Immediate schedule thoughts

Posted by Darren Urban on April 19, 2011 – 4:09 pm

The schedule is out (and coach Ken Whisenhunt will speak about it in a few minutes). A few quick thoughts:

— Opening with Carolina at home, only the third time the Cards have ever opened at home since coming to Arizona (I am not counting 2001, when 9/11 forced the postponement of the original opener in Washington). That’s 24 seasons.

— Three straight weeks on the road in November — at Philly Nov. 13, at San Francisco Nov. 20 and at St. Louis Nov. 27 — is followed by three straight home games — Dec. 4 vs. Dallas, Dec. 11 vs. San Francisco, Dec. 18 vs. Cleveland.

— Fun with Christmas Eve in Cincinnati (always happy that I fly charter now and we will be home that evening).

— All the major long road trips aren’t back-to-back.

— No prime-time games for the first time in a few years. Not a surprise.

— The Steelers come back to Arizona Oct. 23, after the Cards’ bye, giving the Cards a little extra time to prepare.

— Two road games at Washington and at Seattle after the home opener. Given the opponents, it’ll be a very interesting first three games and will go a long way in determining the Cards’ 2011 season, methinks.

Posted in Blog | 47 Comments »

47 Responses to “Immediate schedule thoughts”

  1. By Don't Take Losses on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    Long season if no quality QB. BUT winning season with a solid QB…

  2. By Don't Take Losses on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    PS: Always like being home on 9/11.

  3. By D on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    I think they have the 3rd most mileage in travel behind Seattle and SD. Should play Skelton this year, see how he does, maybe in line for Luck next year at this time…
    Build up defense this offseason and see what happens…

  4. By firemagoo on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    Very important to start off 3-0 or at least 2-1. Overall good schedule. We suck in primetime anyway. Need to fly below the radar. 6 early starts against quality opponents will be tough though.

  5. By Rich on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    I like the schedule.
    Can trades me made if the lock out is still in effect? Seems like a dumb question but I read something where Andy Reid was saying a Kolb trade could happen for future draft picks. Didn’t think they could trade Kolb during a lockout.

  6. By Darren Urban on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    Rich —

    RE: Trades

    Players cannot be dealt during lockout.

  7. By Ed Scaife on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    I thought it was curious that Dallas plays here–that would mean three contests in a row between the Cowboys and Cardinals have been in Arizona.

  8. By Phoenixraven1 on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    I miss news speculating and calculating about trades, FA, releases…dam you greedy players and owners your ruining a good thing…

    Thanks D for the blogs though….

  9. By Anthony Aguilera on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    I really want to go to the Panthers game, it might be early enough that I can catch the Cardinals game and the Diamondbacks game for the tenth year world series anniversary.

  10. By Jeff Gollin on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    High and Low Lights

    1. No MNF, SNF, ThNF nationally televised game. (Plus Sat. 12/24 replaces Sunday games for most teams).

    2. We open at home.

    3. BYE is Week 6 (which is OK)

    4. 3 away games/2 home games leading to the BYE.

    5. One 3-week stretch of road games

    6. Followed by one 3 week stretch of home games

    7. Three potentially bad-weather games – in Philly (11/13); in SF (how bad could it be)? (11/20) and in Cincy Christmas eve

    8. We get to play Seattle – at home – in the final game of the season which (if the division race/playoffs haven’t yet been decided) could become a real donneybrook.

  11. By AndyStandsUp on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    To prove that the NFL is a QB league, think of the possibilities:
    Week 1- Cam Newton vs Blaine Gabbert
    Week 2- Mcnabb vs his old team
    Week 3- Hasselbeck vs his old team
    Week 5- Tavaris vs his old team
    Week 8- Bulger vs his old team
    Week 10- Kolb vs his old team
    Week 11- Smith vs his old team
    Week 16- Palmer vs his old team
    You’re talking about more bad reunions than an overweight prom queen going back for her 20th high school get-together.

  12. By AndyStandsUp on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    A couple of other things.
    For all the talk about Whiz being 1-3 after the bye, he’s also only 2-2 before the bye.
    Cards are 3-0 on recent franchise Christmas Eve games after starting 0-3.
    A strong start is imperative, but I see this season going anywhere from 6-10 to 9-7 (which may be enough for the division), depending on the offseason(?) acquisitions.

  13. By mikeso602 on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    Ok to me, this looks promising that there most definitely be a 2011-12 season. Cuz I don’t think it would be rite to wave the schedule in all our faces then down the line saying that there’s “still no progress” that would be wrong Mr Goodell! Lets get things back to normal so we can really be excited for the schedule / season. Bad enough its April and we still haven’t talked about free agency or trades. Cards all day!

  14. By TBru on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    ho hum, I’ll analyze the schedule when the league actually exists again. Why even release it now?

  15. By carlo7000 on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    darren when will you do your mock draft??

  16. By Darren Urban on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    carlo —

    RE: Mock

    If I do one — and I may not this year — it’d be a day before, probably.

  17. By Fitz4Mtrushmore on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    the NFL really hates the Cards & never gives us a break!!!
    7 of the first 11 games on the road? Are you kidding me…

  18. By Pheenic Skii on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    Well, considering we’re not exactly the best at playing during Primetime, maybe this is for the better.

    We definitely need to start the season 3-0, or at least 2-1. The middle of the season is going to give us some difficulty, so we need to build up our wins for then. Of course, we still need to get a lot of wins in the middle, but we end the season mostly at home, which will end up helping us out greatly.

    As long as we get a decent QB to start (Or John Skelton plays unbelievably good), then we got this. Go Cardinals!

  19. By Scott H on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    More interested at this point in knowing who our QB is going to be than who we’re playing and when. All of that matters a lot less when you have confidence….

  20. By R Robles on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    Bull man no Primetime games but Yet South America’s Team gets a Prime time game no matter what kind of season they have stupid!!!!!!!! Darren this is the kinda stuff that pisses me off. I hope we dominate teams this year & prove everyone wrong again. i swear were the most hated & for what?

  21. By AndyStandsUp on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    If you look at the other NFC West team’s schedule, AZ has the easiest opening quarter of the season, by far.(I could easily see the Seahawks do a 49ers last season and start 0-5) The Cards HAVE to get off to a fast start to warrant any playoffs hope. (Though 3-2 wasn’t good enough last year.)
    Darren, why wouldn’t you do a mock draft? They’re always fun to speculate, criticize and generally provide hits for your site. I saw a thought provoking one a few days ago (by a national publication) that had Miller, Peterson, Gabbert, Quinn, Green and Fairley all available at the 5 slot.
    ….and the Arizona Cardinals select Nick Fairley.

  22. By Darren Urban on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Mock

    I may speculate again on the top five, but as for a full mock, I just don’t know if I have it in me — especially when it just makes me look stupid.

  23. By jose on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    our problem is offense not defense because think of how much time our defense played on the field

  24. By HD on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    I’m think’ we needd to go for Mark Ingram with our 5th draft pick, then we can deal Bennie, I stubbed my toe and can’t play for 3 weeks, Wells, for a seasoned QB to help bring Skelton along. I think Ingram is gonna be the next Emmet Smith. I feel our defense is gonna be there, this year. I like the looks of the schedule, sure hope they get to play. I enjoyed Coachs view on the home games.

  25. By brad oneill on Apr 19, 2011 | Reply

    ha the one team that we definitely dont need any extra time to prepare for is Pittsburgh.

    Dallas loves playing here it used to be a home game for them. i think that feeling has faded a bit but they still have a huge amount of fans here.

    opening against carolina will probably be a bit like opening against st louis last year. hopefully it will be against cam Newton.

  26. By John on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    I like the schedule. If we get a veteran qb we could certainly win the NFC West.

  27. By Big Red on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    Good thing we play the girls in Dec., by then romo will be all beat up and scare like always. Easy game and a win. Your game Skelton do your thing and beat the crap out of the girls.

  28. By Alex L on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    Off-Topic, Any chance the cardinals look at tyrod taylor in the 3rd if they don’t get a qb in the 1st?

  29. By Darren Urban on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    Alex L —

    RE: Tyrod Taylor

    Not sure Taylor’s game translates well to be a QB in the pros.

  30. By cactus jeff on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    what is the difference between Sean Witherspoon (19th pick in draft last year) and Von MIller?

    Von Miller Weatherspoon Clay Mathews

    Height & Weight: 6’3 – 243 lbs. 6’2 – 245 lbs 6’3 – 246 lbs
    40-Yard Dash 4.53 4.68 4.62
    Bench press 21 34 23
    Vertical jump 37.0 40 35.5
    Broad jump 10’6 10’03 10’1

    Weatherspoon was a disappointment for the Falcons, produced no pass rush. Mathews has gained 10 lbs and has long arms. If Miller has the wingspan of Mathews, take him at #5, otherwise he will not be able to produce a pass rush. Need to pass the eye test!

  31. By Darren Urban on Apr 24, 2011 | Reply

    CactusJeff —

    RE: Witherspoon v Miller

    Witherspoon was an inside linebacker. He was not drafted for nor was he expected to pressure the quarterback often. He didn’t do it as much in college either. Miller is a pass rusher. That is what he did in college and he will be an outside guy in the pros.

  32. By azirish16 on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply


    I am just wondering if you can relay a message to John Skelton and the offense. “Get together and work out!!! Run plays, get comfortable with each other!! Cause right now thats all you got! If you want to start for this team you need to be in your receivers, running backs, tight ends, and linemans pockets learning!!!” Thanks Darren

  33. By Darren Urban on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    azirish16 —

    RE: Relaying messages

    I’m the wrong one to ask to relay messages to players right now.

  34. By cards62 on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    I think I read where we and Baltimore had the easiest schedules based upon team records last year so if we have a good draft and make some smart off season moves we can very well start the year 3 – 0 and take our division.

    Whiz could not have asked for a better chance to turn us around quickly.

    You folks in Arizona at least will get to see the Cards play. I will have to watch bits and pieces on the red zone all year

    Good news is I will get to see the Cardinals play on Christmas Eve in Cincinnati.

    Go Cards

  35. By wny cardfan on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    I’ll chime in here, schedule is like anti-climatic given the current NFL issues. Did anyone really expect the Cardianls any prime time spotlights given their complete and utter poor performance last year (I mean their games weren’t even fun to watch)? Given that currentlyl the cards have the EASIEST schedule (based on the win/loss ratio), if they do play poorly, wow, what does that say????

  36. By John the draft guy on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    With a little more than a week to go, here is my dream draft. With no Free Agency yet, I would still target 2 players in FA. Mark Bulger and OT Tyson Clabo.

    1st round- Von Miller. No player could make a bigger impact on the Cards in this years rookie class. Looking at the Bills giving big money to Merriman and Kelsey as their 2 OLB’s, I think he falls to us.

    2nd round- Ras-I Downing. I believe both Kyle Rudolph and Christian Ponder will go in the 1st round. Downing is a big CB who can press and play off with 4.4 speed. Injuries is a concern.

    3rd round – Greg Little. This guy will make people forget about Q. With the possibility of losing Breaston, Little can come in and play in the slot (roberts outside). His large body would give Bulger a nice target. He sat out this year, but he has looked sharp in his workouts. Watch him next tuesday on Game Changers on NFL network, to see for yourself.

    4th round – John Moffitt. Cards MO is to pick lineman later in draft. Moffitt is a huge Wisconsin-mid-west guard. enough said.

    5th round – Mark Herzlick. Could be the steal of the draft. 1st round talent who got cancer. Sure there is a risk, but what a reward if he can regain his play and line up inside next to Washington.

    6th round – Keith Williams. A massive Nebraska guard who can drive people out of the hole. We need interior lineman.

    7th round – Stephan Skelton – Yes, its his brother. The Cards like to take TEs in the 7th round. here they get a guy who caught 63 passes in 09. With Jim Dray, they could develop a couple of nice TEs.

  37. By John the draft guy on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    Also, If Skelton doesnt pan out as our future, next years draft will not only have Andrew Luck, but have guys like Kirk Cousins from Mich st. / Ryan Tannehill from Texas A&M, and Arizona’s Nick Foles.

    I think it may be worth it to wait 1 more year on Skelton to develop. I think the coaches will have a pretty good idea by next years draft.

  38. By ross on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    Darren-just noticed the new banner. When the players get back, can we vote on who gets up there? I have one change I’d suggest from last year’s version. You think that might work?

  39. By Darren Urban on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Ross —

    RE: Banner

    Your change? Hmm, I wonder who that would be …

    I will ask if a vote can be done. Don’t hold your breath.

  40. By Chuck 1 on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    For those Cards fans who are looking to return to the results of 2008 and 2009, you better hope for a miraculous improvement in the O-Line because without that, it’ll be an instant replay of 2010.
    That is the #1 issue.
    Montana, Elway, Manning, Marino et al would be on the DL if the Cards’ O-Line doesn’t show significant improvement.

  41. By Chad on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    What about the reunion with Anquan when the Cards play Baltimore???

  42. By Cahongisto on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply


    So Is it bittersweet that the draft is a week away and now labor talks are on hold till mid may? I mean you’ll get to write about the players our Cardinals will be eventually getting but with the lockout who knows when that could be :-/ …. and I would love your opinion do you think there are too many cooks in the kitchen trying to negotiate the deal for a CBA? I can’t help thinking its a complete mistake for all these opinions and all these players and owners involved? oh and just for fun I’ll throw in my dream for a mock cardinals draft….

    1 Patrick Peterson DB-LSU
    2 Ben Ijalana OT-Villanova
    3 Casey Matthews ILB-Oregon
    4 John Moffitt G/C-Wisconsin
    5 Kris O’Dowd C-USC
    6 Greg McElroy QB-Alabama
    6 Mark Herzlich ILB-Boston College

    I know I have the Cardinals drafting two ILB but I see that as a very good thing when you consider that would allow the defense to rotate and be fresh and with a young fast LB core it would allow the defensive coordinator to let loose and be creative in our Blitz Packages… I know if anything else is in serious need for us is our O-line and drafting three linemen from top programs like these can have serious benefits just ask the Jets when they drafted two in the same draft a few years back… let me know what ya think Darren I know its all speculation but sometimes that is the most fun you can do when your not sure when the season will even start 🙁

  43. By Chris Lewis on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    For some reason my Reply feature won’t work. Anyway, this is for Big Red.
    I hate the Cowgirls as much as you do, but they’re never an easy game, especially this coming season. I hate to say it, but I think they’ll be much improved. As far as Skelton, he’s not going to be our starting QB in Sep., let alone in Dec. No offense to Skelton, but he’s not the answer at QB. Look what happened last year. We have to improve, and a big part of that is having a major upgrade at QB. On a positive note, I’m excited to see who we get for QB, and in general, I’m excited about next season. I believe we’ll be much better. I think the NFC West will be vastly improved, with SF and St. Lou on the rise. I’m not too worried about Seattle this year, but they too will get back on track soon.

  44. By cardsalltheway on Apr 20, 2011 | Reply

    What if you get the first 5 correct, are you going to stop?

  45. By Darren Urban on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    cardsalltheway —

    RE: top 5

    I never get the first five correct.

  46. By Chris on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Not going to matter without a QB !

  47. By cards62 on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    To John the draft guy and Cahongisto

    Not bad drafting, but you guys did not get me my stud tightend. I have suffered long enough, end my pain. I have to have Stocker out of Tennessee at the least and I realy wish for Rudolph out of ND.

    I really wish we could get McElroy in the 6th. Very smart guy who just wins ball games.

    I will also be happy with Moffitt or Williams at guard, but John I really hope we move Levi Brown to guard and draft a stud tackle in the second if no Rudolph or 3rd with Rudolph. I have said this as have many others we must have better line play and better play calling to have any chance for a good season next year no matter who plays QB, RB, or pass rusher. I also hope Duece Lutui shows up in shape and wants to stay a Cardinal.

    A guy under the radar is a WR out of Ohio State, Dane Sanzenbacher. He will remind old Cardinal fans of Pat Tilley and I think he is the next Wes Welker.
    Check this guy out as he is a late round gem 5th or 6th round.

    One week to the NFL draft Excitement builds as our division is very winnable again in 2011.

    Go Cards be smart in 2011

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