Friday before the Packers

Posted by Darren Urban on November 2, 2012 – 4:16 pm

I always love when the Cardinals play the Packers because their game notes – fitting a team that’s been around for so long and is steeped in tradition – carry the name “The Dope Sheet,” a phrase directly out of the 1920s. The Packs’ explanation:

Two years after he co-founded the Packers with Curly Lambeau, George Calhoun began writing a piece called The Dope Sheet, which served as the official press release and game program from 1921-24.

Need any Packers’ info? Check The Dope Sheet. This week it has a lot of information about quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who is arguably the best in the NFL right now. I think he’d have my vote. If he had a healthy receiving corps this would be a monster task for the Cardinals Sunday. He doesn’t, and that does leave some room for a Cardinals’ team that needs a win. The bye comes after this week for coach Ken Whisenhunt’s crew, and while it would have been great to have it exactly at the halfway point in the schedule, if the Cards can steal one at Lambeau Field before getting some down time, that wouldn’t be too bad.

Here’s some more of my own Cardinals’ dope:

— Defensive coordinator Ray Horton spoke Friday, and a few questions in – and indirectly, since the question that spurred his answer was about clamping down in the red zone – he got to the heart of what he considered the matter.

“I’m surprised the first question wasn’t ‘What happened against San Francisco?’ Tackling,” Horton said. “They threw a number of balls that were short of the first-down marker and we missed tackles and they scored. That’s it. There’s nothing wrong schematically. We have to make the play in front of us. All (of Alex Smith’s) yardage was missed tackles. We had guys in position to make tackles and we didn’t.”

Certainly that’s something that can’t happen against the Packers, although Rodgers and Green Bay tend to throw the ball further down the field in the first place.

— Horton did say the Cards, as much as they could in an NFL world where practice contact is relatively limited, worked on tackling this week.

“An old sage, (Steelers DC) Dick LeBeau, said (tackling) is just want-to,” Horton said. “Guys on this level understand technique and what they are supposed to do. Sometimes it’s ‘I’m going to get this guy on the ground and nobody else.’ Losing four games is disappointing but I was disappointed how we performed tackling San Francisco 49ers.”

— Running back Beanie Wells is supposed to be able to start practicing next week, although because of the bye week, I’d guess he’d start slow. The Cardinals will be limited as it is, with practices scheduled only for Tuesday and Wednesday before getting a few days off. That doesn’t surprise me, given how beat up the roster is. This is a later bye than the Cards have had recently. A break will do some good.

— Daryn Colledge said Packers’ DC Dom Capers will be “out for blood,” which doesn’t sound good when it comes to holding up against the pass rush but could create some lanes for Larry Fitzgerald. Of late, teams have rushed only four or even three, knowing they can get pressure and yet have a bunch of guys for coverage. If the Packers blitz sometimes, you figure there will be more chances for Fitz. But they have to convert.

— It’s the flip side of only nine rushing attempts for seven yards, which is what the Cards ended up with against the 49ers (second fewest rushing yards in a game ever, behind the minus-1 the Cards had against the Giants in 1953), but quarterback John Skelton set personal highs in both attempts (52) and completions (32) last weekend. Obviously, in an ideal world, the Cards won’t have to pass as much.

— The Packers already have their inactive list practically done. Six guys are already listed as out, five of whom are starters – Jennings, Woodson, Kuhn, Perry and Shields. With Jennings already sidelined, the Pack also probably won’t have receiver Jordy Nelson, who didn’t practice all week with a bad hamstring (and with the Packers’ bye waiting too for extra rest.)

— That’s why the Cards need to make sure tight end Jermichael Finley doesn’t go off. Finley hasn’t been the same player since erupting on the Cardinals back in the playoff game of the ages. The Pack are trying to remind him he can be that guy.

— Comon, Money Mike. How about creating some deja vu?

— A gut prediction: Fitz gets 100 yards this week.

— With a road game in a tough place, it’s not difficult to imagine a good start would be a replication of what the Cards did in New England. They only got a field goal on their opening drive, but they ate up clock and took the crowd out of it early. That would be ideal at Lambeau.

So would finding a win. Somehow.

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Posted in Blog | 40 Comments »

40 Responses to “Friday before the Packers”

  1. By Kevin S on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Oddly, I feel this game is much more winnable than the SF game (even though we are underdogs by more points according to Vegas). Our offensive problems are huge and going up against a top defensive team scared me. Going up against an offensive juggernaut, not as much (kind of like the Patriots game).

  2. By clssylssy on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Of all the teams we’re playing this season I consider the Packers a worthy opponent. … Class organization. They know the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat (robbed by the NFL against the Seachickens witnessed by millions, chickens NFL/media darlings), Superbowl Champs, battling the same injury bug as most of the rest of us. If we can put pressure on Rogers we have a chance, cuz their O-line is nothing special and their defense isn;t as good as ours. Our Special Teams could be the defining factor. I believe in our team and this could be the time to regain our confidence and turn the corner. GO CARDS! FOCUS AND FLY HIGH…YOU CAN DO IT! *but watch out for Clay Matthews* 🙂

  3. By Oscar on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    if youre one the people who said, trade firs get out of this website, you guys are trash. Lets Go Cards and prove our own “Fans” wrong.

  4. By bean on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Turn out the lights! The party is over!

  5. By chad on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply


    Is Heap going to play?
    Is Toler going to play?
    Also this last week I saw at the start of the 49ers game that Floyd got the starting line-up W/Fits and Roberts. So does this mean he has offish-ally placed up Duocett?

  6. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Chad —

    RE: Heap/Toler

    They will be game-day decisions.

  7. By Jordan on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Clay Matthews has me real worried…

  8. By Chuck 1 on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    How many other fans noticed that the Cards are the biggest underdog in the NFL this weekend? They were an 11 point underdog in this morning’s paper.

    Why is that?
    Terrible OL.
    Below average QB.
    Average (at best) RB.
    Questionable secondary.
    Average (at best) coaching staff.

  9. By Credit Card on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    This is not a CSI murder mystery type crime to solve. The problem with the Cards is their offensive line. They are pathetic. The Cards would be very compeitive with an average offensive line, unstoppable with an above -average line. Imagine, they could control the clock, score, and put pressure on the other team’s offense. The list goes on … However, the coaches are convincing themselves they aren’t nearly as bad as what film shows.

  10. By CAJI on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, why don’t we run the ball with the fullback? Is Sherman hurt? Put him on running back and Maui as fullback I’m sure he can get two yards a carry 3 and 6 is better than 3 and 12. Also wr screen to Fitzgerald all day. 🙂

  11. By Darren Urban on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Caji —

    RE: FB

    Maui’a was released this week.

  12. By Jesus on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Why aren’t Miller and Gimm looking for a new job yet?

  13. By hotValleySun on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Go Cards

  14. By Rich on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    wish we had kolb

  15. By AzCardsFanatic on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    4-4 is still better than 2-6 from a year ago. This win would mean a lot, Cards could do it. GO CARDINALS!!!

  16. By Rio on Nov 2, 2012 | Reply

    Dear Mr Bilwell, some advice for you.

    Never hired an Engineer for anything but Engineering.

    I am sure someone must have told you tjhat Coach Wiz. is an Engineer.

    Good luck with your next coaching choice.

    Go Cards

  17. By clssylssy on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    You wish we had Kolb…I wish we had Todd Haley:) but, I notice I am not the only one! As far as being the underdog goes…the Cards have always played best when they were the underdogs. As long as you are checking out other teams, note we are still 4-4 while there are a lot of teams worse off than us including the Saints, who now have lost Darren Sproles to an injury to boot! I still think we should make Chris Ivory an offer since we could use a running back among other things and let the guys who have been shifted to cover the holes go back to playing their normal positions like the first of the season when we were hot. I still believe in our players and our coaches and look forward to being in Green Bay. Our fans could learn something from the Packer fans who are loyal through good times and bad. Maybe this will be the time we are able to turn a corner. I’ve about decided we play better away than at home because of our fair weather fan base who are brutal. GO CARDS! FLY HIGH! YOU STILL HAVE FANS WHO BELIEVE!

  18. By johnnybluenose on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    @Chuck 1….all of the above plus no sense of urgency on either side of the ball.

  19. By Hammy on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    Same story every single week. Until Coach Whiz makes a change on the O Line we will not win any games versus a good pass rushing team. Why is Heap still on our team???? I know why Baltimore released him, cause his body is breaking down fast and he cant stay healthy. We just seem to miss the mark week end and week out. No I dont believe we will beat the Packers. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best QB in the game and our Offense minus Fitz and Roberts, SUCKS! Anyways Go Cards! FIRE the ENTIRE COACHING STAFF ON OFFENSE! Whiz stop being loyal to GRIMM, he is not a good coach. I hope they read our post, maybe it will light a Fire up their butts! Maybe not?

  20. By Troy on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    This game could be an OT or just close because no one expects us to play them good. We will surprise this weekend. Just believe me. 31-24. Either way.

  21. By Mike Hadzinski on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    Blame Larry 4 O-line 100 mill plus Kolb 50 MILL & Floyd 5 Mill

    well 3 players 155 million Yep you GUYS OUT IN AZ ARE BLIND


    D Still waiting on you about My 3 gamers ????????? seems like your resources are weak

  22. By Darren Urban on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    Mike —

    RE: “Resources”

    You keep believing that.

  23. By DontTakeLoses on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    good blog post, go cards…

  24. By Scott H on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    Cardinals have not won in Green Bay since 1955. Wow. Did we even have color TV’s then??? Hard to imagine the Cardinals being competitive in this game. Seriously. If Alex Smith can complete 18 of 19 with 3 TD’s against us in Arizona…does anyone REALLY want to think what Aaron Rogers might do to us in HIS yard?

    Would like to be more optimistic but this team has shown NOTHING in the last 4 games that provides any reason for that. This is a loss, and probably a damn ugly one at that. Little reason to belive otherwise.

    Yes, I said the same thing before the game against the Pats. Hope they’ll prove me wrong again!

  25. By rodgerscromartie17 on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    this game will be no different then the last 5, no offensive play making, mild defense, 3 field goals at most, and if WERE LUCKY maybe p2wice will run a kick back or something

  26. By JR on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    We keep talking about the lack of a running game, but William Powell rushed for 70+ yards against Buffalo and hasn’t taken a snap since. He is getting good at taking a knee in the end zone on kick-offs, but that’s about it. He has proven he can run. Let him run.

  27. By exatraz on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    I wish I could watch the Pitt/ND game with Fitz and Floyd. Id be surprised if they were unaware of the game.

  28. By Bass-iCk on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    Look on the bright side… 4-12 gets good draft position… LOL

  29. By john the draft guy on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    I’ve got a feeling about this one. The Pack is banged up in the secondary.

    Yes Fitz gets his 100, but watch Roberts go off. I also believe our TE (Housler) has double the stats their TE (Finley) has.

    Dont know why. This team has truly been disappointing.

    But, Cards will win tomorrow

  30. By Dalyn T on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    Regardless of the numbers,I think we all should still support the Cardinals, I am a Native of AZ and now living in Illinois, 1 hour from the Soldierr Field and 3 hours from Lambeau Field and no matter how far we are, our team has and will always be the AZ Cardinals and my sons and I will wear our jersys proud at tomorrow’s game! Go Cards!!!!!

  31. By AndyStandsUp on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    There’s a rumor going around, supposedly from wife Brenda Bridges, Darren, that Jeremy Bridges has been/ will be released from the team to seek other opportunities.
    A.) Are you hearing fact or fiction?
    B.) Can you be outright released from IR and/or isn’t an injury settlement necessary?

  32. By Darren Urban on Nov 4, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Bridges

    Haven’t really checked, in part because JB is on IR and it wouldn’t impact the Cards in 2012.

    Any player would have to have an injury settlement to be released off IR, that is correct.

  33. By georgiebird on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    It’s a pretty bad situation when Alex Smith can complete 18 of 19 passes against our defense (the one incomplete being a drop).
    Yes, the offense has been awful but the defense has been pretty bad, too.
    The Cards defense once again got mauled in the 1st half giving up two legitimate TDs. If SF thought the Cards’ offense could rally in the 2nd half then SF could have scored over 40 against us.
    As a matter of fact, the Cards offense is making the Cards’ defense look good in a lot of ways- since the Cards offense can’t score our opponents take the “air out of the ball” at halftime making the final score look a lot more respectable.
    If there isn’t a proper evaluation of the Cards’ coaches and players, we will be on the bottom for a long time.
    And the defense is lousy, too. Somebody please take Horton -18 of 19 by Alex Smith is a disgrace- and you can’t blame that on the offense.

  34. By Brett on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    all everyone does on this website is complain…. Just stfu and support our team

    The offense is struggling because of unforseen injuries… DUH

    Whiz is great coach… think of where we were before he came here.

    I can agree with most of you tho, about how russ can’t develop line men

  35. By cardsalltheway on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    Why is it only you and me can see this or will say anything about it? AZ Cardinal pundits surely don’t, can’t 2nd guess Ken W. huh? After the Vikings game I thought William Powell would’ve gotten some carries but I guess it’s the same old story with Ken W. who seems to be blind at good talent while ignoring OL draft talent for 4 years.

    I thought the duo RB system was the NFL trend but I guess Ken W. isn’t a trendy kind of guy. It’s better to use one single RB(among the smallest in the NFL) in LSH against one of the best rushing defenses vs. THE worst OL. What fantastic game planning decision makers the Cardinals have if I do say so myself. After a productive duo RB game in Minnesota we quit running after using 1 running back(LSH) carrying the ball 8 times. Quitters!

  36. By in fitz we trust on Nov 3, 2012 | Reply

    we were supposed to win, but seem to never shake history.

    no matter what we do, the outcome will still be the same.

  37. By Evan on Nov 4, 2012 | Reply

    The only thing the Cards will be stealing are towels
    from the hotel they’re staying in tonight. Thanks for
    trying to stay positive Darren, but Sunday’s game
    will be more lopsided than Courtney Love on a
    Comedy Central roast (and twice as easy). Hope
    I’m wrong, but a Big Dinner Box says I’m not. Bet?

  38. By MIKE G on Nov 4, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is well! The Cards D has to have a big effort today for us the steal this game. The Card’s just have to stay close as the game goes on. The Card’s need 2 turnovers and have to be efficient on offense. This would be a great win before the bye. Cards must win on defense and special teams to take this game. Im hoping Whiz during the week challenged the offense–hoping Hypen can get loose on some plays this afternoon. I think the Card’s will bounce back and play tough–just hope they have enough horses to get it done. Lets see what happens–Card’s need a win in Lambeau before the bye!!! Darren–Do you think Horton stressed tackling and wrapping up to the defense in practice this week???? That aspect of the D needs to improve this week!

  39. By brad oneill on Nov 4, 2012 | Reply

    this is what I see- SKelton has been less mobile than usual with his ankle, He is much more comfortable when he can step and throw with confidence. I dont know if his ankle is any better now than it was last week or the week before but if he cant throw we have to go to the number 3. not because he is a savior or because he is great, but so we have a chance. The coaches on this team play hurt players thinking they will get something extra out of them. they did it with paris lenon when Bradley would have been the far better choice. They may not have the best skills but at least they can fight.

  40. By Chuck 1 on Nov 4, 2012 | Reply

    Fans wonder why Powell isn’t on the field except for kickoff returns???

    Maybe it’s because he was primarily responsible for Kolb’s injury, which has kept him out of the lineup until ????????????? i.e. does he know where he should be on the plays???

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