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Jets — and B.A.-Bowles — aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on October 17, 2016 – 11:40 pm

For me, the moment was a couple of plays before Carson Palmer hit Michael Floyd for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. It was after Palmer had delivered a couple of lasers on out routes to Smokey Brown, passes Palmer seemed to have had some issues with earlier in the season. But here the Cardinals were on the New York 33. On first down and second down Palmer threw incompletions, and Palmer was hammered to the turf both times. Not ideal, but Palmer got up both times.

And on third down, with a decent pocket but still some pressure, Palmer stood tall. He stepped into the throw. And he delivered a bullet to Jaron Brown for a first down.

That felt like the Palmer — and the Cardinals’ offense — that had been absent. Things might go awry, but the quarterback would stand tall and deliver when needed. In some ways, the second half Monday night was vintage Palmer. It wasn’t necessarily 2015 Palmer, because the Jets were not going to let the Cards beat them deep and the Cardinals are definitely running more than ever before. David Johnson makes that smart. But while Palmer’s numbers aren’t going to fetch an MVP, they were good in context. The Cards might just be where they want to be.

It gets harder. The Seahawks come to town next Sunday night. The Seahawks, who have beat the heck out of the Cardinals in each of the three games they have played the Cardinals in Arizona since Arians arrived. But the performance against the Jets, that was one to note.

— The teacher definitely bested the student. Todd Bowles has some injuries, and he definitely doesn’t have the talent on the back end. But Bowles wasn’t going to give up the deep stuff, so the Cards ran and ran and when they threw, it was in front of the defenders. Smart playcalling by Bruce Arians, and good execution.

— Floyd had a TD catch, but it’s clear that he’s not coming back up the depth chart for now (although if Jaron Brown is banged up, that could be a factor.) The guy who made some plays Monday was J.J. Nelson, including on a couple of jet sweeps. I like that wrinkle.

— Speaking of wrinkles, having six or seven defensive backs on the field at times was interesting to watch. Justin Bethel was getting his first defensive snaps of the regular season, and Tharold Simon also got some work. Now, if Tyrann Mathieu can turn flashes into what he was pre-injury …

— Robert Nkemdiche was active and played a handful of snaps. “I couldn’t even see him out there from my angle,” Arians said, deferring his analysis until he saw the tape. “I didn’t see him on the quarterback,” Arians added with a smile. “I would’ve seen that.”

To be fair, Nkemdiche did knock down one pass and was credited with a quarterback hit.

— He didn’t fill up the stat sheet, but linebacker Chandler Jones had a heck of a game.

— It’s hard to believe that the Cardinals actually had D.J. Swearinger on their practice squad for about a week last season. He’s been a nice pickup that went under the radar. His quality play is magnified with no Tyvon Branch around.

— It was a good night for DJs overall — Swearinger, right tackle D.J. Humphries and David Johnson. Not so good for Williamses (All three guys named Williams on the roster were inactive.)

— What else can you say about David Johnson, other than superstar in the making? What’s funny is he missed a blitz pickup and was dwelling on it — “(Number) 25 (Calvin Pryor), that was definitely my guy,” he said.

You don’t want your QB to get whacked on the blitz. But it feels a little bit like picking at nits. Yes, the Cardinals want Johnson humble. But everything expected of him before the season? He’s that guy. And those expectations were kinda big.


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21 Responses to “Jets — and B.A.-Bowles — aftermath”

  1. By Steve on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    Great team win and great execution on offense, defense and special teams. This was the kind of win that could get the Cards finally moving in the right direction and it couldn’t come at a better time with Russell Wilson and the Seahawks coming into town.

  2. By TucsonTim on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    One word…urgency. Finally, the Cardinals played with a sense of urgency.

    Now that our team finished the pre-season in San Francisco, I feel optimistic about the future.

    As Mintor said on the Sirius NFL network tonight, “we can’t lose no more games”

  3. By John S on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    Not a major accomplishment here against a lowly 1-5 team. They Cardinals have played all 2nd string players the whole game. If the score is 28-3 in a win next week then it will be something to write about.

  4. By Cardinal's Chick on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    The defense is looking better. The secondary still scares me though. That score would have been much closer if Fitzpatrick was a good QB. So glad to see Tyrann Mathieu playing his position again. The offense is also warming up….it is about time they got a score in the 1st Qtr!!!! Floyd is so inconsistent…it will not break my heart if they let him go during free agency.

    So far we beat 3 teams that are not very good, and lost 3 games that should have been W’s. I think this week we will see what the Cardinals are really made of. They can beat the Seahawks if they play smart football with no penalties, turnovers, etc.

    Go Card’s!!!

  5. By mitchaz on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    It’s mid-October and at this point in the Cardinals’ 2-3 season they have been haunted by turnovers and impatient play—only to face a team that has haunted them, first by stealing away QB Joe Namath when the Cardinals drafted him in 1965 out of Alabama, then in 2008 there came the hit in NY the Jets’ safety Eric Smith laid on Anquan Boldin which broke his face, then in the 2012 debacle where an under-prepared Ryan Lindley issued forth a record number of 3 and outs and Darnell Dockett was so infuriated late in the game to be told to let the Jets’ score that he allegedly spit in Kerry Rhodes’ face—and to make matters worse it was the Jets two year ago who hired Cardinals DC Todd Bowles as their head coach.

    With all that history looming, plus none other than Joe Namath on the ESPN set with Chris Berman during the pre-game, the Cardinals came out and shooed the ghosts of the past present away in mustering an impressive, dominant 28-3 win over the now hapless Jets.

    The winning formula for the Cardinals in this game was tough, physical play on both sides of the ball and an outstanding mixture of discipline and patience (two improvement areas the Cardinals have been addressing in recent weeks).

    Going in against the NFL’s best run defense in the Jets, it was going to be quite a challenge to run versus their highly-talented front…which is made all the more difficult by Todd Bowles’ prolific run blitzes—he even had Sheldon Richardson line up as an ILB and come storming up the A and B gaps—which for the Cardinals’ two substitute guards, John Wetzel and Earl Watford posed quite a challenge.

    Yet, BA adjusted and called a counter play left, which was blocked to perfection and run to perfection by emerging star David Johnson, who glided to his left to let the blocks develop and then slalomed his way around three blocks un till he could race straight downhill to the end zone—and finally the Cardinals had scored a first quarter TD.

    The offense would go on to rush for 171 yards thanks to some timely plant and cut runs by Johnson, two 14 yard, methodical TD drives which were capped off by two more TD runs by Johnson, both of which were the result of the Cardinals’ offensive line opening up wide paths to the end zone—can anyone recall a game where a Cardinals’ RB scored 3 TD on plays where he was never touched? Plus, BA mixed in a couple of effective reverses by J.J. Nelson and then got some chunk runs late in the game by Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor.

    In the end, Wetzel and Watford played so well that Jon Gruden awarded them as his “Gruden’s Grinders.”

    This was a breakthrough game for QB Carson Palmer in that he stayed committed to taking what the Jets’ defense was giving him. For a while there he, J.J. Nelson and John Brown were putting on a comeback route clinic, knowing the Jets had backed off their coverage to avoid the deep ball. And perhaps Palmer’s best throw of the night came on a TD corner pass to Michael Floyd who had to wait patiently for his opportunity to make a big catch.

    The Cardinals’ defense was the most disciplined it has been in quite some time—they bottled up Matt Forte (9/18 yards) thanks to stout interior run defense by Calais Campbell, Corey Peters and Frostee Rucker and some good fast ILB fills by Kevin Minter and Deone Bucannon. Then the pass rush led by Chandler Jones and Markus Golden put consistent pressure on Ryan Fitzpatrick who was rushing the ball all night trying to avoid sacks. Alex Okafor registered to one sack of the night, a strip sack that the Cardinals were not able to pounce on, but a big play nonetheless. Golden was all over the field chasing plays down. But there real key is that the Cardinals interior rushers stayed in their lanes this week and didn’t give Fitzgerald easy escape routes—in fact the one time he tried to escape up the middle he was converged on quickly by Rodney Gunter and Robert Nkemdiche and got away with an incomplete shovel pass that looked like a fumble. This rush lane discipline is key to the Cardinals’ success in the games ahead.

    In the secondary, it looked for some reason like Patrick Peterson was running on ice, slipping and sliding every time Brandon Marshall broke into his route. Tyrann Mathieu was a step behind in nickel coverage as he battles back to regaining his game speed. However, Peterson and Mathieu rebounded with strong performances in the second half, including a sweet sideline interception from the Honey Badger. In addition, the Cardinals got very good coverage from Marcus Cooper and Tharold Simon. Furthermore, FS D.J. Swearinger emerged as the star of the secondary on this night, as he made the hit of the night on one of the Jets’ crossing patterns and then put an end to the Jets’ best drive of the night with a fabulous interception in the end zone on a play that he said he knew was coming from studying the Jets’ tapes during the week.

    The special teams were highly competitive and have now played two good games in a row. Nothing spectacular—just solid all the way around. Ryan Quigley has stabilized the punting and holding situation.

    Now there are the ghosts from recent Seahawks’ routs of the Cardinals in Glendale to contend with. October nights…”Love is kind of crazy with a spooky little team like you…”

  6. By clssylssy on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    Great to see everyone clicking and rolling along like the Cards team we all remembered and was so much fun to watch last season. Let’s hope we can hang on to our mojo and build on it.
    It was good to see Brown and Floyd catching the ball again, and having multiple weapons working and available made the “Boom or Bust” plays less urgent. Loved the way the game moved along and Loved the way the defense came alive. Tyrann Mathieu’s interception was the statement we’ve all been waiting for, and, I think, he let us know “I’m back”…players like him can’t usually stand to see others steal the glory and I had a feeling he would make his presence known to Coach Bowles.
    Our Oline and offense in general, stepped up to the task of protecting Carson, although they’re going to have to continue to up their game to keep him for taking those big hits that took early on. Carson’s performance is soooo much better when he has the time to make good decisions and his arsenal of weapons are all functioning.
    Not much was mentioned about Jaron Brown so I’m hoping that means he’ll be OK for Sunday’s game. BA called a good game and exercised heroic restraint for throwing the ball which proves that sometimes slow and steady can win the race.
    Congratulations on finally kicking open the door…let’s make sure it’s secure and doesn’t come back to hit us. This is the team that makes football fun!

  7. By georgiebird on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    Nice game as a prep for Seattle
    1) the Defense came to play on every down
    2) the Jets were very accommodating
    3) your comments here were very kind to Palmer
    4) David is a definite MVP candidate
    Biggest question- Can Palmer play when he’s getting pressured ?

  8. By faster on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    when they win next sunday, i will start dreamin again. with carolina seeking their success, the by could be waiting with 5-3.

    and my player of the game for this game goes to watford, he played well above his paygrade. especially the blocks for the first touchdown were beatifull.

  9. By Dominik on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    Darren: Please tell me your opinion about the O-Line, especially for Wetzel / Watford / Humphries?

  10. By Darren Urban on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    Dominik —

    RE: OL

    I’d have to go back and watch for a detailed thought, but real time, I thought they held up OK. They ran for 171 yards, and a lot of that has to be OL, especially against that front. Humphries, I think, missed a couple of times on the edge, but realistically, he’s not going to be perfect. Considering the injuries and that front, I think the Cardinals should be happy.

  11. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    Offensive line;

    With the Jets front, I thought this would be where the cards win or lose the game. Could this OLine handle some Pro Bowl DLineman?

    Sitting in the stands, it is tough to see everything the Oline does, but 3 plays stood out to me.

    1. On DJ’s long TD – The run was to the left and had Watford pulling. Watford sealed the edge, came off the block and picked up a LB and then got down field and hit two guys chasing DJ. Not only that, he was the first one in the endzone to celebrate with DJ. That was an amazing job by Watford.

    2. On DJ’s second TD, I saw Wetzel have a stand off with his guy, but he got just enough turn, but what stood ut was DJ Humphries. He drove his guy to the end zone, creating the gap for DJ to score.Great Drive block.

    3. On DJ’s 3rd TD, I saw an nice blocks by the right side of the line, but what made the TD was Gresham just crushed his guy, sealing the edge, and letting DJ in.

    Again, it s tough to see all the line play from the stands, but as Darren pointed out, 171 rushing yards says it all.

  12. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    The Defense;

    Great job overall. I think we finally have the correct players playing in the correct spots.

    Swearinger is our best centerfielder.
    Tony Jefferson is best as a Strong Safety in the box.
    Cooper has turned out to be a decent #2 CB.
    I like Simon coming in as the Dime CB.

    And, I like the Badger playing the slot but (even though he got a pick) is still a liability out there. Teams are picking on him. He has to step it up and become the Badger again.

    By the way, the answer for Jimmy Graham? Tharold Simon.

  13. By Scott H on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    A lot to like from last night. But keeping it in perspective, it was another bad team on the other side. Not a bad team in the sense that the 49ers are a bad team, because the Jets have a fair amount of very recognizable talent on their roster. But in terms of how they have played….a bad team. And they pretty much imploded last night. Felt bad for Bowles. They hitched their wagon to Fitzpatrick and he has let them down.

    Anyway, it is fair to continue to pose the question – how much of last night was due to how good we were and how much of it was due to how bad they were? And that question will rightfully linger until we play a good team. Like Seattle. Up next. In our house – where the Seahawks have absolutely OWNED us during the Arians era.

    Is our D really coming around? Or, did they just beat up on another bad team offensively?

    On offense, I gotta say, I thought we continued to look….just….SLOW for most of the first half. Really. There was the big run by DJ and….what else? Not much. Look how many runs were stuffed for no or minimal gain. Palmer looked OK, no better. And again, to what extent was how bad the Jets were playing making it look OK? There was rarely a sense that the Jets were going to get anything going. But against a much better team, offensively, would that 7-3 lead have held up for long?

    But I loved the consecutive 14-play / 7-8 minute drives in the 2nd half that both ended in TD’s. Ah, NOW we’re talkin’!!! That was the best our offense has looked all season. That was brilliant. And THAT should be what we are trying to replicate going forward. THAT should be our offense. It keeps your defense rested, wears the other defense out. Other team can’t score if they don’t have the ball. Makes their offense anxious, and puts the pressure on them. Gives our defense increased opportunities to come after the QB and to make plays on passes thrown under pressure. THAT suits this team very well.

    Nice win. Good to be 3-3 and seeming to be building momentum. But now we get to play the big boys. We can’t keep losing to the good teams and getting our wins against the weaker sisters of the league. We gotta start playing LIKE one of the big boys AGAINST one of the big boys.

    I’m glad we have Seattle coming up because we need to know.

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    Scott and Others,

    I think it is a fair question to ask how good are the cardinals.

    Lets face it, the 3 wins, the teams combine with a 4-13 record.
    The 3 losses, the teams are 12-6.

    Are we just beating up bad teams and getting beat by average teams. (I say average because the Pats had no Brady, and the Bills and Rams are not winning 11 games each)

    OR, have the cardinals started fixing their issues and are on the right track? Tough to answer.

    I think the defense is playing better with the right guys in the right spots. As noted above, I really could care less how many thumbs down I get, Badger is our weakest defender in the secondary right now. Hopefully he brings his game against Seattle. But overall, the defense is getting out of those zones and playing better football.

    On offense, I think DJ is dynamic and a team that can run the ball, can play action off of it . So, they are starting to find their way. It was a good Jets front that they ran over.

    My biggest issue, and Darren, I will disagree with you a bit, is Palmer. Anyone who knows me, knows I am 100% behind Palmer since the day we traded for him. He is a very good QB. But I noticed it again in the first half . He is not comfortable in that pocket. As Darren noted, the zip is there and when stepping into his throws, he can throw it as good as anyone still. But, man, when he doesn’t feel comfortable in the pocket, he gets throwing off his back foot and throwing balls away. Hopefully he got his confidence in the line back after the second half. If the cards are going to go places, we need Palmer.

  15. By Scott H on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    You speak the truth, my friend. Yes, there are signs that some things are coming around. But’ it’s not where it need to be if do, indeed, have SB aspirations. Many questions remain and I appreciate that you recognize that.

  16. By Wild Blue Yonder on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    I’ll reiterate what some others have posted above.
    I’m pleased that the Cards beat the Jets. HOWEVER, the Jets are NOT a good team.
    The game against the ‘Hawks will tell us whether the Cards can beat a good team. If they lose, you can probably kiss the playoffs goodbye because they will probably not be able to win enough to win the NFC West or get the second NFC Wild Card with several tough games ahead.

  17. By Richard S on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply

    The hit on Jaron really looked like it did him in. I guess he did his stretches before the game if he’s still able to walk. The hit really stretched the heck out of his knees. He’s lucky. I’d hate to see him have to go on IR.

  18. By CARDS62 on Oct 18, 2016 | Reply


    I think we all will agree with you in that Carson Palmer has been a problem since the Seattle game last year, and all of us are hoping he reverts to his old self against Seattle on Sunday Night, but I honestly feel the largest part of our problem has been the play calling and to a lesser extent the disappearance of our WRs and TEs in the passing game. If you go back to our preseason we were a much better running offense than passing offense, and this is how we need to play with play action passing.

    All QBs including the great Tom Brady are going to struggle if under pressure, and excel if not under pressure. I have watched Carson play his entire career and even when at the top of his game he will make a couple of really stupid throws in a game, but I only remember one really bad pass against the Jets. Carson is definitely not at the top of his game right now and something is not right with him, but I do believe he can get it back this year, but like I have been saying before game 1 we need to run the ball more and pass less and play action more and this will help take the pressure off of Carson. You said it yourself JTDG we have a workhorse in David Johnson and it is time to ride that horse plus Ellington is looking very quick to me. Ellington touch the ball what, 5 times against the Jets, and I do not think he even saw the field in the first half. Hopefully 8-10 touches for Ellington including passes.
    Lets play the same against the Seahawks, and give our defense the opportunity to be successful like the Jets game which will allow our offense and especially Palmer to relax and just take what the defense is giving you.
    Of course Seattle offense scares me more than the Jets because they have started using their TE Graham a lot more and Russell Wilson unlike Fitzpatrick is a great scrambler. We have not done well covering talented TEs or scrambling QB. Heck B. Gabbert of the 49ers had 70 yards against us. I credit our defense with more of the win than our offense against the Jets and I think if we beat Seattle it will once again be our defense leading the way, but the offense helping them out again with some ball control. Really like the way we tackled last game, very strong and our 3rd down D was very good in getting off the field..

    JTDG concerning our DBs I think that Cooper is the weak link even today and not the Honey Badger. Cooper is better than Williams this season and I applaud the move to acquire him, but we should have kept J. Powers. Honey Badger was burned on a couple of 3rd and long for first downs and he is still recovering, but he is active and moving better. As Honey Badger and our defense plays with more confidence I like our chances.

    Well Red Sea you greatly helped us beat the Jets especially with 2 false starts early in the game and now Seattle is coming to town and this game is HUGE!!! so rise up again and go Cardinals beat those Seahawks!

  19. By clssylssy on Oct 19, 2016 | Reply

    While the Jets are not playing like the team they were last year, neither are we. And, to keep things more in perspective, the Jets have lost all their games to teams who were playoff teams last year with their only win coming against the Bills, who beat us. In comparison, our wins have come against teams who are not only struggling this year but also finished at the bottom last season.
    I think both of these teams have got some great talent with some weaknesses at key places, both have excellent coaching that has proven to be successful. If the Cards had played like we did against the Rams, I have no doubt that we could have been defeated–Coach Bowles knew our players as well as our playbook better than some of our players. This is the NFL and as we have seen, it’s any given Sunday (or Monday) that David slays Goliath.
    We played this game like we are capable of doing, with passion and a degree of humility but with the desire to make a statement. Hopefully, we’ll be able to channel that same desire for winning, while remembering the bitter taste of defeat, and it will serve to carry us to victory the rest of the season. It’s a new day, let’s continue the roll! And, good job Bridging–we’ll show the “12’s” about the extra man on Sunday!

  20. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 20, 2016 | Reply


    Cooper the weak link;

    I would say in the long run, you may be right. You would think at some point, the Badger gets back to being himself.

    But, as of this moment, watching Matheu play, he is struggling. Guys are beating him out of their breaks and getting separation. I know he is not 100%. It is not a knock on him, but I would almost bet, Seattle’s game plan is to pick on him.

  21. By Eazy E on Oct 22, 2016 | Reply

    Our most complete game to date! I felt sad for my little brother whose favorite team is the New York Jets.


    Carson had an average game for him going 23-34, 213 yards, 1 TD to Michael Floyd, but 0 INT!


    I really hate that CJ2K is out because I believe he would be doing a lot of the same things David is doing, but David is just doing the dang thing! 22 Carries for 111 yards, and 3 TDs with 3 receptions for 27 yards not to mention his 6th straight game with 100+ Scrimmage Yards! Ellington had 5 carries for 25 yards, J.J. Nelson had a couple end-arounds go for 23 yards, and even Stepfan Taylor had 2 carries for 14 yards.


    Fitzgerald vs. Revis was a great matchup with Fitz catching 6 passes for 49 yards and drawing an admittedly questionable holding call against Revis, but this game was all about David’s domination! John Brown actually led us in yardage with 54 yards on 5 catches. Jaron Brown caught 4 passes for 35 yards. Floyd only caught 2 passes for 22 yards, but one was that aforementioned TD.


    0 Sacks allowed against that front, 171 yards rushing, 2 Backup Guards although Earl really isn’t one. All-Around Amazing Game from this group!


    33 Yards Rushing allowed with our D-Line getting after it. We only ended up with 1 sack from Okafor, but we got hits and that’s more important actually! Peters had great penetration on some plays and finishing them off.


    Chandler has affected everything on our defense as predicted. He affects games even if he doesn’t have 2 or 3 sacks! Golden is having an awesome year and continues it in this game. Deone and Minter flew around too.


    Patrick Peterson and Brandon Marshall what a matchup that was and it’s even better when Patrick wins the battle, but boy was it good! Brandon made a few plays on him and drew a pass interference, but aside from that, Pat got him. They were going at the Honey Badger and had success early, but the pick might have signaled things to come when it comes to trusting his knee and just playing ball. Swearinger when we got him was always a good addition in my opinion and he had another great game with 4 tackles and a drive-ending pick! Tharold and Marcus are playing very good football too. Jefferson it always seems to play a good game lately here. What a stud also!


    No Field Goals, and just Extra Points for the Cat Man. Quigley looks like Marquette King compared to Drew Butler! It’s nice to not have to worry about bad snaps and hopefully woeful punting anymore either.

    Great Win even if the New York Jets aren’t that good because a win is truly a win.

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