Friday before the bye

Posted by Darren Urban on November 1, 2013 – 12:59 pm

This isn’t going to be lengthy, not with the bye weekend here and time off embraced. But here at the halfway point, I was trying to consider team MVP candidates from either side of the ball. Defensively, there are choices. Linebacker Daryl Washington may have only played four games, but he’s quickly shown why he is so important and he’s in the mix. Defensive end Calais Campbell has been outstanding, and I think given the matchups he is faced with each week, cornerback Patrick Peterson has been pretty good too. Veterans Karlos Dansby and Darnell Dockett have been solid as well.

Offensively, though, um, I’m not sure there is one. I guess you’d go with Andre Ellington at this point, even though he hasn’t gotten the ball a ton. Larry Fitzgerald hasn’t made enough of an impact in that regard, it doesn’t seem. Neither has Michael Floyd. I will say, I am very, very interested to see if this offense can make some steps forward in the second half of the season (especially with the schedule upcoming) or if they just are who they are.

— Congrats to Ellington, by the way, for winning the NFL’s Fed Ex Ground player of the week award, voted on by the fans.

— Tyrann Mathieu has been outstanding, and we don’t need national awards to prove it. Yes, I think the safety has a chance to win defensive rookie of the year. He already is making the move to displace Rashad Johnson as a starter. I’ll be curious to know if that stays the same against Houston. Another thing the first half has shown me: Mathieu is a great tackler. Not good, great. He’s the best tackler on the team (and no, Tyrann, I’m not just talking pound-for-pound). That’s been the most impressive part of his game for me.

— Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin can quip with the best of them, and the de facto offensive line coach was talking about that unit when he mentioned left tackle Bradley Sowell. “He didn’t give up a sack, thank God.” There was a little sarcasm there for all the Sowell questions he gets, and some truth too. But not only graded Sowell with having his best game against Atlanta last week in not giving up a sack, PFF said Sowell didn’t even allow a QB pressure.

— Both Fitzgerald and Floyd rank high on PFF’s drop-rate list, so that’s good. They just have to see more catchable passes.

— Amazing. A future opponent loses another good player, with the news today Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon is suspended indefinitely for violating the substance-abuse policy. Blackmon had already been suspended the first four games of the season. What a waste.

— OK, that’s enough. Back to the regular season next week. And in the meantime, here’s a very cool slow-motion capture of that rumblin’, stumblin’ run of Stepfan Taylor against the Falcons. The play gained 15 yards, and he earned every one of them.

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Posted in Blog | 12 Comments »

12 Responses to “Friday before the bye”

  1. By Dynosoar on Nov 1, 2013 | Reply

    Wow. That was Awesome! to watch. The low brass in the background was the perfect touch. The stadium should have low brass playing every time he gets the ball. Maybe a piccolo when Gore has the ball.

  2. By Big Ken on Nov 1, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks Darren.

  3. By Tucson Card on Nov 2, 2013 | Reply

    That video is pretty sweet. It’s cool to be able to see that level of detail.

    Darren, do you guys have a slo mo video of that black cat (aka super fan) during warm-ups? haha jk

  4. By shannon robinson on Nov 2, 2013 | Reply

    My choice for MVP is Carson Palmer. That includes all the interceptions, high throws, sacks for holding the ball too long, and misfires. There’s not much agreement out there for this choice. Even Dave Pasch was willing to pull the ripcord after Carson’s interception versus Atlanta – announcing it was “time for a change” on our own Cardinal broadcast! For me the difference is having a QB who can throw the ball down the field and hit the open man when it counts. My mantra now when he’s under center is “Give him time!” If you don’t have a QB in this league, you don’t have a chance to win as we’ve proven to the world since Kurt retired. I think Carson has the right stuff, true grit, and a great arm. BA would be my second choice – calling big plays downfield and not backing off his GoForIt offense. Here’s the question : When does Coach Tom Pratt get a game ball?

  5. By monzz on Nov 2, 2013 | Reply

    Carson for MVP? Somebody must be smoking pot. Palmer will not guide this team nowhere, he only looks good against weak teams, he has no arm, underthrows almost every pass and telegraps every play to the defense. If the Cardinals got lucky enough to make the playoffs it will be because of the great defense not Palmers weak play. The only thing he will lead the league in is interceptions and a less than stellar quarterback rating when compared to his peers!! Palmer is below average in every sense of the game and would not be a starter in the NFL for any other team. Open your eyes even Dave Pasch can’t find anything good to say about Palmer. I give him a grade F through the first half of the season.

  6. By David on Nov 2, 2013 | Reply

    Monzz –

    Ummm pot

  7. By ored on Nov 2, 2013 | Reply

    while i agree he is no,i think once we get the protection fixed and the routes down pat he will be fine for the immediate.we do need a long term franchise answer and this draft looks to be a good one,and i’m sure most of us have an opinion on who also,so should make for an interesting off season.i would really like to see a TE to match so they grow together.

    from the direction the league seems to be going,a big,dominating reciever and a speed burner are doing amazing things for the passing game.

  8. By cardsalltheway on Nov 2, 2013 | Reply

    I started A. Ellington on my Fanstasy team last week but I’ll be benching him this week.

  9. By Mark on Nov 2, 2013 | Reply

    WIth Blackmon struggling it is good to see we picked Floyd. I really see the Cardinals becoming more of the AFC champion Jets a few years ago. If we can manage to establish a run game, we will be able to pass. Just need to run like we did against Atlanta and everything opens up. Palmer just has to make the throws. Only difference is we have WAY better talent at receiver than the Jets ever have. I am pulling for more running. or atleast a better attempt at trying to run. I loved how we came out on Defense against Atlanta too. We should always do that. Houston will be a great challenge and I cannot wait to witness it. Go cards!

  10. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Nov 3, 2013 | Reply

    Ron Jaworski commnet: The Cardinals offense looks a lot more calm recently, more confident.

  11. By Andy Kw on Nov 3, 2013 | Reply

    Guess what happened:
    The ST. LOUIS RAMS LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I hope they stay in the NFC West Cellar)
    Our 2nd half schedule is not as bad as people think:
    -The Rams don’t have QB Sam Bradford and their defense has been struggling.
    -The Texans have a QB issue and they have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL.
    -The Jacksonville Jaguars lost WR Justin Blackmon for the rest of the season due to suspension and their hopes of winning a game at all in the 2013 season is slim.
    -We host the Indianapolis Colts and San Francisco 49ers at home.
    -ARIZONA CARDINALS FANS: Keep your hopes alive and cheer for this team. This team is the real deal. This bye week will help retool Carson Palmer and he will have at least 2 games this season without an interception.

  12. By ored on Nov 3, 2013 | Reply

    what i worry most about and i’m pretty sure palmer does also,is jj watt,maybe we just assign a blocking te to spy him and hope that keeps palmer clean and able to find fewer recievers,but with more time to do so.

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