Versus the final four

Posted by Darren Urban on January 20, 2012 – 1:37 pm

It’s an inevitable comparison, especially when the NFL gets down to a Final Four and the team you cover (or root for, in the case of a fan) isn’t one of those four: How exactly did Team Whomever fare against those left? The Cardinals had four games against three of the teams, sporting a 1-3 record. They split with the 49ers, of course, playing poorly (especially on offense) in San Francisco and then dramatically holding off the division champs in Arizona (in the only one of the last five home games of the season that didn’t go to overtime).

The losses to the Ravens and Giants, of course, were the two most painful of the season. In both cases the Cardinals probably should have won given the circumstances, with a 24-3 lead in Baltimore late in the first half in the first case and a 10-point lead with less than five minutes left at home in the second.

Of course, “should have” is a dangerous concept in this league. There are eight opponents of the Cards this season that were undoubtedly thinking “should have” after the Cards knocked them off. Still, second-guessing isn’t limited to fans and media. Players and coaches all say they put it behind them by Tuesday — and in the context of the season, they usually do — but it lingers and gets rehashed.

Not that it has an impact this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend, I’d be curious, if I could take a poll (and it was answered honestly) what the results would be about the 49ers’ place in the NFC title game and what they want to happen. Is it a case of guys wanting the NFC West to succeed? Or has enough bile built up that they are hoping the Niners get knocked off?

— As a postscript apropos of nothing, guard Daryn Colledge (who has been here rehabbing his surgically repaired elbow) and his wife donated $150,000 to his alma mater, Boise State, today to improve the weight room for the athletics program. Colledge was a four-year starter at Boise from 2002-05.

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48 Responses to “Versus the final four”

  1. By Danny Heksolson on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Personally I wish the division champs success on Sunday. I´m rooting for our western division. But next year the division is ours! 🙂

  2. By CardsFan on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Personally, I want the 49ers to lose. While it would be nice for the NFC West’s prestige to have yet another representative in the Super Bowl, 49ers fans are a pain as it is and I don’t want to have to hear from them about it over the next 8 months.

  3. By nodavis2000 on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    For me, it all depends on who the AFC champion is. If it’s the Pats, I’d prefer the 49ers to win. I’m sick of the Pats and their one sided football team. At least the 49ers have a decent offensive. If it’s the Ravens, then I don’t really care. It wouldn’t matter to me who won and who lost.

  4. By Nicholas on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    I’d like to see a SUPER HARBAUGH BOWL HONESTLY,even though I love the way the giants & pats are playing

  5. By Genken on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    My first instinct is I want them to lose and lose badly. But if they do good maybe they will be picked apart afterwards like our Super Bowl run and be back to the bottom of the NFC West. I’m too biased though and I do want them to lose badly.

  6. By in fitz we trust on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    I see you use commas and dashes freely, also the parentheticals. Do u follow a guideline of using puctuation or is that just your style of writing. just curious

  7. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    In Fitz —

    RE: My style

    Let’s put it this way: I wouldn’t use my style of writing for an English paper. Journalism, and to an even greater extent blog posts, are a lot different that English 101 requirements.

  8. By Paul H. on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    As much as I hate rooting for NY teams, I have to go with the Giants this week. SF fans are the most smug fans in the NFL. We don’t want them collecting any more trophy’s. They already think they invented football as it is. Before the Cards came to town I was a Cowboys fan. Still haven’t got over the Dwight Clark catch.

  9. By Gary on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    I would like the Ravens to win the Super Bowl so Anquan can get a ring! If not the Ravens ,then The Giants for Antrelle Rolle!

  10. By Sir60 on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    It’s easy to beat the the 49ers. All you have to do is avoid turnovers, win the field position battle and hold their running game to 100 yards or less. Their defense is vulnurable to the pass as evidenced in the cards second game with them. The Giants will win if they avoid turnovers.

  11. By conrad on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    I pick the Gaints to win I belive they are the better team all arounld at this stage of the game. and I want the 49ners to lose!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. By CJ on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    I want the 49ers to win along with the Ravens just for the significance of the Harbaugh Bowl. But then I want to see the 49ers crushed and humiliated in the Super Bowl. Definitely have some of that Cardinal hatred for the 49ers.

  13. By Nick Pepe on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Bile done spilled over!!! Let’s go Giants !

  14. By Walter L. on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    There are only two teams that I truly hate to my core: the 49ers and the Cowboys. I hope San Fran gets destroyed at home on Sunday.

  15. By Walter L. on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Either way I hope Baltimore wins the Superbowl. I would love to see Q and the stars on that D get a ring, they deserve it.

  16. By dean bower on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    west all the way. i still have a strong dislike for the niners!

  17. By Andy on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Years ago, I would have pulled for the NFC West team (or NFC East before that), but I cannot stand to root for the 49’ers. Even if they were playing the Cowboys for the NFC Championship — it hurts to write it — I would root for Dallas.

    Excuse me, I have to go throw-up now.

  18. By echo on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    NFC West for Super Bowl champs!!! Don’t like the Niners, but I’m tired of hearing about the “weak division”

  19. By Mal on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    I want the Niners to lose big.

    I want nothing good to happen for them or their overbearing fans.

  20. By lixto on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    lol andy….!

  21. By Eric on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    I thought about it, and just can’t do it. I hate our rivals, and while I am glad the division can’t be seen as weak anymore, the only teams I hate more than the Cowgirls, are the teams in our division. Go Ravens for Boldin!!

  22. By Procen on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Go Giants!!!! I hate San Francisco forty older.

  23. By Scott H on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Give me the Giants and Patriots in the Super Bowl. That game looks to me like it would be the most fun – BY FAR – of any potential match-up possible at this point. Don’t care that they have both been there very recently ( against each other, no less ). Also don’t care about a Harbaugh vs Harbaugh situation. ALSO don’t care about a team from the NFC West going to a SB when that team is not the Cardinals. I hate the 49ers and DO NOT wish them success.

    Tom Brady and Eli Manning are truly elite QB’s who are having great seasons running offenses that are fun to watch. Joe Flacco? Alex Smith? Please. No thank you. Neither of them is fun to watch, nor are their offenses. Give me a shoot-out over a defensive struggle any time. Go Giants, Go Patriots!

  24. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    You have to respect the Niners for winning the division and the thrilling game vs. the Saints.
    That being said, I’d have no problem rooting for the Rams or Seahawks in a possible SB appearance, but cheering for the 69ers (or Poopkickers) would be akin to OJ finding the “killer”.

    It ain’t going to happen. (And that joke’s as old as since the last time SF went to the playoffs.)

  25. By brythybo7 on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Darren –

    Ive been hearing different things about teams growing their grass higher to slow down a fast offense and things along those lines. Are their guidelines for grass length, thickness and hard/softness? And are you allowed to intentionally grow the grass out to give you an advantage over a faster team?

  26. By Darren Urban on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Brythybo –

    RE: grass

    I don’t know if there are any set rules, but i don’t know if any team is going to make it that big a difference. I do know the league pays attention to the quality of the field.

  27. By georgiebird on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Want to see the 49ers get beat big time. Hopefully some team can expose weaknesses on the 9ers that other teams (Cards) can use next year. The 9ers strong suit is they play with a tremendous amount of intensity and speed. To beat the 9ers the intensity must be there for 60 minutes- not the 45 minutes put in by the Saints last week.

  28. By azfancolo on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    The fact that the whiners are in the playoffs makes me sick maybe its their whiney fans I dont know it is just frustrating

  29. By CDNelson86 on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Plain and simple… 49ers to drop off the face of the earth and lose like the Falcons lost this year… with a big oel duce on the score board. I hate the 49ers more than any other team in the NFL and I ABSOLUTLY HATE THE STELLERS AND THEIR “WE ARE BETTER THAN YOU MENTALITY”. Same goes for their fans…

    Whisenhunt was the only good person left with the steelers and he was SCREWED outa the job in favor of a NOBODY coach that they could pay WAY less than Whiz woulda got… Mike Tomlin Has Ruined what was a GREAT team, and I for one am going to be extreamly happy when that franchise cant win 5 games in a couple of years because of the poor choises in personell going on with him as head coach…

    Did i mention i HATE the Steelers?

    Yea, I DO hope the 49ers get picked clean of their coaching staff like we keep having done, Even thoe we are a horrible team that “Didnt deserve to be in the playoffs”. God experts need to just talk about what is happing with teams and and keep what they think (or are payed to think) to them selfs.

  30. By AndyStandsUp on Jan 20, 2012 | Reply

    Brythybo and Darren,
    As Sando pointed out last week, the NFL sends out representatives during game week to ensure both teams are “playing on an even field” as far as the playing surface.

  31. By tonyhite14 on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    If San Fran makes the Super Bowl, I would be very angry to hear any one refer to the NFC West as the worst division in football. If the 49ers make the Super Bowl that puts ALL four of our team in the big game in 10 years. Granted, we’re 0-3, but still, appearing in the Super Bowl is still hard enough a feat to warrant recognition.

    On the other hand, every time San Francisco wins I die a little.

  32. By clssylssy on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    I will be cheering wildly for my other angry bird team in Purple and Black, with the hope of seeing them win it all and walking away from the big dance wearing that big diamond ring. Anquan, Ray-Ray Lewis, Suggs, Ed Reed, Ray Rice, the entire Ravens team, play the kind of ball I love to watch and are a testimont that football is a team sport whose success isn’t all about the QB. The elder Harbaugh has been a great coach and the Raven Organization committed, to building a successful team, as well as, to the fans, who they appreciate. Q could not have landed in a better nest. As far as the 9ers go, I want to see them go down HARD and don’t really care who has the honor.
    My animosity toward the 9ers goes back to the Steve Young days and really isn’t about AFC vs. NFC…there’s just some trash you don’t want in your house and can’t respect because they don’t know the meaning of the word… they don’t respect other teams, other players, other fans, or the pigskin in general.
    Watching the playoffs has been painful, knowing we should have been there, (same record as Denver) but I have to hand it to the Brady Bunch and Patriot Organizaation for producing winners year after year and even to a lesser extent the Giants who, either have stumbled across the magic formula or just have heart. The Cards have the opportunity to get back on top if we don’t mess around too long and let Haley slip through our fingers. I have been excited and happy for the ex-Cards making an appearance in these playoffs and can’t help wonder who will be singing “How do you like me now?” GOOD LUCK MY PURPLE BIRDS AND ANQUAN BOLDIN…FLY HIGH…CAW, CAW, CAW!….Darren, can you remind me again why we let Rackers go?

  33. By Darren Urban on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    Clssy –

    RE: Rackers

    Chicago 2006, San Francisco 2007, Green Bay playoff 2009, among others.

    Plus he was asking for more money the Cards thought he was worth.

  34. By Dennis Ashley on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    Actually I have a different reason that I want the 49ers to lose. I don’t want them building up the confidence and swagger for next year because they have done well. That way the Hawks can win it all more easily!

  35. By Dennis Ashley on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    By the way, the Hawks have beaten two of the four teams who are still left–the Ravens and the Giants. They are the only team in the NFL to have done that gthis year.

  36. By CORMAC on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    I guess I am still oldschool and dislike the cowboys much more than the niners. If your new to liking the cards, I guess you wouldnt understand…..I actually used to like the niners when I lived in Cali and they had Montanna. Now Ilook forward to any in our division losing while we are still in the fight.

    Now that the season is over for us, I would like our division to do well so that we may earn respect. In days gone by, every win we had in our division was snubbed as ” well look who they beat ” as in, we still suck with a win.

    I look forward to conversations that regard the NFC West as an elite and rugged group.

  37. By dylan on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    I want the niners to represent our division and stop some of the national smack talk against the west.

  38. By dylan on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    azfancolo you realize your whining right? Can you say Irony

  39. By Corgon on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t like the 49ers, but now I’m their biggest fan. We beat them at the last game, so we ruling them, we own them, they are our slaves until the next game! If they wint the SB, half of the ring belongs to us! That’s plain simple 🙂 🙂

  40. By Scott H on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    Dennis –

    Like we care? Dude, the ONLY thing that matters as far as your Chicken Hawks are concerned is that they finished the season where they belong and where they will be again next year – behind the Cardinals in the division. And how fitting was is that the Cardinals put you there in the final week of the season? Felt good, man. Felt REEEEEAL good. Get used to it. There’s more comin’ your way.

  41. By dynosoar on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    Been a fan of the Cardinals since the seventies my memory predates Arizona a long ways and we’ve been on the wrong side of losing to the Cowboys, Redskins and the Giants for a lot longer than the 49ers. If I had to root in the NFC, it’d be San Francisco.

    The beautiful thing is this. I don’t have to root for any of them. I’m all for my Cardinals winning and since that seems highly unlikely, I’ll just enjoy watching some really spectacular football from some really good teams with some really good players.

    And I’ll root for my Team next year. Go Cardinals!

  42. By sport245245 on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    I’m all in for the 49rs winning. I want some respecdt for the NFC West. I hope the blow the Giants totally out of the park tommorrow. Since my team isn’t in, at least someone from the division should represent. From a Cards fan. Go Niners.

  43. By BIG RED on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    Going for the Ravens, cause of Boldin he deserves to be in a Super Bowl Championship team.

  44. By brad oneill on Jan 21, 2012 | Reply

    i hate the 49ers, but i want them to win. it is better to have strong enemies. it makes beating them twice next year even sweeter. i will root for the 49ers all the way until the last down in the super bowl and then i will begin dissecting how we can knock their cocky $%$%#’s off next year.

    ps i love jim harbough. loved him with the colts, loved him with stanford but once he gets his ring the love ends. I have a feeling he will be leading the 49ers for many years to come although you never know. i could see the colts trying to steal him away at some point especially if they end up with andrew luck.

  45. By William Barry on Jan 22, 2012 | Reply

    as of 11:12pm today, the Niners have lost the Championship game to the Giants, what sweet revenge from the Cardinals standpoint…I hate the Niners, they think they are the best….When the Cards were in the NFC East, we respected each other, —-Giants, Redskins, Philly, and the Cowboys….but still hated each other. I suppose if I had to pick the team I really despise…it would the Redskins of 1976, when we tied them at 10-4, but they went to the playoffs….Who knows, maybe back then, we could have gone to the Super Bowl~~~~ GO CARDINALS TO THE SUPERBOWL IN 2013~~~~

  46. By Scott H on Jan 23, 2012 | Reply

    Honestly…do people REALLY care if others are respecting the NFC West??? Got news for you – even if the 49ers won the SB this year, I think most regular football fans would still think the rest of the division sucks. Because people – en mass – don’t really pay much attention to teams that aren’t THEIR teams.

    Honestly, if the Texans had won the SB this year, would you suddenly be impressed with the Jaguars simply because they’re in the same division? Or the Browns if the Steelers won the SB? Or the Buccs if ths Saints won the SB? Most likely, you wouldn’t. So? Why are people suddenly gonna respect the NFC West because the 49ers are in a SB?

    Did anyone see the NFC West getting a lot of respect as a division when the CARDINALS almost won a SB three years ago??? NO! In fact, I heard more than a few people pointing to the fact that the Cardinals benefitted from playing in the WORST division in football…and it really pissed me off.

    Therefore, I don’t care what anyone else in the division does. I want MY TEAM to be succesful.

  47. By William Barry on Jan 24, 2012 | Reply

    I agree with scott H. Most definitely

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