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Rams loss means rare early NFCW exit

Posted by Darren Urban on January 6, 2018 – 10:22 pm

Since the Cardinals moved into the NFC West during the great NFL realignment of 2002, the division has had its ups and downs. There were a few seasons in which the division winner won less than double-digits (the Cardinals made the Super Bowl in 2008 after going 9-7 but running away with a division title) or even sub-.500 (the Seahawks going 7-9 but becoming NFCW champs in 2010.)

But Saturday night, as the West champions Los Angeles Rams — the only division team to make the postseason — lost at home to the Falcons after an 11-5 season, it meant that for the first time since that 2002 realignment, an NFC West team did not reach at least the Divisional round of the playoffs.

Even in those “down” years, the NFCW survived the Wild Card round. The Cards in 2008, that alleged “worst team to ever make the playoffs,” won the NFC Championship. Even that 7-win Seattle team, through the “BeastQuake” game, advanced to the next round. (The NFC West streak goes back further, in fact, prior to the Cardinals’ arrival, thanks to the Greatest Show on Turf Rams.)

Funny enough, the NFC West was one of only two divisions (the NFC South being the other) to have at least three teams finish at least .500 or better, thanks to the Cardinals’ two-game winning streak to close the season.


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48 Responses to “Rams loss means rare early NFCW exit”

  1. By Scott H on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Wow, I didn’t expect that. I remember when we were in the closing minutes of beating the Panthers in the 2008 playoffs, a camera caught Steve Smith saying to a teammate on the sidelines ‘We picked a bad day to have a bad day.” And yesterday, the Rams had that bad day.

    And specifically, Goff. HE was off yesterday and he took that offense down with him. Gotta give the Falcons credit for playing some very good D but after the offensive machine the Rams were all season…..I would NOT have imagined the Falcons could have shut them down ( In LA ) the way they did.

    The Rams / Goff picked a bad day to have a bad day.

    Pretty amazing collapse by the Chiefs, too. But for me, the AFC games don’t even matter until the Pats start playing. I think the NFC is more competitive.

    Out here in the Philly area yesterday, we had Ice Bowl temps and wind. I’m glad no one had to play in that. I know football is an outdoor sport but I think come playoff time, it is a shame that teams might be severely affected by weather. And that weather would have affected anyone. That entire NFC playoff-field, with not a cold-weather city team among them, would have been shut down by that weather yesterday. And that would have been a shame because with Nick Foles, the Eagles have no business beating anyone right now.

  2. By Scott H on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    It was Cris Collinsworth that proclaimed those 2008 Cardinals the worst team in the history of the playoffs. I hated him for that at that time, called him a jack-ass every time I heard his name mentioned for several years. But that is just the kind of ridiculous and extreme comments that media people are prone to making. I think they too caught up in wanting to be remembered for iconic sound bites.

    But fact is, I think Collinsworth is one of the best broadcast booth guys around right now. He and Al Michaels are very good together, easily the best broadcast team in football these days.

    But having said that, I hope he remembers what a jack-ass the Cardinals made him look like every time he does one of their games.

  3. By JohnnyBluenose on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Scott H….I was expecting the Rams to win as well but they made too many mistakes and the Falcons didn’t. I didn’t think Goff played that badly. But the surprise for me was Kansas City losing, their sixth straight play-off loss. Last year’s loss to Pittsburgh hurt but last night has to hurt even more….up 21-3 and you lose arguably your best player, Kelce and you do nothing much offensively the second half and you give up a touchdown when Marriota throws a touchdown pass to himself. If I’m Andy Reid I’m throwing in the towel…too many disappointments year after year in Philly (I think you are aware of that) and now in Kansas City. But what I am most interested in is Alex Smith. Is he done in Kansas City and could he end up in Arizona? I would be very happy with that and it might be enough to entice Larry to come back for at least one more year. Time will tell.

  4. By clssylssy on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Darren & Scott…
    Funny that you would mention Fitz’s desire to be an owner b/c , IMO that is exactly what this league needs,I.e, former great players becoming involved at the Ownership level. If Fitz could partner with Peyton Manning or the Manning family, Tony Gonzalez, etc., it would bring a freshness to the table as well as probably legions of young football fans and restore some integrity to the rep of the game.
    I was just watching a discussion not long ago about the new rules and injuries this season and it was apparent that there is a huge disconnect b/c most of the people voting on the rules have never played the game & are looking at problems from a different perspective. Perhaps having players among the ownership would help in making things better for everyone.
    Scott…
    Fitz is a treasure here in Arizona, but for us, will still be around at Starbucks, Sun’s games, golf courses, Scottsdale Fashion Square, The Open, etc…. Take the family out west & maybe you’ll have a sighting!
    And, there’s nothing wrong with having goals and being successful through hard work. Perhaps more people should follow Futz’s example!

  5. By Dr. G. on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    I recall complaints that a team with a losing record ((Seattle w/7)) was a really bad joke. That should be an empty bye.

    Darren – Agree on your Alex Smith tweet opinion for 2018. I was a big cheer leader for getting him back then, but KC acted so quickly, there was no time to react…it seemed looking back like it was the same day Reid got there.

    But now, I think it’s a bit late even though Smith can still play…with one exception – if he gets cut and we can sign him for reasonable money as a stop gap for our new QB pick that we desperately need. The $$$ must be right.

  6. By Dr. G. on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    And P2 on twitter – you cannot prove a negative (what would happen if the ball was thrown your way?) The experts can’t credit us for what we don’t do.

    Just keep thinking, “”They just fear me ‘cuz I’m so good.”” …an ego booster!

  7. By Darren Urban on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Ball thrown PP way

    So Peterson covers the best receiver each week — assuming there is one — and they don’t throw it that way, but it’s all in Patrick’s head? I just don’t get it.

  8. By Scott H on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Johnny Blue –

    I disagree about Goff, I think he DID play poorly. I think at close to the end of the 3rd quarter, they rattled off his stats and he was only 11 for 25 at that point. I’d hate to be critical of the kid after how he played all year, but….I really think he came up small yesterday.

    Funny you mention Alex Smith….because he is THE face of the guy the Cardinals might seem to have interest in, based on their recent tendencies to go with veteran QB’s. Alex Smith is a decent QB, no better, no worse. And he is not what I want for 2018. I’d rather they keep Stanton and be aggressive going after the QB they want in the draft this year. And excuse me for a minute….

    Hear that, Keim? I said AGGRESSIVE! Please look up the definiton of the word because this past off-season showed us you have no idea what it means.

    Back to you, Johnny. Yeah, I want no part of Alex Smith. But it bears keeping an eye on because the Chiefs seem ready to be done with him to start their future with Mahomes. Smith is going to be available.

    I hear ya about keeping Fitz happy, but…..I honestly don’t know that Alex Smith is enough to do that. Drew Brees, maybe. Alex Smith, I don’t think so.

  9. By Scott H on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    clssy –

    Geez, I feel like I’d have a better chance of running into Fitz at the Starbuck’s in Malaysia than I would at the one in Glendale!

  10. By Scott H on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Watching some former Cards players today….it just kinda sucks to see Campbell playing like such a beast for the Jaguars. But HIM, I can be happy for.

    Then there’s Tedd Ginn, who I will NEVER be happy for. I just won’t let it go with him. Ever. I swear, look at his season stats over the last several years….he was very productive that last season in Carolina before he came to Arizona….then he totally went in the tank for a season…..then he goes back to Carolina and is totally productive again…..and now is very productive for the Saints and helping drive them in the playoffs, caught an 80 yard TD today. It’s like a string of X-mas lights with ONE light out. And that ONE bulb that is shot is the ONE year he played here. The rest of the bulbs are bright and shiny.

    I swear, I’ll never give it up. Doesn’t that REALLY bother anyone else???

  11. By Scott H on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Happy for the Saints! Hard not to love and appreciate Drew Brees. Glad I’m not a Chargers fan, watching what this guy has done since they let him go in 2006.

    And I am NOT a fan of Cam Newton, so not a fan of the Panthers.

    The Saints / Vikings game next week should be a doozy. And I hope the Falcons keep it going long enough to knock off the Eagles. They have fallen WAY off since losing Wentz.

    Bills / Jags was a dud. I don’t believe in either team at all. Bortles plays SOOO bad at times. Seems like he helps the team more when he runs the ball. The AFC totally belongs to Brady and the Pats. Might as well fast forward to the AFC title game and whoever they will be playing that week. Unless Antonio Brown is back and back for real, I don’t even think Pittsburgh really has a chance. Big Ben has actually played pretty un-spectacularly in his last several playoff games.

    Brady is like he AFC QB equivalent of Larry Fitzgerald with the Cardinals – no matter how old he gets, he is still hands down the best at his position.

  12. By Dr. G. on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Darren & Cards Fans ~ ~ Are the Fan Poll MVP results here surprising? I don’t usually see it, but caught the fan numbers this time by the blog.

    Fitz will always be the fan favorite for just about any category, but CJones had results unforseen by anyone in the league. The also-ran could have been Budda.

  13. By Steve on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Please don’t hire Mike Munchak….that would be such an uninspiring hire of a head coach.

  14. By Steve on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    I personally liked Patricia coming here to coach but it looks like the Lions will get him, Defilippo probably goes to either Indy or Chicago. I’m not high on Panthers DC Steve Wilks or Falcons special teams coach Keith Armstrong, so who does that leave us? At this point Vikings OC Pat Shurmer would be my second choice behind Patricia.

  15. By Steve on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Darren: Why don’t you apply for the HC job, we’d support you.

  16. By Dr. G. on Jan 7, 2018 | Reply

    Sorry Darren, I’ll try to go easy on your guy. I guess the point would be…when others are called to select players for an award, is it OK to complain when you’re not one of those chosen?

    ((You just provide fodder for negative reactions without realizing it)) It is taken as mocking the experts as if they aren’t…I don’t even know who they are. If he is an all-pro…people already know it. These awards are cyclical…Fitz deserves more than he’s gotten…

  17. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Fodder

    I’m not sure what you mean by that. Again, I see you as someone who talks about Peterson like he was Greg Toler or A.J. Jefferson. Your criticism of Peterson is so much more personal than anyone else.

  18. By Johnson on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    I am a bit sad that Rams lost – After living 13 years in AZ, i decided to move with my GF to LA and become a proxy Rams fan! I am really happy how the Rams/49ers/Hawks look for next year – Unfortunately no expectations for AZ – this is such a bad organization that unless things go bad, nothing really changes – finally they had to change but its too late now.

    The future if this organization is Rams/49ers and to an extent Hawks. Cardinals have a long way to go. Hope the Cards can get better – I was a former ticket holder for the Cards for 10 + years but now becoming an LA native, I have a soft spot for the Rams. Still – hope the Bidwells can change this organization and turn it around into a winning franchise

  19. By mitchaz on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    Scott—

    Ginn’s gift KO fumble at Carolina in the playoffs, trying to return the KO from 9 yards deep in the end zone and laying it on the ground at the 16 yard line was the complete icing on the cake—that—and his statement after he re-signed with the Panthers that he went to AZ for the money.

    On the defensive side, how about Lorenzo Alexander? Was not even a STs stud in AZ after making Pro Bowl as ST player in his contract year. A total non-factor as a pass rusher in AZ who was given numerous opportunities.

  20. By patrick on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    This sort of sums up p2;

    Bethea is trying to shake the instinct to help Peterson: “It’s something I’m getting used to. I’ve never really played with a corner – I don’t want to knock the corners I’ve played with – but a corner of his caliber. He can lock down a receiver, and it kind of allows me to play one half of the field. I’m still getting used to that, but I feel as though the longer I play with him, I see myself making some more plays like this.”

  21. By D on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    Did you all watch that horrific Jag v Bills game? I say horrific for the QB play, I enjoyed the defenses, but that Bill QB and Jag QB make Gabbert look decent.
    Another example of how bad the Free agent QB market will be. (guessing Jax will move on from Bortles soon )
    As far a A. Smith in KC possible trade, how much better would he be than those 2 MN’s QBs? Maybe slightly better, but I don’t believe AZ is in a position with as many holes to fill as they have to give up at least a 2nd Round pick in a Trade scenario. Those 2 MN QB’s will be UFA, no draft pick required.

    This all reminds me or get’s me upset remembering how all Fall, up to the trade deadline last year, I was screaming for Jimmy G trade. He cost SF only a 2nd Round pick! His salary will be above $20 mil, more than A. Smith and much more than those MN QB’s in 2018, but he would have been the best option going forward for a franchise QB for 10 years.

  22. By faster on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    i expected the falcons win, bils vs jaguars was for very close with a slight edge for the jaguars, and i bet on the chiefs and panthers. it can only get better.

    about our head coach, i expect bettcher and i could live with it, but dreamin, hey, what about bill belichick. if the espn story is not only made to distract and help the steelers, there is a really posibillity that he quits after this season. if he retires, ok, but if he wants a new challenge, this team schould be ready.

  23. By Dr. G. on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    Respectfully, Darren, ~ rejecting this “”personal”” thing you indicate…it isn’t valid. Would you also conclude that those who ranked P2 #8 (?) in the voting and off All Pro list have a “”personal”” issue with him? The stats are good…gotta be they aren’t fair? Huh? I don’t get it either… ((I’m gonna exit this issue for a while))…be well

  24. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: All-pro

    This conversation doesn’t really have anything to do with all-pro.

  25. By D on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    Larry won’t walk away from $11 mil and a chance to be #2 WR all time unless I am the starting QB in 2018 and a 3rd round draft pick QB is the backup. The QB will matter, say a A. Smith, K. Cousins, S, Bradford or C. Keenum as a Starter in 2018 and Larry will be back. Any coach that Mr. B hires will have to place Larry heavy in the game plan if he returns regardless of who they draft and or sign WR wise in free agency.

  26. By Scott H on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    D –

    RE: Larry won’t walk away from $11 million…

    Hey, we saw Kurt Warner walk away from $10 million….don’t think it can’t happen.

    I won’t be foolish enough to say something like money doesn’t matter to Fitz at this point, but he HAS been paid VERY well over the course of a long career. And I believe he is a guy who manages his money VERY well. Point being, I don’t know that money is driving Fitz at this point. We’ll see. But I absolutely believe he will walk away with $11 million on the table if he is really ready to be done playing.

  27. By erik on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    RE Fitz,

    I would imagine he would want to know how he will be used in a new scheme before deciding whether to come back. I know he was an amazing blocker, but he did not enjoy it. I wonder if a new coach would put him back outside more often and if that would excite him at all?!

  28. By Fmr USAF Pilot on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    If a Coach was offered the job of Head Coach of the Cards, he should seriously consider the ability and positions of the players that Keim would draft for his team before he accepted the job.

    As JTDG and others have written, Keim does not have a sterling reputation in drafting NEEDS (see OL).

    Also, consider the players he’s drafted and are playing out of position e.g. Boehm (played as a Center in college and was drafted to play that position, who’s playing Guard) and Bucannon (played in college and was drafted as a Safety, who’s played for the Cards as a LB).

  29. By JohnnyBluenose on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    Carson Palmer played well for us in the five years he was here and if not for injuries he could have played in a Super Bowl and, who knows, maybe our Cardinals could have won one during that time. And I do not mean to disrespect him but, because I have suggested that Alex Smith should be considered a candidate as our next quarterback, I thought I would do a bit of research to compare the two. For one thing, they were both chosen with the first overall pick in their respective drafts. Palmer came to Arizona in 2013, the same year that Smith went to Kansas City.. Palmer was 34 years old at the time. Smith was only 29 then. Smith will be 34 years old when training camp begins. Palmer’s record since 2013 is 38-21-1, overall it’s 92-88-1. Since 2013 Smith’s record is 50-26 and overall it’s 88-52-1. I realize that statistics can be viewed in many ways but, in light of these stats, I have to think we would have been much better off in 2013 (and since then) had we been able to get Smith instead of Palmer. Not only would we have gotten a good, athletic quarterback we would have one still here now who is still young enough and good enough to play for another two or three years. If Palmer was not considered too old when he came here in 2013 then I have to think Smith, a better athlete in my opinion, is not too old either. I hope he is available. I would think he would want to come to Arizona if his time in Kansas City is over.

  30. By Dr. G. on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    Darren – – Good article on HC search?

    Does it make sense that those interviews who are now not OCs or DCs may evolve to be recommendations for the HC they finally hire…seems they are diligent in the search….

    Certainly, SK & MB will need to approve the men the new HC will suggest?? Or do you think he will get final say on his favorites? Your take? Group effort?

    We see this as a huge beginning esp with the defense in place. Cards must be an ideal spot for a new opportunity…and Fitz can be a big draw!

  31. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Coach say

    There will be coach input, certainly, and if it is an offensive coach, I would guess that would hold sway on a QB especially. But Keim has final say on the roster.

  32. By JonnyYuma on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    Darren, do you think it makes a difference as to whether a head coach is hired from a team that loses in the postseason compared with a super bowl winner, as to the new team’s performance right out of the gate? For example say Shurmur and the Vikes win the SB and he comes to the Cards – would it be that it would be much harder to run the same system being that the winning team would be dissected and copied by some others in the league as opposed to the team losing and possibly not as much attention being paid – or is everything done in the league dissected anyway and wouldn’t make much difference- thanks again for your work on the blog.

  33. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2018 | Reply

    JonnyYuma —

    RE: Systems

    No, I don’t think it makes that big of a difference, if any. It comes down to players and the coach being able to use those players the best.

  34. By cactus jeff on Jan 9, 2018 | Reply

    Hey Scott H,
    Did you see the college football championship? First half versus second half was a great lesson in the importance of a QB. First half was your philosophy and second half was mine. Even with Bama’s roster, a talent depleted QB gives the team no chance. QB,QB,QB Trade whoever and get a QB.

  35. By mitchaz on Jan 9, 2018 | Reply

    Championship Game Prospects

    Superb performance from both teams—what a game—and what a showcase of NFL talent—never before has anyone seen so many true freshmen make such a profound impact on the Championship game?

    QB:

    Jake Fromm—has Brady-esque pocket feel and footwork, did you see how he shifted his feet a little to his left in order to throw the TD bomb up the right sidelines? Kirby Smart’s game plan to pass in running situations and to run in passing situations was brilliant, but then he dialed it back in the 4th quarter, dang. And, get this—Georgia has the top QB of the Class on 2018 coming to Athens in Justin Fields.

    Tua Pagovailoa—it’s hard to imagine how he was able to come into that game down 13-0 and turn a listless offense into a scoring machine. The Russell Wilson comparisons are legit—he is a left handed Wilson. Coincidentally, the game winning play is called “Seattle” (4 go routes) and Pago executed it exactly as RW would—looking off the safety and then firing the ball up the sideline. But, an even better play was the 4th down TD pass to Calvin Ridley which tied the game late in the 4th quarter—the way Pago extended the play with his feet and bought just enough time to allow Ridley to clear the defenders.

    Jaylen Hurts—what class. Unbelievable class for a kid who has gone 25-2 in his two years as starter.

    RB:

    Sony Michel—best blend of quicks and explosion at RB last night. He’s an all-purpose RB and, imo, will go in Round 1, the 2nd RB behind Saquan Barkley.

    Nick Chubb—such a tough, gritty competitor. Should make some team happy in the 3rd round. One has to wonder whether he can bounce back from his knee injury in time the way Frank Gore did.

    Damien Harris—reminds me of Marcel Shipp. Hard runner who makes good yards after contact.

    Bo Scarbrough—has Derrick Henry type size and may be even faster once he gets to the second level. But, he wasn’t featured this year as much as he was last year—which may have as much to do with Harris’ 7 ypc production as anything else.

    WR:

    Calvin Ridley—silky smooth, very slippery in the open field. Needs to add more muscle tone to be able to fight off press coverage in the NFL. But he can play wide and in the slot, which makes him a valuable chess piece.

    Riley Ridley—did anyone else think he looks like Anquan Boldin? What a gritty performance from him last night.

    Robert Foster—nice combination of size and athleticism. He could be a day 3 steal.

    OL:

    Isaiah Wynn—this Bulldog really stood out—smooth pass pro set up—good strong base—plays within himself.

    Bradley Bozeman—solid anchor of Bama’s OL.

    DL:

    Da’Ron Payne—what a Payne in the arse he was for the Georgia offense as he was plugging the run like a pro and was in the backfield all night pressuring Fromm. His disruptive play now likely catapults him into the top 15, as DTs who can both stop the run and pressure the QB are in such high demand.

    Trenton Thompson—this Bulldog was in beast mode last night. Will he declare for the draft? He has to have at least a 2nd round grade, if not a back end of the 1st.

    Lorenzo Carter—size and speed will land him a low 1st, early 2nd round selection.

    LB:

    Roquan Smith—if he’s on the board at #15, it would be hard for the Cardinals to pass up on him. He has uncanny range and finishing power.

    Rashaan Evans—excellent size and toughness—should be a 2nd round pick.

    Davin Bellamy—Dawgs’ OLB who has edge quickness and sneaky strength.

    CB:

    Minkah Fitzpatrick—this year’s version of Jalen Ramsey—can do it all as a DB. Tough, smart, versatile and instinctive.

    Anthony Averett—made impact blitzing from the back side—good cover CB, but needs to turn quicker to locate the ball.

    Levi Wallace—physical CB who plays with leverage and very good hand technique.

    Tony Brown—tough, physical, might be better suited to play SS

    S:

    Ronnie Harrison—he’s exactly what the Cardinals need at FS—has the size, speed, toughness and range to be a consistent enforcer in pass coverage and alley run support. Imo, Harrison would be worthy of the #15 pick, if the QB the Cardinals want has been taken.

    K:

    Rodrigo Blankenship—would love to see the Cardinals draft football’s version of “Wild Thing.” What a clutch kicker. Just earned his scholarship this year as a redshirt sophomore.

    I imagine that Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim were at the game, seeing as they were in Atlanta to interview Keith Armstrong earlier in the day. they probably planned it that way.

    The players in this game who are worthy of the Cardinals’ 1st Round pick (if they have signed or traded for a QBOF), imo:

    1. CB Minkah Fitzpatrick
    2. LB Roquan Smith
    3. WR Calvin Ridley
    4. DT Da’Ron Payne
    5. FS Ronnie Harrison
    6. RB Sony Michel

  36. By JTDG on Jan 9, 2018 | Reply

    johnnybluenose and others in support for Alex Smith;

    First, he never would have meshed with BA. Alex Smith is know to dump the ball off and not take shots down the field.BA, well it is simple, no risk it, no biscuit.
    I don’t believe they could have coexisted on the same team.

    Now , will Alex Smith mess with a new coach? Maybe. I would have thought if the cards want to go that way, they should have looked at Matt Nagy as head coach (former OC for chiefs). Look back about a month ago, I was mentioning hiring a GM and new head coach and talked about Nagy back then. The fact that the cards had no interest or new he was going to the bears might be writing on the wall about Smith. Maybe not?

    Alex Smith won with the niners , who traded him away. He has won with the Chiefs , who may depart from him. He is a game manager, who rarely pushes the ball down the field and his playoff record is 2-5, losing his last 3 games (2015, 16, 17)

    Meanwhile , in the games they lost, his stats are decent and they lost close games. That may be the issue. When in a close game, he plays not to lose instead of trying to win. That’s how you lose the last 3 playoff games, 22-21, 18-16, 27-20.

    It is something to think about.

  37. By clssylssy on Jan 9, 2018 | Reply

    The fact that SK would set out to get a QB w/o a Head Coach spells doom & failure before things even get started. But, as you pointed out, Keim is in charge of the roster which couldn’t be an attractive selling point to most good HC prospects.
    IMO, the GM (in Arizona at any rate) creates a disconnects with the team and perhaps the Cards would be more successful in adopting New England’s system where the HC and GM positions are combined and you have a “football guy” making football decisions.

  38. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2018 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: Football guy

    Keim played offensive line in college, had a cup of coffee as an NFL player and was a scout for a number of years. There is no more of a “football guy” than Keim.

  39. By Scott H on Jan 9, 2018 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff –

    Hey, you don’t have to sell me on the importance of the QB. That is paramount.

    But that doesn’t mean you trade a RB like David Johnson, which I believe you suggested.

    I also struggle to make direct comparisons between the college game and the pro game. In other words, I don’t believe in them.

  40. By Joe C. on Jan 9, 2018 | Reply

    As far as Fitz not liking to block, its football, blocking that springs a big gain or results in an important first down is an adrenalin rush and beats running downfield as a decoy. I think the bottom line for Fitz will be competition. If he views the team as competitive he might comeback. If he wants to play he might come back. I think both circumstances need to be met though. I would sign a free agent QB and use the draft picks this year to fill holes. If a Smith is available and we can wait on the QBOTF unless we can get the one we want. Focus on o-line and CB2 in draft and FA.

  41. By Cactus jeff on Jan 9, 2018 | Reply

    Then explain to me how you move up and get a franchise QB? Because this talk of Alex Smith is garbage.

  42. By clssylssy on Jan 9, 2018 | Reply

    James Bettcher is BA’s #1 choice to succeed him which, I guess would explain a lot if the deal’s already done (and should come as no surprise). IMO, JB wasn’t even a qualified DC who had a lot of help from his players and inherited a defensive scheme/philosophy from Coaches Bowles & Horton. He’s probably a nice guy but just hasn’t been in the NFL long enough to have the experience & creds to be the visionary to advance this team. During much of the season our defense was undisciplined and often looked like the keystone cops, which would make me very skeptical of his abilities as a HC.
    This is SUPPOSE to be a new beginning, so PLEASE let’s make a honest effort to find the pieces to allow us to grow and move forward as a legitimate contender team. Long suffering fans deserve that much from the Ownership. No more “shame on me’s”!
    And, Darren, playing college football & having a cup of coffee in the NFL. w scouting experience, isn’t that impressive a resume or qualify one as “a football guy”. Having a winning track record building Championship Teams, having a ring or two, are what defines “a football guy”.

  43. By Scott H on Jan 9, 2018 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff –

    OK, can you explain to me we why HAVE to trade David Johnson to be able to draft our QB?? Or Chandler Jones, for that matter?? Look, it may seem necessary to you, but….I don’t get it. And BTW, who do you think is going to be trading for Chandler Jones with that contract the Cardinals JUST gave him?

    Who said we HAD to move up to find our QB?? Maybe we do, maybe we don’t. Who knows? Wasn’t Russell Wilson found in the 3rd round?? Hey, maybe these F/O people of ours just need to do their homework.

    No, I’m not going to explain HOW we are going to find our franchise QB. That’s not MY job. That’s the job of the folks in the F/O who get paid ( and paid pretty well, I’m sure ) to solve that problem. When they start paying ME to figure it out, I’ll explain it to you.

    But by the same token, maybe you need to explain to me WHY trading David Johnson is the way and the only way we are going to be able to move up to get our franchise guy.

    And don’t talk to me about Alex Smith. I agree with you there. I want NO PART of him.

    But it seems like you see two choices here – trade David Johnson or end up with Alex Smith.

    Um….maybe there are other options, perhaps?

  44. By JohnnyBluenose on Jan 9, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG…We will never know whether Alex Smith would have out-performed Carson Palmer or not had he been our quarterback for the last five years but I believe Smith can make all the throws and would have been able to follow whatever game plan Arians installed. And maybe Smith’s mobility may even have allowed him a little extra time to move around in the pocket and make even more big time throws down the field than Palmer. Is Smith a game manager or does he do what his coach tells him to do? You tell me. As for Smith’s 2-5 play-off record, as I said, stats can mean just about anything. I think some bad luck and some unfortunate injuries surely contributed a lot to the last two losses vs the Steelers and the Titans, which were very close and against pretty good teams. Here are some more stats which again may not mean a whole lot. Palmer’s career passing yardage per game is 254. Since 2013, under Arians, it increased to 278. Since 2013 he threw 123 TD passes and had 57 interceptions, a positive difference of 66. Smith’s career passing yardage per game is 204 and since 2013 it has been 236. Since 2013 Smith has thrown 102 TD passes with 33 interceptions, a positive difference of 69. This would indicate that Smith has played a more conservative game under Andy Reid than Palmer did under Arians, I will agree to that, but I don’t think that means that Smith could not have performed very well for us under Arians. But it does not matter. It did not happen and I doubt very much that San Francisco was going to allow Smith to go to a conference rival. We got Palmer for next to nothing because that was all he was worth at the time. It worked out well for us and well for Palmer and I’m glad. I just think that we would have been better off with Alex Smith. I also wish we had traded for Drew Brees when San Diego decided to go with Philip Rivers. I also wish that we had taken a flyer in the sixth round of the draft way back when and drafted a kid named Brady but that’s life. You deal with the here and now and look to the future. I am hoping a quarterback, a good quaretback is in our future…..whoever he is..

  45. By JTDG on Jan 10, 2018 | Reply

    clssy,

    I believe Drew Brees was a FA. In fact, he wanted to go to Miami, but they decided to go with Dante Caulpepper. Talk about regret. From my memory, Brees didn’t have many options and settled in New Orleans with their new coach Sean Payton.

    If we had Brees, Warner never has his comeback with the cards, no HOF, no superbowl for Warner. I am thinking Kurt is happy that Brees ended up in NO.

    To take it a step further, 2006 was the time Denny Green was drafting his gift from Heaven in Matt Leinart. A draft of Haloti Ngata (next pick in 1st round) and signing Bress probably keeps Denny around and no Whiz.

    It is funny how it all works.

    As for Brady, who would have thought a skinny kid , who shared time as the starter in Michigan, would become the GOAT?

  46. By clssylssy on Jan 10, 2018 | Reply

    JTDG
    Not following your post exactly. Yes, Drew Brees was a free agent when he ended up in NOLA and will be again at the end of this season. As you may or not recall, he ended up sitting out the beginning of training camp the last time his contract was up, he is older now, and I would be surprised if he did that again. On the other hand, his family is very settled in New Orleans, kids in school, ihe and his wife are invested in the community with their Foundation, and I could almost see him retiring a Saint, especially if they win the SB. He’s even older than Palmer and has about done it all and is probably a 1st round HOFer. Not sure what the context was of your post, but chances of him coming here would be, IMO, slim to none. We, for sure, wouldn’t want to pay him what he could get anywhere else and, much like Fitz, he has become something of a local hero.
    I enjoy your trips back in the time machine and the “what if” scenarioes, although it sometimes can be a little depressing for us die hard oldtimers.
    Thanks for all the good stuff you contribute, I think it’s hard for some of the newbies to have a clue as to why we sometimes become so frustrated!

  47. By JTDG on Jan 10, 2018 | Reply

    clssy,

    I wrote to you when I meant johnnybluenose.

    My mistake, it must have been confusing to you.

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