Friday before the Bills

Posted by Darren Urban on October 12, 2012 – 4:03 pm

There will be many things that people will be waiting to see Sunday when the Cards finally kick off against the Bills – how the Cards’ run game looks, whether the Bills have recovered from a couple of historical beat-downs – but from the Cardinals’ side of the fence, it’ll be Arizona’s first few pass plays that will be under the microscope. The Bills won’t have (struggling) defensive end Mark Anderson, although they do have (struggling) defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and (struggling) defensive end Mario Williams. There has been plenty of talk not surprisingly, from the Buffalo perspective that their pass rush can get healthy against the Cards. It’s vice versa for the Cards, who count on righting the pass-protection ship after surrendering 17 sacks the past two games.

“If you go into the game thinking that you are going to do that just because, you could be in for a rude awakening,” Mario Williams said. “If we go out and think, ‘Oh well, it’s going to be easy because the last two teams did this,’ we could be in for a rude awakening.”

Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb spoke again this week about how there were many facets in the pas game that need to do better to improve the pass protection. Someone suggested more three-step drops for Kolb, which the quarterback dismissed. “You can’t just go to three-step drops,” Kolb said. “That’s not the way the game is.”

You can’t just do a lot of anything. Pro teams – and pro coaches – figure that out soon enough. Leave more guys in to block? OK, but that’s fewer people in pass routes, and fewer options for which Kolb to pass. Coach Ken Whisenhunt knows he needs better technique from his blockers, better protection schemes and better overall play. There’s will have been 10 days to try and iron some of this out.

— There are two banged-up teams going out to play. With cornerbacks Greg Toler and Michael Adams doubtful, it sure sounds like rookie Jamell Fleming will be thrust back into a prominent defensive role. And kind-of-newcomer Crezdon Butler may be active right off the bat after being away from the team since being cut at the end of the preseason. The Bills, meanwhile, are missing a pair of starting offensive linemen themselves.

— Cornerback William Gay, who stands to start across from Patrick Peterson again Sunday, has struggled at times. Defensive coordinator Ray Horton said it is technique issues with Gay, and along those lines, Gay’s role was reduced against the Rams. “Obviously, he’s capable,” Horton said. “He had a good week of practice. We reduced his role and message sent, I believe. Now, whether message was received or not, we’ll find out.”

— The Bills have allowed 97 points the last two games, to the Patriots and 49ers. That doesn’t necessarily mean the Cardinals will suddenly break out, but if the Cards’ offense is going to have a chance to improve, this is a matchup you want.

— Quarterback John Skelton is listed as probable for the first time since his ankle injury. I fully expect Kolb to start – who wouldn’t? – but Skelton, I would guess, would be the backup. After that, I don’t know if we are going to have any big announcement or not. The Cards are going to go through the gauntlet on the schedule after this game, at Minnesota, home against the Niners, at Green Bay and at Atlanta, which will be rough on whoever is playing QB.

— Today is Adrian Wilson’s birthday. He turned 33. His biceps don’t look a day over 27.

— Yes, I used that on Twitter.

— Speaking of birthdays, analyst and Cardinals Underground compatriot Ron Wolfley turns 50 Sunday, with the Cards playing against his hometown team. How great is that?

— The Cards are wearing black Sunday, as a reminder. And pink. This is the annual Breast Cancer Awareness game, in case you are still putting together your gameday outfit.

— It probably saved an interception return for a touchdown – and it wasn’t even flagged at the time – but wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was dinged for a $7,850 fine from the NFL after grabbing cornerback Janoris Jenkins’ facemask on a play against the Rams. The Rams didn’t escape fines for their play, though. Two players were nailed for roughing up Kevin Kolb – defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo was fined $7,875 for roughing the passer when he ripped Kolb’s helmet off, while defensive end Robert Quinn was fined $15,750 for hitting Kolb helmet-to-helmet.

— Fitz needs 48 receiving yards to reach 10,000 in his career.

— Fitz, by the way, wasn’t about to pop off about the Bills’ struggles. “I always remember my grandfather said, you let a sleeping dog lie,” he said. “We just don’t want to ruffle any feathers and try to sneak out of here with a ‘W’ without getting anyone upset.”

It seems like it’s been forever since the Cards last played.

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35 Responses to “Friday before the Bills”

  1. By Cardinal on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Our tackles better come ready to play !!!!!!!!!!!

  2. By john the draft guy on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    That is a tough 4 game stretch with 3 on the road.

    Could a 4-1 team call this a must win?

  3. By Rio on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Bills got unlucky with 49ers, play well first half and got unlucky.

    William Powelll will show stuff this weeik, Bills no pass defense, our boys will shine in passing game.

    go cards.

  4. By rodgerscromartie17 on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    we need a running back

  5. By ASQuiros on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    We need a couple of running backs/fullbacks/tight ends…

  6. By RedSe@ on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    I think this is a must win have to get back up fpr the next 4 games against good teams we need to win at least 2 of the next games to keep up our chance to see playoffs

  7. By Born n Bred on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Lets get up n get to it on Sunday.. All I really ask for is a few more pass plays from under center not just play action ones.. If your gonna be one dimension at least pretend at the start u might run.. D make your reads n know your personel

    Let’s get it

  8. By Chuck 1 on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    When I think about the potential for overconfidence that the Cards might have going into this game against the Bills, I think about what the Steelers must have thought before their game against the Titans.

    Titans 26, Steelers 23.

    Any questions???

  9. By WVcardFan on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    With all due respect, Kevin and Darren– it IS that simple. 3-stop drops (we saw how that worked for Ryan Tannehill against a very aggressive Cardinals’ defense, max pro on EVERY PLAY (time for Kolb is more important than the number of WR in routes) and hey, here’s a novel concept, some plays that actually WELCOME pressure off the edges– like some bubble screens or jet sweeps. It isn’t rocket science. I appreciate Kolb saying “it’s not that easy” to take some heat away from his coaches– but it IS that easy. And it IS possible to gameplan around a weak Offensive Line without becoming predictable. For some reason, this coaching staff hasn’t figured that out yet, and THAT’S what is frustrating.

  10. By Peter in Canada on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    john the draft guy – IMHO this is a must win game if we want to go to the playoffs.If we go 2-2 in the next four games after this, we will be 7-3 if we win Sunday 6-4 if we don’t and I think 2-2 is the best we can hope for against that opposition. I don’t see our D giving up too many points especially if DD is near 100% and the Bills have the softest D we have met so far and maybe the worst this season so we should rack up some points.

  11. By georgiebird on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    Read your article on “A good defense wants more”
    Comments by Adrian Wilson are ridiculous. He has a lot of nerve making comments about how the defense should win a game like last week. I wonder if the offensive guys gave it to him 4 years ago when the defense cost us a Super Bowl.
    Wilson is a dreamer. Here are some facts about last weeks game
    1) Rams took the opening kickoff and rammed in down our throat.
    2) Considering he lost Amendola early, Bradford’s QB rating was about what it was coming in to the game.
    3) Rams rushed for 4.1 yards a carry and Jackson played injured.
    4) Bradford came in being sacked 14 times; we sacked him once.
    5) our defense was on the field only 25 + minutes; the offense 34+.
    So glad you said “good defense” because that’s all this defense is. It’s improved but still only good- not pretty good; not real good; and definitely not very good.. There is no reason to downgrade the offense.
    AW has been beat like a drum during his years with the Cardinals. He’s a feast or famine guy who brings mass confusion to the defensive backfield. So go easy on the offense- it’s a team game and there’s definitely a lot of blame to go around.

  12. By AzDesertRat1953 on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    This is going to be the bounce back test. With most everyone feeling better and rested this could be a another Defensive game for the Cards.
    Would like to see All of the Offense get into the game this time.

    I don’t care who the QB is, the biggest worry is Pocket Time and Protection!

    I really want to see how the running game goes this time. This will be a whole new look that should cause some confusion for awhile with the Bills D, fast strong little guys are hard to find, catch and put down sometimes!

    GO CARDS!!!

  13. By Credit Card on Oct 12, 2012 | Reply

    I’m nervous again. Each team in the NFL has NFL players and coaches. They know how to exploit a weakness. Cards offense has a couple glaring weaknesses. Bills DE may not care about the run game, and then pin back their ears and target our QB who can’t read a defense quickly. If the rushing attack is weak — again, they’ll be looking on the wire for a new body.

  14. By SPEEDLIMIT330 on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Peyton Hillis was a free agent this year. Wanted the Cards to sign him.
    Our line stinks, yet we keep signing finesse running backs. We need a guy that can regularly get us a couple of hard-earned yards on third down (even with an ineffective line).
    Beanie Wells spends more time off the field, than on it. I’ve never seen anything impressive from him.

  15. By CardInColorado on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Not just the tackles. The whole line! Kolb needs to be able to step up and not get crushed by a DT or blitzing MLB.

  16. By Dynosoar on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Must Win?

    Every team has 16 games to get into the playoffs and the more wins the better odds at having home field advantage in the playoffs.

    Every game is a must win, until home field advantage throughout the playoffs is locked up.

    Every game is a must win. DO we have losses, yes. Are we sitting in a very good position. Yes. If things continue the way they are now and we win twice against San Fran, we should have home field advantage, but San Fran and Minisoda are probably thinking the same.

    Go Cards! 5-1.

  17. By georgiebird on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    I find it so amusing how the Cardinals figure things out about 3 days after the game is over- very seldom during the game.
    Cards knew exactly the type of outside pass rush Quinn and Long would bring. There are plays to run when the ends make wide speed rushes. I think it’s more we don’t have the speed players to take advantage of the speed rush.
    And to say “there are two banged up teams going out to play” is way off base. Toler and Adams are backups- the rest of the defense is healthy. We have probably the most healthy defense in the League. On offense, two tackles down and two RBs down otherwise healthy. I would go as far to say our defense is the healthiest defense in the NFL and our offense probably on par with a lot of teams. Darren, Keep it real.

  18. By louis on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    you all bette wake up and face the truth we suck we be lucky to win anymore games this year . p.s. russ grim needs to go to day and ken to.

  19. By Brett on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Find another team to bag in then! You troll

  20. By cardsalltheway on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Ron W. usually talks like he has fallen off his rocker and I don’t much care about his b-day.

  21. By Rugbymuffin on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Happy Birthday A-dub.

    Favorite player in the NFL and the reason really has nothing to do with with football.

    Have a good day….hopefully someone made him a cake ?

  22. By Jason Marcus on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    We need this win badly the next few games are like early playoffs , not an easy sledge, I believe in the CArds

  23. By truths4all on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Kevin Kolb – “You can’t just go to three-step drops,” Kolb said. “That’s not the way the game is.”

    Kurt Warner once said, “Whatever we fine that works, then we keep working it.”

    The HOFamer will probe and attack the other team’s Defense. Kolb merely does his best as a journeyman QB to follow the plays that are called for him. Remember, Kolb also has the options to change and enhance his pass protection schemes if he reads (well, does he?) how the Defense looks like they are going to attack him. Unfortunately as we saw in the Rams game, Kolb either did not make any such calls to enhance his protection, or the changes he called were met with failure due to the ineptness of the Offensive Line to switch and handle the Defense’s attacks.

    No one suggested the Cards use only 3 step drops. The Offense gameplan has to contain some base running and passing configurations from which to operate the offensive gameplan out of..

  24. By Darren Urban on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Truths –

    RE: 3 step drops

    Actually, you are wrong. The media member who asked the question suggested only 3 step drops. Kolb answered that.

  25. By Sackman on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    It appears that all the blame for our offensive issues is falling on our OL. Lets back up a litte. We are 4-1 right now. It’s still very early in the season. The line is very new as far as working together, they will get better with time. I don’t blame the OL for all the sacks in the last couple of games. The blame is 25% OL, 25% play calling and 50% quarterback fault. The quarterback is the leader on the field he has to make quicker desicions to be able to read the field, it appears to me he is only seeing about 1/3 of the field. It’s almost like working on a flight deck of an Aicraft Carrier you can’t consentrate on only one area you have to be a swivel head and constantly be looking in all directions or you will get hurt. I also believe perhaps he is worried too much about making that perfect pass that he is hanging on to the ball too long. Or perhaps he is worried about throwing interceptions to loose his starting job! Kolb at times looks good and 1 thing that impressed me is when he is flushed out of the pocket and is running towards the line he decides to run with it for positive yards instead of thowing an interception. The opposite of what Sketlton does. We all have 1 common goal and that is to win games, and if Kolb is the man. I will back him 100%. Even though I prefer another quarterback! We have a very good team in a very good division this year, all we have to do is concentrate 1 game at a time. Go Cards!!!

  26. By truths4all on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Sure the Cards have figured out what went wrong after the fact instead of during the game. This happens when the other team physically BEATS you and dominates you at the Line of Scrimmage. And that is what the Rams did. Their Defensive Front dominated our Offensive Line. Their Offensive Line dominated our Defensive Front.

    The fact is football is a power game and the team who dominates the Line of Scrimmage by smashing the other team’s players in the mouth almost always wins.

  27. By AndyStandsUp on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Some numbers to chew on besides Fitzgerald’s quest for 10,000 yards: (And as a sidenote, Anquan Boldin should reach the mark as well this season.)

    – Todd Heap needs 1 catch for 500 in career.
    – With Heap’s next TD will tie Mike Ditka and Frank Gifford.
    – Patrick Peterson needs 36 yards to place third alltime in franchise punt return yards, passing Terry Metcalf.
    – If Jay Feely can score 12 points, he’ll pass the great Jerry Rice for 28th in career NFL points.

    -5-1 would be the best Cardinals start since 1976 and would guarantee at least a tie for division lead.

  28. By brad oneill on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    i know its a little early to be worried about being 5-5 but if we dont win this week I will worry about being 4-6 so i might as well start worrying now.

  29. By Card shark on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Cards won’t make it easy but I do see a 10 to 14 point win. The Bills will put up some points on us so I think the offense is going to need to contribute 27 plus to get there. Look for KK to hit a long pass or two.

  30. By Mike in Mesa on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    Fleming. He seemed to play well in preseason and early in the regular season. I wondered why I hadn’t seen him on the field lately. Has he been playing and if not why? He seemed to be outperforming Gay and Toler to me.

  31. By philly cards on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    I place adrian wilson in the same level of michael jordan as far as my heros go. He deserves more.

    Why does a free agent corner have tecnique issues? we traded jeffferson. Smh.

    I don’t think any of the last 3 games counted last year. We can’t expect lsh to peel off 93 yrds, let’s be real

    We trust in the man with no respect.go kolb!!!

  32. By johnnybluenose on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    i’m hoping we get off to a good start, sustain drives and score touchdowns and not field goals when we get to the red zone. discourage the bills early and keep our foot on their throat the whole game. if our two fullbacks are healthy i’d like to see them both in the back field in goal line situations and have one block for the other. i might even let housler try and run it in from the three yard line. i hope i don’t see any more two yard passes when it is fourth and goal from the six yard line. let’s dominate this game about 38-6 and send a message to the league that we are serious contenders. let’s get started!!!

  33. By Jerry on Oct 13, 2012 | Reply

    I think there was poor decision making last game. Kolb got sacked way to much when coach Wiz should have brought the backup Qb in so Kolb could regain some sense. Kolb should have had better reads and controlled the line better. I think his lead is falling apart .It’ll be disappointing to me thinking that Skelton loses his position due to injury.

  34. By jason marcus on Oct 14, 2012 | Reply

    Thank you ANDYSTANDSUP.

  35. By Andy Kw on Oct 14, 2012 | Reply

    I can’t wait to see how Kolb, Fitzgerald, and Roberts fair against the Buffalo Bills defense. I hope our defense can take advantage and intercept Fitzpatrick at least 3 times. I am expecting a lot of sacks from the Cards so GO CARDINALS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to see Fitzgerald eclipse the 10000yd mark of his career. Our offense will spark for the 1st time this season against the Bills

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