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That Philly feeling, Friday before the Eagles

Posted by Darren Urban on October 6, 2017 – 3:36 pm

The Cardinals are en route to Philly right now, the fifth trip there since 2008, and the previous four have had some memorable moments. The 2008 game was the ugly Thanksgiving night beatdown, with the Cardinals losing by four touchdowns yet coming out of it not afraid at all of the Eagles (which showed a couple months later when they beat the Eagles in the NFC Championship.) The 2011 game was an improbable 21-17 win with John Skelton throwing a pair of perfect passes on the game-winning drive, one on a wheel route to the Hyphen, LaRod Stephens-Howling, and then a bomb to Fitz. In 2013, Bruce Arians’ first year, the Cards lost 24-21 when a late pick by Patrick Peterson was wiped out by a flag on Tyrann Mathieu, a penalty the Cards weren’t thrilled was called.

But it was the last trip that encapsulated so much with the Cardinals, especially in relation to where they are now. It was a 40-17 domination by the Cardinals on “Sunday Night Football.” The Cardinals clinched the NFC West title that night, an accomplishment that seems so much longer ago than 22 months. It was David Johnson’s coming-out party, with his Beastmode-like run and his career-best 187 yards rushing. And it was Mathieu’s devastating second ACL tear, that took all the wind from the excitement of the night and might’ve cost the Cardinals a chance at the Super Bowl.

The Cards have been a .500 team since then. Mathieu is still trying to find his groove. Johnson is hurt and cannot help. Chasing a division title is still a goal, but there is much to be fixed for that to be a topic.

— The Cardinals not only will have the early start Sunday – 10 a.m. Arizona time – but there might be a little rain. Bruce Arians doesn’t care. “They are all excuses,” the coach said in his opening statement Friday. It’ll be the first game the Cards will have played outside this season.

— After two rough games, right tackle Jared Veldheer was the highest-graded offensive lineman from the San Francisco game and offensive line coach Harold Goodwin said he was “proud” of Veldheer. “The biggest thing for him is gaining confidence but I was pleased,” Goodwin said.

— Arians, who was hired as Temple’s head coach at age 30 and left the job in part because it literally was making him physically sick, was asked if in-his-30s Arians would have imagined himself still coaching now (Arians turned 65 earlier this week).

“I would hope so, if I wasn’t dead,” Arians said. “That job down there killed me.”

— Another Philly guy is Earl Watford, who just signed this week and now could be in the starting lineup at guard Sunday. It looked like Watford’s days as a Cardinal were over, having played out his contract and with both sides ready to start fresh. But here we are.

“A lot of people would think that, but it’s just another opportunity,” Watford said. “I’m glad to be back here. To be familiar with people, playbook, coaches, I’m excited to be here.”

— Linebacker Haason Reddick now finds himself in the outside linebackers meeting room, trying to cram for a new role after the loss of Markus Golden. I’m very curious to see the snap spilt between he and Kareem Martin.

— Reddick, who is technically from New Jersey but lived just five miles from Philly and went to school there at Temple, said his call for the best cheesesteak comes from Max’s and he’s going to try and get some teammates to join him there.

As for the best way to eat a cheesesteak, it’s American cheese for Reddick. “I don’t do Cheese Whiz.”

“Cheese Whiz is a tourist attraction,” Reddick said. “Anyone who is really from Philly, I’ve never seen them put Cheese Whiz on their cheesesteak. I think that’s a little bizarre.”

(To be fair, it looks like an ongoing debate.)

— Carson Palmer has taken a lot of hits – 43, officially, in four games. “Hey, I don’t want to see him get hit,” Goodwin said. “Mr. Bidwill is paying that guy a lot of money.”

Part of that is the Cards’ lack of run game. Palmer is passing so much he’s inevitably going to be hit more, just like he’s on pace to obliterate his personal highs in attempts, completions and yards. But that doesn’t absolve the pass protection – or the struggles therein. Goodwin said he woke up early last week and the protection issues popped into his mind so quickly he just got up and came to the office. It was 4:30 a.m.

“That’s my job,” Goodwin said. “I embrace the pressure though. It’ll never break me.”

— Finally, there’s the case of Fitz the Philly killer. He had a nondescript three catches for 43 yards in that 2015 blowout of the Eagles – and even with that game averaged in, he’s still averaged (including the NFC Championship game) more than six catches, 104 yards and more than a touchdown per game against the Eagles all-time.

“He’s the same guy all the time,” Eagles cornerback Malcolm Jenkins told ESPN.

The Cards wouldn’t mind some of that same ol’ Fitz Sunday.


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Posted in Blog | 12 Comments »


12 Responses to “That Philly feeling, Friday before the Eagles”

  1. By Coach K on Oct 6, 2017 | Reply

    I’m going to make a prediction.

    Cardinals win by a 61 yard field goal with seconds left.

    Can you say De Je Vu

  2. By georgiebird on Oct 6, 2017 | Reply

    It’s like most games- If the Cards can stop 3rd and long, they should be in the game.
    And Palmer has to start getting rid of the ball when he sees a breakdown-Eli does it, Ben does it, Brady does it- Don’t panic just throw it away- especially when in FG range.

  3. By CARDS62 on Oct 6, 2017 | Reply

    Sorry Reddick but you have to play like 3 first rounders as you are our only first rounder playing from the past 3 drafts. So you need to have 20 tackles including 4 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 2 interceptions. No pressure kid and enjoy your trip home.

    I hope Watford plays well for the home crowd, but it really makes you think when a guy who could not even make Jacksonville’s Roster is going to be our best interior lineman playing in Sunday’s game. Jacksonville people the Jags did not want him!!!
    Is there no offensive lineman out there that we can sign or trade ???

    GO Cards beat Eagles!

  4. By Infitzwetrust on Oct 6, 2017 | Reply

    Man! That 75 yard TD to john brown was epic.

    You heard it hear first: Fitz will have 80+ yards with 2 TDs

  5. By Marlin on Oct 7, 2017 | Reply

    I was born in Camden, just as Haasan was. I agree with him, nobody in Philly who eats cheese steaks does the cheese whiz!

  6. By Scott H on Oct 7, 2017 | Reply

    Marlin –

    Beg to differ. I’ve lived in south Jersey all my life and I know that many people who truly know their cheesesteaks go the whiz route. It’s not MY preference but I go that way once in awhile. One of the drawbacks is how messy it is. But in every other way that applies to a good cheesesteak, it works just fine.

    All a matter of choice.

    And fried onions are a must! In Philly, just say “wit” and they know what you mean.

    Hey, if you were born in Camden, are you familiar with Donkey’s? A little different but awesome!

  7. By Scott H on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Well, only a few minutes away from shoving off for the Linc and a few hours in hostile territory. I’m hoping people’s thoughts and prayers are with me.

    FWIW, it is very humid out here, expected to be in the mid 80’s, AND it has been raining off and on all morning ( been heavy at times ). It’s supposed to be on and off pretty much all day. Weather affects both teams, so…..we’ll see. But the Eagles play outside more often on a regular basis. This is our first time outside this year.

    At least it’s not a cold-weather December game.

    But as BA says, and I could not agree more, it shouldn’t be an excuse. This team hasn’t played above .500 football in what seems like a very long time. As Bill Parcells once said, you are what your record says you are. I couldn’t agree with him more, either.

    Start playing better and winning more games or you are what your records says you are. Period. I’m tired of hovering at / below .500 but hoping we are better and we’ll break out soon. ENOUGH. Get it done or there is no reason to take you seriously. Most people have already stopped taking the Cardinals seriously. I don’t want them to be right, of course, but…..at some point, numbers don’t lie.

  8. By clssylssy on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Scott…
    Wow,it would certainly seem that forces are working against us with rain and humidity not two things we are accustomed to dealing with & can bring fatigue which we REALLY can’t afford. Gonna have to play a fast high energy game & hope we can go the distance. Watching the late night news last night, they had Dansby talking about that Championship game that seems another lifetime, and he talking about how they got their energy going & keeping it up back then w the defensive circle mindset…hope they can channel that same energy/mindset today!
    My thoughts are w you today & perhaps your daughter will bring us some good luck! Whatever the outcome, just seeing the amazing Larry Fitzgerald play will bea memory the two of you will always cherish as PRICELESS! Wishing you & the team a very spectacular game experience!
    GO CARDS!

  9. By TucsonTim on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    From 2015 juggernaught to Eagles’ trap game. What a fall from grace.

  10. By clssylssy on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    NFL Fox Kickoff show is predicting Cards get blown out today…ARG!!! Seems we’re back to getting NO RESPECT!!!
    We REALLY need to win this and get back on track (and shut up the nonbelievers!)

  11. By TucsonTim on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Pathetic, embarrassing, sad….. turning off the game before the end of the 1st quarter. Just can’t bear to watch this any more.

    But no matter how terrible this turns out we can be sure that Amos Jones and Goodwin will still have jobs tomorrow. Keim will blame the players and injuries on the radio tomorrow morning. BA will continue to question his abysmal play calling. But nothing will change.

    My down grade from 5 wins to 4 wins was overly optimistic. I really don’t see where there are 2 wins left on the schedule.

    A little shock and awe by Bidwill might change things a bit, but as long as the mythical sellouts at UoP continue, that won’t happen.

  12. By Stacey on Oct 8, 2017 | Reply

    Please get rid of Carson Palmer….

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