overreacting to a loss in a meaningless game. Cards had no chance to better their position with the Panthers winning. Yes it sucks to lose to the Seahawks at home but the Cardinals already beat them when it mattered in their house.

    As for your “no GREAT team loses 36-6 anywhere”. The defending Super Bowl champs were smashed last year by the Chiefs 41-14 and there was talk that Brady was done. We all know how that ended.

  31. By SmoothCARD_GA on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    I…. am…. NOT…. WORRIED!!!! And none of the fans should be. Don’t get clouded up in a meanless game for us. If anything I ABSOLUTELY think the is a plus for us in the long term, a springboard even. Sometimes it better to go in to the post season knowing that you arent invincible rather than just the expectation that you can walk over teams, because in the playoffs teams will be willing to pullout all their tricks and our squad somehow plays better when its angry. I want coach to use all the press clippings from this game…. because when we see them again….

    We… wont be…. concerned… anymore….

  32. By joe 67 on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    EVERY TEAM in the league has laid at least one egg this year. Seattle lost to Rams last week. Look at New England losing to MIAMI yesterday. Go right on down the line. I guess it was our turn. Need a few corrections. We will be fine. Need to win AT LEAST ONE PLAYOFF GAME this year. But I really think we can do much better than that.

    Cards 62: I agree. Our special teams have not been good all year. Adequate most of the time, but sure are far from being great or even good.t. Need to make a change there for next season. (To late for this season, just hope for the best, for now)
    Still a damn good team overall. The best I think in my 60 years.

  33. By CreditCard on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    The Cards were obviously flat. Why, because no Tyrann Mathieu to excite the team.

    Special teams needs work! Coverage was awful. As for Catman misses — could be from slow(er) or quick(er) snaps from Leach or the holder placing the ball to horizontally close / far from the holder. It could also be the kicker is rushing the kick or twisting his foot slightly. Anyway, when the field goals and extra points are being missed — it could be a number of things and figuring it out is too difficult.

  34. By clssylssy on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    Wow…that was a real gut punch! Real champions may lose a game and that’s acceptable as long as they show up and give it 100 per cent…the majority of the team just dressed for the last game like it was the last day of school and they were already on vacation! I especially felt bad for BA, who deserved better. I am really tired of hearing PP talk about how they “can beat anyone,anywhere ,any time” and how they are not over confident…REALITY CHECK…watch the tape a couple times and say that with a straight face! We REALLY could have used the Honey Badger yesterday because the defense was stale Swiss cheese
    On a more optimistic note, the previously sleeping monster has now been awakened and we have seen what new nightmares he is capable of and how to defend against these threats. Being a K-Stater I knew Tyler Lockett would be a threat but was hopeful the Cards had done their preparation…now they will!
    The Redskins looked more like a playoff team yesterday than the Cards and I don’t look forward to facing them either at there place or in Arizona as Cousins is on fire and they are playing some savage football.
    I am concerned that this bye is going to be more of a handicapp than a respit and that the team will just get colder (if that’s possible) & lose the chemistry and rhythm they had going) BUT, agree with BA that this was a wake up call & they obviously fell into the trap of believing they were bullet proof!

  35. By clssylssy on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    Darren…
    Yesterday one of the commentators said Palmer had altered the way he was passing the ball since he dislocated his finger and perhaps this had an adverse effect to his mechanics and could account for his being “off”. He seemed especially stressed in his presser and had to wonder if this was a big concern and if it would be something that could be worked out during the bye?

  36. By Darren Urban on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Finger

    Palmer said he was fine. He was fine the week before against the Packers. I think he was “off” Sunday because of the Seahawks.

  37. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    Seattle outplayed us. Whether it was because they were more prepared, or we had little to play for, or whatever — there’s just no getting around it.

    Seemed like a half-dozen times when we had a receiver open, a Seattle defender got there at just the right time to break up the pass. Whereas our defenders, if they were in position to make a play (which they often weren’t), let the guy catch the ball first, and then hit him, but not strongly enough to jar the ball free.

    Also, we are absolutely suckers for a QB that can run a play action play to his left and then roll out to his right. Seems like there’s a guy wide open for a short pass with another 10-plus yards to run nearly every time.

    I think it’s more probable than not that in three weeks, we are playing Seattle again. Hopefully we’ll figure some of this stuff out.

  38. By krehbieo14 on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    To concerned Cards fans:

    It’s hard to coach a team when you have to manufacture motivation and intensity. This game was a trap for Arian’s and the players because they were focused on player protection heading into the playoffs. You can’t create urgency. It is naturally there by virtue of the circumstances you are faced with. Thus, this game reminded me and others of a preseason game. It wasn’t meaningless, but the risk of playing all out was not worth it. The Cards played tentative and it showed. The game was an anomaly. It will not affect playoff urgency and preparation.

  39. By Billy Gibson on Jan 4, 2016 | Reply

    All I can say is if you have no more pride than that you are in serious trouble, Pride and self respect are important and what about the fan who Paid a grand to see that game yet the fans were criticized for selling tickets 2 weeks ago. The cards will be beaten without a doubt and we will all be disappointed as we have been so many times. I cant begin to understand how they werent motivated to play like they are capable and for me knowing there isnt a team that comes close talent wise makes it even harder to overlook its unforgiveable that heartless effort.
    Perhaps they should each have to take a seahawk home with them and let them have sex with their wife as I believe they are incapable of humiliation!!

  40. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    Billy, Chuck —

    RE: Pride

    I apologize to Chuck. Billy absolutely wins overreaction of the week. Congratulations, Billy.

  41. By Eazy E on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    Wow we got our butts whooped! Thank God it is the regular season instead of the playoffs!

    QB:

    Carson, whether he was going to be pulled early or not, didn’t play well obviously other than the touchdown pass to Fitz. He did get messed over with a bad missed call on Earl Thomas III who should have got illegal contact on Fitz! 12-25, 129 yards, 1 TD, and 1 INT we’re his numbers.

    RB:

    Our running game was stuffed with David getting 11 carries for just 25 yards and Ellington with 2 carries for 2 yards against a nasty Seattle defense.

    WR/TE:

    The only guy to me that had a decent game was Larry with 6 catches for 55 yards which ain’t great, but he broke his own record of 103 catches, now it is 109 catches! Michael didn’t have a great game at all with only 1 catch for 16 yards! He gave Seattle problems in Seattle, but they got some proverbial revenge. John had 4 catches for 45 yards, but mostly modest yardage from our guys here!

    OL:

    We couldn’t protect that well and we opened no holes for David or Andre!

    DL:

    We didn’t do a good job against the run which is rare for us and nobody could control the line of scrimmage in red.

    LB:

    Freeney collected his 8th sack which is sick because he just got here! $100,000 a sack is pretty dang nice! We missed the youngin Golden too!

    DB:

    Bethel had a rough game. He got beat on that go route, stiff-armed, just ugly game overall! Nobody in Seattle’s receiving corps had a spectacular game per se, but they nailed us time and time again. Doug didn’t have a big game, but Patrick should have been following him everywhere like he normally does with the top WR and not just periodically if that in this game!

    ST:

    Even our usual elite special teams looked poor! Chandler missed his 5th extra point which isn’t good at all. We didn’t cover the punts well either and even Bethel who is always the first one down there wasn’t and Butler actually punted pretty decently, but our defense only forced 2 punts!

    As I said, thank God that wasn’t the playoffs because what a taste that would have been for the offseason, but we are ok, but Coach gone be quiet hard on them this week I would imagine. Like I been saying, Seattle is a problem and they are champs for a reason and we’re trying to achieve that status!

  42. By A Figs on Jan 9, 2016 | Reply

    Remember! The cards have to get through the div. round first. GO CARDS!

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