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Friday before the Falcons

Posted by Darren Urban on November 25, 2016 – 3:48 pm

Steve Keim has looked at his offensive line since the day he started. He signed Jared Veldheer and Mike Iupati as his most high-profile free-agent additions. He drafted D.J. Humphries with the idea he could eventually upgrade at tackle over Bobby Massie. He signed Evan Mathis as a veteran to be the other guard this season.

We know how it’s turned out so far.

Veldheer and Mathis are done for the season with injuries. Humphries has gone through growing pains this year after sitting all of last year. Iupati, banged up himself, has struggled of late. Fellow guard Earl Watford, Mathis’ replacement, has also been banged up this week. The players off the bench are inexperienced.

As Carson Palmer said this week, continuity is ideal along the line — and the Cardinals have not had continuity. Not anymore. That isn’t to say there weren’t issues anyway, but juggling up front is not what you want. The Cardinals will likely need to score Sunday in Atlanta, since the Falcons are the league’s top scoring team. We might see a steady diet of David Johnson running, but it’s not like the Falcons don’t know that either. In a season of up-and-down offensive production, the tenuous nature of the offensive line has not helped.

“We’ll have five of them out there, for sure,” coach Bruce Arians said.

— Michael Floyd might yet play Sunday even after hurting his hamstring and missing Thursday and Friday on the practice field. But it seems like anything that could go wrong for the free-agent-to-be wide receiver this season has.

— Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones will have Patrick Peterson on him most of the game Sunday. Teams have sometimes had a cornerback “travel” to cover Jones, but Jones said it usually comes with a caveat.

“Teams have been trying to do that, but they’ve been playing a lot of two-man while they were doing it,” Jones said. “They’ll take their ‘OK’ corner and put him over me and then just have safety help, and try to put the better corner on the other side, try to let him lock that side down. Pat P, it’s just usually one-on-one.”

— So it turns out neither Peterson — for his unnecessary roughness call for knocking down QB-turned-WR Sam Bradford — or Tony Jefferson — for his hit on the still-trying-to-go-forward Stefon Diggs — were fined for their play. It’s fair to wonder if that means the league disagreed with the calls. Vikings defensive tackle Tom Johnson was fined $18,231 for his fourth-down hit on Palmer that extended the Cards’ final drive.

— The Vikings offensive linemen weren’t happy with Peterson about the hit. But Arians defended his player, not surprisingly, starting with the fact Bradford was lined up as a wide receiver and no longer had quarterback protections.

“That’s my understanding, and he just threw a flea-flicker on the exact same play, so don’t let it happen,” Arians said. “(Peterson) did what he was coached to do.”

As for the Vikings offensive linemen being upset, “Well, they shouldn’t have threw the flea-flicker the first time then,” Arians said. “He ain’t going to let it happen a second time.”

— The Cardinals are trying to get past an interception drought. They have now gone four games without one, the last time picking off an opposing QB coming way back on Oct. 17 when they nailed Ryan Fitzpatrick twice. Matt Ryan has just five interceptions this season (compared to 24 touchdown passes) but the Cardinals have gotten to Ryan in the past. He threw four interceptions against the Cardinals in Arizona in a 2013 game, and five picks in a game against the Cards in Atlanta in 2012. (Alas, the Cards still lost that 2012 matchup.)

— If Carson Palmer throws two touchdown passes, he’ll surpass Joe Montana on the all-time TD passes list. Palmer sits at 272, Montana 273.

When Palmer was asked about it, his response just reinforced to me my thought Palmer has every plan to play in 2017, regardless of how this season has gone/will go.

“What excites me about the game is the anticipation for Sunday, the process, going through and getting mentally prepared and physically prepared, obviously,” Palmer said. “There is no doubt that it would be an honor to do that, but I love playing the game because I love Sundays.”

— So atlantafalcons.com apparently does weekly simulations about the game ahead, and this week, they had the Cardinals winning the game, 21-19, behind David Johnson’s two touchdowns. So there’s that.

beforefalconsblog


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Posted in Blog | 11 Comments »


11 Responses to “Friday before the Falcons”

  1. By Scott H on Nov 25, 2016 | Reply

    Julio Jones is a beast like no other that PP has faced this season. And he is a beast the likes of which does not come along often. Talk about a complete / virtually perfect WR…..size, speed, strength, ability, hands…..there are NO chinks in his armor. Unless he is limited by some type of injury….forget it. Not to sell my man, PP short, he is a stud in his own right and has had notable showings against Calvin Johnson, whom I would consider the most Julio Jones-comparable WR you could name right now.

    All that said….if PP can contain Jones on Sunday ( say, keep him under 100 yards and w/out a score ), that will be huge. If I had to pick a side right now….gun to my head…..with how well Ryan is playing this year…..I’d have to say I do NOT think Jones will be contained, as defined above, on Sunday.

    Should be a great match-up to watch. Sadly, I cannot find the confidence to predict a win for the Cardinals. There’s just nothing to point to. The offensive line is just too much of a mess at this point and that is contributing to the mess that Palmer has been as well. DJ can’t carry the ball on every play, ya know?

    I have to think the players would want to win this one for BA, so he can enjoy the plane ride home Sunday afternoon and not have to be in the hospital by Sunday night. But….again, it’s just hard to find the confidence at this point.

  2. By Scott H on Nov 25, 2016 | Reply

    I swear…..if there is a poster child for the 2016 Arizona Cardinals season, it is Michael Floyd. Regardless of how much of it may be his fault or not, it still is what it is. And what it is is nowhere near what it was supposed to be.

  3. By Dr. G. on Nov 25, 2016 | Reply

    It’s natural to cling to something positive….but comparing Palmer to Joe Montana in any genre is close to ludicrous. Oh, I forgot, Palmer is taller, huh? We can make stats do anything. Between Willie Mays and me, we have 660 MLB home runs.

    And, I am a loyal Fan, but this team family is totally discombobulated…some of the children need to go to the figurative wood shed…some to the literal psychologist…

    As said prior, if we win out, I will eat my sombrero…hang in CARDS FANS…

  4. By Dr. G. on Nov 25, 2016 | Reply

    Darren ~ ~ Kudos again…your job gets tougher during these stormy times. Reasonable fans respect your candor…good on ya..! Great blog…!

  5. By Jon Elder on Nov 26, 2016 | Reply

    Dr. G–

    The article stated with 2 more touchdowns Palmer will pass Joe Montana. Not sure what about that being said upsets you, no other comparison was made. Its just a fact.

  6. By Andy Kw on Nov 26, 2016 | Reply

    Drew Butler has to leave

  7. By texascard on Nov 26, 2016 | Reply

    If montana throws 37 interseptions on sunday he will be tied with palmer.

  8. By Dan on Nov 27, 2016 | Reply

    need to use TE a lot more

  9. By shannon robinson on Nov 27, 2016 | Reply

    Good luck to the Cardinals today. Run the ball, protect Palmer, get open and catch the football. I’d like to see us get after Matt Ryan. A few sacks please for me and I’d like the fumble recovery stuffing and maybe some more Honey Badger. Great matchup for Patrick today against his old nemesis, the incomparable Julio Jones! Need some big plays today. Love those Cardinals. “I’m about to kick somebody’s ass…”

  10. By CARDS62 on Nov 27, 2016 | Reply

    Scott you nailed it for me as this is also the battle within the game that I am excited about watching today. JJ vs PP. JJ is great and he has a good QB throwing to him in Matt Ryan and he has had an extra week to prepare and take care of his body so it will be a great test for PP. If PP does not get up for this game and the Redskin game next week he will not get up for anything. PP is a horrible tackler as was Primetime Deion Sanders. but the man can cover so this one I am hoping will be a lot of fun. Hard decision who would I take in their prime, Calvin Johnson aka Megatron or JJ.

    Hope we get after the QB today with some 5 man blitzes or could be a long day,

    I asked a question a week ago to our fan group to provide me with reasons of why we will win this game and no one responded so I think all or the great majority of us are expecting a loss today.
    Hopefully our Cardinals will surprise us with David Johnson having a game like he had against the Eagles last year and Atlanta having 2 or more turnovers.

    Go Cards!

  11. By Scott H on Nov 27, 2016 | Reply

    Cards62 –

    Nice to know there are some who can read my posts and actually hear what I’m saying – instead of what is constantly perceived as negativity. I have NO idea what I said in that post that was so objectionable. What did I say, that Julio Jones is an amazing, other-worldly specimen as a WR?? Sorry….I thought most people knew that.

    That I was having a hard time finding the confidence that the Cardinals would win this game? Well, folks, the score was 38-19 Atlanta, so….deal with it. Stop having such a problem with what I say and pay more attention to how this team is playing.

    Anyway, Cards, another miserable week for us.

    BTW, if I have to choose between Calvin Johnson and Julio Jones…..well, you can’t make a bad choice but I’ll take CJ in his prime. He may have been THE most physically dominant WR of all time.

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