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First home game usually means victory

Posted by Darren Urban on September 7, 2016 – 10:34 am

The Cardinals never played at home in Week 1 of the NFL season during their 18 seasons at Sun Devil Stadium. Sunday night will be the seventh time in 11 seasons at University of Phoenix Stadium that the Cardinals have hosted a Week 1 game. With the Patriots coming to town for “Sunday Night Football,” it makes a difference.

The Cards have won six straight home openers and have won 10 straight home games in September. It’s interesting to note that the last time the Cardinals lost at home in September was back in 2009, when the reigning NFC Champions lost not once but twice.

You remember that season, right? The Cards lost their opener, at home, to a lesser 49ers team. A couple of weeks later, Peyton Manning and the Colts blew them out of the building. The Cardinals were 1-2, everyone asked “What’s wrong?” — and then they got to 10-5 before shutting it down in the regular-season finale against the Packers.

Since then, the Cards’ home opener has been in Week 1 four times (wins over Carolina in Cam’s first start in 2011, Seattle in Russell Wilson’s first start in 2012, San Diego on “Monday Night Football” in 2014 and New Orleans last year), Week 2 once (beating Detroit in 2013) and Week 3 once (beating Oakland in 2010.)

You can argue, easily, that the Patriots represent the best team the Cardinals have hosted in the home opener in that span (although the 2012 Seahawks turned out to be pretty good). But the Cardinals have made that first home game advantageous.

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Posted in Blog | 21 Comments »


21 Responses to “First home game usually means victory”

  1. By clssylssy on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    This year we need to WIN ALL HOME GAMES…go undefeated at home which will help win the Division that many are giving to the Seahawks already. Just start knocking them down, one week at a time, irregarless of who they are or how they are ranked, how they finished last season, who their QB is…Play Strong, Play Smart, and keep the injuries minimal. GO CARDS! TIME TO FOCUS!

  2. By steve on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    Darren: We are all thrilled that Tyrann will be playing the opener and every snap on defense; My question is how close to 100% is he in your opinion after watching him in some practices? I wish he could rehab for another month just to be safe.

  3. By Darren Urban on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Tyrann

    Hard to believe he is 100 percent, but he is going to play. Running around OK. Is he where he was? We will see.

  4. By Dr. G. on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    No guarantees on home openers…!!

    In the 2014 opener vs Chargers, as we watched from the stands with hearts pounding, we saw the Cards Drive the length of the field to see a comeback, John Brown scored his very 1st NFL TD with 2 minutes to go. 18-17…Cards now up.

    A minor detail – – The Red Birds trailed 17-6 going into the 4th quarter…!!

    The heart-pounder – – 18-17 The Chargers came back down the field approaching a sure field goal…then the center’s snap bounced off Rivers putting them out of field goal range by the time he jumped on the ball… That error gave the Cards the “”W”” ….

    I was still shocked at that win, but very happy… Opener guarantees…? Still gotta play.

    Great to see some good fortune after years of being snake bitten. This team does not quit…. Go Cards..!

  5. By texascard on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    I’ve been thinking about 9 d linemen. When Kiem said at the end of last year that pass rush was paramount I assumed he meant adding a player that rushed the passer. However, could it be that he is innovating again. Like bucannon at Money backer (I know some of y’all hate it but it is and was a ballsy innovation that adds a bunch of versatility to the defense). Could it be that he and Arians plan to add depth to reduce end of game d line fatigue. The time when pass rush is most critical. Just a stab in the dark. But it has me thinking

  6. By clssylssy on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    Texascard…
    Not a stab in the dark. I was listening to an interview and Keim stated that something they had learned from the Broncos was the importance of having good depth and fresh legs on the D-line. Rotating players and using subpackages has allowed a more potent defense to be on the field longer and wear out opposing offenses. Seattle does this which could make for some very good football!

  7. By Scott H on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    Man, how much has the move from that concrete oven called Sun Devil Stadium to a cool indoor setting meant to the fortunes of this team? I’d say, everything.

    I like the trend that is described above. I DO expect the Patriots to be tough. No team coached by Bill however-you-spell-his-last-name is going to approach any regular season game with anything but full intention of winning. I think when it comes to getting a team prepared and focused for games like this ( being without your starting QB ), no one does it better.

    BUT they are still w/out Brady and it is a home game for a team that is Super Bowl caliber. This has to be a win for the Cardinals. Anything less will be a disappointment and a missed opportunity.

    And speaking of trends, I plan to continue my own trend that never failed last year. I took the day off from work after every prime-time game the Cards played last year – all 5 of them – and they were all wins. And, consequently, they were 5 of the best days off I had all year. As of today, I was given approval from the boss to be off on Mon the 12th.

    Don’t let me down, fellas. I only have so many vacation days! Let’s not waste any of them.

  8. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    I hope Mathieu is not being rushed back too soon.

  9. By Richard S on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    Last year I went with ESPN’s ratings to start my system to pick games. But at the time I thought ESPN had Indy rated way too high at #3 and at the end of the year they came in the system at #27. So this year, I’ll start out with my last regular season game rankings rather than someone else’s as a starting point. I have the the Cards at #3. Here are the projected winners of this weeks games. Carolina by 2 points. Green Bay by 6. Buff by 2. Hou by 10. Phil by 7. Atl by 4. Minn by 12. Cincy by 1. NO by 3. KC by 13. Seattle by 19. Detroit by 1. Dall by 2. Az by 5 (Who’ll get the safety). Pitt by 3. Rams by 1.

  10. By Dr. G. on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    ScottH… Well, to your ?? I can tell you that we went from ASU stadium getting seemingly 20,000 tops per game to 60,000++ in one year when the stadium opened in Glendale. The continual sellouts are history. I still have the hat pin from that 1st inaugural game. I couldn’t believe we had so many fair weather fans, but now, the story has a new plot…””win, baby!””

    We used to joke about the detestable Cowboys having their sellout home games at ASU every time they came…fights galore…! The bigger difference is MichaelB. He came in with incredible enthusiasm and hatred for losing…be well

  11. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    Things I find interesting to watch in game 1.

    – There is no doubt the number one person to watch is Williams. With Amedola and Edelman, he is facing two quick, excellent route runners. These guys catch every pass on the route tree and are smart.
    If Edelman goes into the slot, how will Honey Badger hold up? Is he 100% ready?

    – Pats TEs vs Cards safeties. Wow, the Pats have two top notch TEs. Branch and Jefferson are guys who can match up. It will be interesting.

    – The patriots offensive line vs cards front 7. The pats have a backup RT, Jonathon Cooper at RG, Stork was replaced at center, they just released their RG. Now, Brady makes that work. But Jimmy? Chandler, Calais and company could be helping Jimmy off the ground all day.

    – cards run game vs pats tough front 7. The pats have talent on the defensive side of the ball. Can the cards get DJ and CJ going.

    – John Brown vs Pats third CB. I like the pats starting CBs, but their nickle package has holes. John Brown may just go off in this game.

    I just don’t think the pats oline can protect Garappalo enough. If Williams can hold up , Garappalo will be hit a lot. I think the cards can exploit this make shift Oline and dominate on defense if we can get any production out of Williams and they can hold the TEs down to a minimum. Cards win this game by two TDs 27-13.

  12. By ImBordedBoredBored on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    Dr G

    The game didn’t end quite that way.

    There was 7:34 left in the 4th, and the score was Chargers winning 17 – 12. The botched snap occurred on a 3rd and 8th from the Cardinals 29 yard line. A 47 yard field goal would have made the score 20 – 12 (Chargers).

    At that point, the Cardinals marched from their own 9 yard line to score on John Brown’s first TD. (that drive also included Fitzgerald’s first catch of the game, a 22 yard reception)

    With 2:25 left in the game, the Cardinals were up 18 – 17, and the rest of it was all defense. Two inside pressures cause incompletions, delay of game on 4th and 2, and a Larry Foote (inside again) tipped ball to change possession.

    Cards run out the clock with a couple 1st down runs.
    ———————

    Not trying to be a jerk. I’m sure I would have forgotten some details too if I was at the game. Hell, I just re-watched it to “remember” all the things I just wrote.

  13. By Richard L on Sep 7, 2016 | Reply

    Remember last year’s loss to Pittsburgh. Landry Jones was the steelers quarterback. Hate overconfidence. Arians needed to prove to me he can out-coach Belichick

  14. By Scott H on Sep 8, 2016 | Reply

    JohnnyBN –

    RE: Rushing Mathieu back too soon.

    I really don’t think they would. They know what he means to this defense. His importance to the whole season is greater than his importance to any one game. Arians may be saying that he will be out there for every single snap but….we’ll see. Maybe he’s up to that, maybe he’s not. I don’t think he’ll be asked to do anything more than what they absolutely believe he is capable of.

    But if he really IS ready to go, why hold him back? We aren’t best served by keeping him limited when he doesn’t have to be, ya know? If he’s ready to play, you gotta let him play. Injuries can happen on any play. You can’t avoid them by playing less. He could play every snap at full speed and be fine. Or, he could be in for ONE play the whole game and blow his knee out again on that ONE play.

    When they’re ready to play, you gotta let them play.

  15. By Scott H on Sep 8, 2016 | Reply

    Dr G –

    Glad to know we have people out there like yourself going to the games, making this home field advantage happen. I would have LOVED to be there for the first game! Cherish that pin! I didn’t make my first visit until 2014, but….man, what a day that was.

    Let’s not forget to thank Aeneas Williams for that 100-plus yard fumble recovery return to help beat the Redskins right before the vote that made it all possible! He gave us a real gift that day.

  16. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 8, 2016 | Reply

    Dr G and Scott,

    Not as long as the first game, but my season tickets go back to 1991. Hard to believe.

    I moved to Texas to coach for 5 years and still kept the tickets. I would fly back for 5 of the 8 games. Amazing to think I was flying back to sit on concrete at Sun Devil stadium to watch 4-12 teams. But hey, if your a fan….

  17. By Dr. G. on Sep 8, 2016 | Reply

    Bored….. In the narrative, I had the 2 TDs in reverse order…yeah… The major point is that we were down 17-6 after 3 quarters and had a nail biter coming from behind scoring 12 points in the 4th to win. Minor point:: the Chargers had a very realistic chance to win, but our guys hung tough anyway and watched them blow it…No quitters… Openers are no guarantee…later

  18. By Scott H on Sep 9, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    1991….Wow. And, yes, flying from Texas as often as you did to sit in that heat to watch THAT team….man, that was above and beyond. Even the most dedicated fan could have been forgiven for doing a lot less than that.

    Can’t help wondering – were you there for that last game of the season in 1998 against the Chargers when Jackie hit the 52 yard FG as time expired to put us in the playoffs? And if yes, did you help tear down the goal post after the game? It’s OK to admit if you did, as long as you weren’t captured in any photos. Besides, I’m sure Darren would bail you out if there were any problems. He has that kind of cash! 🙂 And he needs you here on the blog.

    Man, if I could have been at ONE game during the Sun Devil days, that would definitely be the one. My next choices would have been any one of the few crazy up-sets that Jake Plummer pulled off against the Eagles.

  19. By John the draft guy on Sep 9, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H,

    Yes, I was so happy, I jumped the fence and was on the field. I watched fans take down goalpost. I remember everyone hugging each other and players. Some players were right in with the fans. It was pretty awesome. It was funny how many fans got stuck in the horseshoe of the goal post as it was being carried out.

    But remember, we had the lead and blew it. Then Eric Metcaf had had that huge return, a quick slant to Frank Sanders, and then the FG. To be honest, everyone thought they blew it till the Metcaf return. He gave everyone hope.

    I was there for the Eagle game as we went to the Super Bowl. Two best games.

  20. By Scott H on Sep 9, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    You da man, John. That was GREAT stuff. Yes, I remember very well how the Chargers tied the game at the end, making a miracle necessary. And then we got one. We basically went 100 yards in 3 plays. Considering that I had NEVER known what the playoffs felt like until that moment in my life….it was the greatest thing ever.

    Well, until they went into Dallas and shut down the Cowboys a week later!

    Thanks for sharing that.

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