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Thursday before the Seahawks

Posted by Darren Urban on December 22, 2016 – 4:26 pm

The Cardinals actually won the first game played (that counted) at what is now CenturyLink Field.

It was 2002, and Thomas Jones had his best game as a Card and even though Jake Plummer couldn’t do much, the Cards knocked off the Seahawks, 24-13, the second week of the regular season. The building was simply a new building back then, certainly not the intimidating factor it has grown to be (although, as with most places, the stadium is intimidating when the team playing there is good. If the team playing there isn’t as good, not so much.)

The Cards with Carson Palmer have been good there. Two Palmer starts, two Cardinals wins. When the Cardinals lost in 2014, Palmer was injured and Drew Stanton was behind center. Palmer will be there Saturday, but the team around him is beat up and broken down. It’s not how the Cardinals wanted this matchup to be, especially with the Seahawks in mostly better shape than the first time these teams met this season. But the NFC West has been determined, the Cards are out of the playoffs and all there is for the Cardinals to spoil Seattle’s hopes for that No. 2 seed. Which isn’t nothing, but this game was supposed to be about so much more.

— Well, offensive line of John Wetzel, Mike Iupati, A.Q. Shipley, Taylor Boggs and Earl Watford, welcome to Seattle. They held up OK against the Saints, but, offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, this is a different animal, no?

“This is a very different animal,” Goodwin said. “It’s from outer space. It’s not necessarily an animal, it’s an alien.”

Goodwin said he hasn’t really said much to the group along those lines, however.

“To be honest, I leave them alone,” Goodwin said. “You don’t want to do too much talking. The film speaks for itself. The place we are going this weekend, the crowd noise … we know what we are up against.”

— That’s why the Cardinals need to be able to run the ball — it’s nice having David Johnson for that, although Johnson had to grind out his yardage in the first meeting, the infamous 6-6 tie. There can’t be penalties or sacks. Get at least a little something on each down. “This is not the place you want to go, this is not the team you want to see, in third-and-long,” Goodwin said.

— I don’t know how far Robert Nkemdiche has come yet. But I think it’s been proven that Bruce Arians wouldn’t give him praise unless something has gotten better. Doubtful we’ll see much the last two games, although he will play. It’s about 2017 for the first-round pick.

— Injuries always play a factor, but not having money linebacker Deone Bucannon against the mobile Russell Wilson tends to give one pause. Bucannon’s ability to run is unmatched by the guys filling in for him, and Wilson is clearly running better than how he did in the first meeting when he was hobbled with injuries.

— The secondary is also hurting. Arians acknowledged cornerback Marcus Cooper probably wouldn’t be able to play Saturday — if he doesn’t play, rookie Brandon Williams (who missed practice Thursday with a tight back) would get the start. Justin Bethel, who did say his foot is finally feeling better after the stress fracture that has hampered him for two seasons, remains behind Williams on the depth chart.

— There doesn’t seem to be any indication Tyrann Mathieu won’t play — the Cards need the bodies right now — but Mathieu playing and Mathieu being Honey Badger are two separate things. Arians on Mathieu’s play against the Saints: “He gave it everything he had. It ain’t Ty.” UPDATE: I guess I was wrong. Mathieu went to IR on Friday.

— Defensive coordinator James Bettcher, on whether the defense took last weekend’s meltdown against the Saints personally. “Absolutely we took it personally,” Bettcher said. “There wasn’t a guy on our defensive staff and there wasn’t a guy  in the locker room that wasn’t extremely disappointed in our performance. It wasn’t acceptable, it wasn’t up to our standard, that’s me included. It wasn’t up to my standard. We all own that.”

— Michael Floyd finally met with the New England media and talked about his DUI.

— Larry Fitzgerald said he has talked to David Johnson a lot about how to handle his burgeoning stardom off the field, like Emmitt Smith did with Fitz when Fitz first came into the league. For instance, Fitzgerald told Johnson to be fully dressed and “buttoned-up” when he talks after the game in front of the camera — you never know when a decision-maker at a company might see you and want you to be a spokesman.

“He doesn’t need a lot of advice,” Fitzgerald said. “He’s like a Christmas toy under the tree that doesn’t need any assembly. He’s out-of-the-box-ready.”

— Johnson, by the way, would tie Barry Sanders’ record for consecutive games with 100 scrimmage yards in 15 straight games in a season if he can reach that milestone Saturday.

— Bring on Seattle. Bring on 39 degrees and chilly rain. Bring on what always promises to be an interesting road trip.

beforeseahawks


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Posted in Blog | 19 Comments »


19 Responses to “Thursday before the Seahawks”

  1. By shane on Dec 22, 2016 | Reply

    i see 3 different out comes to this game ..

    1. a blow out .. (because of the D falling apart not the O)

    2. a hart braking loss of cards beating cards like they have all season ..

    3. a close game for 3 quarters then Seattle pulls away in the 4rth ..

    i just dont see AZ winning this game .. the D on this team just seems to be already packing it up for 2017 ..

    don’t get me wrong i hope im wrong and they can pull it out but just dont see it happening. Really its in the cards best interest to lose this game in the long run for the draft but i just hope they show some pride and dont get blown out.

  2. By creditcard on Dec 22, 2016 | Reply

    The combined efforts of John Wetzel, Mike Iupati, A.Q. Shipley, Taylor Boggs and Earl Watford strikes instant fear for any Cardinal holding a football.

  3. By georgiebird on Dec 22, 2016 | Reply

    A lot of guys want to keep pointing to Cards’ injuries. Yes, the OL has three subs and two starters.. Veldheer, Humphries and Mathis have been replaced by Wetzel, Watford and Boggs.
    Reality is that Veldheer, DJ and the aged Mathis are good players but not great players. The rest of the offense is intact. So the Cards should not be that bad off.
    On defense, Cards are without Bucannon and maybe Jenkins. That’s not bad for game #15.
    All in all, play the game and stop worrying about the injuries. The Cards may still be one of the healthiest teams in the league.
    It could be that most of the guys still playing are not that good.

  4. By shannon robinson on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    I’ve coached for many years in men’s and women’s Division 1 rugby where we played conference opponents twice each year. That doesn’t happen in college football nor do football teams ever play two or more games in a week! However those second fixtures each year are real grudge matches and always close. There’s pride in the rivalry but there are also clear and recent memories of what happened in the game before. It is personal. Go Cards, beat Seattle!

  5. By joe.holst on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    they will keep it close for about a quarter then it will be a blowout, the d-line gets 0 pressure on the QB. honestly I would resign Calais Campbell before Chandler Jones but at this point they should tank there games and build up draft position, not for just the 1st round but the later rounds.

  6. By JTDG on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    Good Ole Thomas Jones.

    Yep, I remember it well. the 2000 draft.

    The cards just shocked the world in 1998, by going to the playoffs and beating Dallas in Dallas. There was hope. But the cards in 1999 let several free agents walk and the oline was not good. Adrian Murrell was nearing the end of his career and the cards thought they needed a top notch RB. To go with QB Plummer and stud (oh wait- One year wonder) WR David Boston. (1999’s #1 pick)

    Meanwhile, a Freak of an athlete was in the draft out of New Mexico. He was a LB who returned punts. 80% of the fans wanted him. I remember everyone, including myself, couldn’t understand how you could pass on the Freak of Nature.

    The cards took Thomas Jones and two picks later, Brian Urlacker was taken by the Bears.

    Jones lasted only 3 years with the cards never gaining more than 511 yards in a season and averaged less than 3.5 yards a carry. That Seattle game? Well he ran for 173 yards. Of course only running for 338 yards the rest of the year.

    But he then moved on, gaining over 10K in his career including over 3000 yards in 3 years with, you guest it, the Bears.

    Oh, and the Urlacher fellow, he went on to play 13 years for the Bears on his way to the HOF.

    Don’t worry, the cards came back the next three years.
    In 2001 they took Leonard Davis at #2 over #5 Ladainian Thomalson, #6 Richard Seymour and #4 Justin Smith.
    In 2002 they took Wendall Bryant
    and then the best, In 2003, They endeared themselves to all Arizona St fans by passing on Terrell Suggs for Calvin Pace and Bryant Johnson.

    Gosh, pointing out the cards inability to draft never gets old. Can’t wait to see what we do this year !

  7. By Scott H on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    Geez, I remember Mike Ditka talking on ESPN about the Cardinals going into NE back in 2008, late in the season, an indoor team from the west coast going into a cold weather city in Dec on a day when snow was forecasted….and he talked about how he expected to see a team that wanted no part of this game, wasn’t even going to want to get off the bus. He talked about how we were going to see the Cardinals do a total “drive-by” in this game.

    Final score? Patriots 47, Cardinals 7.

    And we’ve already seen a 58-0 “drive-by” in Seattle just a few years ago.

    So….we’re looking at 39 degrees and wet….in Seattle….on Christmas Eve….next to last game of the season….and already eliminated from the playoffs. Anyone feeling concerned we might see another “drive-by” tomorrow? God, I hope not. This season has been depressing enough. We don’t need a beat-down in Seattle on the way out the door.

  8. By Scott H on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    Not related, but saw a blurb on NFL.com today about whether the Pats might be looking to trade Jimmy Garrappolo after this season. Hmmmm….interesting. I wonder about the Cardinals being perhaps more interested in a young QB WITH some NFL experience ( not to mention some experience winning games at UoP stadium ) than a rookie.

    But I also wonder why would the Patriots be wanting to trade him NOW?? Tom Brady is 39. Still going strong but 39, nonetheless. That, too, is very interesting. Might that be because they have seen enough of this kid to believe he is NOT their QB of the future???

  9. By TucsonTim on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    “There doesn’t seem to be any indication Tyrann Mathieu won’t play…”

    Hmmmm…

  10. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    As long as we don’t get a deluge like in Miami, I like C. Palmer’s new “get the ball out” mode in Seattle; also, like Bettcher owning the big burger from Saints. Go Cards, no predictions, but we’ll be watching…hoping for best. Feel bad for Tyran. Hope he heals and has a long, great career…

  11. By dobie on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    Seahawks might not even play there starters as any body think about that

  12. By creditcard on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    Several people have posted their “wish list” of players to be drafted. Too soon.

    I believe the Cards will have a hard time persuading FA’s to stay or come to AZ. I also believe there is something more to the Cards cratered season than awful SP team, and injuries. Something is wrong in the locker room and /or with the staff.

    That said, I think Larry Fitzgerald will retire. (I hate to see that — but I do believe this will happen). Palmer might also be contemplating retirement, who wants to be playing their final season on a team with little chance.

    Getting back to the drafting of players; the Cards need several draft picks. This team needs to be rebuilt. If I were GM, I would see what it would take to trade down and acquire more picks.

    I also believe the drafting needs to be done better than the last couple of years.

    Cards need more picks and better drafting decsions

  13. By JTDG on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H,

    The Patriots drafted Jacoby Brissett in the 3rd round in 2016. He played in 3 games, 2 starts, in which they went 2-1 and he had pretty decent stats.

    With Brady pledging to play till he is 45, I would imagine in 3 years, we will see the Pats draft another QB and be offering Brissett out as trade bait and everyone talking about Brissett.

    As for taking Jimmy Garapalo, things aren’t always what they seem. This is a guy with 2 starts, 91 passing attempts in 3 years, and got hurt in one of his two starts.

    Not much to go on, especially when you consider the system he plays in. Remember Matt Cassel went 11-5.

  14. By Scott H on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    TusconTim –

    I was thinking the exact same thing,, bro. SAME exact thing. How do you go from there doesn’t seem to be any indication a player won’t play to that player going on IR a few hours later??

    I swear, I’ve had enough. This nightmare of a season just needs to end.

  15. By Scott H on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    dobie –

    RE: Seahawks might not even play their starters

    Yeah….either are we at this point.

    And just out of curiosity, would a win against a bunch of Seahawks back-ups really make you feel better right now? Yeah, that’s almost as good as winning a SB, huh?

  16. By clssylssy on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    OK…
    Tyrann is now on IR, don’t know why they didn’t put him on sooner so we could open up a roster spot and maybe see if we have anybody that works.
    Geez, this season is just bad news on top of more bad news with nothing good in sight.
    By now our roster is looking more like “The Replacements” that nobody has ever heard of, lol, than our much hyped “Superbowl Team”.
    At this point, I’m just hoping we’ll go down fighting…maybe we need a little locker room dance with a course of “I will survive”,,,couldn’t hurt. GO CARDS!

  17. By Lady Cardinal Fan on Dec 23, 2016 | Reply

    Boy are you boys fair weather fans. Lighten Up. If the world falls apart it won’t be the Cardinals that cause it, though it might be someone else that you boys recently supported.

  18. By mitchaz on Dec 24, 2016 | Reply

    A Christmas Eve Mock:

    On the premise that QB Carson Palmer and WR Larry Fitzgerald will be returning

    Re-Sign:

    TE Gresham
    TE Fells
    DT Rucker
    DE Mauro
    OLB/DE Jones
    LB Moore
    S Swearinger

    FA Signings:

    CB A.J. Bouye (HOU)
    G T.J. Lang (GB)
    C Brian Schwanke (TEN)
    DE Lawrence Guy (BAL

    Draft:

    1—Reuben Foster, ILB, Alabama. Imo, best all-around defensive player in the draft.

    2—Curtis Samuel, WR, Ohio St. Can play wide, in the slot and in the backfield. Plays swift and tough.

    3—Jarron Jones, DE/DT, Notre Dame. Strong battler inside with rush ability.

    4—Vince Biesel, OLB, Wisconsin. Great motor. Could excel in sub packages and on STs.

    5—Eddie Jackson, FS, Alabama. Becomes the much needed nickel FS and punt returner.

    6—Matt Milano, SS, Boston College. Always around the ball. Very good blitzer. Should help STs.

    7—Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo. Super tough and productive. STs player.

    Merry Christmas to all at arizonacardinals.com!

  19. By CARDS62 on Dec 25, 2016 | Reply

    mitchaz

    You have to get me either a punter or a kicker in the draft. I can not do this again in 2017.

    Late round pick for specialist. JTDG since you are remembering all of our wonderful first round picks do you remember when we selected K/P Steve Little out of Arkansas in the first round and how that turned out.

    This is another reason I am not ready to let Steve Keim go as usually our first round picks have also been very bad Thomas Jones was a very good player we just did not have anyone to block for him. Most important position behind QB on offense is linemen. We could have drafted Eric Dickerson or Ottis Anderson when we drafted Thomas Jones and I do not think they would have done much better.

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