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Palmer-less Wednesday before the 49ers

Posted by Darren Urban on October 5, 2016 – 4:01 pm

Carson Palmer isn’t going to be ready. That was Bruce Arians’ gut reaction after the quarterback was concussed against the Rams Sunday and that was reality Wednesday as the Cardinals climbed aboard their flight to the Bay Area for Thursday night’s game against the 49ers. So it’ll be Drew Stanton at the helm as the Cards try to snap a two-game losing streak — they have never lost three straight under Arians, and only previously lost two straight three times.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald tried to stay lighthearted a bit with the quarterback situation. “Carson wouldn’t like me saying this, but if Drew plays, he’s probably a little bit better athlete,” Fitz said. “A little bit better. Last year Carson tripped on the goal line getting to the end zone with no one around (in San Francisco). Drew would never trip like that.”

The truth is Stanton did play a good chunk of 2014 with these receivers. That doesn’t mean he’s Palmer, but at this point, with the Cards’ offense less than they want it to be, perhaps Stanton can create a new dynamic.

Arians said Palmer was getting better and argued a bit for the chance to play, but it was a no go. Palmer hadn’t even been officially cleared by the time Arians spoke Wednesday. Optimism is there for Palmer to be OK the next time the Cardinals play, which won’t be until Oct. 17 on “Monday Night Football” versus the Jets.

— The record isn’t anywhere close to what the Cardinals hoped. But they remain in the top 10 in the NFL in both total offense and total defense, and have a plus-12 in point differential. That doesn’t point to a terrible season.

— Stanton had arguably his best game as a Cardinal against the 49ers back in 2014 when the Cards won in Arizona, 23-14. Stanton was 18-for-33 for 244 yards and two touchdowns.

— It’s been noted that, of all the guys who have thrown touchdown passes to Fitzgerald, Stanton is not one. Maybe that changes this week.

— One thing the Cards are missing this season; Playing from ahead. That goes hand-in-hand with their first-quarter woes (they are the only team in the NFL without a first-quarter point), but that was a big reason for success last year. The Cardinals scored the first time they touched the ball six times last season, and held a first-quarter lead 10 times.

— An under-the-radar move this week, all things considered, is the ascension of Brittan Golden to the roster. “Britt will be core special teamer,” Arians said. “He’ll help our special teams a bunch.” Arians also said Golden will likely take over on kickoff return from Andre Ellington, now that Ellington will be needed more at running back post-Chris Johnson’s injury.

— Here’s this week’s Cardinals Underground podcast.

— Someone asked Fitzgerald about fans upset with the Cardinals’ start. Fitzgerald smiled. “Funny, I drive down the street and I see people’s garages and they have the Cardinals flags out and I see some of those flags down now,” he said. “That’s disappointing, man. But we have to do our job so the people put the flags back up.”

— It doesn’t sound like Robert Nkemdiche is going to be active. Arians left the door cracked for that possibility, but also noted that — while Nkemdiche’s ankle is fine — the rookie defensive lineman might not be ready for an offense that can break huge run plays if not played correctly. Nkemdiche has yet to be active since playing a handful of snaps against the Patriots opening night.

— This is the first of three straight games for the Cardinals in prime time. “Thursday Night Football” is followed by “Monday Night Football” against the Jets and then “Sunday Night Football” against the Seahawks. The other two games will be at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The Bay Area awaits.


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23 Responses to “Palmer-less Wednesday before the 49ers”

  1. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 5, 2016 | Reply

    With Rucker and Stinson out, How disappointing is it that Nkemdiche isn’t even dressing out.

  2. By Jacob on Oct 5, 2016 | Reply

    Is anyone else annoyed at how the Cards’ players seem upset at the fan base for starting to lose a little faith?
    I watched a clipping from Pat P’s recent interview where he says something along these lines: we will play better now because nobody believes in us anymore. The Badger, too, threw a little shade at the fan base during a recent interview, saying everyone who believed in the Cards doesn’t believe in them anymore, and how the team would use that as motivation to win games.
    Does a professional football team really need to lose games/the fans’ belief in order to get motivated to win?
    Maybe Wolf was right during his recent radio commentary. Maybe this team is still trying to figure out whether they’re internally or externally motivated. If their motivation comes from disappointing losses and a disappointed fan base, this is definitely not the year we get our first Super Bowl title.

  3. By rod on Oct 5, 2016 | Reply

    Preparith to suckith !!

  4. By NJAzCardsFan on Oct 5, 2016 | Reply

    I just can’t be positive anymore with this team they way they are playing and all of the injuries…. We don’t even hear the next man up montra any more….

    Nkemdiche = another first round bust…..

    Dysert will see game time after five Stanton interceptions in the first half…

    What happened to this team…. The wheels will have fallen of the bus if the Cards lose this one….

  5. By kauaicardsfan on Oct 5, 2016 | Reply

    Hopefully this is the spark we need? I know Drew can scramble a little better, maybe can get a few first downs with his legs to keep the drives alive?

    I think the problem is (IMO) was the expectations was high before the season even started so we are not sneaking up on teams like before but good teams will win. I heard a quote from Tony Robbins which my put things in perspective?

    “To change your life, change your expectations for appreciation.”

    It’s easy to get caught up in expectations. When you’re constantly expecting things, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment and unhappiness.

    Expectations can lead to complaining and a sense of entitlement which can be unhealthy.

    Instead, what if you did as Tony Robbins says, and change your expectations for appreciation?

    What if you found a way to appreciate EVERYTHING in your life? Every little thing that happens to you or has happened?

    My bet is that you would feel more gratitude, happiness, and fulfillment.

    I think we should all strive to find ways to enhance and enjoy our quality of life!

    Appreciate that you a playing a game you love and getting paid well for it !!!
    Now just go out and play and appreciate that you are doing something only a small percentage of people are chosen to do and would love to be in your shoes!!!

    You all have made it !! To the Pros!!! Be appreciative to be where you are at !!

    Now play like the pros that you all are!!

    You are all blessed to be where you are at! Now show everyone that you appreciate it and play your hearts out !!!

    GO CARDS!!!

  6. By Scott H on Oct 5, 2016 | Reply

    I’m not even sure what to say about Palmer right now….most important thing is that he gets better. Period. For him as a player, for him as a person…just get better.

    That said, I am hearing it everywhere that with Palmer playing as he has the last two games, turning it over as he has, is it even such a bad thing that he is not playing this week? Before people jump all over me for caring what others have to say, save it. Because that general sentiment is only echoing what I already think, myself. Palmer has been bad going back to last season, let’s not kid ourselves. Why that is….who knows? It doesn’t even matter why, really. Obviously, no one has been able to fix it, so….all that matters is that he IS playing badly and his play is directly affecting how this whole team is riding right now.

    Think back to the games we played against Seattle ( in Seattle ) and Cincy last season. We were up against teams that were totally our equal and our defense was not able to stop those teams from going toe to toe with us. It was Palmer and the offense that won those games for us. They were shootouts, and Palmer /the offense had more bullets than they did. THAT was our true identity last year.. That’s who we were. We weren’t the Broncos, who were going to win with our defense. Our defense was nowhere near that good. And it definitely isn’t that good now, either.

    And with Palmer playing as poorly ( or, as kindly as I can put it, erratically ) as he has….we are NOT a good team. Our identity is basically gone. Any argument? I mean….present any argument you want. We are 2-5 in our last 7 games. That is WITH Palmer and all of our weapons intact.

    Without a powerhouse offense that can trade punches with anyone, we’re dead.

    We are without Palmer tomorrow night, so….OK. I have so little confidence in Stanton right now, I think the only way we steal a win in this game is to play a much more conservative offense. And we CAN definitely do that with the players we have. What worries me is the mindset of the coach and what approach he will take. I’m tellin’ ya, I think if we go guns blazing and try to have Stanton throwing for chunk plays all night, this is gonna be ugly. And it’s been ugly enough!

    But that is the smaller picture right now. Looks like after this week, we get Palmer back. Then what? If we get Palmer back and he / the offense are still a mess, where can it go? It’s not going anywhere, folks, until / unless something changes.

    And as I’ve been saying, I think what needs to change is the play-calling and offensive philosophy. Because I think what has happened is that other teams have totally caught on to what we try to do and they are defending it MUCH more effectively. If we continue to go as we have, we are just going to keep running into the wall that is becoming more common recently. Maybe Palmer just isn’t good enough to overcome this on his own and power us to wins like some of the ones I mentioned above. Maybe he needs help, help in the form of some changes that will keep other teams off balance. It ain’t the worst thing in the world to take what the defense is giving you sometimes. But we don’t do that. We keep going downfield on first down and going for the chunk plays. IT JUST ISN’T WORKING ANYMORE.

    Time for the coach to make some changes. Because we have defenses coming up that are just gonna be waiting for us to come right to them if we don’t.

    And I can’t even believe I referred to “stealing a win” against the 49ers, but….well, I can’t believe we got smoked by the Rams, either.

    With different play-calling, we have a chance to be very effective tomorrow night and going forward. If we don’t, I have no confidence that we win a game with Stanton right now.

  7. By Amir on Oct 5, 2016 | Reply


    The new dynamics with Stanton?? Yeah, the passes will be floating over everyone’s heads and will have few more picks.

    Stanton sucks in a major fashion. The only reason he is on the team because he is Arians’ darling.

    The 2014 record with Stanton had a Todd Bowles defense to bale the team out. How many touchdowns did he throw during that span?? I remember a FG fest during that span but the defense was really stingy to hold opponents to low scores so we could win with few FGs. Now we are talking about James “clueless” Betcher defense to go with Drew Stanton.

    I am sorry but there is very little right now going on with the team to be very optimistic.

  8. By CARDS62 on Oct 5, 2016 | Reply

    Scott what you said I have been saying all year and that is our offense is the strongest unit and that was the same last year. I do not think our defense is bad, but not as capable as our offense, but our offense is off the rails for many reasons but the most being Carson Palmer. Carson will come back against the Jets and Todd B. who knows him and Arians very well so that will be interesting.

    Now our defense did win a couple of games for us last year, and if I remember right the first time we played San Fran our defense totally dominated them. Our Cardinals caught more passes from SF QB than their WR in the first half last year. I am hoping for this performance again Thursday night so that we can get the win, and we must run the ball and play action pass with Drew Stanton.This will also give our o line a chance to play better. Stay out of 3rd and long so we can keep San Fran guessing.

    Cardinal Fans please argue with me on this one so that I will feel better abut Drew Stanton, but I just think he has regressed so much from 2014 that I do not even recognize him any longer. This preseason he was awful and outplayed by Matt B., and we were told oh it is only preseason and it does not count.Rams game he looked just as bad, and Drew is a professional who knows that Carson gets hurt every year so Drew has to know he has to be prepared to play every game. Drew comes in and can not hit receivers and his ball looks so weak. 3rd year in our system and he should be getting better every year and he gets worse every year, and his first interception was a horrible read and pass. Lastly lets talk about his hail mary at the end of the game. The worse hail mary pass I have ever seen thrown and we had the ball around the 40 yard line and he can not even put air under the ball so that our WR can make it to the end zone to have a chance. I just watched the day before college football and Tennessee beat Georgia on a hail mary from the 50 yard line and the kid QB threw a great ball.

    I will be rooting hard for our defense, and play calling – runs and play action passes as Drew Stanton scares the heck out of me, and I have very very little confidence in him.

    I have rooted for our Cardinals for close to 50 years now so win or lose I will keep pulling for them, but I think this game is a must win if we want to make the playoffs this year.

    Go Cards beat those 49ers.

  9. By Marcelo Foppa on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H –

    you got that right: our defense cannot win games for us.

    By watching most of the Cardinals games I was able to see Cards are being shortyardage (does this word exist?) beaten. The lack of consistency of even talent from our LBs create holes in which offenses are punishing us by getting yards, 1st downs and burning the clock down.
    We don’t have a top caliber Linebacker.

    when was the last INT made by an Arizona’s LB? and a double-sack game?

    we’re facing the only team which piled up points against Rams’ Defense. They are not what we think they are.

  10. By faster on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    PFF can put the stanton ranking up their middle finger and showe it up their .. nose.

    it was one game, and the last minutes of this game, and the team was behind. so stanton tried hail marries and failed. so what.

    i expect him to play against the 49ers as he played in 14. nevertheless, this will be a hot game, kelly will not have forgotten, how the team played him last year in a meaningless game (for the cards).

    so lets hope, hermes helps our team.

  11. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    As for the game,

    I just can’t see anyway the niners should win. None. Even with Stanton, this is a game we should win.

    The niners are 32nd against the run and just lost Navarro Bowman for the year. If our offensive line can’t open holes against this defense, well, that would not be good. When the niners commit 8 or 9 to the box, the cards will have opportunities to go deep.

    On defense, Chip Kelly doesn’t have the personnel to run his offense correctly. The coaches have 3 years of Kelly offense to look at and should know how to stop it. This is the worst team we faced this year and will have a top 5 pick in the draft next year (which will be Deshaun Watson from Clemson).

    This just simply should be a win. But I thought that with the Bills and Rams.

  12. By Jon on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    Good comment Scott, I think that’s fair and I absolutely agree.

    If we don’t change our play calling, this season won’t work. I know Darren is fond of saying, “that’s Arians”, “its been working for three seasons, it ain’t changing now, etc.”. But the truth is that life in the NFL ebbs and flows. Defenses catch on, and if you don’t make adjustments, if you don’t change according to what you are seeing, and just continue to call the same plays when they are clearly being defended that is not a receipe for success. The past does not = the future.

    Right now our team is living in the past. We are about to see whether Arians is up to the task of charting a new future.

    Go Cards!!!

  13. By Chris G. on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    The players let the new found fame of being a winning team go to their head. If you look back at it, every team that does Hard Knocks, has a bad year to follow. The Rams currently look like the exception, but the seasons not over yet. The Cardinals just started to get a taste of the national spotlight and filming “All or Nothing” has already screwed up their game. Doing commercials and being famous doesn’t help you get that late game sack or INT. It obviously doesn’t help you catch a ball that hits you right in the hands. If you need to use the “whoa is me” underdog thing to get motivated, that’s fine, JUST DO IT. Do whatever works because I miss seeing the hungry team of the last three years. Dynasties are created when a team reaches the top and the players are motivated to stay there, to not let anyone knock them off of that podium. They don’t want to let their fans down. Fans who show enthusiasm every year and have their expectations to celebrate wins every year. If you need the fans to be angry with you for losing as your motivation, then guess what? You need to film a show called “Us against them”.

  14. By Infitzwetrust on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    31-14 cards win.

    I guarantee this team shows up to play the best game of the season.

    Bold prediction: cardinals finish with a better record than Minnesota.

  15. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply


    This is the first time I can remember any NFL team playing a Thursday night game and then the next week not playing until Monday. Are you aware of this happening before?

    Seems a little unfair to give a team 2 short weeks in 3 games (with the “reward” being an extra-long gap, even longer than usual, after the Thursday game).

  16. By Darren Urban on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    Kevin S —

    RE: Thursday-Monday

    Honestly, I have no idea if this is a first.

  17. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    Jacob —

    Part of the problem is that we (fans along with the media) create after-the-fact story lines to match the results on the field. And so this results in media members asking stupid questions about what’s “wrong” with the team’s effort, etc. Trust me, the guys are out there trying. Do you think Canaday wanted to make two bad snaps, and lose his job? That Cat wasn’t trying his darndest to make that FG even with the low snap in the Pats’ game?

    We were in position to win three out of the four games. If you told me the Pats’ game was going to come down to whether or not we made a 47-yard FG as time expired, I would’ve happily bet $10,000 on the Cardinals because an NFL kicker should make that kick probably at least 3/4 of the time. If you told me we were going to have more than double the number of first downs as the Rams, I would’ve assumed we’d win in a walkover — problem is, we had turnover after turnover in Rams’ territory.

    There are certain things that we, as fans, can reasonably criticize — at the player level (like a player doing something stupid (a careless personal foul away from the ball that turns a 3rd-and-12 into an automatic first down), the coaching level (calling for long “chunk” plays that result in an INT when we were moving the ball just fine 8 yards at a time), or the GM level (not solving the CB issue, leaving the team to put a rookie CB who had exactly one year of experience playing the position in college out there as your starter). But these general questions/concerns that fans and the media lob in the direction of the players looking for an explanation of why the team is 1-3 vs. 3-1 or 4-0 are kinda silly, and no matter what kind of answer you get, you’re likely to be able to find fault with it. What do you expect them to say?

  18. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    This team has been externally motivated ever since Whiz came to town. If they don’t have a chip on their shoulder, they play poorly. If their backs aren’t up against the wall, they play poorly. They should be thanking the fans for being upset as it helps to put that chip back on the shoulder. Sad it has to be like that, but that’s this team’s M.O.

  19. By SeeingRed on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    Not sure why we’re just seeing Golden moved up to active roster. Always been one of my favorite Cards and special teams guys. Dude plays with passion. Certainly something missing this season. I hope this game is not part of the overall Cards patterns…which is our backup QBs get torn up and we make other teams’ backups look like pro bowlers…

  20. By Scott H on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    I can’t even bring myself to think there is no way the 49ers should win this game. I know. There SHOULDN’T be. But with the way we’ve played so far, nothing is out of the question. We are a mess on offense….shouldn’t be but we are. We can’t stop other teams on defense…..should be able to but we can’t. Forget where we may be ranked in terms of overall offense or defense. Look at the way we’ve played and look at our record. That is all the evidence you need that rankings don’t mean squat. I’d rather we rank in the bottom third of the league and be 3-1.

    We are horrible on special teams.

    I gotta say…..what I really think is that there is no reason the 49ers can’t win this game. Heck, they often play us tough, as it is.

    Kinda goes without saying, but this feels like a save-the-season game. We go 1-4…..we may then be in a hole we may not be able to get out of. If there is ANY hope, this team has to get back toward .500 tonight and THEN hope we can find ourselves and string some wins together. Period. We go THREE games under .500? Um….is it over? Probably. Because then, the reality becomes that this team is NOT good enough to put three wins together to even reach .500. By then the Seahawks are firmly in control of the division, we are also several games behind the Rams, and even a wild-card is a long shot.

  21. By Jacob on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    Kevin S Mesa –

    You make some very good points. I just hope we can find a way to turn this around, because I still believe in our team.

  22. By Scott H on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    OK…in a game we still have plenty of time to give away…49ers just scored to make it 21-14….our offense back on the field….and we have a player no one has ever heard of / who they just brought up who drops a pass that hits him right in the hands, then gets called for offensive pass interference on successive plays?? Oh, for the love of God, man, what is this guy doing on the field??? We have PLENTY of established play-makers to choose from! What the hell is the thinking here???????????

    Can we just stop finding new and exciting ways to NOT win games?????????

    Stanton is too in-consistent. Has made SOME nice throws, but just as many that just make you go ugh. And honestly? He’s been better than I was expecting. At least he hasn’t turned it over…..yet.

    17 of our 24 points are directly off turnovers. Not complaining about the defense doing its part in that. But the offense has not been able to get much done on its own. At least they are cashing in the turnovers on the short fields.

    Still 12:30 to go. Still lots of time.

  23. By Infitzwetrust on Oct 6, 2016 | Reply

    Almost called it…. Predicted 31-14

    Where’s the 1-4 crowd?????

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