Spoiler alert

Posted by Darren Urban on December 21, 2012 – 9:37 am

The playoffs are a long-ago dream, but the Cardinals still can have a hand in it. This week, the Bears — reeling as they are — come to town losers of 5 of their last six after a 7-1 start. Once the playoffs seemed a foregone conclusion. But if Minnesota pulls off an upset in Houston in an early game Sunday, then the Cardinals would eliminate the Bears from the postseason if they can beat Jay Cutler’s crew.

“In order for us to be relevant, we have to win,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “This time of year everybody knows what has to happen for their football team. We are aware of the path we have to take.”

The Cards actually could be in position to do some damage in both the final two games. In the finale at San Francisco, the 49ers could have something on the line. If the Niners lose in Seattle this weekend, they could actually lose the division title the following week if the Cards won. Even if the Niners clinch this weekend by toppling the Seahawks, San Francisco will likely have a chance to clinch a first-round bye on the line in the final week.

What’s amazing is the difference a week makes. The Lions, playing poorly, came into University of Phoenix Stadium as the favorite last week because the Cardinals were on their nine-game losing streak. Now, it seems, many believe the Cardinals have a good shot to knock off the Bears and cripple their playoff chances. At this point, it’s what the Cards have to play for.


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29 Responses to “Spoiler alert”

  1. By William Barry on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    Even though we won’t make the playoffs, I love this team—we have good players, we just have to find the right QB…the defense has played really well, let us make sure we keep Ray Horton, and let’s start off the next season with two more wins to end this season!!!!!! We can do it!!!! GO Cards!!!!

    Happy Holidays to everybody in the Cardinals organization

  2. By D on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    If Lindley is the only QB from this roster back next year, I could see a Matt Moore being signed here until a draft pick QB is ready…..

  3. By Kevin S on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    Things change very quickly in the NFL. So many of us (myself included) were thinking playoffs after our 4-0 start… but imagine starting off 7-1 and potentially being on the outside looking in, with two road games to finish off the season (albeit against teams with a combined 9 wins). Looking forward to this game. Not expecting anything much from our offense, as usual… our ability to stay in the game will likely depend on turnovers. If we’re turning it over, we likely get blown out; if we can force a few, maybe we get a W.

  4. By ndpenner on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    I hope we can finish 7-9 and save some face. If that happens, we’re 1 missed field goal away from the same place we were last year. We still have something to build off of. If we could just keep our QB (whoever the heck he ends up being next season) on his feet we could be competitive wth any team on any given day.

  5. By joe67 on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    That could be, but I look for Rivers, Garcia or Flaco. They all need a change of scenery. No one will WANT to come unless we get an O-line and running game.

    Merry Christmas everyone


  6. By john the draft guy on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply


    I think you mean Alex Smith. I dont think Jeff Garcia plays anymore.

    Ozzie Newsome is one of the best GMs in the NFL. I would love to pick his brain about Flacco. The Ravens will need to pull out a huge contract for Flacco. But what is his value? Do they let him test the waters to determine his value? Slap the franchise tag on him and draft a QB just in case? Or just get the deal done. What ever happens, I am sure Ozzie has a plan.

    As for Rivers, he and Smith are under contract and would take a trade. I’m not trading for smith but if Rivers hits the trade market, I would hand over 2 first rounders before the first day of trading.

    Beating the Bears would make my year. We, as card fans, have suffered through a tough year . But for me, beating the bears would make things better.

  7. By cobra on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply


    I agree on Rivers. I would hope we wouldn’t give up two #1s though. If a trade were to happen, it may come down to draft day depending on which team is drafting higher. You never know with the Chargers or the Cards!

  8. By D on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    Cards won’t get into a bidding war with the Jets or any other team for Alex Smith when he gets released. (no team will trade for him. )
    Flacco will be franchised if a deal is not done. No one else is better in the draft or in free agency.
    Rivers isn’t going anywhere. SD can’t move their franchise QB because instead of 3/4 full stadium, they would have 1/2 full stadium. Plus, their new coach, Andy Reid will sell the owner on making Rivers a top 10 QB again.

  9. By D on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    Another offseason scenario-
    Graves is kept as the contract person, but Keim is given GM title and duties.
    Whiz is back as HC but has to change the OL and OC coaches
    Horton is given a “bump” with Assist HC title with the D coordinator.
    Cards finish at the 9th pick overall in draft and are unable to move down in the draft.
    They make a call to Oakland. The Raiders need DT’s badly. (both Kelly and Seymore will probably be gone.) Cards offer Dockett in exchange for a 3rd round pick.

    Cards then do the following.
    1st round pick –Manti Te’o ILB
    2nd round pick—Landry Jones QB
    3rd round pick—Travis Fredrick G
    3rd round pick– Devin Taylor DE
    4th round pick– Duke Williams SS
    5th round pick—Etienne Sabino OLB
    6th round pick—Cody Hoffman WR

    In free agency, Cards sign Mike Goodson, RB , J. Cook TE, Casey Hampton NT and Matt Moore QB.
    Cards resign: Groves, Eason, R. Johnson, G. Toler, Feely, Lennon
    Let go: Kolb, Skelton, Hyphen, Doucet, Bradley, Gay, Holliday and A. Wilson.
    (would be tough to see the D without Dockett andWilson but this business does
    Take age and salary into consideration for each offseason. )

  10. By Kevin S on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    D —

    I have to say, I am amazed (and I don’t mean that in a pejorative way, just in a “you guys have a lot of time on your hands” way — I used to be that way about baseball) at all of you who spend time projecting this far out what might happen in the draft. It’d be cool to get Te’o and Jones with the 9th pick in the first 2 rounds but we don’t even know where we’ll be drafting or if those guys will still be around. But I’m going to say that if we draft 9th we don’t get Te’o. He will be gone by then I think. Also, as cool as it would be to have Te’o, I don’t really want to be holding teams to 7 points like we did against the Jets and still lose. Isn’t our #1 priority by far fixing the problems on offense (which starts with the O-line and/or QB). Pass protection seems to have gotten better but we still have no running game and I think better is a relative term; we’re still not good. I don’t watch much college FB and don’t read up on this stuff the way you and John the draft guy do, but everything I’ve read says Joeckel is the best offensive lineman in this draft (and some think maybe the best player period). If he’s available don’t we grab him? Mock drafts I’ve seen show him being available around when we pick.

  11. By Kevin S on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    Well, now I’ve looked at a few more sites and most of those have Joeckel going much earlier as well — often to the Eagles who at this point would pick before us.

  12. By Mark in Chandler on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    I think some of your scenario is plausible but some of the draft ideas are not at value. Here is how I see it, and hope it.

    Whiz stays but will bring in either Norv Turner or another well established OC. Hortin will get asst coach pay and New OC will probably bring in new coaching staff on the offensive side. He will bring new energy to offense

    FA QBs: Alex Smith will be cut after the 49ers try and shop him. Then a bidding war may start with KC, Oakland, and NY Jets competing with the Cards. In the ideal world the Cards use Fitzgeralds pull and sign Smith for several years with a 10-12 mil cap hit. A legitimate starting QB would turn this team into a legitimate contender.

    Buffalo will cut Fitzpatrick after they sign Vick. Cassell will find a back up job after KC cuts him. Fitzpatrick would be interested in coming to AZ because he is a Mesa boy. Carson Palmer will likely be on the street after Oakland lands or drafts a QB.

    I would not touch Matt Moore. Kolb or Fitzpatrick would be better options.

    Cards may cut Kolb and let him hit the open market ala Brown and then resign him with good back-up money. i.e. 3-5 mil, less if they have signed Smith. Hopefully they win the Smith sweepstakes and carry both of them, but if not then Kolb will have to be the immediate future. Fitzpatrick might be brought in as a healthy version of Kolb.

    Draft: No QB worth drafting will be there in the 1st round so they will drop down (hopefully) and pick up an extra 2nd.
    1st: LG Chance Womack or OT Jake Matthews, Matt Lewan, or maybe even Eric Fisher
    2nd: OLB Ziggy Ansah (He is a stud in the making)
    2nd: QB Ryan Nassib, Matt Barkley, Mike Glennon or EJ Manuel

    Options start to get conveluded the further you get but I would look for DL depth, TE, RB, SS, ILB and maybe even a kicker- crazy I know.


  13. By D on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t agree with all of the “Experts” on the draft sites that say AZ needs to take a OT in round 1. AZ has Levi Brown under contract next year at Lft Tackle. R. Massie is playing better at RT. AZ also has Potter who either can be the swing backup Tackle next year or move him into the Lft G spot if possible. This team needs a young Right G next year. Plenty of options at G in the draft. Warmack, Jones, Fredrick any of them would be an upgrade.

    The Cap will be the issue. If they release or trade Kolb, Dockett and Wilson, that is alot of dead space under the cap. No way they could also release L. Brown to add to the dead money.

  14. By Goodz in PHX 17 on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    D, you are indeed dumb if you really think the Cards would ever send Dockett to Oakland for a 3rd round pick…. I mean sending cromartie and a 2nd round pick for kevin kolb was dumb, but that idea is even more stupid, may god have mercy on your soul……

  15. By D on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    32 yr old DT with a high salary doesn’t generate alot of return compensation.
    I would rather keep Dockett instead of creating another spot to fill. It will come down to if Whiz is the HC next year and if Dockett and Whiz can break bread or not. It doesn’t look good that they are not talking.

  16. By Scott H on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    ndpenner –

    RE: I hope we can save some face and finish 7-9. If that happens, we’re only 1 missed FG away from where we were last year.

    Yeah…except for that little 9 game losing streak.

    I don’t know, maybe it really is me that doesn’t get it. But when I hear people hoping for 7-9, I just want to scream. Because when you are HOPING for a record that is still a LOSING record….WHERE ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS?????

    I’ve been a fan since the late 70’s. In years gone by, I would be right there, hoping for 7-9, too, if that was the best we could do. But ya know what, folks? I guess I’ve just come to see how pathetic that really is. So, right or wrong, good or bad, foolish or smart, I’m not bringing my expectations back down to where they used to be just because it is an accepted status quo.

    I’m keeping my expextations up to where I expect WINNING reocrds and post-season appearances. It’s about time I expected my team to meet MY expectations instead of me settling for 7-9. I’d say that three decades of losing is enough, wouldn’t you?

    But if 7-9 really makes you happy, then…have a ball.

    Is anyone else out there with me on this???

  17. By Scott H on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    Spoiler…..hmmmm…is that just another way of saying that your season is over?

  18. By Cactus jeff on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    Silly silly Goodz,
    Oh yes the cards would. They are clueless.

  19. By NJAzCardsFan on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    There is no way Lindley should be in the NFL…. He is horrible. I can see all 3 Cards QB’s gone next year. The Cards need to revamp the whole offense from the top down, which is stating the obvious…….

  20. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    Playing the spoiler role again !!!!!!. I’ve been a Cardinal fan since St.Louis so I guess you can say I am used to us playing to spoiler role. But with a new season comes new hope. The O line and QB play really took a toll of our team this year. Let hope ownership and management can make the right moves in the off season to get the chemistry right on the offense. A new Offensive Coordinator and O-Line coach are dearly needed. But I think Whiz is loyal to Grimm so I want Whiz’s head on a platter as well. Maybe wishful thinking. But at the end of the day, I would love to see us finish strong and start fresh next year. I hate to say it, but Whiz could learn a few things from Harbaugh. He should be taking nots as much as the Niners have been in our ass lately. Can I say it any louder. I HATE LOSING TO THE NINERS. I hate losing period. So hopefully we can pull of and upset of the Bears becuase going to SF and winning is probably highly unlikely.

  21. By Campbells on Dec 21, 2012 | Reply

    With such a weak QB draft coming up, it’s not likely all these QB’s will be available. Knowing our history, we’ll give up the farm for an underachiever.
    First round will be best available (period).
    After that, speculate all you want.
    If Whiz stays, who cares what the Cards do!!!

  22. By jason marcus on Dec 22, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah people 7-9 is so ass , might as well pull the plug on the season and play for drafts, 7-9 is the same as 5-11 in football we need to clean up in the draft fire some coaches,and make some trades…….nuff said MERRY CHRISTMAS FELLOW FANS!

  23. By Jesus on Dec 22, 2012 | Reply

    Really, Cards playing spoiler!

    although they won last week, the offense still did nothing!

    It was a fun game to watch, I love my Cards but yeah I don’t see it happening.

    though little bragging rights at work, there are a few bears fans.

  24. By clssylssy on Dec 22, 2012 | Reply

    Never thought I’d say it but I’m hoping the 9ers ground and pound the Seahags into the dirt. I hate losing to the 9ers more than about anything but I have absolutely NO RESPECT for Pete Carroll and his team. From that ill gotten win against the Packers in which an entire nation witnessed them cheating, Carroll’s lies and his manipulation (with support of Roger Goodell) of his performance enhanced player’s suspensions, Carroll sets the example that cheating is OK. I understand that this is a business and in order to maximize economic benefit, the NFL has to “freshen” the SB with a new face every now and then, shuffling the deck of teams making an appearance. As far as the Bears are concerned, I believe that this Cards team, still riding the wave of confidence from last week, CAN win and be “the spoiler”, already dismissed by most. Further, if the Hags win in Seattle (most likely given the “help”) I think the 9ers will be vulnerable at home and a win there is not entirely out of reach either. Would be a sweet way to start a new year! Last week I saw my Cards play some good ole ground and pound football and our players were able to play smart and show the talent I’ve known was there all along. As far as the draft goes…pfft! …there is still football to be played and games to win. It may screw up our draft order but …what the heck! This is football, it should be enjoyed and celebrated in the moment, not always in the past or in the future! GO CARDS! FLY HIGH AGAINST THE BEARS!

  25. By Justin on Dec 22, 2012 | Reply

    Why does everyone want Alex Smith? He had like 1 and a half good seasons and now is getting outplayed by a rookie. He is not that good. And he has a much better O line in SF. It would be just like a signing of Kolb. Some promise, but a failure. And ScottH, you make no sense to me. I hear ya that winning is your expectation, but going around yelling at everyone that they have low expectations cause they want to finish 7-9? They want them to WIN and do the best they can to end the year and thats bad? No one wanted to be where we are, and no one is happy about it, but we have to finish strong if we can. You are all about high expectations and winning, yet you’re mad at people for wanting to win. What, you want them to QUIT and give up? Get a mediocre draft pick who wont start? You want to scream at people who hope to be 7-9 yet you want to finish 5-11? Its not like these guys were hoping to be 7-9 from day one, they wanted to be 16-0 if they could, but they want to do the best we can to finish strong. If there were 4 more games they would hope for 11-9. You seem to be the one with low expectations wanting to give up.

  26. By Jahstone on Dec 22, 2012 | Reply

    All I can say about Smith is he would love to come here and play the Niners twice a year. With Whiz GONE, Smith can be comfortable which will lead to better results. I like Whiz,but the QB thing is grounds for termination, considering we could have made the playoffs the last two years. Otherwise, he was pretty solid. Good luck Whiz!!

  27. By Mark O on Dec 22, 2012 | Reply

    Well it would be nice to see a win For the Cardinals so that Coach Wiz and Lovie Smith Can both chill together at the unemployment line.

  28. By Cert 33 on Dec 23, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t get some of these “expert” comments. While Philip Rivers is a solid performer, it is highly questionable that Alex Smith and Joe Flacco are even as good as Kevin Kolb. Probably not. Landry Jones is not a “franchise” QB and wouldn’t be ready for this team until the season was nearly over. The draft needs are for a fresh, healthy RB, and offensive linemen (several). Our strength is our defense and we need to eliminate all the “three and outs” on offense that wear out our defensive players. A solid running game will cure many of the QB issues and the RB’s we have are only backup caliber (but solid backups, teams need 4 RB’s). We probably need a couple of 10 year vets at QB to backup Kevin Kolb as it appears Lindley and Skelton will not be around next season.

  29. By JP Mc Loughlin on Dec 23, 2012 | Reply

    Cardinals could have a huge say in who wins the division next week. They can still be relevant that way. Eyes of the NFL world will be looking at the games in San Francisco and Seattle, providing Seattle don’t crumble in this game tonight, currently 21-0 up….

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