Falcons aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on October 27, 2013 – 8:13 pm

A year ago, John Abraham was on the other side, watching the Cardinals’ defense take apart Matt Ryan. Then, he admitted, he was surprised. Watching the unit do it again Sunday, now that he’s part of it? Not so surprising.

“Seeing the defense, the athletes we have, Karlos (Dansby), 58 (Washington), 90 (Dockett), me, 32 (Mathieu), he’s an amazing rookie, 26 (Rashad Johnson), we’ve got so many numbers, 21 (Peterson) — I keep forgetting him,” Abraham rattled off. “There are so many numbers you can call.”

The offense was better Sunday. Much better. But as the Cardinals reach the halfway point, there is little question this team is anchored by a defense that creates problems much of the time. If the offense can do just enough, then maybe they can carve out a 5-3 mark in the second half and be in the playoff hunt.

Regardless, Sunday was not only a good win, but as every noted, a very nice way to hit the bye. The Cards only have a couple of days of practice this week. This is the background with which you want to have them.

Andre Ellington was fantastic. Don’t know how many plays he got, but he still only had 17 touches, and, sorry folks, I don’t expect that to grow tremendously. But that 80-yard run was a thing of beauty. Stepfan Taylor looked good too. Take away his clock-grinding-while-the-Falcons-had-10-in-the-box runs late, and even Taylor had 33 yards on eight yards. Now, the Falcons are not the Seahawks or Niners on defense, but 201 yards rushing is 201 yards rushing.

— And Michael Floyd crushed his cornerback outside on the Ellington 80-yard run. Even Fitz got in a good block. “I don’t like doing it, but I see (Floyd) doing it so well so I just try to keep up with him.”

— Arians would not commit to Ellington as stud starter. He just said he’d wait for Rashard Mendenhall to get 100 percent healthy – which who knows, may be a while, especially now – and evaluate it then. I’m pretty sure he knows what kind of weapon he has in Ellington.

Fitz said if he gets traded, he gets traded and there is nothing he can do about it. I wrote about the whole thing here. Bottom line, we are a long time away from this being something that needs to be talked about. He isn’t going anywhere during the season.

— Today was the first time since the Wild Card playoff win over the Packers after the 2009 season where the Cardinals scored on three straight offensive possessions. (To which I gotta say, wow.)

— That Ellington and Taylor looked good was not a good sign for Ryan Williams, who was inactive as it was. Barring a rash of injuries, yes, it’s possible Williams never is activated this season. But there is a belief in the organization he is worth keeping around, so unless some blow-me-away trade offer is made – and I don’t see it – Williams isn’t going to get cut. No reason to.

— Before the game during warmups just prior to the national anthem, a black cat shot across the field and through the Falcons’ bench. An omen? Who knows? Maybe the cat just partook a little too much during tailgating and decided to streak. I didn’t see any of his friends recording it for Youtube.

— Bradley Sowell was sitting there after the game waiting for reporters. Not as many talked to him this game after the debacle that was the Seattle game. “It’s a much different story for me this week,” the left tackle said. He did look better.

— Matt Ryan, in six games before Sunday: Threw three interceptions, sacked nine times. Ryan Sunday: Threw four interceptions, sacked four times.

— Tyrann Mathieu had an interception, but he nearly had another that he would have returned 99 yards for a touchdown. Now that would have been a highlight.

— That was the first game Carson Palmer had more TD passes than interceptions since the opener. It was also the first time since the opener that Palmer didn’t throw two interceptions. We’ll take that as progress.

That’s enough. With a bye week, there will be plenty of time to break the other stuff down.

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28 Responses to “Falcons aftermath”

  1. By Blake on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    Did A black cat Really shot across the field and through the Falcons’ bench ? I own one and will have to ask him if he went to the game lol

  2. By jakeplummersghost on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    Fitz’s blocking is unparalleled for a WR, as we were all reminded of today. That, and with him being a clubhouse leader, role model for younger guys, the guy with the squeakiest-clean image in the league as the face of the franchise – if you trade him, you lose all that. And with this being a franchise, that much to our chagrin at times avoids “bad character” players like the plague, the flipside is that we have Fitz and ownership loves to have him as part of our player leadership. The guy takes younger guys – Roberts, Ellington (I think) and a few others out to MN every summer to train. He organized our unofficial OTAs in 2011 during the lockout, like Brees did for the Saints. I know his numbers have been depressed this year because of injuries, but if we trade him, we lose all that. He might be a skill position player, but he is an integral part of the clubhouse culture that teaches the young guys and leads the team.

    What I’m trying to say is that let’s not forget his value extends beyond his stats. It’s easy to forget that he’s injured and that is likely not allowing him to get off the ball as well. I think he is going to go off after the bye week for the second half of the season.

    Oh, and as for Kurt Warner’s comment that he doesn’t look comfortable being used inside and is being mis-utilized? Fitz’s beautiful TD catch today came while he was playing in the slot.

  3. By Dre on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    Go red birds

  4. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    I hope all the fans who said they’d be down on Arians if Ryan Williams didn’t play are happy enough with 201 yards rushing.

    I also hope the “bench Palmer” talk stops at least until we lose another game. He was fine today… yes, the pick was a bad throw, but that’s the first game we’ve had since December 2011 (!) where our QB had a rating over 100.

    I thought this was the key game. Atlanta is better than Houston — none of their 4 losses were by more than a touchdown. Lost by 6 to NO, 7 to NE, 4 to Miami, and the Jets by 2 on a last-second FG. They have a great QB, even if he was without his top WR’s. Despite being 2-4 they were barely negative in net points. And we manhandled them. Great job by the D to only let up 3 after the INT. And by the O not turning it over after that.

    Meanwhile Houston is on a 5 game losing streak that includes 21, 31 and 25 point blowouts (though they nearly beat SEA and KC). I guess it depends who’s QB’ing for them at that point and which version of the Texans shows up, but 6-4 is looking more probable than not. (Not to completely count out Jax but I’m marking that one as a W.)

    More Andre Ellington please. I don’t care if he’s not an every-down back — let’s get him in as many downs as he can handle.

    Congrats Larry on fastest to 800 catches!

    A great day to be a Cardinals fan. Yes, I am thinking about the playoffs… not seriously, but enough that I was disappointed when Detroit knocked off Dallas in the waning seconds… as they and Carolina are the leaders for the last playoff spot.

  5. By Jeffrock275 on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    Agreed but let’s not forget if it comes down to it, we will own the head to head tie breaker against both those teams. Go Cards!

  6. By alan on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    still think Arians is a knot head for not seeing what we have in Ryan williams….

  7. By georgiebird on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    Nice win for the Cards. We are Atlanta’s daddy -that’s for sure.
    For me it was a day that the football Cardinals played like the baseball Cardinals AND unfortunately, it was a day that the baseball Cardinals played like the football Cardinals.

  8. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    4-4 into the break and no Palmer picks. Life is good for the bye week. Congrats to the offense for a great 1st half. Would have liked to see a TD in the second half but a win is a win. Over all I think the entire team played the way we have been expecting them to. Great job. Enjoy the break.

  9. By Madriffs on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    Great game. Let’s hear some props for Palmer, Ellington and this DEFENSE!….. It’s so much better to hear what went right as opposed to what went wrong. Let’s see what happens next. GO CARDS! (Oh yeah the O-LINE too, woot!)

  10. By Logan Cooper on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    Great Game.

    I always wonder why coaches keep guys on the bench that they know are playmakers, while a slower, less explosive player (mendenhall) gets more snaps.

    I think Yeremiah Bell is a disguise and its really A-Dub under that helmet……at least when he’s guarding tight ends.

  11. By ored on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    every week ellington becomes a more important part and it was nice to see an efficient game,now carry that thru the bye.

  12. By NJAzCardsFan on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    What an improvement over the last two games…..
    Palmer looked better also….. The OL still gave up too many sacks….
    Awesome day for Ellington…..

    The Cards should trade Williams to the Giants, as they need a RB… Of course his trade value is diminsihed because he doesn’t play…… I feel sorry for him he deserves better…. I still don’t understand BA’s logic on this……

    Tyrann looked like he was mugged by the Falcons player in the end zone. I can’t see how he was called on pass interference…???

  13. By Chris B on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    Matt Ryan just joined the list of QB’s who hate playing the Cardinals. Mike Vick is on the list too.

    I can’t wait to see what this team can finally do. I hope this is the turn-the-corner game we’ve been waiting for.

  14. By Zach on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply


    Aside from all of the talk about Fitzgerald, have you heard of any other possible deals involving the Cardinals as the trade deadline approaches?

  15. By Darren Urban on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    Zach —

    RE: Trades

    Nothing big. Keim said he has talked to some teams but nothing is percolating.

  16. By Mr Robles on Oct 27, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t remember where I read it but didn’t Fitz have a no trade clause in his contract?

  17. By Darren Urban on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    Mr. Robles —

    RE: No trade

    Not in his current contract.

  18. By Lifetime Fan on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    I think Arians is dealing with the RB workload pretty well. There is no reason to beat up Ellington’s body with a full workload, on the flip side he obviously needs more than 3 the three carries he got vs. SF (or was is Seattle?). We have solid brusing backs in Taylor, Smith and Rashard, their physical runs will beat up the defense and let Ellington surprise defenders with his speed. Only criticism I have is tha Rashard should not be playing over williams taylor and smith if he isn’t healthy and able to run, we have too many good backs for that to be necessary.
    Good Game!

  19. By Peter in Canada on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    Atlanta is not in the class of SF or Seattle and we won comfortably. We have a decent shot at 9-7. The next two must go in the win column for that to happen,

  20. By Chris on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    Doesn’t Larry have some control over his possible trade? Doesn’t he have something (if I remember correctly) called a “No-trade clause” where he would have to approve any trade?

  21. By Dave Chaney on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    Before the game I heard Rashard Mendenhall would not be available and I thought that it didn’t matter since he hasn’t done much lately. Then I thought it would be a good time for Mr. Ellington to show what he can do. In my wildest dreams I never expected him to do what he did. Fantastic performance! Let’s hope it’s only the first of many more. I am sticking to my 8-8 prediction for the season with a secret desire to see it become 9-7. That would be a great first year for coaches and staff. I only have one thought about Larry Fitzgerald being traded, well maybe two…IF we trade him, make sure to get a lot and secondly, trade him to a team who has SB potential.

  22. By Eric G on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    We beat a team we should have beat. I kept saying we need to establish the run and look what happens when we did. Ellington is the man and another late round RB we found.

    We should beat Houston and Jacksonville and win 5 of the next six with Indianapolis as the tough one. If the Cards win the next two, count me in for going to the game against the Iggles in Philly.

  23. By Mike G on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope you enjoyed the game. Great win for the team. All 3 phases played well and it is great to be 4-4 at the break. I liked the fact the team started fast. Really happy he played Ellington and Taylor in this game. Cardinals have a nice rotation with their backs and a nice mixture of veterans and rookies. Keim really looks like he made a couple of great picks taking these two Rb’s in the draft. Defense played solid getting 4 turnovers and Palmer bounced back nice after his lone pick. Bye is coming at a great time —
    you can get healthy and you don’t have to travel for the upcoming game against Houston.

  24. By Mark on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    Sowell can’t open field block. Period. Watch the tapes. He either lays down or looks lost on run plays. If it wasn’t for Colledge laying guys out on the run, our guys would have gotten killed. Step up dude or you won’t last in this league….

  25. By Derrek on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    I’m an Atlanta Falcons fan, but I like the Arizona Cardinals as well. I have to give it to the Cardinals for taking care of business yesterday. They definitely out-played, out-hustled & out-muscled the Falcons. TO: The Arizona Cardinals management, DON’T YOU DARE THINK OF TRADING LARRY FITZGERALD ANYWHERE; HE BELONGS HERE IN ARIZONA. Do the fans right, & keep this man!!

  26. By Scott H on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    NICE win! A good, solid win. Granted, the Falcons are nowhere near what they were expected to be, nowhere near what they WOULD be with Jones & White healthy and doing what they do. Still…I expected them to find a way to win yesterday. Happily, I was quite wrong.

    SOOOOO awesome to see a Cardinals RB breaking around the outside for a LOOOOONG TD run! When was the last time we saw THAT??? It was like watching Adrian Peterson, only wearing a Cardinals uniform!

    Awesome. Nice to enjoy a good, solid win like this.

  27. By ored on Oct 28, 2013 | Reply

    cooper should help the run game when he comes back,still the most important is LT,either sowell gets it or we need a good vet next year.

  28. By Eazy E on Nov 22, 2013 | Reply

    Ellington is so much better than Mendenhall…

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