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A defensive night, and Titans aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on December 10, 2017 – 7:41 pm

Chandler Jones got his 14th sack of the season. He almost had his 15th – it went later in the play to Haason Reddick – and he probably already should have toppled Simone Rice’s franchise record of 16½.

“How many sacks do I think I should have? I don’t want to talk about it,” Jones said. “How many times I have slipped off the quarterback. Fourth quarter I slipped off the quarterback. I think I get too excited. My eyes get big and he just ducks off of me. I think I have to work on that.”

A more effective Jones is a frightening concept. But there was a chance to talk about near-sacks and records falling – like Larry Fitzgerald’s toppling of Randy Moss in receiving yards – and other good things, because the Cards pulled out a win. The playoffs aren’t going to happen, but suddenly, you play reeling Washington next week and the reeling Giants the week after and is there a way for the Cardinals to go to Seattle with a chance at a nine-win season?

— Speaking of Fitz, no one asked him directly if he’ll play in 2018. He was asked, however, if he plans on catching Terrell Owens, who is some 600-plus yards ahead of Fitz now for second place in all-time NFL receiving yards after Fitz passed Moss Sunday. Fitz, ever coy, wasn’t biting.

“That would require me to play another year I think,” Fitzgerald said. “I hope to catch him this year.”

— Marcus Mariota had a 39.6 passer rating today – the worst of his career.

— The Titans did have 12 sacks their previous two games but the Cards allowed eight Sunday and that just doesn’t work. Maybe Jared Veldheer wasn’t in the best place dealing with a bad elbow. I thought there was a couple of times Blaine Gabbert could’ve helped things. But the Cards did seem to go with quicker passes in the second half to avoid too much pressure.

— Oh, Fitz should’ve had a touchdown catch. He was wide-open in the fourth quarter. Gabbert simply missed him.

— Patrick Peterson had a 29-yard pass play go to Eric Decker in which Peterson basically stopped right as Decker was catching the ball, helping allow Decker to get loose for more yards. Peterson was clearly upset at the time, looking back at the official because he felt Decker pushed off. (Even aside from this play, it wasn’t one of Peterson’s best games.)

“The field judge can’t see that because he’s playing through me,” Peterson said. “We have to ask someone else to the field, so we can have an even playing field for the receiver and the DB. I said, ‘Why didn’t you call it?’ He said, ‘I didn’t see it.’ I’m tired of hearing the same response. Why are you on the field if you didn’t see it? I’m not criticizing the ref at all. I’m just saying that if he didn’t see it, we have to have somebody else out there watching both sides.”

— Bruce Arians didn’t have the best special teams challenge last week when he tried to get a fumble called on the opening kickoff. But he came out ahead on what I think it’s the toughest challenge there is – the spot of the ball, on the Titans’ fake punt. Surprisingly (and yes, I know many thought it was a bad spot, but it was still a spot) it was overturned, and the Cards got a short field, leading to a field goal. Titans coach Mike Mularkey was not happy afterward it was overturned, but Arians said the official right in front of him blew the play dead, and that’s what he thought should happen.

— The go-ahead field goal drive began when wide receiver Chad Williams came on the jet sweep (or end around, as I like to call it) and raced 33 yards. It was a good way to get the rookie involved.

“We needed a spark,” Arians said. “I had another play called. I said, ‘What the hell, it’s time for one.’ It’s either going to be a five-yard loss or a big gain, and we needed a spark.”

— Tramon Williams will be an intriguing free agent going into the offseason. He has been solid since stepping into the starting lineup, and Pro Football Focus graded him with his best game of the year Sunday – allowing only three catches for 23 yards on eight targets, with a pass breakup and an interception. He is also 34. He might be a one-and-done CB like Antonio Cromartie or Marcus Cooper.

— Same goes for linebacker Josh Bynes, who also had a pick and who is also playing very well and is also going to be a free agent. He’s younger, and I don’t see how the Cardinals wouldn’t want Bynes back – unless he decides he can make a lot of cash on the open market.


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30 Responses to “A defensive night, and Titans aftermath”

  1. By Patrick on Dec 10, 2017 | Reply

    A nice gritty win!
    Go Cardinals!
    Darren, what was the spat with BA and Gressham on the sidelines about?

  2. By Darren Urban on Dec 10, 2017 | Reply

    Patrick —

    RE: Gresham

    Didn’t know there was one, to be honest. This is the first I am hearing about it.

  3. By georgiebird on Dec 10, 2017 | Reply

    A win is a win.
    Not to annoy BA and use that word- so I’ll say this was a brutta win; muy feo.
    But the guys are playing hard for BA and we continue to get big plays from new guys.
    This was a hard game to evaluate Gabbert. Most importantly he came out a winner with no turnovers. Of course, he should have had more points. He seems to be holding the ball too long as he goes thru his progressions. When BG processes the play correctly, he looks very good. I believe all of his sacks today could have been avoided if he had a safety valve or just got rid of the ball. There didn’t seem to be a sack where a defender was on him immediately.
    So at this point, it seems to be a mental thing with BG. Maybe it’s nerves maybe it’s the speed of the game maybe it’s still rust.
    And with 3 games left including the Seahawks away, I feel that putting Gabbert in at QB a few weeks ago was definitely the right thing for the Cards to do.

  4. By Cardinale on Dec 10, 2017 | Reply

    Darren can you please address this: CBS sideline reporter and former Cardinals kicker Jay Feely reported shortly after Dawson’s missed 40 yarder that Dawson told him he feels uncomfortable with the Cardinals edge blocking scheme, that it makes him apprehensive about following through on his kicks. Do you see this comment as an excuse by Dawson, a trust issue with his blockers, or is he specifically condemning the ‘scheme’ employed by the special teams coordinator? It seems that by week 13 this would have been addressed!

  5. By Darren Urban on Dec 10, 2017 | Reply

    Cardinale —

    RE: Dawson

    Since I didn’t see the report or have heard Dawson say this, I don’t know what he means. Hard to interpret it to the level you ask.

  6. By Jon on Dec 10, 2017 | Reply

    We need Bynes and Williams badly if we want to compete next year. We have nothing behind Williams, and we need to lock down Bynes long term, period. The sooner the better on both counts

  7. By JosEPh on Dec 10, 2017 | Reply

    Josh Bynes needs a contract Now! Can’t let this guy slip away.

  8. By CardsNation on Dec 10, 2017 | Reply

    Gabbert missed multiple open receivers that Palmer could easily make. Needs improvement in accuracy. This has been an issue for the past few games.

    The entire right side of the o-line needs a change. Veldheer and Iupati should both be released, which frees up a lot of cap space (unless they want to keep Iupati and let Bonne starts at RG). I think Humpries is solid at LT, then resign Alex Bonne to two to three years. Shipley is not bad but not good either. Justin Pugh and especially Andrew Norwell are soild free agent pick up options for improvement at the guard position. They have to work out something at RT as well.

    We could sign Allen Robinson for one year deal in the free agency just like what Eagles did to Alshon Jeffery because it seems like other receivers not named Fitz. are not making enough impact.

    Gresham doesn’t seem happy with BA perhaps he is not getting enough receptions. A Trade for Johnathan Joseph could be ideal.

  9. By Dr. G. on Dec 10, 2017 | Reply

    Darren ~ ~ So I can understand your viewing perspective when you report during the game, are you at field level or an upper tier press box?

    And, do you have a monitor to see the “”broadcast”” replays?

    These things will make a difference…when I am in the stands, I usually have a tablet for review.

    FWIW – – Your review here of this game is very fair and as complete as can be for a quick synopsis…along with your tweets, it provides good reporting…be well

  10. By Darren Urban on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Perspective

    I am in the press box until I go to the field with about 5 minutes left in the game. I do have the TV broadcast in the press box, but many times I am not watching it because I am watching live and/or tweeting (and I do not have the sound for the TV broadcast.)

  11. By Johnson on Dec 10, 2017 | Reply

    This game was more for Titans to lose then the Cardiac Cardinals would have won…Titans are better placed to make it to the playoffs and The cards aint, so it will definitely hurt the Titans. Mariota just had a bad game but he is bright future and I am extremely please Titans invested in a young QB, something the Cards will never do.

    Bynes and Williams had great games but I just dont see them playing for the Cards next year – either they will want a better contract or more money and these are Cardinals we are talking about – unless you are cheap, u aint a cardinal.

    Very happy for Larry – watching him play since 2004 and its just been a pleasure to see a man like him being part of such a bad organization for this long. Whether he decides to play for a SB team next year or decides to stick out with the cardiac cardinals, is hard to say – but at this point I would like him to win a ring more than beating Owens record.

    Next game is on the East Coast so that will be as BIG LOSS! Might win against the Giants at home and then probably give the Hawks a run for their money, but it will be a loss. 7-9 for the season – hopefully we can still get the top 10 draft pick.

    Draft needs – A young QB for the future, OL needs/ CB across Peterson / WR’s who can catch / Coaches who can coach.

  12. By Joachim Ploug Hansen on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    I get that Tramon Williams is 34, but he is playing way better than either Antonio Cromartie or Marcus Cooper did. He needs to be resigned.

  13. By joe holst on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    enough of this Blain Gabbert experiment,

  14. By Steve C on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    I dont know why the Cards didnt try to sign Jimmy Garoppolo. Last yr in the first game when we were expected to beat the Pats minus Gronk and Brady, he lits us up at UOP. Now considering the Cardinals have been in the habit of picking up QB’s in the downside of their career (Warner, Palmer), he would have been a solid pick. Oh well…probably money im sure.

  15. By Hammy on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    Great team win, a nail biter but a win is a win. Josh Bynes needs to take Los place next season and be our starting inside linebacker. He has earned a long term contract. Williams at 34 can still ball and looks like he is 25! Sign him to a two year deal and draft a cornerback round 1 or 2. Looking a Gabbert play these past few weeks have been up and down at best. I was one of the guys calling for him to play just to see what he looks like in our system. I think he really can be the guy if he cuts down on his turnovers and sacks. He holds on to the ball too long at times and decides to high tail it outta the pocket not seeing the defenders around him. Other than that he is playing pretty solid but not sure if he is better than Stanton or not. Did not know Chad Williams had some speed to his game. Hopefully we can put him out there to start at our number 2 WR spot. Ricky Seals Jones is clutch and reminds me of Jordan Reed from the Redskins. He has also earned a contract. My game ball goes to the defense! Only allowed 7 points and really looked dominate the entire game. Credit to James Bettcher as well. Great game plan against a good football team.

  16. By mitchaz on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    Inside the Numbers:

    * Key Stat: The Cardinals under HC Bruce Arians are now 28-2 when they win the battle of turnovers.
    * This was only the 2nd game this year that the Cardinals have won the turnover battle, the other was in their win versus the Jaguars two weeks ago.
    * For the season the Cardinals are losing the turnover battle 17-20.
    * The Cardinals have lost the turnover battle in 4 games this season: @ DET (1-4), @ LAR (1-2), home vs. SEA (0-1) and home vs. LAR (1-2).

    * Total Yards: AZ 261 TEN 204
    * Time Poss: AZ 33.49 TEN 26:11
    * Ist Downs: AZ 16 TEN 14
    * Turnovers: AZ 0 TEN 2

    * The Cardinals committed 0 turnovers in only one other game this year—can you guess which game it was? Hint: it was a home game that the Cardinals lost.

    Offense:

    * Key Stat: Cardinals won the rushing battle 136 (4.7 ypc) to 65 (3.0 ypc).

    This game featured BA’s offense versus his long-time colleague Dick LeBeau’s defense—and because of that it figured to be a low scoring affair due to the five years in Pittsburgh where BA’s offense practiced against DLB’s defense. Anyone who has played football knows how hard it is to run your offense in practice when your own defense is so familiar with your offense.

    Coming into this game, the Titans would have appeared to be the much stronger and more powerful rushing team, with RBs Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray rushing behind one of the better o-lines in the NFL.

    And yet, the diminutive Kerwynn Williams, who was once again playing with cracked ribs, outrushed Henry and Murray combined as he rushed for 73 gritty yards on 20 carries (3.7 ydp.). Little used backup RB Elijaah Penny contributed 2 rushes for 11 yards (5.5 ypc) and 1 reception for 18 big yards on the go ahead drive…which was preceded by a nifty 33 yard jet sweep to rookie WR Chad Williams.

    On the go-ahead drive, BA’s play calling was superb. Chad Williams’ 33 jet sweep got the Cardinals near mid-field and Eli Penny’s 18 yard swing pass got the Cardinals into FG range.

    The one play call BA likely regrets the most is the 3rd and 1 inside the Titans’ 5 yard line that was stuffed for a one yard loss. Not sure why BA didn’t bring in his short yardage package with FB Evan Boehm for that play.

    But—BA was able to resist going for it on 4th down in favor of kicking the FG and narrowing the deficit to 1. That turned out to be a key decision on BA’s part.

    * Key Stat: Titans registered 8 sacks on QB Blaine Gabbert, but Gabbert did not surrender a fumble or an interception.

    Gabbert struggled with his accuracy, especially in the first half. Balls were sailing over his targets because his passes were rushed. ironically, the only receiver Gabbert had chemistry with in the 1st half was J.J. Nelson (who previously with Gabbert had only 3 catches on 14 targets), while Gabbert twice missed a wide open TE Ricky Seals-Jones, who to this point, has been Gabbert’s go-to guy.

    In the second half, Gabbert took a straight-on hit on a sack that could have knocked him out. But, to Gabbert’s credit he tried to maintain his poise and started to improve his accuracy. When he wasn’t harried in the pocket he threw for 14/23 for 134 yards.

    Gabbert’s big miss was late in the game on the fade route to Larry Fitzgerald who had two steps and good separation on his man.

    While questions remain as to whether Gabbert should be in the QB mix going forward, there are positives to be said about the way he handled himself and how he fought back from his early struggles.

    BA can feel happy that he outfoxed his old colleague DLB.

    Larry Fitzgerald can feel great about passing his mentor Randy Moss to becoming the 3rd time leading WR in career yards—it was especially sweet to achieve that milestone during a hard fought, gutsy win.

    Defense:

    * Key Stat: DeMarco Murray 11/34/3.1; Derrick Henry 8/20/2.5

    Credit James Bettcher and the Cardinals’ defensive line for putting the hammer down on Murray and Henry. BA said after the game that other than the Rams a couple of years ago he can’t recall many teams being able to run the ball against the Cardinals at home.

    The stalwarts up front were DE Chandler Jones (who recorded his 14th sack—fastest Cardinal to 14 sacks in a season ever), DT Olsen Pierre, DE Kareem Martin and NT Xavier Williams (despite an off-sides penalty). Haason Reddick had a big sack late in the game when Mariota eluded Chandler Jones and flushed to his left while Reddick circled around the line from the back side and closed in on Mariota in a flash.

    Karlos Dansby led the team with 8 tackles and had one of his best games…while Deone Bucannon struggled through a miserable 1st half. While Bucannon finally made a couple of tackles in the 2nd half, Josh Bynes came in to make one of the key defensive plays of the game with his interception. Safeties Budda Baker and Antoine Bethea combined for 10 tackles and most of the Cardinals more aggressive, sure tackles.

    Josh Bynes is outplaying Bucannon, by a wide margin. Buccaneer is top heavy, slow to react and late to the ball to the point where he can’t even arm tackle. But, James Bettcher seems to always go back to starting injured veterans over players who are currently playing well—like starting Rashad Johnson at FS in the NFC Championship game over D.J. Swearinger—and we know how that decision turned out.

    Budda Baker continues to emerge as the catalyst of the defense as he is all over the field making plays. While he gave up a catch to TE Delaney Walker, later in the game Baker showed his closing speed on another target which led to an incomplete pass.

    * Key Stat: Marcus Mariota: 16/31 159 5.1 0 TD 2 INT 3-20 sacks.

    Again, credit James Bettcher for keeping the pedal on the metal in pass coverage. Aided by a good pass rush, the Cardinals’ DBs turned up the heat in the 2nd half.

    The star of the day was RCB Tramon Williams who played every aspect of the CB position with polish. Williams was looking back for the ball when Mariota thought Corey Davis was going to run the post. This interception was a huge momentum swing in the Cardinals’ favor. And Williams’ ball jarring stick on TE Delaney Walker, the Titan’s key receiver at crunch time was the game winning exclamation point—not to be taken for granted because the Cardinals have given up late scores in tight games repeatedly this year.

    Tyrann Mathieu made a nice third down stop late in the game after struggling to cover Eric Decker a couple of times earlier in the game. Patrick Peterson was switched over to Decker and Decker promptly registered a 29 yard reception off Peterson who quit on the play to complain to the refs that Decker pushed him off. Mathieu and Peterson continue to have their ups and downs in various ways and are recently being outshined by Budda Baker and Tramon Williams respectively. Peterson’s tackling reluctance and total abandonment of tackling fundamentals were on full display once again in this game. Mathieu is a little more willing to tackle, but most of his efforts look tentative and not Honey Badger-like.

    Special Teams:

    Yes, Phil Dawson missed yet another FG. He did, however connect on 4 out of 5. The curious news was that he told former Cardinals’ kicker and now NBC sideline reporter Jay Feeley that he’s been missing FGs because of the edge blocking schemes which, according to him, prevent him from following through on his kicks. If this is true—it is yet another indictment on STC Amos Jones. One has to wonder what the players are saying and thinking about Jones and his rocky tenure behind the scenes. On the flip side, Dawson should be putting his head down and following through regardless because that’s his job. if the blocking doesn’t hold up, like last week versus the Rams, then that’s on the linemen and on the STC.

    But, the ST’s play of the game has to be Josh Bynes’ well assisted stuff of Mike Mularkey’s fake punt. It was so infuriating to watch the official right there on the scene take the football and spot it a yard ahead of where the ball was stopped. That official should be reprimanded and disciplined by the NFL, because he was standing right there when the whistle blew. Great for BA to challenge and win that call.

    Playing for Contracts:

    Making strong cases for 2018: CB Tramon Williams, LB Josh Bynes, DE Kareem Martin (as run stuffer), S Tyvon Branch, WR Jaron Brown (STs, esp.), RB K. Williams, TE Troy Niklas, T John Wetzel

    On the Bubble: QB Blaine Gabbert, G Alex Boone, C Earl Watford (this was his best game of the season), Deone Bucannon ($8.7M?)

    2018 Question Marks (players under contract): QB Carson Palmer, RB Adrian Peterson ($3.5M?), C A.Q. Shipley, T Jared Veldheer (pay cut or retire?), G Mike Iupati (same as Veldheer), DT Josh Mauro, S Tyrann Mathieu, K Phil Dawson.

    BA versus AFC South:

    7-1

    BA at U of P:

    Never has lost two home games in a row in 5 years.

    2017 BA versus NFC:

    3-6 (two wins versus 49ers and one versus Bucs). Sweeping the last three (@WAS, vs. NYG and @ SEA) would get the Cardinals to 6-6 versus the NFC and would be a nice way to move the arrow in the right direction.

    2017 BA in 1 PM (EDT) starts:

    1-4 (can the team reverse that trend versus Washington?)

  17. By clssylssy on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    Re: Gabbert

    Despite being mobile & having arm strength, Gabbert lacks ACCURACY (something that can’t be taught..”you either have it or you don’t”) so is something of a liability. I would much rather see us move on & devote our efforts into securing Williams & Bynes. We’ve seen Gabbert, now maybe we should let Barkley have another go at it or even maybe Patrick Peterson since these last games are basically tryouts anyway.

  18. By John S. on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    My hat off to the defense, made it interesting, and a great job over-all guys. The defense and running backs won this game, and some excellent effort to keep drives alive.
    Gabbert continues to be unimpressive, and seems to totally lose any composure with the slightest amount of pressure; perceived or real. Seems to just want to take off and run, can’t get rid of the ball, and misses so many opportunities I’m left shaking my head. I can’t be the only one that watched him dash out of a decent pocket early to run, hold a ball he could have easily gotten rid of, and then take a QB slide down for a loss of yardage? He’s only effective when there is no pressure at all, and frankly don’t see him able to break that instinctive reflex he appears to have. Can’t help feeling sorry for Fitzgerald at this point… sigh.

  19. By El Gallo on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    – A good win against a better team, well done Cards.
    – Red zone struggles.
    Injuries to QB, RB and OL are all contributing factors when it comes to not being able to score here. It’s about Personnel but also the play design. Who do you have running your plays, can you get a push with your OL and the supporting cast to either punch in for the score or get it through the air with sustained blocks. Didn’t get either done well enough to make 1 touchdown. Defense keeps it close and oddly enough 4 made field goals wins it, we will take it.
    – ST
    Why do you get that ‘sinking feeling’ every time our ST unit/kicker is out there? It’s unsettling but good enough to win yesterday’s matchup. One hopes for Serious Upgrades here, it has to happen until it’s fixed.
    PPF had our ST rated as the Forth worst in all the NFL. 4th Worst. Prior to the game Arians mentioned that STs was better. Better than dead last? Andy Lee is a great improvement from Butler. KR play and Foster can improve with better lanes/coaching.
    – To finish, it all starts with the Draft. Those risky picks. Every pick doesn’t pan out but you’re left wondering why the choices if they don’t play these kids for the most part.
    3rd round WR (Dorian Johnson)- small school hardly on field despite overall lack of success by all WRs not named Fitz.
    4th round G (Chad Williams)- known health concerns, but must be something else team found out since he was relegated to practice squad where he was then picked up by Texans in October.
    Next up 5th round OL (Will Holden)- minimal playing time, on active roster but still relative unknown for game day.
    What’s going on here FO? These are your picks, self selected after months on end of player scrutiny.
    Who’s in the stable, home grown that can help?
    4th round C/OL (Evan Boehm)- would be good to see play this year at natural position. Was he a miss also?
    5th round OL (Cole Toner)- cut this year.
    Is it the choice of player Selection that’s faltering here or is it player Development?? Or both, either way the problem is evident. The process right now is not working. The majority of our draftees aren’t playing or they’re not succeeding on the field.
    Why is that FO?
    – I raise these questions because will we make the playoffs this year? Great that we got a win, but again why can’t our team stack wins off good teams consecutively? Player Selection or Development?

    –Respectfully, long time fan here

  20. By El Gallo on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    Correction on Names to WR Chad Williams* and G Dorian Johnson*. Apologies

  21. By Scott H on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    Anyone ever had kidney stones? I had my first experience early Sunday morning and….wow. Anyway, that led to my being in a hospital overnight and having NOTHING to do but watch football!

    And what football there was to be seen! Eagles / Rams, WOW! Steelers / Ravens, WOW! Plus all that crazy stuff in that Seahawks / Jags game and what looked like some scary stuff with Tom Savage for the Texans. I swear, seeing him on the field like he was after that hit was just plain scary. And how ever got back in that game is nothing shy of criminal.

    And in the midst of all that, the Cardinals gutted out a nice – and pretty much un-expected – win. Don’t know if Dawson had any misses but we sure needed all of the ones he made. I have very little to go on…..ESPN showed fewer highlights of Cards / Titans than any other game played yesterday. And I had no computer access where I was. But it looked like the defense was coming up with big plays that helped the 12 points stand up.

    And Fitz just keeps hitting a new milestone every week. So great for him.

    That’s really all I got.

    But I’ll tell ya what…..though nobody ever wants to be there, if you HAVE to get admitted to a hospital, do it early on a Sunday! That was THE best football-watching day I’ve had in years.

    But then again, I wouldn’t wish kidney stones on anyone! Good lord…..

  22. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    I don’t know anything about the comments Dawson supposedly made to Feely, but I’d be uncomfortable too if I was our kicker. It seems that on almost every kick, the edge rushers are coming close to blocking the kick.

    As far as my feelings about the game as a whole, here’s the reality: We are 6-7, and out of the playoff race (OK, still mathematically alive, but it’s Lotto-like chances). But let’s remember how we got here. We’ve been playing with our backup & 3rd string QB for the past 6 games. We’ve been without our best player for all but the first 3 quarters of the opener. We’ve been without the guy we picked up to replace our best player for the past two weeks. We had multiple O-line injuries and our best O-lineman is out for the year.

    Many fans (are you out there, Eric?) posted a few weeks ago that we wouldn’t win another game, or that we might win one more game (against NYG). Since then we’ve beaten the two teams atop the AFC South, and also hung in there against Seattle, while taking a lead into the 4th quarter against Houston.

    Yes, other teams have their share of injuries, but we’re clearly near the top of the NFL in terms of injuries to key players, especially on offense. Dallas is falling apart because they don’t have Elliot for a few games — imagine if they were also trying to get by with their backup QB. Green Bay was immediately written off as soon as their QB went down. Philly, unfortunately, just lost Wentz and while they’ve already secured a playoff spot, no one is going to expect them to do anything (kinda like when we limped into the playoffs and had to play Lindley).

    For as lousy as everyone seems to think our team is — and I agree that we have a lot of concerns about the future due to our team’s age and some huge holes — it is actually pretty impressive to be 6-7 with missing our QB for half the season and our RB who represented a bigger percentage of our offense than any player in the NFL for the entire season. I don’t think this edition of the Cards was going to the Super Bowl even without the injuries, but I think that if DJ doesn’t get hurt, they might have closed out the Detroit game with a win, and might have beaten Dallas (tied going into the 4th). The Houston and Seattle games were likewise winnable. Even with just 2 wins out of those 4, we’d be 8-5 and firmly in the hunt. Does anyone think that we wouldn’t have had a decent shot to win 2 of those 4 if our star skill players were healthy?

    Snakebitten by injuries.

  23. By Richard S on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    I wonder how many games have been played in the NFL where your Quarterback gets sacked 8 times and you still win the game. I know that was sort of a joke years back when the St. Louis Cardinal offensive line with Dobler and Dierdorf and company allowing 8 sacks the entire season and when someone mentioned that on TV the other guy said “Yeah I saw that game” like it was one game instead of the entire season.

  24. By Scott H on Dec 11, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin –

    I’ve not always been the most positive guy but I look at the fact that we have never really had the O-line we projected to have from the word go. Lost Iupati early, we had Veldheer playing out of position, we barely had Humphries at all. Heck it was so bad that I was HAPPY about the return of Earl Watford. EARL WATFORD. Yeah. How’s that for perspective?

    But this whole offense has been handicapped by a bad O-line all year. And it just continues to get worse. Our center – who I maintain isn’t even an average center by NFL standards – is the ONLY one of our opening day starters that is still standing. The line has been patchwork all year and that is hard to play around.

    Look at any of the teams at the top of either conference right now and you are guaranteed to see a an O-line that is anywhere from solid to great. Well, except Seattle but they overcome it with Russell Wilson. Meanwhile, if there is a team whose O-line situation is worse than ours…..do tell. So, yeah, the 6-7 record is worth recognition for what they have had to overcome.

    Been without what most believed was the best all-around / complete RB in the league since week 1.

    And I have to say this – whatever people are thinking about Gabbert at this point, consider that he has played 4 games so far and they were ALL against winning teams. Our record in those 4 games is 2-2. I’m pretty sure we have to go back to 2015 to find a winning / non-losing record in a 4-game stretch against winning teams. No, he is not putting the team on his back and carrying us ( have seen some inspired defensive performances during that same stretch ) but how he is playing can’t be ignored, either. I mean…..he is playing behind the same horrendous O-line and with out the same best RB in the league that are referenced above, ya know? Heck, he doesn’t have Adrian Peterson anymore. Yet, our first two wins in a LONG time against winning teams have been with him under center. The QB is never irrelevant in the NFL.

  25. By Lifetime Fan on Dec 12, 2017 | Reply

    Another terrible game from the Amos Jones unit…its an every week joke. Also, no one has really said it but Gabbert was just bad. If they lost this game the headlines would be all about Gabbert missing open throws and taking a ton of sacks and looking like a headless chicken in scramble drill. He looks unlikely to be a starting QB of the future.

  26. By clssylssy on Dec 12, 2017 | Reply

    Scott…
    So sorry you had to watch football from the hospital! Haven’t you ever heard of going to a sports bar, lol? NOT funny, and I wouldn’t wish kidney stones on my worse enemy but at least your pain on Sunday was not from watching the Cards!
    I normally agree with you about most things but just don’t see anything in Gabbert. All QBs take hits and play under pressure, but his accuracy is horrendous and his decisions can’t be excused as being green after he’s had six or seven years in the league and should have learned something by now. Sorry, but missing an open Fitzgerald in the endzone is nearly impossible for most!
    Watching football all day I find makes me even more unhappy with the way our resources have been managed as I see talent on this team and tend to play “what if (fill in the blanks) was HC or DC or GM..
    Hope you are on the mend and will be up for Washington, which I am pretty pessimistic about considering we don’t travel well in the first place and most of our players have forgotten how to play outside in the cold.

  27. By mitchaz on Dec 12, 2017 | Reply

    Scott—

    Hope you are feeling better and that you can watch this week’s game from the comfy confines of your man cave. Best wishes, Mitch.

  28. By Scott H on Dec 12, 2017 | Reply

    clssy –

    LOL. Yeah, a sports bar…..why didn’t I think of that? My kidneys had other plans. BUT there IS something to be said for being stuck in a place on a football Sunday where all you CAN do is watch TV!

    Gabbert……well, truth be told, I didn’t see any of this game, so….but I am hearing about missed throws. Hey, missed throws happen with ALL QB’s. We’ve seen Palmer miss throws….I watched Carson Wentz miss a few on Sunday against the Rams ( and in other games ). Yet, there is no QB in the NFL I’d rather have right now than him.

    Do I really believe he is our QB of the future? Probably not. But the jury is still out. I think our QB of the future has to be found in the draft, and I hope that is what the organization is thinking, too. I don’t want another veteran like an Alex Smith or a second chance younger QB like a Jameis Winston. But I’m also ready to be done with Carson Palmer, too. And I think we all agree that Stanton is not our future, either. So….then what? We have to have SOMEBODY here to play QB next year.

    Assuming Russell Wilson II or Carson Wentz’ twin brother don’t fall out of the sky and land here for next year, you might as well keep Gabbert here and hope to find the right QB in the 2018 draft.

    My two cents…

  29. By Scott H on Dec 12, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz –

    Thanks, bro. Out of hospital yesterday and feeling a bit better. Yeah, my comfy couch at home is the plan for this Sunday.

  30. By Scott H on Dec 12, 2017 | Reply

    joe hoist –

    RE: Enough of this Blaine Gabbert experiment

    OK, so let’s be done with Gabbert. After 4 games. ALL against winning teams. During which he went 2-2.

    And then? We go back to the Drew Stanton experiment? That’s your answer? If not, what’s your plan? Barkley? Or did you plan to pick up someone off the street with 3 games left in the season?

    Do tell. What better option do we have right now? Face it, we’re riding this out with Gabbert. Like it, hate it, it don’t matter. The Cardinals are doing the right thing right now by finding out as much about Gabbert this season as they possibly can.

    I’m really not sure what people don’t get. This season is over. Finding out that Gabbert might NOT really have anything to offer is better done NOW than during 2018 training camp. Recognize that. And to accomplish that, Gabbert needs to play now, and as much as possible. And if the organization DOES decide to move on from Gabbert, it will be because they got to see him play now. So, this is in EVERYBODY’S best interests.

    Hey, if you don’t like the guy, then you can hope that he buries himself over the next few weeks and plays himself right out of here. Look at it that way. There, now you have something to root for. Happy?

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