Rams aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on December 27, 2009 – 11:18 pm

There was one question I wanted to ask Early Doucet after Sunday’s rollover of the Rams. On his first NFL touchdown – an 18-yard pass from Kurt Warner – what was more difficult, making the play or surviving Larry Fitzgerald’s bone-jarring thrown-down tackle milliseconds later (pictured here)?

“Surviving the tackle,” Doucet said, grinning. “He told me, ‘If you ever get a touchdown, you’ll never celebrate yourself because I’m coming to the end zone.’ ” Fitz confirmed that version, saying “He told us he had a touchdown dance and I told him he wasn’t going to do it.” So he didn’t. Doucet scored, Fitz threw him down before Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston joined in a dogpile celebration.

“He slammed me to the ground and I couldn’t do anything but enjoy the moment,” Doucet said. “It was a good feeling.”

These are the things talked about after a three-touchdown win over a team that you should beat. First touchdowns and celebrations. Milestones, like A-Dub finally getting that sack he needed for his induction to 20/20 or Warner reaching 100 TD passes with his second team or DRC getting his sixth interception, which is the most for the Cards since Dexter Jackson had that many in 2006.

So much to touch on, so before I head off to bed:

— Yes, it was a Rams’ team severely short-handed, even on defense. But the Cards took their shots downfield Sunday and even got their biggest play of the season, a 45-yard bomb to Steve Breaston (topping the 44-yard catch-and-run of Boldin in New York in October).

— The Cards have more than 40 sacks in a season for the first time since moving to Arizona. They have 41 on the season.

— Boldin should be over 1,000 yards receiving. He is 14 yards short, a number that was taken care of on a 28-yard catch late in the third quarter – except an illegal shift on rookie LaRod Stephens-Howling negated the play. “I’m very upset,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said of that penalty, because the play had “really created momentum for us.”

— With Pro Bowlers being announced Tuesday, it’s too bad Boldin’s injuries threw off his early season showing. Because he is playing at a Pro Bowl level, and he has been at that level for a few weeks now.

— Tackle Levi Brown looked like he struggled Sunday, and generally, Whisenhunt said he was “a little disappointed in our protection today at times.” Obviously, that’s an area that needs to hold up when the Cards start playing postseason games.

— The Cardinals need the Vikings to lose Monday night in Chicago to keep hope alive to achieve the No. 2 playoff seed and a bye. So Fitzgerald – who grew up in Minnesota and was a Vikings ballboy and doesn’t really hide the idea he still roots for the Vikings – was asked who he will be rooting for in Bears-Vikings. “I’m from Minnesota, man,” Fitzgerald said, pausing before saying, “I want the Bears to wi…, ahh, yeah. We’ll see what happens.” It brought laughs, even from Fitzgerald. So yeah, we will see what happens.

— Jason Wright did an admirable job filling in at fullback after the last-second neck stiffness kept Dan Kreider, the Cards’ lone fullback, out. Beanie Wells had a nice game (17 carries, 68 yards and a score) but it seemed like, with Kreider around, he might have been even more effective.

— Calais Campbell tied Darnell Dockett for most sacks on the team with seven. Bertrand Berry is just one behind. What a race.

— Considering he had some tough moments in coverage this season (I’m thinking against the Bears for sure, and maybe a couple of other instances), safety Adrian Wilson actually has done well against the pass. He now has five interceptions and he’s made some nice pass breakups too. That shouldn’t be forgotten – although I am sure he’ll have a third Pro Bowl selection come Tuesday.

— It was nice to see A-Dub get to 20/20. If it wasn’t going to happen today, though … I mean, on that final Rams’ possession in which Wilson got Null for his second sack of the season, Wilson might as well have been a defensive end. He came off the edge on the rush on every one of the five plays, including his takedown.

— Finally, Whisenhunt said he thought about taking Warner out for Matt Leinart earlier than the three-minute mark, but “I kept wanting one more score in the second half. I wanted to make sure there was a point of emphasis for our football team that we got the 10th win.”

— Oh, Warner delivered the 10th win. Heck, Warner even delivered a 10-yard run. Who’s that, Chris Johnson I spy? Nope. Just Kurt.

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21 Responses to “Rams aftermath”

  1. By Aaron on Dec 27, 2009 | Reply

    Levi Brown is without question the weakest link on our team. He would be solid on a team such as the Titans, who focus on the run, but not here in AZ. That needs to be our #1 priority to acquire/resolve in the offseason, followed by dumping McFadden in an admittance
    of him being a bad signing.

    I really can’t think of any other position we are “weak” in however. When is the last time we Cardinals fans have been able to say that?!?

  2. By Aaron Lone-Eagle on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Hey Cards and fans,

    Congratulations on 10 wins, and Congrats to Adrian Wilson on joining the 20/20 Club now I know A-Dub is not into personal stats, but let’s shoot for the 30/30 club. Darren is it too late to throw in some last inute votes for the pro-bowl? If so let me know. The game did concern me a little bit, mainly due to the slow start in the first quarter, after that, we looked pretty good. One thing that concerned me was the play of Chris Long against Jeremy Bridges, It was almost like we needed a blocking back to protect Kurt. I thought defense looked pretty good too, except for the run game in the beginning, with the rookie Darby, What worried me was what would have happened if Jackson had played? Maybe I am worrying too much. I feel pretty good about next weeks game. I think if we can beat that young Green Bay defense, we could be looking at another Super Bowl, or maybe i’m just talking crazy. Anyway nice job today Cards!!!!

  3. By darrenurban on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Aaron —

    Pro Bowl voting ended last week. The teams are actually set and will be announced at 5 p.m. Arizona time tomorrow (Tuesday).

  4. By Johnny V on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply


    Any word yet on whether or not Whiz will play the starters next week against the Pack? I’m sure he’ll address it Monday at his press conference, but one would have to assume he’s considering it. We’ve got seeds to play for, and other than a few “nicks” here and there, the squad looks fairly healthy. I just think, with this team, we can’t afford to derail momentum and lay an egg in two weeks due to lack of playing time in week 17. Thanks.

    Johnny V

  5. By darrenurban on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Johnny V —

    It will all depend on the playoff scenarios. If the Vikings lose tonight, the No. 2 seed is still in play. Even if the Vikings win, the Cards can still get the No. 3 seed and a potential extra chance to host the NFC championship. So we have to see. It will likely be a game-day decision, given that all the games the Cards will care about will be ending when the Cards kick off.

  6. By Eazy E on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Lolz at the chris johnson kurt warner joke darren ! Dominating performance by the cardinals. Kurt balled out with 313 yards and 2 tds. Beanie is just beastin 17 carries 68 yards and a td. Fitz had a solid game 5 catches 48 yards and a td. Anquan is playing at a pro bowl level and i voted him in, 8 catches for 116 yards and deep balls too. O-Line’s run blocking was solid but pass protection (Levi Brown) needs to be cleaned up. The Rams have decent ends but no elite guys, leonard little is good but other than that not much. Defense played well, calais has played well all year long and adds another sack to tie with nine-o.bert, hagg, and okeafor had a sack a piece. Drc nabs his sixth pick, he might get his goal of 7 or 8 and his name should be announced tuesday for the pro bowl because he is playing superb. Antrel is very consistent at making plays week in and week out. Adrian finally got 20(201/2 career sacks) and has a career high in picks with 5, he’s playing great in the box and in coverage, that’s why he’s a top 3 top 2 safety in the league, he makes plays. Let’s beat these hot packers because we might see them in the playoffs.

  7. By carfan no.1 on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    no kidding…..its obious for a card fan like me to realize how awsome kurt and fitz were…….. and its not like me to be blogging on az while watching the cardinals on mike and mike…………………..

  8. By carfan no.1 on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    not like this has to do with any thing… but did the cards make the playoffs????? PLEASE REPLY

  9. By darrenurban on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    carfan —

    Uh, yeah. They clinched a playoff spot last week.

  10. By Thewholetenyards on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Hi Darren,

    I have been following the Cardinals in London since the new season and been reading your blog and you seem to know the inside info, when exactly was Ken Whisenhunt wanting to pull Kurt from the game, what sort of TD lead? Was he going to do a Jim Caldwell and completely change offense and defense too?

    Isn’t a slight worry our Bye week was so early, these players have been playing for a good 2 months week in week out?

  11. By darrenurban on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Thewholetenyards —

    Honestly, I don’t know how seriously Whiz ever wanted to pull Kurt. He wanted to make sure the Cards won their 10th. He never specified how early. He only said he considered it earlier.

  12. By Bob on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    You could have used a calendar to time Warner’s run. It was nice to see him get some exercise though.

  13. By Paul on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Darren, isn’t the Fiesta Bowl adding additional bleacher seating for their game in the south end zone which will be in place for the Packer game and playoff game. Will the NFL require these seats to be sold for the blackout rule to be lifted?


  14. By darrenurban on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Paul —

    The extra seats will not be used for the last regular-season game and they will likely be gone by the time the playoff game happens.

  15. By joe67 on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    I thought the O-line looked bad for the most part. We should have had a much better running day than a little over a hundred yards. I agree with Aaron, O-line needs to be a high (or top) priority.
    Why did there seem to be so much confusion between QB and receiver. This shouldn’t be happening in week 16.

  16. By DJL on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    I couldn’t help but to laugh when I saw Kurt Warner run with the ball. I think all of these running plays he’s calling are geetting to him hehehe

  17. By shannon robinson on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Now we see how big a part Dan Kreider plays in Beannie Ball – tip of the wing to Jason Wright for some good blocks in relief. Our offensive tackles will need help from tight ends and backs in the playoffs. Having lost our $5 million tackle left tackle and still have cap room and the foresight to sign Bridges shows Mr. Graves and our President really came through. We let Elton Brown go who filled in well last year. This is an opportunity for Jeremy Bridges to prove he’s much more than a journeyman. However we’ve developed an excellent offensive line that’s down to Russ Grimm and we have great prospects developing now for years to come.
    Cheers to Q for celebrating Doucet’s TD with Fitz since it’s obvious he was drafted as Q’s replacement – this is a hard business.

  18. By Lesa Urban on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    YEAH!!!!!! CARDS!!!!!!!!SUPER BOWL HERE WE COME!!!!!!!
    I am from St. Louis I have followed the Cards from when they were here and of course Kurt is the best QB ever! AZ you guys are lucky to have them both!!

  19. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 28, 2009 | Reply

    Great job to everyone in the organization. Proud to be a Cardinals fan!

    Looking forward to the playoffs with a healthy team. Let’s take advantage of that!

    I’m also looking forward to seeing what Whiz has been keeping under wraps all season once the playoffs start. No more, “rope-a-dope” after the regular season ends. 😉

    Let’s avenge that loss to the Steelers last February!

    p.s. What Super Bowl jinx?

  20. By charles henderson jr. on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    It seems that the cardinals never have any luck with players from PENN STATE OR NEBRASKA for some odd reason!!!!! Starting back with a RB CHARLIE PITTMAN who was to be another GAYLE SAYERS type RB, and the latest FLUBB OF A PLAYER BRYAN JOHNSON WR. I PRAY THAT LEVI BROWN DOES,NT WIND UP ANOTHER -PENN STATE BUST!!!!!!!! THE STAKES ARE JUST TOO HIGH NOW!!!!!!!!!!

  21. By JP on Dec 29, 2009 | Reply

    hmmm….I’d like to see that ball held high and tight by Warner on the picture of that 10 yard rush 🙂 In all seriousness though, that ball does look like it could just roll right right out.
    The 1st piece is in place with the MN loss….let’s go NY & Dallas!

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