A massive swing and a few final tidbits

Posted by Darren Urban on December 17, 2012 – 4:45 pm

As I was driving to work this morning, it occurred to me that there can’t be too many times when a team undergoes the kind of score swing from one week to the next that the Cardinals had these past two weeks. After losing in Seattle, 58-0, they beat the Lions, 38-10. That’s a swing margin of 86 points. So, with a hat tip to media relations stats guru Mike Helm, Elias was able to confirm that it was the biggest swing from week to week since 1968.

That year, the Lions opened the season with a 59-13 loss in Dallas and then followed up with a 42-0 home win over the Bears — a swing of 88 points. From blown out to blowout. The first part of that isn’t ideal, but better than back-to-back losses. (It actually happens more than I thought. The Giants blew out the Saints, 52-27, last week and then lost, 34-0, to the Falcons this week. Not in the same points ballpark, but the same concept.)

— Speaking of media relations mavens, VP Mark Dalton noted the last time safety Rashad Johnson scored a touchdown before Sunday was when he returned an interception for a 54-yard score while playing for Alabama Nov. 8, 2008 in a win at LSU. You know who also had a pick-6 in that game? LSU freshman Patrick Peterson. Too bad Peterson could complete the circle of life when he stumbled at the end of his interception return Sunday.

— Punter Dave Zastudil has 38 punts downed inside the 20-yard line with two games to go. He is on pace to eclipse the NFL record of 42, held by three players, including the Cards’ Ben Graham in 2009. Zastudil has been fantastic this season. Of course, he isn’t even leading the league, since Kansas City’s Dustin Colquitt already has 41 downed inside the 20. It’s a race to the finish!

— The 25.5 sacks of defensive end Calais Campbell in his career already puts him in the top 10 in franchise history. I don’t know if he’s ever going to reach the top — Freddie Joe Nunn’s 66 is a long way away, especially for a 3-4 end — but if he stays consistent there is no reason to think Campbell doesn’t at least double his total over the next three seasons.

— The Cards flip-flopped their Saturday roster move, releasing defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin — they must expect Dan Williams and/or Ronald Talley back this week — and re-signing guard/center Mike Gibson.


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30 Responses to “A massive swing and a few final tidbits”

  1. By hotValleySun on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    D is reals. Kudos to the entire group. Special teams are doing a good job.

    Darren, Do you know who called the every down offensive plays in the game against Lions. Ken W or Mike Miller?

  2. By Darren Urban on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    HotValley –

    RE: play calling

    Don’t know for sure. Have no reason to think Miller lost it right now.

  3. By Scott H on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Myself, I’m not really all that psyched about meaningless wins – meaningless in terms of where we are going this season – BUT I will be happy for the players who at least got to put their heads on the pillow last night after a win instead of a 10th loss in a row. I would imagine that, emotionally, it takes a helluve toll on you after awhile. They deserve to exhale and enjoy this one.

    But I have not one ounce of happiness / joy / relief for Whisenhunt or the organization. They created this mess and they get no reprieve from me. As far as I am concerned, the players won this game DESPITE the lousy job done by the aforementioned parties.

  4. By MIKE G on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren– Nice article on the massive point swing from week to week. The biggest one game swing I remember involving the Cards was 1981. They lost to the Eagles at home 52-10 during the end of the Jim Hart era in ST Louis. They just drafted Neil Lomax that year and decided to start him the next week and they went on to beat the Bills at home 24-0 – that was the biggest I remembered beside yesterday. Hey Darren–Speaking of the Pro Bowl– at this point with 2 games left – who do you see as worthy players making that team????? I only see one—Darryl Washington!!!!!

  5. By Darren Urban on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: pro bowl

    Peterson has a shot.

  6. By Andy Kw on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    This team has a true shot next season as long as they find some strong offensive weapons and some good Defensive Line people:
    Roster remains for next season:
    -QB: Kevin Kolb, John Skelton(3)
    -FB: Anthony Sherman
    -RB: Beanie Wells, LaRod Stephens-Howling
    -WR: Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd, Early Doucet, LaRon Byrd
    -TE: Rob Housler, Jeff King
    -C: Lyle Sendlein
    -OG: Daryn Colledge, Adam Snyder, Senio Kelemete
    -OT: Levi Brown, Bobbie Massie, Nate Potter
    -DE: Calais Campbell
    -DT: Darnell Dockett, Nick Eason
    -NT: Dan Williams, David Carter
    -LB: Daryl Washington, Sam Acho, O’Brien Schofield, Paris Lenon, Reggie Walker
    -CB: Patrick Peterson, William Gay, Greg Toler, Jamell Fleming, Michael Adams
    -FS: Kerry Rhodes, Justin Bethel
    -SS: Rashad Johnson, Adrian Wilson
    -K: Jay Feely
    -P: Dave Zastudil
    -LS: Mike Leach
    -Players that have to go by seasons end including injury reserve: LB Stewart Bradley, LB Zach Nash, C Rich Ohrnberger, QB Ryan Lindley, TE Jim Dray, RB Alfonso Smith, C Ryan Bartholomew, T D’Anthony Batiste, OL Blake DeChristopher, TE Kory Sperry, DE Ronald Talley, LB Brandon Williams
    -Players that are questionable: S James Sanders, RB Ryan WIlliams, LB Quentin Groves, RB William Powell, T Pat McQuistan, DE Vonnie Holliday, QB Brian Hoyer (I want Hoyer and Skelton to fight for a backup role)
    -Players to evaluate in free agency: CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, QB Charlie Batch
    -Draft: QB, LB, DT, RB
    #1 QB:
    #2 LB:
    #3 RB:
    #4 DT
    #5 WR
    #6 TE
    #7 DE
    (Extra Picks: CB, S)
    (I hope Peterson gets his goal of 10 picks by the end of the season, Daryl Washington gets 10sacks, and Larry Fitzgerald gets a 100yd game before the season end.)

  7. By PotAsh on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply


    On a completely unrelated note, how is Ryan Williams’s recovery coming along. I haven’t seen any news regarding him recently.


  8. By Darren Urban on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Pot —

    RE: Ryan Williams

    He gets treatment all the time. Assume he is doing fine. Have not asked.

  9. By Chuck 1 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Scott H,

    You’re comments are reading a lot like mine. LOL

    But, you are right on.

    As I’ve written several times, I have no faith that Graves, Keim and Whiz will draft and sign FA players who will enable the Cards to end the funk that they’re in.

    In a case of “I TOLD YOU SO”, my prediction before the season was 6-10 or, at best 7-9. And, I was blasted for it. Maybe I was too optimistic. LOL again.

  10. By Chuck 1 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Andy Kw,

    You have to be kidding.
    Seven draft picks and NO OL?
    You retain Snyder. You ARE aware of his VERY low rating compared with other OGs in the NFL, aren’t you?
    And, Senio Kelemete has been fantastic this season. LMAO

  11. By frustrated on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t understand why they have not fired Whiz yet.

  12. By Cheese on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply


    How much are the Cardinals still under the salary cap this year and have there been any discussions with Kerry Rhodes about getting him signed to an extension… and if not, why do you think that is?


  13. By Darren Urban on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: Cap/Rhodes

    I have not see recent cap numbers, although I’d guesstimate having about $5M of room. That’s just a guess.

    I do not believe there have been talks with Rhodes as of now. He’s under contract for 2013, so I don’t know if it’s something that has to be done now.

  14. By jason marcus on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Hey does anyone think we should also grab Alex Smith and a top qb pick? Bottom line we are 1 good qb away from playoffs last 2 yrs , let Kolb go please, I like the guy but he’s always hurt and now again so are our chances for playoffs.

  15. By HunterSThompson on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Andy Kw – I’m sorry, but your 2013 roster and draft process for the Cardinals are fatally flawed. Skelton will not be here, and I highly doubt Kevin Kolb will even play another game in the NFL if that injury heals badly. Even if he can play, it is highly doubtful the Cards bring him back without a major contract renegotiation. No way Ryan Lindley gets cut, regardless of how his rookie season goes.

    You then have the Cards drafting a QB in round one with NO good first-round prospects coming out, and you do not have them drafting a SINGLE O-lineman. You want them to cut Stewart Bradley, but draft a LB in the 2rd round? Followed by RB, DT,WR and TE ?????

    Does any of this sound familiar? Yup – it is EXACTLY the “plan” that Graves and Whiz have used for the past 3 years, with the unbalanced mess we see before us as the result. Not gonna cut it this time…

  16. By stevedco on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Andy – We have no QB. Skelton won’t be back. Lindley may but as 3rd string QB. Kolb may but only if he takes a pay cut.

    This is why Graves must go. The position has been botched since he got here. He got lucky with Warner. 49ers and Hawks have starting QBs that the Cardinals could have drafted.

    At the end of the day the 1st 4 games showed with avergae QB play this team can be good. The problem is Skelton and Lindley aren’t average. Kolb could be but has shown in here and in Philly he can’t stay on the field.

  17. By georgiebird on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Interesting article on point swings. Cards are very good at Jeckyl and Hyde performances- the last two weeks are amazing but very comparable to what the Super Bowl Giants just went thru- so it can happen to anyone.
    A theory on the Cards is that they play ok when the pace of the game is slowed down. While the Lions have a few good players, Matt Stafford has regressed to the point where he has become a major disappointment. One of the major shortcomings of the Cardinals’ defense is that from the neck up they are no match for the better QBs. The effort may be there against the good QBs but confusion, stupid penalties and blown assignments are very evident in those games- but good QBs have that ability to create havoc. And the more I see of the NFL, it’s a lot less about power and strength and a lot more about intelligence and deception.

  18. By hotValleySun on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Since cards moved to desert they had 6 non-losing seasons. 4 of them under Whiz. I know he made mistakes but you want this guy fired? I understand it is tough to keep perspective with other NFC West teams improving almost unbelievably!

    So you fire Whiz and get who? Any of you think popular coaching names like Gruden, Cowher, Reid, Nick Saban, Chip Kelly want to coach the cardinals without a QB? Fair or not, given the cards history no established coach is going to coach this team.

    Whiz is the best Cards ever had.

    Whiz fixed defense by bringing in Horton.He recruited Haley before super bowl run. Scouted and brought most of the defensive players on this team who are playing lights out the past 1 and 1/2 season

    On the offense Whiz mucked it up the past three years.And injuries didn’t help. I agree some checks and balances needs to be put on Whiz’s complete authority over player selection. Beyond that firing Whiz is perfect recipe to going back to same old cards

  19. By Dynosoar on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Chuck 1,

    well I won’t get to say I told you so. I predicted 12-4. Perhaps I was just a year off, we’ll see how the offseason goes, but until then…

    Go Cards! Two more wins. Let’s see what happens if the 49ers lose their next two games, or at least their last one.

  20. By Dynosoar on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    And whoever is QB, instead of having faith that two defensive players can keep Fitzgerald from getting the ball, have faith that Fitzgerald will get the ball and throw it to him. Whoever’s calling the plays, call plays for Fitzgerald to score a touchdown or three each game.

    He’s among the best in the league, let’s treat him as such. our opponents give him the respect of double coverage, let’s give him the respect of throwing him the ball.

  21. By Scharf on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    @Andy Kw,

    The moment you said Skelton remains on the roster but Lindley is cut, is where you totally lost me. Seriously? You want the Cardinals to keep a struggling Skelton, but cut Lindley who has shown more potential then Skelton (who let me add, has had three years in this system.) Keeping Kolb is going to happen as long as he renegotiates his contract, and there are no QB’s who can come in and start right away. (Even Kurt Warner struggled his first year in this system.)

    Also, I would like to better understand your thinking here. You want us to go after, of all the quarterbacks, a 38-year old nobody, who has thrown for just as many touchdowns as interceptions. Why not give Favre a call at this point? Bradshaw is another QB I think the Cardinals would be interested in under your line of thinking.

  22. By Scharf on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply


    Even if the Cardinals had gotten Peyton Manning, he would probably be on IR at this point. You can’t expect your starting QB to undergo 30+ hits a game without some sort of repercussions. The offensive line was the problem, not Kolb. Now that we have a decent line again (which is great because we have 2 rookies that could be here awhile.) I can see Kolb doing great things for us. He is smart with the football, and has pretty good accuracy. The so called hero Skelton couldn’t muster a passing touchdown to save his life and is still making mistakes after being here for three years.

  23. By Stuart Boswell on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply


    No QB’s who can come in and start right away?
    Rober Griffin
    Andrew Luck
    Cam Newton (last year)
    Russell Wilson
    Andy Dalton

    NFLs changed we need Whiz gone and his ways of not playing rookies hell redskins found a franchise QB and RB in rounds 1 and 6 respectively and thats because Kyle Shanahan fixes the offense to his layers strengths. Whiz is the problem as well as Graves and every single offensive coach employed. However Whiz’s biggest problem is he can’t fire his friends (Russ) look at John Harbaugh he fired his OC when his teams clinched a playoff spot showing its business before friendship which Whiz has never demonstrated.

  24. By philly cards 1994- on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Andy kw he must be writting his posts infront of whiz.keep everybody huh?

    Its not whiz that gave us 4 non losing seasons its the money and the staduim. Being a fan previous to whiz and the stadium you never lose sight of that.

    Kolb can’t stay on the field because he was sharing snaps with losers. If kolb was the number one all summer maybe the line has more continuity.but whiz could not scheme for the blitzes with poor line so he blames kolb.

    I’m just waiting for change

  25. By Scott H on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Chuck 1 –

    I think we have disagreed in the past and exchanged some less then pleasant words, but we are clearly on the same page right now. I’m with ya, man. And I don’t care who or how many think my / our thoughts are negative. I am / have been rooting for losses because I am trying to look AHEAD and at the BIGGER picture. I’m hoping for better things down the road. What good does a win against a bad Lions team late in a lost season do us??? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. That is an all-too familiar scenario that i am SOOOOO tired of. To the people that want to get psyched about that, I can only ask WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SO HAPPY ABOUT??? One meaningless win in the last 10 games and I’m supposed to be grateful for that??? No. Sorry, but that is the mindset of person who has accepted losing as OK. I say that because that was me for the longest time.

    Well, ya know what? No more. I will not lower my expectations and go back to that way of thinking. Being in and almost winning a SB just a few years ago has raised my expectations and that is where they will stay. I will not go back to accepting losing as the status quo. Anyone wants to think of me as negative for taking that attitude, go right ahead. But to quote Mike Singletary, I WANT WINNERS. And I will not be satisfied until this team brings itself back up to the level that I, as a fan, SHOULD expect.

  26. By Scott H on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Andy kw –

    Man, how can you possibly believe that having Kolb and Skelton back next year at QB will be OK? C’mon,…don’t you think we have to be setting our sights just a little bit higher than that??? That is what we HAVE had and the results speak for themselves. That is just doing the same thing(s) over and over and expecting different results. They say that is the definition of insanity but I believe it is actually a much better definition of stubborness, foolishness, and maybe even stupidity. I’m not directing those words at you…just asking that you check your own expectations.

    I see where you put QB as the top priority in the draft. OK, makes sense. But since there may not be a true stud QB available this year, that may not be enough. They may need to try to land a veteran, either via FA or a trade. There are no real guarantees there, either. But I might put Alex Smith or Joe Flacco at the top of that list. And if this team is going to go that route, then Kolb has to go. because they can’t keep paying him AND pay someone else, too.

    And, dude…..Charlie Batch? Really?????????????? Heck, why not Steve DeBerg if we’re gonna bring in someone that old?

    And DRC??? Again, why??????? Have ya been paying any attention to how BAD he has been in Philly? The man is no more than an average CB. What do we need with one of those, especially at what he might cost?

  27. By Jay Green on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    And keep in mind, the Saints in turn won 41-0 after getting blown out, and even bigger swing than the Giants game.

  28. By Troy on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Wow! You folks kill me. Are you truly a CARDINALS fan? I can not believe most of you. I was born in St Louis. I followed a loser all the way out here. I live for cards red. I feel for these guys. You think that Larry asked for someone not to throw him the ball? Do you think that Skelton or Lindley would throw into double coverage? Have you ever been a QB? In any league? I have. It is NOT that easy.

    For next year, let’s get our needs filled. OL. QB. RB is Beanie going to make it? He’s hurt all of the time and no one says get rid of him. I agree, Whiz needs to name starters at especially the key position (QB) before Spring Training. Ride him till he falls.

    Old quote for the uppers in this organization: “If you always do what you’ve always done; You’ll always get what you’ve always got”. Hope that helps in planning for next season.

    Who is calling the shots? Important…

    Go Cards. I’m riding the waves with all of you. Lol

  29. By brad oneill on Dec 19, 2012 | Reply

    has a family ever felt less love than the skeltons ?

  30. By johnnybluenose on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Andy Kw. i have to assume you were joking about getting charlie batch as a back-up next year. and as far as i know he has already announced that he will retire at the end of this season.

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