Who we thought they were

Posted by Darren Urban on December 20, 2012 – 9:20 am

Hard to believe this Sunday will be the first time since 2006 that the Bears have visited University of Phoenix Stadium.

“You know, I’m getting up in age … it’s hard for me to remember some things,” Bears coach Lovie Smith deadpanned, “but I do remember we came back and were able to win a big game out there.”

We won’t go over every detail — especially since I’ve done it before — but needless to say, that evening lives in infamy, at least around here. The defense dominated, and while the offense made crucial turnovers, everything that could go exactly wrong did for the Cards on a night where that was the only way the Bears were going to win.

The team coming in this year is in a much different place. That 2006 Bears team was 5-0 and later appeared in the Super Bowl. This year’s squad was 7-1 and is now 8-6, scrambling to make the playoffs and possibly save Smith’s job. The Cards, meanwhile, have just three players left on the roster from that long-ago evening: Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett and Adrian Wilson (pictured here emoting against the Bears during the better part of that night.)

UPDATE: Here’s some Fitz — who was inactive that night and didn’t play — on the subject: “I remember everything about it. That was a rough one. We had ’em.” Someone said “Were they who you thought they were?” Fitz smiled. “I’m not going to touch that. You know I love Denny Green. I’m not going to touch that.”

(An aside — the Cards started in a four-receiver set that night: Anquan Boldin, Bryant Johnson, Troy Walters and Carlyle Holiday.)

Times change. The Cards are a lot different than even the last time these teams met, a 41-21 Cardinals’ thrashing of the Bears in Chicago in 2009 when Kurt Warner sliced-and-diced Smith’s Cover 2. Now, we’re talking about Wilson’s future now, and even if the Bears make the postseason I don’t think anyone is expecting them to topple the NFC’s best and make it to another Super Bowl.

And I’m guessing, regardless of what happens, we won’t see a Ken Whisenhunt version of this, either.


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Posted in Blog | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Who we thought they were”

  1. By Safety Guy on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply


    Thanks for the memory.

    Has Hoyer practiced this week? If so, how does he look? Any chance we might see him play Sunday

  2. By Darren Urban on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Safety —

    RE: Hoyer

    He has practiced. No reporting allowed on practice. As for Sunday, we’ll see. Lindley is going to start. Whiz has to keep Hoyer active first.

  3. By Travis on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Ahh yes…
    Funny how one of my favorite memories is after another Cardinals loss. I miss Denny sometimes

  4. By D on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    That was a crazy game, remember going and was more shocked AZ was up by so much and not as shocked as blowing the lead. This chart shows me that AZ should resign Mr. Feely for next year.

    Rank Kicker Team Inside 40 40-49 50+ Pct.
    12 Steven Hauschka Seahawks 18-18 3-3 1-4 88.0
    13 Jay Feely Cardinals 12-13 7-9 2-2 87.5
    29 Greg Zuerlein Rams 7-9 7-7 7-12 75.0
    30 David Akers 49ers 18-20 6-10 1-5 71.4

  5. By john the draft guy on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply


    Maybe we can turn the tables around on them and score 2 defensive TDs and PP can run a punt back? Of course it would not be complete unless they had a last second FG missed too.

  6. By Darren Urban on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: Turnaround

    Obviously unlikely, but given who the Cards bring to the table, totally plausible — which is weird. Would be the easiest story I have ever written.

  7. By MIKE G on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is well! I think this is a dangerous game for the Bears. They are struggling and the Cards D should keep them in the game. I want to see a similar game plan by the Card’s just like last week. The Bears D is good and the Card’s must not turn it over.
    I kind of see a low scoring game but you never know. The Bears O-Line has been a weak point! Darren– Do you think the Card’s D line can get to Cutler consistently this week especially with Campbell back???

  8. By Darren Urban on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Cutler pressure

    The Bears do have a struggling offensive line, yes.

  9. By john the draft guy on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Unfortunately , it is plausible for our QBs to turn over the ball 5 or was it 6 times like Grossman did.
    Very weird how it could line up.

  10. By Scott H on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    What a night…I remember being SOOOOO frustrated watching the Cardinals lose this game in slow motion. You could see it coming. The announcers saw it coming. It seemed inevitable. I remember how, early on, the Cardinals were ATTACKING the Bears and they moved the ball and scored at will. But then…it just seemed like the Cardinals wanted to try to run and hide for the rest of the night and, well, we all saw how that went. They kept trying to pound the ball with the Edge and he just kept running right into a wall at the line of scrimmage. His stat line was one of THE most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen, something like 55 carries for 70-some yards.

    And as we kept trying to hide, the Bears just kept chipping away. The punt return killed us and Rackers missing the FG at the end was the nail in the coffin.

    I remember how visibly pissed off Leinart was on the sidelines and I really liked that about him at the time. The way he played in that game early on may have been the best he ever played as a Cardinal. I didn’t blame him for being pissed that they basically took the ball out of his hands after that.

    I felt – and STILL feel – that if the Cardinals had stayed aggressive and kept attacking, they would not only have beaten the Bears that that night, they may have blown them out. It was a game that should have gotten someone fired the next day. And it did!

  11. By clssylssy on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Wow…what a night! One minute we were yukking it up with the Bears fans in front of us and they were buying beer rounds for us then we were pooling our money to buy beer for them and they wiped us out! …THEN came the infamous pressor afterwards that was harder to live down than the loss…roflmao! …seems like a lifetime ago, but, if this team is still riding the wave from last week we could rewrite our own ending. The Cards defense is killer and our interception rating is pretty intimidating. If we pound Cutler like we did Stafford he is wildly inaccurate when rattled. Patrick Peterson will have another shot to prove he is the best corner in the league, this time against Brandon Marshall! I know my guys can do it…GO CARDS!

  12. By Nor cal cards fan on Dec 20, 2012 | Reply

    Who the hell takes the 3rd game of the preseason like it’s bullsh%t..?

  13. By C on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    Of course we wouldn’t get a “passion podium” out of Whiz. We’d get the same old “gosh, it’s disappointing.. we’ve sure gosh golly got to play better. We’re going to look at some things..”

    That’s what happens when you have a vanilla coach and the softest media ever in a four-sport marketplace.

    Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go “look at some things”. Merry Christmas!

  14. By bluepitt on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    Hat darren, what is up with dennys logo on that shirt in the vid? it is backwards?

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