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Going deep, Friday before the Panthers

Posted by Darren Urban on October 28, 2016 – 3:22 pm

It’s a weekly occurrence, the concern about the Cardinals’ deep ball that just isn’t there anymore. Is there anything that can be done about it? Maybe not. It’s a simple equation for offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin of why they’ve dried up.

“Because no one is giving them to us,” Goodwin said. “People are playing deep coverage on us, and forcing us to make intermediate and underneath throws. That’s one reason the running game is a little bit better too.

“People know we live for the shot and people aren’t going to give it it up anymore. We respect that. We just have to beat them in different ways.”

The Panthers are a team that’s had problems on the back end and would seem to be susceptible down the field. Then again, the same things were said about the game against the Jets and the Jets played off and the Cardinals bludgeoned them to death with David Johnson. The Panthers are stout against the run, but the Cards aren’t giving up that part of the game.

But Bruce Arians continues to say — with a stronger nod to running the ball these days — that there will be times to take shots and some are still open. Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer definitely lamented the J.J. Nelson bomb against the Seahawks that Palmer simply threw too far out of bounds.

“I missed a couple,” Palmer said. “I had J.J. on a couple the other night. I’ve taken shots that I shouldn’t have in certain situations. I think one thing I need to do is be a little bit more picky – when to take them, when not to take them. That’s something I’ve really been trying to work on.”

— I didn’t think the Panthers were going to be 15-1 again this season. But they shouldn’t be 1-5. I thought Kelvin Benjamin was going to be a huge upgrade in helping their passing game. In all honesty, I didn’t think Josh Norman — or a lack thereof — would have this sort of an impact.

— Larry Fitzgerald had a tough flight home the last time the Cardinals were in Carolina. Bruce Arians, not so much. “Steve (Keim) and I were working on next year already.”

— The Cardinals need better special teams. And not just Chandler Catanzaro kicking field goals. Protections have to be cleaned up. Last week, the Cards were hurt when Jaron Brown went down, forcing Kerwynn Williams in as a wing protector on the punt team. Williams is the one who surrendered the blocked punt. There’s no question injuries have taken a toll on special team — Four guys on IR, Tyvon Branch, Jaron Brown, Alani Fua and Troy Niklas, were all key special teams pieces to begin the year.

“You always have to be ready,” special teamer Stepfan Taylor said. “It’s kind of a want-to and a technique kind of deal. We do a good job of everybody ready, but you can only suit up 46 people in the game. It becomes limited. You have people who have never played it before having to be in-game ready and jump in.”

— We’ll see if the 10 a.m. kickoff Arizona time impacts anything. The Cardinals didn’t play well in the 10 a.m. kickoff in Buffalo, although I’m not sure that was time-related. It would’ve been better to have the 1:25 p.m. Az time kick as originally scheduled (TV moved it because both teams aren’t playing well), but it’s not like they haven’t done it before. The team is in the air right now flying out to Carolina.

At least I’ll get home at a reasonable time. Hey, I’m looking at the silver lining.

— Injuries will play a big role in how the pass rushes for both teams might look. When the Cardinals are on offense, how does left tackle Jared Veldheer hold up with a cast on his right hand against the formidable Carolina defensive line? On the other side, not having starting left tackle Michael Oher (concussion) could make things interesting against edge rushers Chandler Jones and Markus Golden.

— One last word on the two field goal block/miss in Seattle. The NFL explains why both were legal in this video.

— There’s been a lot of talk about the tie the Panthers had in 2014, allowing them to win the NFC South at 7-8-1 over the 7-9 Saints. In context, of course, it was a point made after the Cardinals had their own tie last weekend. There’s only one problem — while the tie made the final standings cleaner in terms of seeing who won, the Panthers were going to win the division anyway. The Panthers and Saints split their two games, and the Panthers had a better division record. So even if the Panthers had lost and not tied the Bengals, they would’ve won the South.

— Don’t forget the Pat Tillman “A Football Life” tonight at 6 p.m. on NFL Network (and probably replaying a time or two. Check your local listing.)

— The Cardinals get the bye next week. There’s a pretty big difference between 4-3-1 and 3-4-1. At least in the chase to make the postseason.

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15 Responses to “Going deep, Friday before the Panthers”

  1. By D on Oct 28, 2016 | Reply

    RIP Pat Tillman

  2. By Jahstone on Oct 28, 2016 | Reply

    Thank you for the information about Pat Tillman, a Football Life.

  3. By Dr. G. on Oct 28, 2016 | Reply

    The “home run” in the NFL should be sparsely used when an open opportunity presents. Like I posted long ago, the league has BA’s number now…well, for a long time. It’s time to play some smash mouth ball with good strategy and start using the TEs as they are designed…! Oh well, at least I get part of my wish list for play calling.

    Goodwin saying we’re covered deep now is the same revelation that Arians needs to concede that the little birdie is still chirping in his deaf ear.

    In the poker world, we employ a tact called “tight//aggressive.” You use mostly conservative tact, but play it aggressively. Sorry, but I keep pointing to the detestable Patriots; they prove on a continuum what it takes to be in the hunt when rounding the 4th turn…. Just hoping we can become a regular participant in January every year…be well Cards Fans

  4. By Scott H on Oct 28, 2016 | Reply

    Hate to say I told ya so but I was saying that since Week 2 – that other teams KNOW what the Cardinals want to do and they are playing us differently. Hence, the need to adapt to this by playing more intermediate and underneath, taking what the defense gives you. Hey, maybe it’s not sexy but that don’t mean it can’t be effective.

    We haven’t LOST the ability to go deep, it’s not just GONE. Yes. other teams are playing us differently and that makes it more difficult. But let’s look at the other factors – Floyd has been missing in action all year. He’s our best deep threat target. Smoky hasn’t been himself, truly up to speed all year because of injuries. That takes more away. Nelson has only just returned to being himself in the last week or two. THAT has been missing. So, the pieces that we need to get deep just haven’t been there. Not like they were last year.

    Nelson is back. Smoky is coming back. Floyd…..well, who knows? I’ll believe it when I see it. But Floyd’s disappearance has been the biggest killer of them all. I really believe that if HE comes back ( from wherever the hell he has been ), this offense will start to roll, for real.

    And let’s be honest, Palmer isn’t quite all there either. For whatever reason. But he has missed some throws to receivers when the play was there, the best / most recent example was the play against Seattle where he missed Nelson, open along the sidelines. We couldn’t even have gotten a pass interference call on that one because the ball was SO un-catchable.

    All of these things have conspired to diminish our big play ability. But think about it – it’s not like other teams didn’t know what we wanted to do last year, either. Of course they did. But with ALL of our horses on the field and healthy and playing as they should, they couldn’t stop it. Because no defense can stop ALL of those weapons with 11 guys. You just can’t do it. We just haven’t been able to put the whole arsenal on the field yet this year. Floyd, Smoky, Jaron, Nelson, and Palmer have all been injured along the way and missed some games.

    Maybe if we can just get to a point where everyone is healthy and ready to go – and if someone can just find the REAL Michael Floyd – we will see a return of the big plays. And THAT would be a sight for sore eyes!

    Will be interesting to see how the Cards look early on in this one on a shorter week than usual ( for this team, going from a Sunday Night game at home to a 10:00 start on the east coast IS a shorter week than usual ) after a game that has to be hard to bounce back from. Meanwhile, the Panthers are about as well rested as can be coming off the bye. Wonder if we will see two teams moving at different speeds on Sunday. If so, it will be a long day and could get ugly.

    But I’m not expecting that. I think the D will continue to play as it has in recent weeks. And that will keep us in any game.

    I’VE had a hard time moving on from the Seahawks game, so I have to hope the players have! And it seems to me, there ought to be SOME desire to pay the Panthers back a little for the royal beat down they gave us last year. Hate to get greedy when all we should need is a win in a tough spot, but I sure won’t mind seeing the Cardinals pile on them this time if we get the chance. They sure didn’t spare us last year.

    Got a lot of road games coming up, so….might as well get it going now.

  5. By dynosoar on Oct 28, 2016 | Reply

    All they need to do is keep their stress level optimum. Too low = lackadaisical and a loss. Too high = missing catches and throws and blocks by inches due to trying too hard and also equals a loss.

    We can do this.

    I love my Cardinals. Not always the results, but I love this team.
    Since ’77 – Go Cards!

  6. By Infamous Amos on Oct 29, 2016 | Reply

    Can Amos Jones please just do what is best for the team and the sanity of all hardcore Cards fans and just retire into the Arizona sunset…..

  7. By Jon Elder on Oct 29, 2016 | Reply

    Putting Kerwynn Williams in on that play was a giant blunder that cost us the game. Injuries or no, that substitution was simply inexcusable. That’s on Arians and the coaching, they need to up their game big time.

  8. By LadyBird04 on Oct 29, 2016 | Reply

    Darren: RE: Special Teams

    We have a big-bodied, strong player seemingly doing nothing…Could Nkemdiche
    learn to do some of the blocking on special teams?

  9. By clssylssy on Oct 29, 2016 | Reply

    Historically, we’ve been a pretty good road team, and, sometimes even have “found ourselves” while on the road. I’m hoping that will continue and that this will be the beginning of a a streak we’ve had difficulty establishing. At the same time, we’ve not found the early Eastern time slot team friendly with built-in jet lag but, we usually fly out earlier and maybe the team will be more rested this time. After the prolonged and very physically taxing battle against Seattle, I think rest and conditioning will be most important to the team; by now they know what needs to be done, it’s just a matter of playing strong and smart, withstanding another brutal battle against a formidable and well rested foe. While the national media seems to have lost faith, I think we have the better team and after seeing what they can do against Seattle, I know we have the talent and the will. Win this and then have a good nap on the plane home! Our prayers are with you for a safe and victorious trip. This is an opportunity to put all ghosts and demons to rest. WE CAN DO THIS! GO CARDS!

  10. By tuctownAz on Oct 29, 2016 | Reply

    What’s up bird gang I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but if we can pull off a win here we could possibly get in a position to take back this division and I say that because if you look at Seattle right now they are so banged up that they could get smoked by the saints on Sunday than they play the bills and then the pats if they lost at least two of those game we could at least be tied if we win then we go in to the bye and come back too play the 49ers wich should be a easy win wich would put us at 5-3-1 and Seattle at 5-3-1 and that’s if seattle win one of the 3 games they have coming up but there so messed up right now that if they do lose to the saints there spirit would be ripped out of them wich could open up a win for the bills and definitely for the patriots

  11. By Marlin on Oct 29, 2016 | Reply

    Gotta Love Ladybird’s comment re Nkemdiche !

  12. By Dan on Oct 29, 2016 | Reply

    Pat Tillman was a flat out stud. Fearless, honest, curious, loyal, thoughtful……..was a great dude. Shame he’s not on this earth……always said to myself and to others that this guy was going to do something special although this wasn’t what I had in mind but in the long run, he will end up being bigger than ever. He’s a guy u dreamed of being…….a guy u wanted to follow just to see what he could accomplish and its a shame we can’t follow him anymore but a the same time his short life will impact so many other lives for years to come. Pretty amazing stuff when u think about it. We all lose the act of living with our busy lives………..live like Pat and look up at the sky or the moon at night and just wonder. He had a non-stop motor but he also took the time to sit and think. What a bad-ass.

  13. By texascard on Oct 30, 2016 | Reply

    Ladybird
    The answer is no. Kim diche can’t even learn the position he has played before. Learning anything new could set him back months/years in his attempt to become a regular active member on the cards squad. He is so physically gifted that all other rules regarding rookies ( such as playing on special teams) do not apply. Just the fact that Kim has suited up in some (underline some) of the games is a huge win for the draft pick. It proves that although he can contribute nothing at this point in his career he looks so good in his uniform he was and is a great pick. Please lady bird don’t ask the impossible and expect anything more than great reports on how he practiced in shorts and reports that he is actually active on game days. That’s enough for the real cardinal fans so that’s enough for me

  14. By clssylssy on Oct 30, 2016 | Reply

    To expect some of these rookies to come in and make the transition to the NFL from college, (some have never been in a huddle or a three point stance), learn a complicated playbook that took many veterans half a season, and play with the same fan fair as they did in college, is unrealistic. Certainly there are a few rookies who come into the NFL and blow the doors off, but to count on them doing so because they were taken in the first few rounds is ridiculous. Getting taken in the first round, is more about the GM (at least in Arizona) than the player so we should put preconceived notions about draft order/rookie success, away and look more at potential. Redshirting DJ was probably the smartest thing we could do and perhaps rather than over hyping Kim, we need to work with what we know is a sure thing and take it slowly with him.
    Was listtening to Arizona Sports yesterday who reported this upcoming draft class as being the worse for QBs in a long while, which doesn’t sound especially promising for the Cards, who haven’t been good at drafting QB talent or developing it since Jake Plummer! The fact is, this is no longer a developmental league so we’ll probably only find a suitable replacement for Palmer who is like a
    “gently used” Preowned car…old enough that the personal taxes don’t kill you and factory flaws have been fixed, but new enough to still be under warranty and look good, and perform well.

  15. By Joe C. on Oct 30, 2016 | Reply

    Every game is a playoff game now! Luckily its a double elimination tournament. The beauty is we can win most of our games. We can win each one but also most. There is no reason Williams couldn’t make that block. He was replacing a WR and apologies to Larry, WR are notoriously laissez faire about blocking. That was probably the best indicator of why Williams has trouble sticking on this team.

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