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Cards have seen amazing A-Rod before

Posted by Darren Urban on January 15, 2017 – 6:27 pm

The weekend signaled the end of the NFC West’s season (with the Seahawks getting run over in Atlanta) and then the Packers toppling the No. 1-seeded Cowboys Sunday. Some thoughts as the NFC — which didn’t have the Cardinals — whittled their Super Bowl possibilities down to two:

— Aaron Rodgers is amazing. That pass he lasered to tight end Jared Cook to set up the game-winning field goal (Cook made an incredible catch too) was hard to fathom. It’s not like the Cardinals haven’t seen that before. They (and their fans) did just last year. It’s just that Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald made sure Rodgers didn’t get the last word in overtime.

— Coming into the season, Bruce Arians talked more than once about how the Cards have started hot before and want to see what it would be like to go into the postseason as the hot team. Obviously the Cardinals didn’t get to do that, but the Packers are the ultimate example of a hot team now. Yes, Green Bay got a home game in the first week as a division winner, but they are 2008 Cardinals hot right now. The Falcons are playing really well right now, they get a home NFC Championship and the Packers are injured all over the place on defense. But then again, A-Rod.

— That final week Pack-over-the-Lions game that gave the Cardinals a road game in Detroit next season instead of Green Bay (and put the Seahawks with a road game at Green Bay) could mean a lot in the NFC West race.

— The Cards also get a home game against the Cowboys next season, and I’ve seen enough of Dak Prescott and Zeke Elliott to understand that Dallas is going to be a force in the conference for awhile, barring injury.

— The way the Packers and the Falcons can score, will they threaten that 51-45 Cardinals-Packers playoff score from a few years back?

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11 Responses to “Cards have seen amazing A-Rod before”

  1. By joe holst on Jan 16, 2017 | Reply

    Scouting the playoff teams this weekend and (1) seeing these field goal kickers nail kick after kick(FG) is something the Cardinals are going to have to dramatically improve on. (2) Dallas sorely needs an edge rusher or 2 if they are going to advance Rodgers had all day. (3) Pittsburgh is loaded with receiver and they typically do not draft them higher than the 3rd round (4) Vince Williams #98 on Pittsburgh is and absolute monster on special teams wish AZ could get him.

  2. By clssylssy on Jan 16, 2017 | Reply

    I don’t know what all the fuss is about Aaron Rogers…yes, he’s good but, the Cards have figured out how to beat him on more than one occasions, guess the Cowboys should have watched some old film on teams who have beaten him!
    The officiating was horrendous in all of the games to the point, I’ve lost interest in watching football for the season. Clearly, the AFC is still “old school”, fast and physical and the Steeler/Chiefs game was a real slobber knocker, physical, ground and pound gladiator fest–great game. By comparison, our play calling seems old and stale and one dimensional and we need to find a new wrinkle if we ever expect to get back to the playoffs…sure wish we could get Todd Haley back!

  3. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Jan 16, 2017 | Reply

    Good post. Atlanta looks like 2015 Cards on offense, Pack/a-Rod hot, but so is Ryan. In the dome.

    Who you picking?

  4. By mitchaz on Jan 16, 2017 | Reply

    * Sunday’s games stressed once again the critical importance of special teams, particularly the kicking game. Mason Crosby was sensational—without his leg the Packers likely lose that game. If 2nd year PK Chris Boswell missed just one of his 6 FG attempts in the frigid night air of KC, the Steelers likely lose their game.

    * The legend of Aaron Rodgers rolls on. 35 seconds and one time out. He gets it done. Unreal.

    * TE Jared Cook—what a difference a good QB makes.

    * Dak Prescott—man, what a great game. How about the toughness he showed breaking a head-on tackle at the goal line. What poise and precision down the stretch. Zeke Elliot is the best RB in the game—he’s the toughest, not just in rushing, but in pass protection. That draft class of the Cowboys’—particularly if LB Jaylon Smith returns to form, could well be be best draft of the century. DT Maliek Collins and CB Anthony Brown look like very good choices as well.

    * It’s amazing how the Packers with their decimated secondary still managed to win that game. But they did. The Packers’ fast start offensively allowed it to stay a close game and with Rodgers at QB, close games can turn into stunning Ws.

    * The constant holding and jersey grabbing by DBs is incredibly annoying—pretty much because the officials don’t want to throw flags on every play.

    * The Cowboys’ FS Jeff Heath (6-1, 212, 4, Saginaw Valley St.) had one heckuva performance—showing great speed and anticipation on his interception of Rodgers and helping to break up other deep passes. Then his sack of Rodgers was huge—and absolutely amazing that Rodgers managed to hold on to the ball as he never saw Heath coming. Heath is a UFA and he is exactly the kind of FS the Cardinals need. Plus, he is an ace STs player. He is a UFA and I hope the Cardinals make a run for him. Signing Heath and either TJ or DJS would be huge.

    * The STs player on the Steelers who stood out to me was ILB Vince Williams (6-1, 233, 4, Florida St.), who got to the 12 yard line in a hurry to stonewall the ever-explosive KR Tyriek Hill. Williams is a UFA and there are many Steelers’ fans who think he’s a very good starter at ILB waiting to happen.

    * The Chiefs’ “bend but don’t break” defense raises the question of defensive philosophy—with all of the talent they have on defense, wouldn’t it be better to try to create a monsoon of pressure and havoc, rather than to just try to keep everything in front of them? It would make even more sense for them to be super aggressive seeing as the Chiefs’ offense doesn’t score a lot of points.

    * Was that Alex Smith’s last game at QB for the Chiefs? Will Andy Reid turn the reins over to Nick Foles? Or would he make a run at Mike Glennon? It feels like Reid will make a change.

    * Oh the irony of Mike Tomlin telling his team to keep a low profile on social media and WR Antonio Brown immediately goes and tweets Tomlin’s speech? Just when Tomlin seems to deserve to be vindicated by Terry Bradshaw’s scathing critique—basically stating that all Tomlin is is a cheerleader. Man, all these ex-pros like Joe Namath and Eric Dickerson ripping on current coaches—a sure sign of the times, isn’t it?

  5. By JohnnyBluenose on Jan 16, 2017 | Reply

    Atlanta-GreenBay could definitely be a shoot-out. No question, Rodgers to Cook was a great, great play but i do not understand why Dallas only rushed three players. That decision allowed Rodgers time to move outside the pocket and gave Cook time to get 35 yards downfield and then kick the field goal on the next play.Dallas could have won the game if not for the weird unsportsmanlike penalty that cost them a big scoring opportunity early in the game and also for the Hyde interception around the five yard line. I don’t understand that play-call when you have Elliott there to run the ball. Maybe the Cowboys forgot about James Harrison intercepting Kurt Warner at the goal-line or, more recently, Malcolm Butler’s interception of Russell Wilson in SuperBowl 49. But, that’s why they play the games and this one was a great one to watch.

  6. By Scott H on Jan 17, 2017 | Reply

    Yes, the Cardinals have seen the great A-Rod. And he has seen us!!

    The Cardinals have found ways to conquer his greatness to an extent that perhaps no other team has.

    One can only hope we may yet get another shot – WITH LARRY FITZGERALD ON BOARD – next year. He’s been such an indispensible part of this “rivalry” so far, it just wouldn’t be right if he weren’t here for Cardinals vs Rodgers, Round Three.

  7. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 18, 2017 | Reply

    Johnny —

    So many teams, it seems, on 3rd (or 4th) and forever rush only a few guys and so often we see plays like that one. Especially with a QB like Rodgers… sooner or later he’ll find someone open.

    When it’s 3rd and 10, I understand the risk of the QB escaping and running for the first. But 3rd and 26, or whatever it was there? Not happening. So why not pressure, force him to get rid of the ball quickly, and trust that your D can make a tackle even if there’s a completion and hold the guy to 10-15 yards?

    I still remember one of my favorite plays in recent Cardinal history… 2014, 3rd down (although it didn’t matter what down it was), 1 second left, Cards up 4, Eagles on the Cards’ 16, needing a TD on the final play to win. Todd Bowles brought the house — I think 7 guys were rushing the passer — and Foles had to throw the ball almost instantly; ultimately, it was a pretty good pass, but just a little too far and (with some help from our defender, as I recall) the receiver caught the ball but landed out of the end zone.

  8. By Darren Urban on Jan 18, 2017 | Reply

    Johnny, Kevin S —

    RE: Eagles stop

    http://www.azcardinals.com/videos/videos/Cardinals-close-out-Eagles-on-final-play/8e32a580-ceb2-422a-8525-38c810734a59

  9. By Scott H on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin –

    I remember that one VERY WELL. I was actually at that game and was sitting directly at the goal line of that end-zone. As I recall, the Eagles took 4 shots at the end zone and all 4 of them were well-defended. And I was amazed that NONE of them drew a P/I call. And not that one SHOULD have been called, I just can’t believe that on 4 consecutive pass plays to the endzone – all of which were being defended, no flags were thrown.

    Man, what a game. That was pretty damn nerve wracking when the Eagles were set up with a 1st down at the 16 and you knew they were gonna take 4 shots at the endzone. Held my breath on every damn one of them.

  10. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 19, 2017 | Reply

    Thanks for the video, Darren. I was right, we rushed seven. Foles back-pedalling the entire time. Actually threw the ball from the 31 yard line!

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