The Cardinals have made it plain that they need kicker Chandler Catanzaro — who has missed three extra points this season — to convert the point-afters. The last two haven’t come back to bite the Cards, but they both looked like they could have (in a 26-18 win over Baltimore and a 19-13 win in San Francisco). While Cat Man does need to make those, the reality is this is exactly what the NFL was looking for when it pushed back the extra points to the equivalent of a 33-yard field goal.
This weekend, when nine extra points were missed around the league (none by Catanzaro), that notion was underscored.
Catanzaro has missed three extra points this season, but he’s not the only one. Another, in fact, is the kicker for the only team ahead of the Cardinals in the NFC standings: Carolina’s Graham Gano. (It should be noted that Catanzaro has tried the most extra points in the league at 45; Gano at 43 and the Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski, who is 43-43, are the only others to try at least 40 so far.)
Jacksonville’s Jason Myers has missed six. (Not sure how he’s still employed, to be honest.) Buffalo’s Dan Carpenter has missed four. Seattle’s Steven Hauschka and Detroit’s Matt Prater — a couple of pretty good kickers — have, like Catanzaro, also missed three. A total of 14 kickers have missed at least two extra points this season.
Again, that doesn’t help the Cardinals if a missed extra point costs them at some juncture. But it’s where the NFL was headed when the rule was changed. And more will be missed.
Tags: Chandler Catanzaro, Dan Carpenter, Graham Gano, Jason Myers, Matt Prater, Stephen Gostkowski, Steven Hauschka
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The Wes Welker suspension bomb dropped yesterday, and that’s a great example of why all these game-by-game results guesses never made any sense to me. The Broncos wide receiver is gone for four games, and since the Broncos have a Week 4 bye (as do the Cardinals), the fourth and final game Welker will have to sit out will be the Cardinals’ visit to Denver. Will that impact the outcome? Maybe, maybe not. But you can’t predict because this game doesn’t allow that. Last year, when the schedule game out, the Cardinals were facing two tough playoff teams coming to Arizona in Houston and Atlanta. By the time the Texans and Falcons arrived, injuries had shredded them and they were bad teams. This year, the Broncos won’t have Welker (or kicker Matt Prater, who has also been suspended the first four games), the 49ers won’t have linebacker Aldon Smith in the first meeting with the Cards, and again, you just don’t know how these things will play out.
Random aside: That Oct. 5 game will be only the second time in Payton Manning’s career he will play an entire game against the Cardinals. He did so in a Sunday night game in 2009, but he sat out virtually all off the 2005 season finale. That is, of course, assuming Manning is healthy by that point. Because you just don’t know what will happen.
— The Cardinals picked captains and the results weren’t really surprising when you think of it. The biggest one, noted by many fans, is that Larry Fitzgerald is not a captain. This year’s offensive captain is Carson Palmer. But this should not shock. Palmer has really been the biggest offensive leader since he arrived, although there is something to be said about taking a bit of a backseat in the first year. Palmer did that, and Fitz was a 2013 captain. But Palmer is unquestionably the guy out front. Fitz has always been more of a lead-by-example guy. It was interesting that Calais Campbell is the defensive captain, but then again, maybe that shouldn’t be that surprising either. It’s hard to think of Campbell as a veteran leader — sometimes, it still feels like he just got here, especially since Darnell Dockett’s experience always overshadowed him on the line. But he’s a guy the defense can get behind.
— The Cardinals finished off their 10-man practice squad today by signing cornerback Anthony Gaitor. The 5-foot-10 Gaitor was among the Bucs’ final cuts. He was a seventh-round pick of Tampa in 2011, and missed all of last season with a knee injury. He joins rookie Jimmy Legree as the defensive backs on the practice squad, which gives the Cards some in-house possibilities for help if there are injuries with the eight men on the active roster.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Anthony Gaitor, Calais Campbell, Carson Palmer, Darnell Dockett, Jimmy Legree, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Prater, Peyton Manning, Wes Welker
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