Lions aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on September 15, 2013 – 9:30 pm

Karlos Dansby was still trying to make sense of that interception he didn’t get Sunday. That one where Matthew Stafford lasered into Calvin Johnson in between Dansby and DansbymissUSEPatrick Peterson. Johnson got a 72-yard touchdown and Dansby – who said he knew the pass was coming and jumped the route and did everything right but actually pick off the pass – was left with air.

“I still got a fine to pay,” Dansby said, in a reference to the Cards’ kangaroo court. “I got a big fine to pay. You don’t understand. That’s a fine out of this world. That’s the crazy part about it. Oh man, you don’t understand this fine I gotta pay. You really don’t understand. It’s huge. It’s huge, bro.”

Dansby could smile. Always easier to talk about the bad after a win, and, especially with the way the Cards’ defense stepped up in the second half and shut down the Lions. The Cardinals had to have a win Sunday. Couldn’t go 0-2 heading into two straight road games back East. They got it. So, before I shut down for the night, some notes and thoughts from today’s win:

— Bruce Arians has said it before, and he said it again. “I have no problem with young players,” he said, and it’s not just the high picks. We already know the impact third-round draft pick Tyrann Mathieu has had, and it was Mathieu’s solid tackle of Nate Burleson on fourth-and-4 a yard shy of the line that sealed the win Sunday. Running back Andre Ellington has already proved to be a weapon as both a runner and receiver and a blocker, nice from a sixth-round rookie (who scored his first TD Sunday). And undrafted safety Tony Jefferson had three tackles in his first NFL defensive work as part of a dime package that was used for the first time.

“It’s  a huge opportunity for us (young players) and you have to make the best of it,” Jefferson said. “To put a young rookie in and going against an explosive offense like that and they trust in you. You have to perform.”

— As for Ellington, he played more than any of the running backs not named Rashard Mendenhall. Does that mean he made a move up the depth chart? “I’m not sure how that works,” Ellington said. “We don’t really have a set depth chart. Coach just kind of calls you out there when he wants you out there. Whenever my name is called, I want to make the play.”

— After failing to come up with a pair of crucial third-down conversions late in the St. Louis game, the Cards never could get that going Sunday. They had just one third-down conversion in 11 tries (by contrast, they got two first downs on penalties that came on third downs) and it stalled the offense too often.

Asked if he was frustrated by that on the sideline, Arians said “I’m always frustrated. I’m pissed the whole game, nothing satisfies me. … We weren’t three and out, three and out. It was first down, first down, chunk play and manageable (third downs). We just didn’t convert.”

— Wide receiver Kerry Taylor, promoted Saturday from the practice squad, made his first three NFL catches. His first? Seventeen yards, from the arm of none other than Swiss Army knife Patrick Peterson. “It was brought to my attention that it was my first catch in the NFL thrown by a corner,” Taylor said. Taylor was impressive with Fitz down. It’ll be interesting to see if the Cards keep him up on the roster.

— There was better pass protection from the Cardinals. Some of that had to do with the Lions, some had to do with scheme, but for the most part, the offensive line kept Carson Palmer clean enough to throw his passes (although Arians said Palmer was hit too often.)

— The Reggie Bush injury, which basically took him out of the game in the second half, definitely seemed to impact the Lions. They couldn’t run – 49 yards total in the game – and getting Bush in space on pass receptions had been a major threat for Detroit in their Week One win.

— I know it’s early, but it seems Justin Bethel should already be getting attention as a potential Pro Bowl special teams player in the NFC. He’s been excellent in coverage, and then he got the big block of the David Akers field goal in the fourth quarter to keep it a two-point deficit. Bethel got an earlier running-into-the-kicker (which didn’t hurt when Akers missed a second straight try) but it gave him confidence for the fourth-quarter block.

“You’ve got to take the right angle, especially with a kicker who keeps his leg out there,” Bethel said. “(On the penalty) I saw his leg. I jumped and thought, ‘Oh, he’s going to leave his foot out here.’ I was like, ‘Oh, man.’ But I had a good takeoff and I was thinking, ‘OK, I know I can get there.’ And I got another chance.”

— Now, about that Dansby “fine” …

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34 Responses to “Lions aftermath”

  1. By job on Sep 15, 2013 | Reply

    Our rookies played amazing, ellington,kerry,and honey badger all played like first round picks. I would love to see Minter start soon, our LBS missed way to many short pass tackles that turned into big plays. The only name that stuck was Dansby,even Okarfor should start testing OLB(when he heals).Also 1-12 third down conversion is unacceptable.

  2. By Erik on Sep 15, 2013 | Reply

    hey Darren how did our offensive line do? who gave up the sack?

  3. By Darren Urban on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Erik —

    RE: OL

    As I said above, I thought the protection was better.

  4. By georgiebird on Sep 15, 2013 | Reply

    Congrats to BA and the Cards. This was very close to being a “Same ‘ol Cardinals game” but some guys stepped up.
    And Tyrann Mathieu is an anomaly as far as Cardinals’ defensive players go. This guy has a big time ‘nose’ for the football. TM reminds me a lot of HOF Roger Wehrli who played 40 years ago and had an uncanny ability of making key plays.
    Hopefully, we can expand our horizons and beat somebody besides the Lions.

  5. By stevenanimator on Sep 15, 2013 | Reply

    The big plays gave the Cards a win, which was great to watch, but the continued miss tackling and seeing the DB’s out of place on many of the plays is really troubling to watch. The intimidation that our defense had last season is missing. Perhaps it’s because of Daryl Washington not being there, or Kerry Rhodes and A-Dub, or Ray Horton’s style of Defense, but the Cards desperately need to find that intensity. They need to figure out how to pressure the QB more and tackle more effectively. Todd Bowles seems like a nice guy and a capable DC, but I’m not entirely sold on his style compared to Horton’s. I hope I’m wrong, though.

  6. By Lifetime Fan on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Besides that INT whiff, that tricked me, the cameraman and PP, Dansby had a pretty great game I thought. The MLB spot is going to be very very good once D Wash is back!

  7. By cdj on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    now we gotta go out there and win some more!

  8. By cdj on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    also, can i just say that i love the fact that Arians admitted the mistake in not running the ball on the first down at the goal line, “I made a mistake” is something you rarely hear from a coach, i feel that arians has the right mindset for this team and i surely hope it is rubbing off on everyone else

  9. By johnnybluenose on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    one has to be impressed with mathieu. not just with his play but also with his demeanor on the field. no theatrics. just make big plays, accept the accolades from his teammates and get ready for the next play. obviously a huge win for us. keep going.

  10. By Corgon on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    2 passers, 10 different targets, 4 RBs. Prepare for this. And Housler still sidelined. Sweet.
    The special team was great, the punts were great, the D stepped up and the O was there when the game was on the line.
    2 more games and Dwash is back! I hope BA will find a way for put Karlos and DWash together on the field. We need more pressure on the QB and better 3rd dowm ratio/red zone eff. Two really hard games are coming! Brees and a tuogh Buck D, but we can do it! Go Cards!

  11. By Patrick Eagan on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Cardinals don’t beat Cardinals. CARDINALS BEAT LIONS!!!!!!!! Go Cardinals.

  12. By ored on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    love that young guys getting a chance,seems we’re using ellington a little like detroit uses bush,i think this was part of the plan when we drafted him,wanted him from the very beginning,just an added dimension,good for jefferson and bethel.we should really turn it up a notch when washington and housler return.

    now that the oline is playing better and the defense is stepping up,we need to do the same in the red zone,3rd down conversions,and qb pressures.lots to look forward with this team.

  13. By Eric G on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    The rookies were outstanding. Honey Badger is not only not playing like a rookie, but not playing like someone that has been out of football for a year. What a clutch tackle by Matthieu to end the game.

    I was disappointed how quickly we abandoned the run game on drives. Mendenhall seemed to be averaging 4+ yards a carry, but then we’d pass the ball. I didn’t understand that, especially with Fitz out.

  14. By Mike G on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is well! Big win for the Big Red yesterday. It was a needed win with 2 road games coming up. Thought the young guys played well —specifically Ellington and Taylor. Defense played well in the second half and contributed to the win. Palmer and the offense must improve in 3rd down situations
    and I thought Palmer was a little shaky under pressure–cant have the turnovers. Hey Darren–If you were to give a game ball who is deserving???? Thought Jay Feely played well and is a candidate!!!!

  15. By Darren Urban on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Game ball

    I will leave that to the coaches. And the fans.

  16. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    If Bowles adjusted and used Dime in StL we’re 2-0. But… he got it done this time and we are set for the road. Good, tough win.

  17. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Sign of grit… win when not clicking on all cylinders…that Palmer interception good example… those kinks will get ironed..

    …anyone else notice crowd not a loud as past, or just me?

  18. By andystandsup on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Bethel can’t make the Pro Bowl since they changed the format, no?
    Not NFC- AFC anymore and they eliminated the kickoff -does that mean the STer as well?

  19. By Darren Urban on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Andystands —

    RE: Special teamer

    I think they will still choose a special teamer. Still have punts. I’m not sure though.

  20. By Jahstone on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Darren –

    Any reason why Abraham didn’t play? I noticed Scofield has looked good for the Seahawks. Seems Arians positions are coming around except for the pass rush (minus Campbells nice sack yesterday). What gives? Thanks

  21. By Darren Urban on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Jahstone —

    RE: Abraham

    Abraham did play. Had a tackle for loss early in the game, in fact. 33 plays on defense.

  22. By iammattyoung on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    One sack in two games is pretty lame. Look, there are things you can’t control about the draft — only certain players are available when your time comes. But the fact that we’ve not taken a Tackle or a edge rusher in the first round since we drafted Levi Brown is a clearly a huge problem. Bowles is going to need to get a lot more creative.

    Interestingly enough, the Cards are near the top in all categories of run defense.

  23. By clssylssy on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Tyrann Matthieu is a Tazmanian devil! I know the Saints wish they had him and it will be fun taking the Patrick Peterson show into N’awlins next week. Hope Minter gets to play so our trio of LSU Tigers can “take it to the house” in style:) We will need to get our pass rush going and start scoring in the redzone rather than settling for FGs. Cutting down those penalties should help too, I lost count of how many yards we gave away just before the half…can’t imagine that BA was too happy with that. This team is loaded with young talent and with that throw Peterson made, he almost looked like he could take over for Palmer should the need arise…hmm, interesting thought:) Special teams were great but our defense still is not what it was. I think this was a much tougher team than anybody recognized and I have to wonder if Reggie hadn’t missed so much of the game if we would have been able to come back. Being able to devote more man power to Calvin Johnson definitely made a difference, as he and Peterson were seriously mismatched (Johnson had almost five inches in height and about twenty-five pounds on Peterson). Thrilled to see the Cards getting a run game which should make a difference especially in Seattle where downdrafts and weather can seriously hobble a team who depends solely on their aerial game. Looking forward to seeing how this team “road tests” in the next few weeks. The fans at UOP stadium should probably get the game ball for their invaluable “assists” in leading the Cards to a victory in the home opener! GO CARDS!

  24. By wnycardfan on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Good win, scary again near the end, but great. I love Arians. He’s the man. I think as someone else stated, the more they play the better there are going to get so that the 3rd down % and the missed throws etc… will settle. Good luck on the road.

  25. By joe67 on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Not always a thing of beauty, but a win is a win and we actually look like a football team this year.
    I agree, defense needs to get more creative. But with that said, I think both sides will get better and better.

    Did Shaughnessy play yesterday. Don’t think I heard his name once. I thought he was really going to help in certain situations.

  26. By the way - Dr. G. on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Word for the day – “HEART” – the will to win – don’t quit – finish the play…

    A collage of plays both pro and con:

    Akers’ 2 consecutive misses… Dansby’s mystic blur… Tyrann’s dream ending of a game… Kim K’s ex-boyfriend pulls up… Fitz pulls out… Mendenhall brilliant extending the ball… Feely’s error-free 13 points… 7.6% on 3rd downs… CB to WR pass… PP’s passing at 100%… 1st half Megatron superman… 2nd half Megatron schmegatron… A pick 6+1 for Palmer… Bethel’s stupendous blocked field goal… #75 not facing a premier rush… Ziggy sacked/striped Palmer…a turnover negated by Lions’ penalty… Stafford 108+ rating… go for 2- nope… Cards Nothin’ but HEART!!!

    We were a bit lucky to get the W, … but with “heart,” you make your own luck.
    An exhilarating game to watch…. be well..

  27. By Cautiously Optimistic on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Great job by the rookies. I was personally super excited to see Kerry Taylor having such a great game. He may not have all the physical talents as some others, but there’s something to be said about the guys who just get it done. Take a look at Anquan Boldin still getting it done if you don’t believe that.

    I’d like to see a little bit more play action and a little more disguising of blitz packages on the defensive side of the ball. We ran a few blitzes, but whether it was because of the individual players or direction from coaching I didn’t see much disguise in those blitz packages. My biggest concerns continue to be lackluster base pass rush (outside of Calais, who is having a great season so far in my eyes) and the lack of physicality in the box.

    Great to have a win under our belts against such a potent offense!

  28. By the way - Dr. G. on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Someone pointed to Kerry Taylor’s lacking “physical talent.” ??? hmmmmmm….

    When he is compared to an all star like Fitz, his 40 time is similar… Fitz’s vertical was noted as 35″ in the draft… Taylor’s vertical was 38″…. guaranteed he can dunk!! … but looking at a guy like Wes Welker at 5’9″ … it’s the hungry nose for the ball that matters… If Taylor get some reps, I think he can make a statement for playing him…. a tough group in front of him, huh? Our WR core is really good….

  29. By T. Stone on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks for the Vid.

    6 words come to mind……

    Damn we have a good coach.

  30. By Kevin S on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Wow, so close to being 2-0. And so close to being 0-2. Going to be a fun year regardless of the final record.

    Re: the defense, I agree that they were exploited — still need to watch the game on tape (I was at UOP) but it seemed Stafford just threw quick passes over and over again and we weren’t adjusting. That said, the D gave up only 14 points — this to a team with a good offense that put up 38 last week.

    No idea what Palmer was doing on the INT. I guess that’s why some fans of his former teams said, watch out for him throwing INT’s at crucial times. That one pass made me think of our QB’s the past couple years. But I guess he can have one mulligan.

    Patrick Hoag — seemed to me the crowd finally woke up in the 4th but yes, for a home opener they seemed pretty subdued. First quarter after both teams had the ball once, and the game was settling it at 0-0, I said to my son, man, you could hear a pin drop.

    Feely had a good game and I think we have one of the best punters (if not the best) in the NFL. Several drives started inside the 10.

  31. By Kevin S on Sep 16, 2013 | Reply

    Whoops, Detroit scored 34 last week, not 38… sorry.

  32. By Eazy E on Oct 9, 2013 | Reply

    Defense looked a lot stouter in the 2nd half.

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  2. Nov 12, 2013: Cardinals Blogs | Dansby’s what-could-have-been INTs
  3. Jul 30, 2014: Cardinals Blogs | Arians talks Peterson

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