An “irritating” scenario for Cards

Posted by Darren Urban on January 1, 2010 – 1:02 pm

The Vikings lose Sunday, and the Cardinals are playing for the No. 2 seed and a bye. The Vikings win, and fighting hard for No. 3 or No. 4 — when you’re making key players susceptible to injury or showing trends to make it easy for the Packers to scout you — doesn’t make as much sense.

It’s made getting ready this week, with everyone knowing all the different possibilities, difficult. And not an ideal situation.

“It’s irritating,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “This type is irritating, because it is more the unknown. Listen, I am glad we are in this situation because we know we are in the playoffs and all we’re doing is working to get a better seed, and that’s always a good thing. I’d like to have the two or the one seed already locked up. That’s the best.

“But this is different because we’re waiting on another game just to see if we even have a chance at the No. 2 seed. That determines a lot of what you do going forward.”

Interestingly, the teams with the first-round bye the last four seasons are just 7-9 in their initial playoff games. The bye teams lost three of four last season, including both NFC teams (the Giants and the Panthers).

“We were a benefactor of that,” Whisenhunt said. “Who knows? There is a theory it’s better to play in the Wild Card games to keep your routine going. It worked for us last year. But it’s always great to have a week off, especially when you are a team like us where you’ve had how ever many weeks straight since our bye week.”

Safety Antrel Rolle (thigh) didn’t practice today and he probably will try and go if the No. 2 seed is on the line. Otherwise, nope. Kicker Neil Rackers (groin) will kick. The other five guys listed as questionable — TE Ben Patrick (head), WR Sean Morey (head), FB Dan Kreider (neck), DE Kenny Iwebema (head) and RB Beanie Wells (groin) — all will likely be subject to the same What-did-the-Vikings-do scrutiny.

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12 Responses to “An “irritating” scenario for Cards”

  1. By Joe2 on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    As irritating as this whole situation is, at least the Min-NY game is on early. Think of what a mess it would be if all three of these games were played at the same time, or if we were the early game. So really, when you look at it that way, we’re lucky to know at the start of our game if its worth trying to win.

  2. By Vivek on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Hi Darren

    Happy new year to you ! two questions.. (1) what are the match-ups in the cards-GB game to watch out for ? Everyone talks about GB’s famed D, but seem to overlook that the same D leaked 37 to the steelers !
    Second question is related to your main webpage article about Doucet. I know this is too early, but any hints from Rod Graves on Q’s contract ?

  3. By darrenurban on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Vivek —

    Some of these questions will be better left to next week, assuming the teams meet again, because even if the Cards go all out, I have little doubt the Packers are going to pull their main players early. They have zero to gain from this game.

    As for Q, no, nothing is going on right now, but that’s not just with Q but with everyone as far as I know. It’s tough, looking from the outside, not to feel pessimistic of the Q-contract deal. I don’t know what the Cards would be willing to offer, and there may too much under the bridge for Anquan to have it matter.

  4. By Aaron Lone-Eagle on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    First of all Happy New Year. I hope this year brings you and your family good fortune. O.K. here we go. I just read the recent article regarding Early Doucet, and I am shocked that anyone would even compare him to Anquan Boldin. Maybe I am being biased, but the Cardinals need to Buck up and take care of Boldin, This whole idea that if they can’t come to a long term deal with Boldin , they have his replacement, you don’t replace a Boldin, just like you don’t replace a Fitz. I don’t hear talk about letting him go. Boldin needs to be taken care of. All that talk about him complaining about his contract, I firmly believe it was his former agent Steinberg. I believe Anquan wants the same thing that Kurt Warner wanted. He wants fair market value for his contributions. This is now the second year in a row that he will eclipse the 1000 yard mark, while enduring injuries. No he may not have the receptions or the touchdowns that Fitz has, but still, he has heart fire and determination. He will get his 14 yards in this up-coming game, and then some. I really hope the Giants win this game, so the starters can stay in this game and have a chance at the second seed and Boldin can once again show the world what he is made of and that everyone made a big mistake by not electing him to the pro-Bowl. And this is a message to Boldin, whether he gets is or not I have no control of it, as well as it is out of my hands. Anquan, you rock!! I personally consider you to be the # 1 reciever of the team. I am taking nothing away from Fitz, he is an outstanding player. Last year he did what he was supposed to do in your absence. That is whty he was paid the big bucks. I believe if the situation had been reversed, you would have done the same thing. I really hope things work out and the Cardinals (in my opinion) wisen up and resign you to a fair contract. I love watching you play. I love the the way you don’t try to aviod tackles or hits, you go head first into it, and i love the emotion you show afterward as well as the class. It kind of reminds me of another great reciever, Jerry Rice. People can call me crazy all the want to, i don’t care. I watched Rice play all those years for the niners, and then I watched him go to the Super Bowl with the Raiders, and believe me i can’t stand the Raiders. Q, I think your the best and I hope the Organization thinks so too and gives you that Extension you so richly deserve. Let’s go Cards and lets go Q!!!!

  5. By Secret on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Trade Q.

  6. By scott on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply


    happy new year! thanks for all of your updates throughout the season. they are appreciated.

    i favor resting the starters this week. here is why. it guarentees a buy “in effect”. if we do not choose to do this then in effect we may have to play 4 playoff level games before reaching another super bowl. thats a tough task.

  7. By Heksolson on Jan 1, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, very happy New Year my friend!

    Oh my oh my!! Well, I agree 100% with Aaron Lone-Eagle; Q is THE MAN!! I mean, all the team knows it, so, I´m sure they will wrap-him up sooner or later; Q you simply are THE BEST PLAYER I´VE EVER SEEN PLAYING THE GAME, and this comes from a guy that have seen games all of his life in Mexico City; since I saw you on that first game @ Detroit until today, I admire all that you do and provide to our team, thanks for all mr. Q, and just remember Warner and Larry insisted Q to stay because of his important role because he is simply THE BEST!! As for Early, it is true that he looks like Q but he is not Q, I mean, I love him but he still has a way to go in this league.
    And regarding this matchup, I guess we are going to be the number two seed in the NFL, both Vikes and Eagles will lose and we´ll win, you´ll see!! And even more: We are gonna host again the NFC Championship game!!! GO CARDS!!!

  8. By Doc on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    Hey Cardinal fans. Forget all the malrkey about whether this game is “worth winning”, they all are. I’m a Green Bay fan (though I always pull for the Cards when we’re not going head to head, a leftover effect of living in St. Louis in the Hart/Dierdorf era). It ought to be a great game and a good tuneup for the playoffs. I just hope everyone stays healthy through it. Congratulations on taking your division, and enjoy the game, it could turn into a real wild shootout.

  9. By Joe2 on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    What’s up, Doc?
    Yeah, I guess your idiot coach agrees with you that every game is “worth winning” — that’s why he game-planned the Pack into blitzing and running up the score against us in the preseason. That was so incredibly rediculous last summer. I cant wait til the Cards get to play the Pack in a meaningful game.

  10. By darrenurban on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    Joe2 —

    In fairness to the Packers — and I’m not necessarily saying I agree — the point of the defensive game-planning in the preseason game was to work on the new 3-4 defense the team was installing. It made things ugly on the field, but let’s face it, it’s not like the Packers were cheating.

  11. By Joe2 on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    Darren –
    But after that preseason humiliation, it is an ironic twist that we play this particular team again in this particular play-off scenario, which may even end up being back to back games.
    You just couldnt script this stuff any better.

  12. By Tom Bajardi on Jan 2, 2010 | Reply

    St Louisan here and still fan of the Cardinals after all these years. Coincidentally, will be in Phoenix next weekend, and want to know what scenarios will produce a first round game hosted by the Cardinals so I can hopefully catch the game while in town. Conversely, what scenarios would equate to Cardinals not playing in town next weekend?

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