Friday before the Eagles

Posted by Darren Urban on September 21, 2012 – 4:56 pm

A fan (@AzCardsGM) linked on Twitter today a video of the Cardinals’ dramatic late win in Philadelphia back in 2001, when Jake Plummer hit MarTay Jenkins for a long TD with 35 seconds left – what an improbable win, I remember thinking as I stood in the chill of the sideline that day – and mentioned that he wanted the same result Sunday when the Eagles visited University of Phoenix Stadium. Just without the drama.

Sorry. Drama is included with every season ticket these days, it seems.

“History tells us we might as well get ready for another two-minute drive to see who wins the game,” quarterback Kevin Kolb half-joked this week. OK, maybe not half. He’s probably 94.6 percent dead serious.

In 1976, the franchise earned the nickname “Cardiac Cards” because they won eight games by seven points or fewer. Well, since the beginning of last season – 18 games all told – 15 have been decided by seven points or fewer for the Cardinals. The Cards have won 10 of those. The Cards last 11 wins, in fact, have come by no more than seven points. During their current nine-wins-in-11-tries stretch, the margin of victory in those nine wins has been 2, 4, 7, 6, 4, 3, 6, 2 and 3 points.

“As long as we get the ‘W’s,’ I really don’t care,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “I think you can turn the highlights on every week and you see a bunch of games that come down to the wire. We’ve been involved in a lot of those games but you have to learn how to win and you have to win the tough games and our guys have done that. It’s definitely stressful, but our guys have gotten mentally tougher because of it.”

The Cards may have gotten mentally tough, but I’m willing to say it – the constant close games are mentally taxing.

— Don’t forget the Cards are wearing the black uniforms Sunday.

— Defensive coordinator Ray Horton has come through with some strong statements of late – last week, Tom Brady was the best NFL player in history – and this week, it was his praise for his defense that got the nod.

“This was our best week of practice ever,” Horton said. “The guys came in, they had attention to detail, the focus, the practice, the talk, and that’s how I knew was the talk. By far our best week of practice since I’ve been here.”

— The Cards will need it. They face an Eagles’ offense that leads the NFL in yards per game at 471, a stunningly high total (the Cards, by comparison, are 30th in the league with their 249 yards a game). Yet the Eagles have scored only one more total point than the Cards. Why? Turnovers. Mike Vick and crew have already turned it over nine times, making their 2-0 record impressive in a backhanded way.

“If we can eliminate the turnovers, our offense can accomplish great things,” Vick said. Added Eagles coach Andy Reid, “(Michael) has never been a turnover guy. He’s started out with a few, but that hasn’t been throughout his career what he’s done.”

The Cards did pick off Vick twice last season in their win at Philly. Clearly, how the Cards’ defense handles Vick and company will be the story of the game.

— Horton’s defense has been on a field a lot already. After playing the most defensive snaps in 2011, the Cards already have played 163 total defensive snaps in two games (the Cards have a total of 129 offensive snaps).

“We are always concerned about that,” Horton said, noting that his unit needs to generate more turnovers. “That gets you off the field. No matter how you get on the field, you can’t control that. You can control how you get off the field.”

— Because of the scheme the Cards played last week, starting nose tackle Dan Williams played just seven of 82 snaps, backup nose tackle David Carter just three.

“After missing six games last season it was definitely hard,” Williams said. “Talking to Dave, we have to do what is best for the team. If we only have two big guys in there, can’t complain because it is Calais (Campbell) and (Darnell) Dockett in there, two great player. Dave and I, we understand. As a football player, you want to play but the team is bigger than ourselves.”

— The NFL announced it suspended Cardinals practice squad wide receiver Gerell Robinson. Multiple reports have it for four games for violating the agreement against performance-enhancing drugs. No official word from the team as of yet.

— It will be crucial to see how the Cards’ offensive line, particularly tackles D’Anthony Batiste and Bobby Massie, handle outside pass rushers Jason Babin and Trent Cole. The Cards have only given up two sacks in two games. The vibe from Philly is that Babin and Cole are expecting big games. Keeping Kolb clean will be so important.

The Cards have to find a way to run the ball better. Larry Fitzgerald emphasized that Friday. That will help slow those pass rushers too. But Fitz has to have more than one catch. “We’ve got to feed him,” Kolb said. There’s a fine line between risk and reward, but Fitz needs to make an impact, get in the end zone.

— Ryan Williams has to bounce back. Quickly.

— Fitzgerald had high praise for former teammate and current Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, returning to Arizona for the first time.

“I’ve said it all along, DRC, he’s the most, from a physical standpoint, talented guy I’ve ever been around,” Fitzgerald said. “Dude is (running a) 4.3, (has a) 40-plus vertical, his quickness is unbelievable. I was teasing him this week, I’ve got to put my hands on him. He’s still only 172 pounds.”

— Just like the Cards need to protect Kolb in the pocket, the defense needs to take advantage of Philly’s backup left tackle and center. The Cards have multiple sacks in eight straight games, and the way Vick plays, they really should be able to extend that streak.

— Horton, on how his defense is handling success: “We haven’t had any success yet. We started off 1-6 last year and we still talk about that. I don’t think they think we’ve had success yet.”

— The Cardinals haven’t started a season 3-0 since 1974. We’ll see if they can update that. As far as the last time they started 2-0, well, that season included an Eagles’ trip to Arizona too.

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32 Responses to “Friday before the Eagles”

  1. By cardsalltheway on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    DRC alone will sometimes cover Fitz so we’ll have to account for an additional defender this week compared to last week vs. the Patriots.

    We have the 28th ranked rushing offense while the Eagles have the 10th.

    Kevin Kolb, Patrick Peterson and Andre Roberts account for more than one third of our team’s rushing yards. We haven’t had a run for 20+ yards yet while LeSean McCoy has two. In fact he had 14 last year while we as a team only had 7.

    Before people decide whether the Cardinals or the Eagles got the better of the K. Kolb(plus big $$$) vs. DRC trade(+2nd round pick) they should consider that the Eagles 2nd round pick turned into an additional 4th round pick. They traded down with the Packers and got 2nd rounder(DE Vinny Curry) plus a 4th rounder(Nickel CB Brandon Boykin). Even before some fans make a final decision, the K. Kolb trade has become an NFL “blueprint” on what NOT to do. Hence the reason the Seahawks Matt Flynn got a lesser and shorter deal than K. Kolb.

  2. By Dre on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Let’s take what the d gives us on offens .let them beat themselves I’ll take a nail biter any day along as it come with a win. you should put a video when we score I was on that end zone . Play hard and let’s win on Sunday .

  3. By Chuck 1 on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    “The Cards have to find a way to run the ball better. Larry Fitzgerald emphasized that Friday.” (Many fans have questioned the OL and RBs all season. So far, there’s no improvement)

    “It will be crucial to see how the Cards’ offensive line, particularly tackles D’Anthony Batiste and Bobby Massie, handle outside pass rushers Jason Babin and Trent Cole……..Keeping Kolb clean will be so important.” (This game might be the stiffest test so far for the new tackles)

    Horton: “We haven’t had any success yet. We started off 1-6 last year and we still talk about that. I don’t think they think we’ve had success yet.” (I love the challenge that Horton has laid down to his defense by saying this)

    “But Fitz has to have more than one catch. “We’ve got to feed him,” Kolb said
    (The inability to get the ball to LF will continue to be a problem until a second and third WR become a threat and the QBs become more accurate).

    I hope that Whiz doesn’t make Skelton active unless he is 100% healthy. He would be a liability and unable to escape the rush. I have an uneasy feeling that KK will be injured for at least part of the game.

  4. By Brian R. on Sep 21, 2012 | Reply

    Here I am jobless..

    Only the Cardinals make me happy!!!

    Go Cardinals!!!

  5. By Matt on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Hey everyone attending the game! Don’t forget to wear ALL BLACK. BLACKOUT!!!!

  6. By LadyCard04 on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    RE: Booth replay from NFC Championship Game – Was at the game and the stadium was literally rocking the whole game. After that play it went to another level. By the time the clock ran out there were tears in so many Card Fans’ eyes, so many people couldn’t even speak – they had yelled themselves hoarse. It was a wonderful game to be at.

    Would love to be able to see the Cards go to another Super Bowl – this time come home with the whole thing.

  7. By Al on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    It’s like cardsalltheway is always interrupting a conversation… a conversation between him and himself.

  8. By Nick Pepe on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    I put up with all this Eagles talk all day every day.
    According to all in the Delaware Valley, and across the country,the Cards dont have much of a chance.

    I shrug, especially to my friends (who turn into enemies when this match-up occurs). Something tells me no matter what the Cards accomplish on the field that the mindset of others is “it’s just the Cardinals we’re playing”.

    I’m fine with that….to a point. Sooner or later, I want the Cardinals to be known has a dominant team, a force to be reckoned with. I want opposing players thinking “there are other places I would rather be right now”! And the only way to get to that point is by stepping on a “dream teams” throat. No better time to do that than Sunday against those wretched green bastards!

    I repeat, first play they will run a play fake to McCoy, and chuck it deep to #10. Don’t bite on the fake. Head straight for the dog killer.

    We can expose their o-line, Maclin is also out for Eagles .

    For those you of going, make it loud and have a blast !

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member

  9. By philly cards on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    That’s funny because I live in philly. I put up all cardianls eagles youtubes about three days ago.

    Career qb ratings
    vick 80.5 kolb 77.7(17 starts) skelton 65.8 (12 starts)

    So I feel confident in saying I don’t ever want to see skelton again. His best games he had to throw the ball over 45 times to get to 300 yrds. He’s won games with less than 100 yrds.
    Kolbs performance issues are tied to his injuries. He’s not hurt and desrves this season.
    I really don’t want to see 52.4% career passer doing nothing but holding kicks.partic peterson wins games and skelton got credit. It can’t be both with stats like his.
    If we win sunday its sb.I hope pres picks us this time!

  10. By UK CARD on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    I Think we need to take more advantage of Fitz’sys double coverage!! Floyd and Housler need to get the ball early, until the defense relaxes on Larry!!!!!!!!

  11. By Chuck 1 on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Brian R.,

    Sorry to hear that.
    Keep your head up and be positive. (Easy for me to say that. I’m retired)
    There are too many looking for work like you.
    Best wishes.

  12. By Mr Robles on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    My Uncle passed away this week I want to dedicate this weeks game to him, A Cardinal Fan you will be missed Tio

  13. By infitzwetrust on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    It’s great too see the cards making headlines. ” Are the Cards for real ” love it lol

  14. By Colin on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    We need to use Michael Floyd more!

  15. By cardsalltheway on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    philly cards,
    Watch this, it appears K. Kolb doesn’t like stepping up in the pocket which means our offense struggles since he doesn’t hit open receivers. When he feels pressure it’s “exit stage right” see below clips of K. Kolb vs Patriots exiting stage right and not stepping up in the pocket…
    Something tells me K. Kolb will be seeing a lot of the Eagles DE’s Jason Babin and Trent Cole while our RB’s & TE’s will have strong side LB Mychal Kendricks to deal with on passes; like he’ll have to worry about our RB’s catching passes or doing much of anything else, hehehe. Sterling Sharpe likes the Eagles to beat us.

  16. By Cactus jeff on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Beanie will go off this week….run straight at them. Bubble screen with Floyd Doucet or Fitz at DRC all day long. Keep DD and CC at DT

  17. By cardsalltheway on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Nike Pepe,
    “I shrug, especially to my friends who turn into enemies”

    Nick Pepe has frenimies, who’d of thunk it.

  18. By Dynosoar on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply


    I can’t find any records for best starts. I see lately much that the last time we were 3-0 was in ’74. What’s the best start our team has ever had?

    Will it be whatever we get this season,because I believe, having watched our Cards and the Eagles this season, we’ve played better over two games. So I believe we should win this game and after this game, we could be 8-0. Wow, I’m probably dreaming.


  19. By Darren Urban on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    Dyno –

    RE: starts

    I’d have to look that up. Haven’t had a chance. If the Cards win today I’m sure I will look into it.

  20. By infitzwetrust on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Brian r, if ur looking for work, my company is hiring. 13$ per hour. E mail me if interested. Good luck. God bless

  21. By Born n Bred on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    We need better rhythm in play calling for wells n Williams.. No, you take a series I take the next.. Where’s the outline for them.. Williams at seasons end should average 2.5 catches a game with 9-12 carries and beanie should average 18-22 carries

  22. By philly cards on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    The 2000 game featured a last second bobble and int for kwame lassiter (on a field with no logos.they only had the yard lines, I hate philly) and a 21-20 win I was in the 700 level that day.
    1996 boomer wins last second td that day at my nfc east bar I was told to watch the end of the game under the stand up like a man and take my loss.I agreed…but we won.
    This is a special series for me.

  23. By Nick Pepe on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    I’m right there with you brother. Every game is important, but when this match-up comes about, well its just different. Eagles fans make it so. The Cards are an afterthought to them. And it’s all good.

    Once again going to watch this game at my Elks Lodge amongst the same people that seem to have forgotten what happened last year. And that’s all good as well.

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member

  24. By philly cards on Sep 22, 2012 | Reply

    @ cardsalltheway
    If kk is having issues that obvious then you need to point at the guy with the headset and dockers.he’s an offensive specialist guru.and his former employer has improved since he left.
    I think we can run for all 4 quarters tommorow.and also get vick into another bad game vs our d.and miami next week whoo hoo!!!break a rib fellas! Or a foot ( adub)

  25. By AJW3 on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    I would like to see Byrd play opposite Larry for at least one play………the bagels will think they are seeing double.

  26. By AndyStandsUp on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    @ Darren regarding best start:

    C’mon, it took less than a minute to look it up under the “History” tab on the front page. (Glad to do the legwork, though.)
    7-0 in ’74 and ’22, by far the best starts. 3-0 would be the best since the move from STL.
    And as a bonus, with a win today, next week vs. MIA would either be the franchise’s 500th win or 700th loss.

  27. By Chuck 1 on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply


    I was hoping that some fan would offer Brian R. a job.

    You probably didn’t realize that you would be running an “employment blog”

  28. By Darren Urban on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    Chuck 1 –

    RE: Employment blog

    Seriously, if this comment section can facilitate something like that, I couldn’t be happier.

  29. By Nick Pepe on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    I can’t put into words how good this performance was. Yup, in my 41 yrs as fan, this Is the icing.
    The blowout of the Eagles …… Really…

  30. By Nick Pepe on Sep 23, 2012 | Reply

    It’s as good as it seems

  31. By gnomepete on Sep 24, 2012 | Reply


    PART of the reason the Cardiac Cardinals were so named is the large number of 4th quarter comebacks to go with those close scores.


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