Friday before the Vikings

Posted by Darren Urban on October 7, 2011 – 3:47 pm

Larry Fitzgerald isn’t going to be a Viking, much to the chagrin of many Minnesota fans who were hoping otherwise when Fitz had yet to sign his contract extension. Still, playing in Minnesota is “extra special” to Fitz, who has so many family members, friends and fans who love him in his hometown.

You know what would be extra extra special? Winning there. “I want to walk off that field victorious,” said Fitzgerald, the one-time Vikings ballboy. “Never done it before.”

This will be Fitz’s third regular-season trip to Minny. He dominated back in 2006, when Matt Leinart threw for a then-rookie record 405 yards and the Cards came up short, 31-26. He should have gotten the win last year, when the Cards had a 14-point lead with six minutes left before blowing it in overtime.

(Hard to forget Fitz, who already had 100 yards receiving, wide open on the first play of overtime in one-on-one coverage. If Derek Anderson, who had time, hits Fitz, the Cards are likely in field-goal range right then. Instead, a throw behind Fitz at his feet. Ugh.)

Now Fitzgerald will go home knowing the Vikings’ top cornerback, Antoine Winfield, probably won’t play with a neck injury. If the Cards can protect Kevin Kolb long enough, it’s hard not to sense Fitz having a big day.

— As if it didn’t already seem like it was headed this way, defensive coordinator Ray Horton acknowledged Friday the Cardinals will get second-year linebacker O’Brien Schofield on the field more in Minnesota this weekend.

“We definitely are,” Horton said. “We need to generate some pressure. “You look at everything around the league, you have to have pressure. We didn’t get enough pressure on Eli (Manning last weekend).”

Horton said Schofield’s progress since getting the wristband with the plays has been “remarkable.” Horton took responsibility of getting the “right” personnel and the right plays called in the game. The idea with the 10-point lead wasn’t to come after Manning but instead make Manning throw shorter and eat up more time on the clock. Didn’t work out that way.

— I think Beanie Wells will play, and, in theory, play well. Is he going to have another 138 yards rushing? Let’s not go overboard. Another 100 would be nice. Just an effective running game would be nice. Wells didn’t want to dwell on rushing stats this week anyway, not in light of the losing streak.

“All in all, if we pass the ball for 500 yards and we get the win, who’s complaining?” Wells asked rhetorically. Well, no one, actually.

— Cornerback Patrick Peterson got dinged for his first NFL fine this week. He was docked $5,000 for roughing Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes on Tynes’ end-of-the-first-half field goal last weekend.

— After Todd Heap missed the final two days of practice with a sore hamstring, those hoping to see more of rookie Rob Housler at tight end are looking like they will get their wish.

— Speaking of game-day decisions like Heap, it will be interesting to see what the Cards do at right tackle. If Brandon Keith is still dealing with soreness/possible swelling in his surgically repaired knee, it makes a lot of sense to go with Jeremy Bridges – especially since Bridges has played pretty well when he is in there.

— Fitzgerald and Vikings defensive end Jared Allen – who lives in the Valley in the offseason – have become good friends. Allen joked earlier this week that he told the Minny DBs how to stop Fitz: “Poke him in the eye or something.”

Allen has 6½ sacks in four games. Said Fitz, “I am happy to see him playing as well as he is. I told him we need him to take a week off against us, he was like, ‘Fitz no, this is a big week I have to get it going, I’m on a roll.’ I’m like, ‘Crap, that’s never a good sign when you hear that.’ ”

— It’ll be a big job for left tackle Levi Brown, who had his Allen issues last year. I’d assume the Cards will help with chip blocking.

This is a big game. Go into the bye with a 2-3 record and two weeks to prepare for a reeling Steelers team that has to come to Arizona, the Cards can deal with that. Drop to 1-4 and lose to a winless team – especially after last week – and it’ll be a long two weeks.

Besides, Fitz needs that win in Minny.

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30 Responses to “Friday before the Vikings”

  1. By TucsonTim on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    Keep it simple, put the young fast guys out there, and let Beanie have the ball over and over and over…

  2. By Nick Pepe on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    A fine for roughing the kicker? I don’t get that. You try to make a play, not intentionally trying to intentionally hurt someone. You get flagged. End of story. What’s next, fines for false starts? For 75’s sake, I hope not.

  3. By Christo on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    If we don’t win it’ll be a long season, forget about 2 weeks. I just can’t believe that our coaching staff can’t get these guys to finish a game. Offensively or defensively . . . it is frankly pathetic.

  4. By ross on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    That’s the sound of a different beanie.

  5. By cheesebeef on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply


    Why does Keith’s knee have ANYTHING to do with if he starts? Shouldn’t his pathetic performance for the last two seasons and Bridges average to good performances the last three years be reason enough to sit him down? Can you give me a reason how Keith a) earned the starting job over Bridges who was a starter on the playoff team and b) has kept that job considering how poorly he’s played?


  6. By Darren Urban on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: Keith

    I’m not the coach. I’ve written their explanations many times.

  7. By Phoenixraven1 on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    Come on big red!

  8. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    How do u get fined for running into the kicker? they should just not even throw flags and juststart charging players for penaltys

  9. By Frustrated on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    Nice article Darren.

  10. By Scott H on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    Honestly, I see this game as a no-win situation for the Cardinals. The Vikings are God-awful. So…lose to them and it’s tragic. And it buries this team at 1-4. Or, they could win and, well…so what??? Shouldn’t they win this game??? Nothing to be impressed with, really. Hate to say it, but it looks like another opportunity for the Cardinals to help a struggling team climb up out of the rut they’ve been stuck in. Can’t say I’ll be surprised if it happens.

    Win this damn game, guys, or stop wasting everyone’s time.

  11. By BIG RED on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    How about if the football cardinals, can learn something from the baseball cardinals, like holding on to the lead at the end of the game.

  12. By AZ Fan in WA on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    If we go 1-4 this blog is going to turn into a steaming cesspool…

  13. By georgiebird on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    I’m so happy my baseball Cardinals are giving me some hope for a Championship this year. If LaRussa could only double as a football HC!!!

  14. By cards>niners on Oct 7, 2011 | Reply

    this is a game that the cardinals must lose purely because the vikings are not going to go 0-5….and their running back is decent if you haven’t heard.. first double digit loss of the season

  15. By cooldaddy79 on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

    Hell to the yeah, WE need this win both teams will be desparete if not,then 1 of them don’t care. I really have a good feeling on this game. Double team Allen all the time. Rotate schofield more Rob H. is going to have big game too he’s talented, size and strength, almost a wideout.Also keep Bridges in he had fire the last game thats what you need all the time (ATTITUDE)!

  16. By Fred on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

    not worried about Tight end king looks good and housler looked grate in pre season but can Levi handel the job is there a backup that can come in if he gets beat like last year?

  17. By nodavis2000 on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

    I hope three things happen defensively and on offense:

    1. Double team freaking Allen. He’s a beast. 6 1/2 sacks ALREADY!? He’ll beat Brown on his own. If we don’t double team him, I think he’ll have a 3-4 sack game. Sorry fans, I just think he’s too good for Levi Brown to handle…

    2. Double team Harvy also. He’s their star reciever. Look what happened with Rice and the Seahawks. I don’t think we’ll completely nullify his effert on offense, but having a safety over the top and CB underneath should really stall him.

    3. We need our A game with run defense against Adrian Peterson. I think our run defense has been pretty good so far this year. Shut down Carolina, which has always been a good run team. Shut down NY Giants two stud RBs last week. We should be able to do it. Washington and Calais are going to have a monster game!!!

    I believe if we do these three things, then we’ll have an impressive WIN. We definitely need to game plan these key points.

  18. By pipapiko on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

    I hope Levi Brown yells at coach wise again to ”run the f***en ball”. Like he did on Sunday, as a season holder sitting right behind the bench. My buddy was laughing his head off. If the players talking back to the HC, that just shows you how lost the team is. Cards are in a big mess! It just sucks b/c the games they should of won??? They couldn’t close out! And there schedule is not getting any easier. I don’t see them winning this week or beating the steelers, ravens, and etc. I think last year’s record will be better then this year! If so, the Bidwells should get smart and fire wise, graves, and definitely cut KOLB! Go out and draft Andrew luck and re-up the defense big time and upgrade the o-line! Cards lose this week 31-10. Although the vikings are 0-4 the cards should be 0-4 as well, but got lucky at home against Carolina! Kolb is a joke, Warner said it and that’s good enough for me! B/c honestly 7 starts doesn’t prove nothing in this league unless you take a team to the playoffs or win a Superbowl! 31 teams knew Kolb was a joke and the cards were dumb enough to give DRC up and a 2nd round draft pick for him??? Are you serious! Peterson is pretty good, although he won the Carolina game. He also lost the wash. game and continually getting picked on b/c of his rookie status losing 1 on 1 coverage and the deep ball.

  19. By Matthew on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

    might as well just start playing for andrew luck and whenever we get the ball just punt it back

  20. By drummer-1 on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

    @ all cardinals fans…

    What Have Andrew Luck done in the Nfl that makes you think he will be any good? You all say Kolb was unproven… Just tell me what has Luck Proven in the Nfl..

  21. By Fred on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

    are Q B is good just need time to develop ,are o line needs to get better, are defence needs to get better, the more time they have the better . some are young and need more time to develop. I am a die hard card fan since they moved here win or lose they will be my team. GO CARDS

  22. By cardsalltheway on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

    Ken W. has proven he can win against rookie coaches, he did it the first game against Carolina’s Ron Rivera. Even though the Vikings coach Leslie Frazier was an interim coach last year he is still considered a rookie coach this year. Go get em Ken W.

  23. By TucsonTim on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

    Without pressure on McNabb, ie. every down the Cards play Porter and Hagans, the play action to AP will result in significant gains against Jefferson and AW. Brown is playing better this year but I don’t see him getting help from BW. Kolb isn’t going to get over happy feet in a week. Everyone now knows he is going to run out of the pocket to the right. A left side blitzing LB or CB will at least cause a sack and worst case either a fumble or an against the grain INT. Whiz has called Fitz’s number on 3 consecutive 4 and short plays showing that he has no confidence in the running game. MN 28 AZ 17. The slide continues.

  24. By scott023 on Oct 8, 2011 | Reply

    Well here we are again, losing. All this talent, the Bidwell’s did their job, they spent money. However, when you are winning the game, we let up on them, we change our game. We win most of the game and fined a way to back off and hand it to them. Almost seems as if we quite playing the game that got us there, and play way off them. Each and everytime. Our offense three and out,three and out. Why are we surprised? It is what we do. We have the talent that most of the nfl wished they had. I saw coach whiz on the sidelines pulling the players together and getting on the same page. I was glad to see that, that is what the offense needs. If he does this every game, teaching, we will start to win. If he is concentrating on plays,he is not being a head coach, he is being a offensive cord. Coach Whiz is a smart guy we need him as a head coach, very,very badly. I know he can. I just wished he would.

  25. By dan on Oct 9, 2011 | Reply

    About time they start playing Schofield more, Haggins and Porter have seen better days and again…………not sold on Andre Roberts. I say release the guy or trade him for a draft pick or a DB.

  26. By cardsalltheway on Oct 9, 2011 | Reply

    The Cardinal coaching staff is simply not accountable for anything. If they were maybe things would change, why doesn’t Ken W. do something about this? I suppose Ken W. wants everyone to see him as the one and only. However, the Viking coaches are held accountable as they address the media weekly.
    Bill Musgrave(Offensive Coordinator)—107/ff9d04c9-fbae-48d2-b984-a073735d2eca#?id=09b51515-e812-4036-b997-fb2627faf5a1
    Fred Pagac(Defensive Coordinator)—107/ff9d04c9-fbae-48d2-b984-a073735d2eca#?id=c58fe3f6-0ccd-406f-99bd-b860e1ad5418
    Mike Priefer(Special Teams)—107/ff9d04c9-fbae-48d2-b984-a073735d2eca#?id=4a693afa-d56c-45cd-8e5b-869c01fe52da

    The Vikings punter is not 100% and is questionable (hamstring) this Sunday. Antoine Winfield(CB) is doubtbul – Neck.

  27. By AJW on Oct 9, 2011 | Reply

    Mas ‘El Frijole’!

  28. By cardfancolorado on Oct 9, 2011 | Reply

    wow just wow

  29. By cardsalltheway on Oct 9, 2011 | Reply

    “Vikings Punter”
    Ooops, they didn’t even need a punter today:(

  30. By pipapiko on Oct 9, 2011 | Reply

    Andrew Luck hasn’t proven anything yet. But mark my words, he is gonna be a great QB in this league! His height and mechanics speak for it’s self! You think Cam Newton is tearing it up? Stay tuned next year, when Andrew Luck takes the field! He is gonna be a BEAST!

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