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Finishing in the red zone

Posted by Darren Urban on October 4, 2011 – 11:02 am

The Cardinals know they would have won Sunday if, in one example, they would have finished better in the red zone early. Not to pick at a scab, but a quick recap — the first three possessions ended at the Giants’ 9-yard line, the 17 and then the 9 again. Sandwiched between two field goals (and a 6-0 instead of a 14-0 lead) was a lost fumble, costing the Cards at least three points.

The Cardinals did finish much stronger however. They made three more red-zone trips the rest of the game, with Beanie Wells jamming in TD runs each time, from the 1, 1 and 2. When it comes to the red zone, it’s more about the Cards getting there more often than it will be about scoring touchdowns I’d think; the six red-zone trips against New York were one more than the Cardinals had in their first three games combined.

Against Seattle, the Cards got there once and got a TD on Larry Fitzgerald’s amazing catch. Against Washington, one trip ended with a Wells’ two-yard TD run. It wasn’t good against Carolina in the opener, admittedly, when the Cards followed up a touchdown drive on their first possession of the season with two more red-zone trips that ended in a lost fumble and missed field goal.

“We could have pulled away by two or three scores at that point,” quarterback Kevin Kolb said, lamenting the missed chances against the Giants. “I don’t know what to tell you. We’ve just got to get better.”

Some of it is the Cards’ overall third-down woes; the offense has converted just 29.8 percent of their third-down opportunities. With Wells turning into such a battering ram/weapon, however, the conversion rate on both third downs and in the red zone figures to go up. As defenses have to worry more about him, Fitzgerald should also get more room down there.


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74 Responses to “Finishing in the red zone”

  1. By Gilbert on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    This week is a must win, can’t come back empty, it’s been 4 weeks the Learning deal, the mistakes it needs to be minimized in order to stay in the race for a championship, I was thinking of all the penalties in Sunday’s game specially on critical downs. The giants didn’t beat the cards. The cards did it on their own. Kolb needs to be more patient in the pocket a couple of seconds more won’t kill him. Watching the eagles replay that’s the wAy he was taught in Philly. I still think he can become elite. And changing coaches would not help.

  2. By Ant on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    I think it’s a matter of time, there was not much of an off season and we picked up not only a quarterback just weeks before the preseason but also 10’s of other players as well. We need to be patient, give them time to learn the systems and gel. Cardinals fans are so anxious to be winners that the second we have a bad game everyone starts pointing their fingers and screaming for someones head instead of being patient. It will come if we give them the time to work it out! Go Cardinals!

  3. By Frustrated on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    I would love to see Beanie continue on with performances like Sunday. If the Cardinals can run it will also help the pass blocking of the offensive line. Now if we can just get Kolb to relax and take a breath before he skitters out of the pocket.

    Are the coaches satisfied with the progress that OBS is showing?

  4. By Darren Urban on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Frustrated —

    RE: Schofield

    Well, given that he still doesn’t play a lot on defense, I would guess the answer has to be no, right?

  5. By Jesse Robles on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Jim Harbaugh is the best Coach in the NFC West. He wins with Alex Smith at QB. Niners are 3-1, if you think it is not coaching and game planning keep thinking that. Alex Smith was “THE WORST” QB in the NFC West, Skelton was better than him, til they got a new coach. I just want to give a SUPER BOWL SHOTOUT to Kurt Warner for every time he didn’t listen and did what he thought would help the team, and LEAD THE CARDS TO THE SB. The Cardinals Game Plan needs some Red Bull, it shouldnt come down to 1 play every game. Just like KEN Keeps saying, “we shouldn’t have been in this situation.” You are right, but your awesome coaching and game planning keeps the Cardinals there.

  6. By nodavis2000 on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    So let me get this straight Cards fan: SIX trips to the red zone, we got 3 TDs, two field goals, and one fumble.
    5 out of 6 times we get points. And people actually think we’re in TROUBLE!?!?!? It’s not the best, but it was definitely good. We got there twice in two other games, both recult in a TD.
    The only thing I can say is that things are starting to click. Slowly, but surely, our team is improving. Our D played really good. And is improving weekly. That’s the thing we really need to consider. We ARE getting better.
    I do think the play calling can be a bit better. That I feel strongly about. But, we can still pull off some upsets on the road and win this division.

    GO CARDS!!!

  7. By Ben on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    So for years now fans have been saying to run the ball more. We do it and all statistics go up. Interesting. So what do we do in the 4th qtr??? PASS PASS PASS.

    When will Whiz learn that Levi sucks at pass blocking and 3 – 4 yard runs is another CARDINALS 1st DOWN. Where-as 3 incomplete passes is another Cardinals PUNT..

    Unbelievable. Keep beating the same dead horse Whiz, maybe one day it will wake back up and ride you out of town.

  8. By Redbird55 on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve read some interesting postings here but the ones that really seem to make sense are about the coaching or lack of it. Plain and simple, it’s always about the coaching. Like Jesse Robles so accurately states, the 49ers and their coach are making some noise and with a quarterback that was maligned since he came into the league. How do you explain their season thus far? They came from behind to beat the Eagles in Philly. No small task.

    Whisenhunt and his crew certainly don’t give me or anyone who knows what they’re looking at reason for optimism. This could very well be his last year. To me he is out of his depth.

  9. By Charles E Huff on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    I have been a Cardinal fan since they arrived in the valley and I think I can give some constructive comments on the team. The Cardinals are a very good team with the ability to score first in most of the games they have played so far this season. Coach Wisenhunt has done his best to acquire players in each position.
    I know that its going to take Kevin Kolb time to adjust and he has started to come around. The problem I see is that every time we get a good advantage either someone blocks from behind, pulls on face mask, get into fights and these penalties are done just as it looks like we are about to get ahead but instead get set back. In other word the team mostly defeats itself. A lots of emphasis need to be put on staying self controlled protecting the lead and putting more points on the score board so it wont be a struggle in the last few seconds of the game. The team can do it. The offense has to take care of the defense and the defense has to take care of the offense. Need to stop tripping over each other and know your assignments. Even if this team could improve in those areas and hopefully start winning more consistently they can be a great and exciting team what the fans are waiting for.

  10. By Mike in Mesa on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    I had noticed in the Seattle game that Kolb was leaving the pocket too quickly and moving into trouble. It got worse this last game. A lot of times his blockers are losing the angles on their blocks because Kolb is abandoning the pocket too quickly and the defense is able to slide laterally and either pressure or sack him. What do you think Darren would be a better nickname for Kolb. Kevin “Happy Feet Kolb or Kevin “Twinkletoes” Kolb.

  11. By Peter in Canada on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    I would rather we were 3-1 instead of 1-3. However despite this I feel we are much improved over last year especially at Q.B. Our offence actually moves the ball and gets first downs. We really suffered through the loss of Toler. This has forced us to start two rookie CB’s. I think our biggest need is an outside line backer capable of getting to the QB to help the corners. Porter has been a disappointment and they don’t seem to want to blitz Washington or Lennon. I hoped to see more of Schofield and Bradley but obviously the staff is not happy with them. If we had a stronger pass rush I think we would be 3-1 and maybe all the SF lovers would be quiet. A previous poster asked about Schofield but what’s up with Bradley Darren?

  12. By Darren Urban on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Peter —

    RE: Bradley

    That’s a good question. Obviously, he has not had the impact the Cardinals were counting on. That hurts.

  13. By TucsonTim on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    I just don’t get the Schofield vs. Porter situation. Just finished watching the first half on my DVR. Schofield is obviously much faster and he often drew 2 blockers where only one is needed for Porter. He played a fair amount in the first half. Most of the time NY was running/passing away from Peterson and Schofiield and going after Haggans and Jefferson. When the play was away from Schofield he sprinted full speed across the field. Porter looked terrible. He played patty cake with the left OT/TE and never got close to Manning. Then he would just quit and watch the play. Matt Raich is a Whisenhunt boy from Pittsburg so I’m sure they’re in lock step about their decision, which is very difficult to figure out. What was the point of telling the press he was going to wear a wrist band? Public humiliation? I don’t give a crap about practice, Schohawk, or if Schofield insulted thier mothers, he needs to be out on the field, getting reps so he can be a play maker. Porter is done.

  14. By Darren Urban on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    TucsonTim —

    RE: Schofield

    All I can say is that I would have expected him to be playing more at this point.

  15. By Rich on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    it is not acceptable that an NFL team with a coach in place for all these years can not run a screen pass. they can’t run a screen pass. they admit it and admit that they “aren’t there yet”. give us all a break. the team is getting better, but there are some coaching issues that need to be tightened up. we are behind ya Cards……..but ya gotta do some things better……some basic things…….and fast.

  16. By Blake on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    Is there any scenario that you see the Cards trying to pick up any players mid-season? Offensive line or Defensive Back come to mind. Also it was nice to see Housler out there Sunday, would like to see him more as he is a matchup NIGHTMARE. Any word on how he’s progressing as a blocker?

  17. By Darren Urban on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Blake —

    RE: Housler/player pick-ups

    If/when Housler plays, it’ll be to catch passes. They like Heap and King; I’m not sure Housler is suddenly going to take their playing time. As far as player pickups, they will I am sure do it from time to time probably for injury, but I don’t see them grabbing someone with the intent of making a major impact.

  18. By Brandon LA on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    The cardinals have a better chance at a winning season than they did last year! Obviously!

    We need some good 4th Quarter action period.

  19. By Mr. Know It All on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Cards play 0-4 Vikings a loss could mean 1 win and 6 losses at half way point of the season cause the Steelers and Ravens could SMASH the Cards.

    OL still not protecting Kolb enough so he can stay in the pocket.

    Inexperience at CB is unacceptable should sign a vet to help.

    Cards will have high draft picks again

  20. By Tx Cards fan on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren-

    Good write up, that answers my question. It looks like things are coming together. I think the team just needs more growth time to gel than people were expecting (me included) and as it appears by most of the posts are willing to give the team/coaches. I’m not saying I’m happy but as long as the team is competitive and improving what can you do but hope for the best.

    P.S. Good luck ducking all the heat rounds coming your way here lately, thanks for what you do. Your write ups make being an out of town fan a little easier.

  21. By joe67 on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Bottom line……….we played a much better game, against a much better team……..So that must mean things are starting to happen for the better. BE PATIENT. Could still be 10-6 or even 11-5. Probably not a Super Bowl team this year, but much better than a 1-3 team.

  22. By suspence716 on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    Did u talk to Graves about signing randy moss, Terrell owens and benny sapp yet? If so , what did he say? Nah if we did that we might win?

  23. By AZ Cardinals Rock on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    i hate to harp on the same problems but, We need a taller than 5-9 corner who has at least 4-4 speed and we need to simplify the secondary coverage to straight up man-to-man. i see all of the corners getting confused on zone calls, assign our defenders to the man they best match up with, if they get burned mix it up at the half, and simplify the secondary coverage. Our zone gets torched every game. Iam I just seeing this or does anybody else see this???

  24. By Darren Urban on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Az Cards rock —

    RE: Short corners

    I’m sorry, I think I missed something. A 5-9 corner? Are you talking about Adams, who is barely playing corner as the fourth guy? Because Peterson (6-1) and Jefferson (6-0) are definitely not 5-9.

  25. By Peter in Canada on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Another thing I like about this year as opposed to last is the play of our fullback. Last year we had a journeyman. Sherman, as well as being an excellent blocker, looks like an all round player. He can catch the ball and I bet he could run with it if they try to key on Beanie too much in the short yardage plays. The draft is looking good as Sherman, Peterson, and Carter have stepped right in and Williams would have if not for the injury. Sure, there have been some disappointments but I just don’t understand all the negative stuff.

  26. By georgiebird on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    The content in “Finishing in the Red Zone” is very misleading and off point. The Cardinals scored 27 offensive points against the Giants- that should be enough to win an NFL game. Yes, it would be nice to score every time you get the ball but the Giants’ defense is better than average- give them some credit.
    But here’s the point, if the Cardinals had scored 47 points, the Giants would have scored more. The Giants would have abandoned the run a lot sooner and Eli would have passed for record #s.
    This was just about the best run defense I have seen from the Cardinals against the Giants in many, many years-if ever. But, there was no sense of urgency on the part of the Giants until the end of the game. An all-out passing onslaught from the Giants would have resulted in many more Giants’ points. In effect, the Cardinals couldn’t stop the pass when they knew the pass was coming. Sort of like the SB.

  27. By Procen on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    I was reading the topic “Kolb Comfort Zone”. Kurt was saying that Kolb will take one year to be comfortable with his offense. Is Kurt giving Whiz his input or is Kurt is dropping by and trying to help? Just asking!

  28. By Darren Urban on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Procen —

    RE: Warner

    I talked to Warner for the story. While I am sure he talks to Whiz from time to time, Warner is definitely not giving input to the Cardinals or Whisenhunt.

  29. By joez on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Prevent Defense is for loosers as it has shown. This Team Stinks Bad. If the last 5 minutes is all they can put a finger on, that tells me 2 things. 1> No Heart and out of shape players, 2> Hectic and Unorganized coaching. Closing the games is NOT the PROBLEM. THE WHOLE GAME is the problem. Who can win a game? The Candy Men Can’t. Arizona Candy Canes in 2011 “3-13 at best”. Maybe then cards get some real coaches and real plays called. Maybe Kurt Warner can be the HC, its obviouse now that the Cards winning back then had nothing to do with Wiz as the coach, it was all Warner. All i want out of this year is Fitz, Kolb, Beanie and Peterson Not to get hurt, fans wake up and push for Wiz to step down and take all his lackys with him. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

  30. By Chuck 1 on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    joe67, 11-5??? Really???

    Please send me some of what you’re smoking or drinking.

  31. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    To me, the bigger red zone issues are the fumbles and penalties once inside the 20.
    Club traded Hightower and they actually have more fumbles per game this year than last. And once again, Cardinals are third from the bottom in penalties per game.
    In fact, in the Whiz era, the team has never finished higher than 25th in the league, leading the NFL in 2007.

  32. By Phoenixraven1 on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Watching the game live I just can’t understand how Schofield and Acho aren’t taking more snaps…ya Porter in Haggans know the D but they are far from their Pittsburg days…OBS has to get on the field more…an as like everyone else is asking where is Bradley!

  33. By Phoenixraven1 on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Where in the world is Bradley!

  34. By Paul on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Next year…

  35. By wayne on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    Still no change in stats with washington from the 1st game against Carolina, I sent you an e-mail (sack evidence) any word?

    I understand that what you are saying about scoring in the redzone but 27 points was enough to win this game, that should have had nothing to do with it, when your up by 10 with 5 minutes left we all know it’s the defensive play or lack of, I will ask again but what defense where they in at the end? it seemed we only had 10 defenders out there.

    Thanks, Wayne

  36. By Darren Urban on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Wayne —

    RE: First game/red-zone

    The only change was the Porter sack changed. Nothing added to Washington.

    As for this blog post, it was looking at the red-zone failures unto itself. You still can’t miss three chances like that, even if 27 points “is enough.” Bottom line, I disagree with Georgiebird — another touchdown would have been enough. Should the defense have stopped them? Of course. But sometimes, one side has to pick up for the other. One side’s shortcomings doesn’t mean the other can say “OK, we did enough today” and mail in the rest.

  37. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    We would have one that game if we didnt throw stupid passes at the end on all 3 downs, that was disrespect to beanie to work him like that and just throw the game away but not letting him run secure the first downs

  38. By Kevin on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Huge fan of the Cardinals the true fans will hang in there we waited how long to get to the SB so we can wait until Kolb gets the feel of it. He is a lot better then Alex of the niners. I seen someone mention how he is doing better. Maybe the scheme is easier saying he is the best in the West. NO saying Harbaugh is the best coach NO. I stand behind Whiz great coach. We have a good team and we will improve. Then all these bashing coach Whiz and Kolb come back I hope not but you know they will. I been a fan since 1979 went through a lot of losing seasons by far Coach Whiz is the best we have had since I been a fan.

  39. By Phoenixraven1 on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Remember “where’s Waldo”? How about “where’s Bradley”!!! Lol!

  40. By AZ Fan in WA on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    Have you heard any talk of Whiz scaling down the offense for Kolb like Horton did for the D before the Seattle game. All of our problems seem to be execution. It doesn’t do much good to outsmart the opposing coach if your players don’t get it. Whiz seems incredibly intelligent… football is the realm of the brutish and freakishly athletic where split seconds count. It seems like precise execution of an inferior scheme would be better than what we are getting… penalties, red zone errors, big pass plays, failed 3rd down conversions after 2nd and short, giving up 3rd and long…

  41. By Darren Urban on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Az Fan in WA —

    RE: Offensive play trimdown

    That was their plan from the start from what they said. Plus, when you are gameplanning on a week to week basis, part of it is the QB telling the coaches what he is and isn’t comfortable with in terms of running plays.

  42. By Chuck 1 on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    This comment is about depth.

    Several posters have said that the Cards have been building depth through drafts and FA acquisitions. And, that the Cards have good depth.

    But, what good is a roster of 53 (with “good” depth) when the depth is composed of players of average or below average ability and many of those players don’t find the field very often?

  43. By georgiebird on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    @on your blog to Wayne
    If the Cardinals had scored on their 1st three possessions and led 21-0 they probably would still have lost. As I stated, the Giants would have abandoned the run sooner and passed on just about every play.
    The biggest point here is the Cardinals can’t stop the pass even when they know it’s coming-just look at 3rd down success (or lack of it) against the pass.
    Of course, if you look at the end of the game and say “if we had those extra points” you have distorted the flow of the game. Once again, if the Cardinals had scored more on their first few possessions, the Giants would have ramped up the passing game sooner.
    Your logic is filled with holes and will continue to deflect blame away from the defense that has been awful for 50 years-and a defense that cost us a SB..

  44. By Darren Urban on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: Logic

    We can go round and round. You are assuming the Cards, with the Giants forced to pass every down, would surrender all those points and never come up with an interception. I would assume you are saying Coughlin had a horrible gameplan, because with your theory, every opponent of the Cards should just pass 90 percent of the time and they’d beat the Cards going away. Yet, that doesn’t happen.

    There is no way to know. It’s laughable you are willing to say my logic is flawed when — since neither one of us could ever know — yours, by the same analysis, must also be flawed.

  45. By cardsalltheway on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Vikings(the WORST team in the league to date) are favored against us. Way to go Ken W.
    10/9 1:00 ET At Minnesota -2.5 Arizona 44.5

  46. By georgiebird on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    With the completion of the Giants game, 25% of the season is gone. My overview of the team at this point is:
    1) the offense is good enough to get us into the playoffs- Kolb has been mediocre; Beanie has been very good; the receivers have been ok; OL has been
    good.
    2) the defense has been disappointing and will prevent us from getting to the playoffs. – the safeties, cbs and LBs have been poor; the DL has been good but with only 3 guys, any pressure can’t be sustained. The best defensive play was David Carter’s explosion to the QB vs Giants.

  47. By Rick 12 on Oct 4, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    Was interesting to see in the paper this morning that PEYTON MANNING was 0-4 in his ROOKIE YEAR at this point in the season, and he probably had the advantage of there being a preseason as well. Let’s give Kolb, and this team, a chance folks. Last year the score probably would have been 31-6 instead of 27. If Dockett believes in this team then we all should as well. It WILL all come together. Rebuilding a team does not happen over night……….

  48. By Cardinal fan from Texas on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    I noticed just about all the comments in this column were about Whiz. and his coaching staff. Whats 3 things that Jimmy Johnson, Bill Cower, Jon Gruden, and Mike Tomlin have. 1st thing is that they are hard nosed in your face type of coach. They let you know when you mess, encourage you, and put you back in the game with opertunities to redeem yourself. Not with Whiz he is mono toned dont tell his players anything (thats whats hurting this team are all the stupid penalties). 2nd thing is respect. If they respected Whiz they wouldnt be so undisciplined (once again making stupid penalties). 3rd thing is they ALL have SUPER BOWL RINGS. I am huge Cardinal fan living Texas, so i have had to put up with all the cowboy fans crap. GO CARDINALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. By cards>niners on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    the truth is that if cruz’s fumble had been ruled correctly (in my opinion), or if kolb had converted that third down conversion.. the cardinals would have won this football game and we would all be having different conversations right about now……. the thing about Kolb is that he seems like he is only one step away from becoming a consistent winning quarterback. One that can will his team to victory.. if kolb finds this ability that even qbs like Mark Sanchez (last year that is………seriously, mark sanchez), ryan fitzpatrick, and matt stafford have been able to conjure up ,then we will win these close games… easily could be 4-0 right now, kolb has had the ball in his hands with the chance to win every game…. aaaand i hope chansi stucky’s hamstring still hurts for depriving kolb of a full opportunity in washington. that is all

  50. By CardsRepInChile on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    I’m not sure where you watch the games from and what your perspective during the game is, but do you feel that Miller is actually running the offensive game plan, or does Whiz have a large part in it? It certainly feels like Whiz is calling a lot of the plays, but hard to tell from my vantage point (watching the games on TV). Curious what your thoughts are here….

    Thanks!!

  51. By Darren Urban on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    CardsRep —

    RE: Miller play calls

    I am not sure why/how fans believe Whisenhunt is calling the plays.

  52. By GW on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    I agree with tuscon tim its time to sit porter/haggins they are past their prime need to limit their playing time and let scho/acho/bradley play .the cards have no pass rush pressure from the outside LB and this is not helping the young CB. The def.need a little shakeup and kolb must stay in the pocket. they will never sign r.moss or anyone else unless the come from (PITTSBURG)

  53. By Louisville Card on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, do you think if Bradley still is having problems grasping the defense by the end of the season the cards bring him back? He did just get a 5 year contract or do they cut their losses and go after a better fit?

  54. By Darren Urban on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Louisville —

    RE: Bradley

    I think that’s a legitimate point to ponder.

  55. By cardsalltheway on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    There are MANY connections between the current Cardinal/Viking players…
    http://www.vikings.com/news/Game-Info-Centers/2011/rs-week-5-vs-cardinals.html

    I wish I could say our coach(es) could make the difference!

    What To Watch For
    * DE Jared Allen has recorded 5.5 sacks against the Arizona Cardinals, the most against a non-NFC North opponent.
    * QB Donovan McNabb set his career-high in postseason passing yards with 375-yards and 3 TDs against the Cardinals in the 2008 NFC title game on 1/18/09.
    * LB Chad Greenway has 2 career sacks against Arizona, the most against any NFL opponent.

    Vikings Big Days vs. Cardinals

    • WR Greg Camarillo returned a career-high 7 punt returns and grabbed 4 receptions against the Cardinals on 11/7/10.
    • LB Chad Greenway tallied his career-highs in QB hurries and passes defensed (3) and recorded a sack against the Cardinals on12/14/08.
    • CB Cedric Griffin defensed 4 passes and recorded 1 of his 8 career interceptions against the Cardinals on 12/14/08.
    • WR Percy Harvin amassed his career-high in receiving yards with 126 on 11/7/10.
    • K Ryan Longwell scored his career-high in field goals with 5 against the Cardinals on 9/24/00, as well as attempted and made his career-high PATs against the Cardinals on 1/2/00 both as a member of the Green Bay Packers.
    • RB Adrian Peterson snagged his career-high in receptions with 6 against the Cardinals on 12/6/09.
    • DE Brian Robison tallied 5 QB hurries, 1 QB sack, and 1 forced fumble against Arizona on 12/14/08.
    • DT Kevin Williams totaled 8 QB hurries on 12/14/08.
    • Erin Henderson had a career-high 3 solo tackles against the Cardinals on 12/14/08.
    • P Chris Kluwe amassed a career-high net punting average of 46.0 against Arizona on 11/7/10.
    • From 1999-2001, Donovan McNabb and his Eagles were in the NFC East with Arizona before the 2002 NFL realignment moved the birds to the NFC West.
    • TE Visanthe Shiancoe caught a 25-yard TD pass from Brett Favre with :27 remaining in regulation to force OT against the Cardinals on 11/7/10
    • K Ryan Longwell won last season’s meeting against the Cardinals with a 35-yard field goal in overtime, his 2nd field goal of the game.

  56. By nodavis2000 on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,

    I think a lot of fans are saying that Whiz is calling the plays because the plays that have been called this year seem to match, or have the same feel, as the 2 previous years that Whiz called the plays. I admit that I feel this way too. It’s either that or the that the new OC has a very similar thinking process as Coach Whiz. I’m only offering an explanation here, not trying to argue. I don’t have stats or specific examples though.
    Be honest Darren, do you not think/feel that the plays on offense this year sort of seem like the ones that have been called while Coach Whiz had the helm of the offense???

  57. By Darren Urban on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    nodavis —

    RE: Play calls

    Bottom line, the head coach is an offensive guy and former playcaller. He has a big say in the game plan each week. Miller is calling the plays game days, but obviously, there is going to be a Whiz footprint there.

  58. By TucsonTim on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    GW – thanks for the vote of confidence. I should have also mentioned how aggressive Acho looked when he got some playing time after Haggans got flattened on that 12 yd score by Bradshaw. I think he looks like another good draft pick and I have to believe that he will be seeing more playing time, especially if Horton is going to use that 4-2-5 defense (which failed miserably at the end of the first half and the end of the game)

  59. By suspence716 on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    @GW
    Good point about us not signing Randy Moss, cuz he’s not a steeler outcast.. No doubt that if he was we would have signed him. I still believe we would be way way way better if we had R Moss on the other side of fitz to stretch the field and take the double team of fitz. Look what Andre Roberts did last week, absolutely nothing! This is such a simple move to make, I don’t get it, but then again I don’t understand why the cardinals keep trying all these stupid screen plays when they can’t even complete the pass to the rb. Or Kolb just looks like a rookie and takes a sack on the play. Another sad cards season, and I think it only gets worse this week in minny.

  60. By suspence716 on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    Why won’t u address my comments/ concerns about needing to sign a true #2 WR? Why are the cardinals so stuck in there ways and not willing to take a chance to get better? What could hurt in signing R Moss or Terrell Owens, other than that they will be a lil behind in the offense?

  61. By Darren Urban on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    suspence —

    RE: Moss/T.O.

    I have addressed other people talking about such things. What it can hurt is the locker room, bringing in guys who have proven multiple times that if they aren’t happy, they will bring down those around them. Besides, last I checked, Moss retired, and T.O. is still rehabbing from major knee surgery. Moss was the “answer” for Minny and Tennessee last year, who were much in the same boat, T.O. for Cincy. How’d that work out?

  62. By CardsRepInChile on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Hello Darren,

    Thank you for answering my question and your answer makes sense. But as nodavis indicated, I think some of us fans are just going by patterns and we have seen some of the same exact 3 and outs this season that we saw in previous years with a run to the inside for no / short gain, then two attempted pass plays, then punt, for example. It really hurts us when this happens in big situations such as 4th quarter when we need to run time off the clock. Where’s some play action / counters / wr screens on that 1st down? I don’t know but I just feel like the unpredictability is not there and other teams have figured us out.

    But, thank you for your time, I hope Miller does have the freedom to game plan and call the plays on game day, and that he adjusts our attack, esp. in 4th quarter situations when we need to work the clock.

    Thanks!

  63. By cards62 on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    To: Cards all the way Good and interesting stats, but please do not try to depress us before the game as we normally have enough pain after the game.

    GeorgieBIrd you make some good points, but I disagree with you on Kolb being horrible. Now I said many times that Palmer, and Orton were above Kolb for me to be our QB, and I still think we paid too much for Kolb, but Kolb has played better than I have hoped especially the first 2 games. Kolb is young and will get better. Lets keep Kolb the starter and use Bartel or Skelton some as backups to see how he progresses. I give Graves a lot of grief, but he was wise to bring in a QB this offseason now I do not care if Bartel or Skelton beat Kolb out as starter, but we had to do something at QB from last year. We did not feed Beanie the ball enough against the Redskins or that would be a win, and Stuckey fumbled on the 2 minute drive not QB fault. We did not get Kolb enough weapons in the offseason and no Beanie or Tim in the Seattle game killed us. The defense lost game 4 for us. Kolb could have won it for us, but didn’t and Kolb could have won the Seattle game for us but didn’t. Jay Feely did not help us in Seattle either. A lot of blame to go around for the 3 losses definitely not all on Kolb. Remember Kurt Warner was not Kurt Warner for us until he had several game experiences with us and he had Boldin and Breaston so lets all hope Kolb improves for us. Kolb has worried me more with his happy feet in games 3 and 4 and not played as well as the first 2 games so I hope they coach him up for Minnesota as we know the VIkings will come after him.

    All of us have to admit the games are definitely more fun to watch this year over last year, and I know last year was a train wreck right out of the gate. I know we have problems and did not do enough right things in the offseason to compete for the title which should be our goal, but I still have faith that we can go 7-5 or 8-4 over the remainder of the season now I also know we can go 4 -8 or even 2 – 10 over this period, but I will continue to have hope as all true Cardinal fans have one thing in common and that is we all have hope in a brighter tomorrow for our Cardinals.
    Scott H. you cracked me up on your post about your daughter entering the room and seeing the score 27-17 and thinking the Cardinals had the win. We have all been there and that is part of the fun/makeup of being a long time Cardinal fan as we have to watch until the very last play to know for sure our team will win.

    We do have some exciting young players so it will be enjoyable to see how they progress this season and remember I was the first on the board to say that Beanie would rush for at least 1,200 yards this season, but of course I was also the fool who was the first to say we will start the year 4 – 0 ha ha. I really did think we could based upon our preseason and schedule.

    Go Cards beat the Vikings

  64. By wnycardfan on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    -cardsalltheway = interesting post on the variety of times/players that “have the cardinals number’ for vikings. At least for my fantasy team, I may have a good week, since I have 2 of those guys you mentioned. If I have to have my NFL team lose, the only silver lining usually is when I win my fantasy league weekly game. Hopefully I can do both this week.

  65. By Robert Fritts on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Its time we started fining and cutting for illegal procedure flags. We have had 3 possesions without a stupid flag, all ended with TDs. Lets get real, Fitz is good but he has lost more than a step since hurting his knee in the last preseason game last year. He cannot outrun even average corners now. He can only get wide open on well schemed plays or when the defense lines up wrong. Remember when the game was on the line Kurt W. went to Q, not Fitz. We need who ever is the fastest reciever availible, our guys are slow. We play a defensive scheme that require atleast one dominant pass rusher, we do not have one. We have blitzed so much we are easy to read and have made winners out of 3 VERY mideocre QBs.When Rex Grossman is blitzed he is a superb QB(84%comp), with time he become Rex Grossman(46%comp). P. Peterson, like Rolle, is a safety not a lockdown corner. Could Adrian Wilson please cover somebody(anybody), its been 4 years since he covered anyone. He got his interception in DC when he lined up out of position, was beaten for a TD and we DID NOT blitz Rex Grossman, so he threw a horrible pass 8 yards to the right of the reciever. Every high school TE in PHX wants a shot at AW.

  66. By drummer-1 on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Hope you’re having a good day Darren.. Why do you think the fans blame playcalling? don’t you think the players as something to do with it, if it doesn’t work, to me the players has to exacute the play.. No matter if a run or pass is called if it doen’t work these fickle fans wil blame the playcalling..

  67. By georgiebird on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    Darren,
    You are right about the “round and round”
    I’ve watched all 90 or so Card games in the past 51 years. The Giants philosophy on offense has been:
    1) to mix run and pass
    2) wear down the Cards with the running game and eventually get big runs late
    3) when needed throw crossing routes to the TE to pick up 1st downs (ala Bob Tucker in the’60s)
    This Giants game was an anomaly and for just about the 1st time ever, the Cardinals rush defense DID NOT wear down and I believe this was a big surprise to the Giants staff. Based on the history, it would have been dumb for the Giants to pass on every down sans a sense of urgency.

  68. By DAVID on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    lARRY FITSGERALD U SHOULD OF SIGNED WITH ABETTER TEAM, yOU DESERVE A CHAPIONSHIP ONE THAT YOUR NEVER GONNA GET IF YOU STAY WITH THIS SORRY oRGANIZATION, And BTW I,am a az native and super embarresed about our sorry football and basket teams,

  69. By drummer-1 on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    @ David..

    So please tell us you won’t be posting anymore… Who’s to say what ever team Fitz would have went to would win the superbowl, let alone even make it there.

  70. By jstn on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    getting rid of Q was a big mistake, Q was much more to the team then just what he did on sundays.

  71. By clssylssy on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    You can beat all the coulda, woulda, shouldas to death but to what end? Is anybody concerned that we have like 16 injured players including Beannie Wells?
    It seems kinda basic that if we are going to beat the Vikings we are going to have to go in healthy…those are some big, tough guys! Why are we having so many injuries this year? It’s starting to feel like are team is taking it’s tole getting beat up on the field by the competition and off the field by the fans.

  72. By drummer-1 on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    @ jstn

    Getting rid of Q was not a mistake, He did not want to be here.. they did what was best..

  73. By Rogerick Deniis on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    sorry to say but this team is plagued with cascading errors. it’s like watching a “final destination” movie. one mistake here, leads to poor judgement there, which leads to this or that going wrong. which all adds up to catastrophic failure. unfortunately, whiz is causing this entire disaster. him along with the front office dismantled a championship caliber team. allowing antonio smith, dansby, rolle, breaston and boldin to leave began the demise. next, mishandling the team once the lockout was lifted. the O line wasn’t really beefed up at the tackle positions. they didnt’ have competent redundancy at the running back position, nor did they attempt to get a good #2 wide out. now they acquire kolb with out adding the coaching needed to develop him. i mean, are they really working with him on the fundamentals (movement in the pocket, reading defences, audible usage)? next, they get a good DC but handicap him by not acquiring the personnel needed to accomplish his directives. slower than molasses LB’s who know the schemes but can’t execute, and talented young LB’s who don’t know the schemes and therefore can’t execute it. Now, we add to all of this, poor OC play calling, or certainly questionable at crucial moments. do we even dare mention an offence that is not discipline enough to avoid myriad of penalties, which points to poor coaching. we ALL know if bellichik, cowers, or gruden was coaching, this team, the cards most assuredly would be favorites in this very anemic conference. so here we are in this movie theater…watching it all play out…n the end, we know everyone dies. nobody escapes. hopefully, next year we can all watch another movie like any given sunday.

  74. By Rogerick Deniis on Oct 5, 2011 | Reply

    getting rid of Q was a big mistake…yea, he left, but it was on account our front office’s word was no good..said we’d take care of em, but never did…so he found someone else who would take care of em.

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