Friday before the Jaguars

Posted by Darren Urban on November 15, 2013 – 3:55 pm

It’s strange, and maybe because it’s because the Cardinals face the Jaguars so rarely, but each of the last three meetings between the teams – dating back to 2000, my first full year covering this team – is burned into my brain for a particular reason.

2000 – The Cardinals were manhandled in Jacksonville. The Jaguars scored on eight of 10 possessions and the final possession ate up the last 9-plus minutes of the clock (as the Jags traveled all of 31 yards. Hard to believe). Afterward, though, it was classic Pat Tillman, raging against a team that had folded in a season that featured the firing of Vince Tobin.

“In this league, you have to overcome injuries, problems, coaches getting fired,” Tillman spouted. “Nobody cares (about excuses). Don’t tell me about the pain, show me the baby. We’re not showing the baby right now, we’re just bitching about the pain.”

2005 – It was a nondescript game at Sun Devil Stadium later in the year – a seven-point loss when Kurt Warner was sacked and fumbled late – except for an angry Anquan Boldin, who had 10 catches and more than 100 yards but got so ticked at what he perceived as dirty play that he got two personal foul calls fighting cornerback Terry Cousin. That wasn’t the memorable part. The memorable part was Boldin writing a letter to the editor of both local newspapers apologizing for the penalties.

2009 – The NFC champion Cards were coming off a home upset loss to the Niners when they had to travel cross country in Week 2. The Cards blasted the Jaguars, in a game marked by Warner’s amazing NFL record, completing 92.3 percent of his passes (24 of 26) to earn another slot in the Hall of Fame.

We’ll see if this game ends up providing some kind of memory.

— Don’t talk trap game with the Cardinals. “No, no, no,” Larry Fitzgerald said. “This is a playoff game. There is no such thing as a trap game in the NFL.” As you might expect, the Cardinals were handing out plenty of compliments to the Jaguars this week. The hope is that they play with that focus.

— Then again, there is this analysis of the Jaguars.

— It’s not often when the “Friday before” post is actually posted from the flight out, but it is today (and will be again in a couple weeks, when the Cards go out on Friday before the Philly game.) Coach Bruce Arians, coaching out West for the first time in his career, said he talked to many people in the offseason about setting a schedule. The Cards don’t get in to the hotel until about 10 p.m., but Arians said he didn’t want to move up the schedule.

“We’ve been down this road with Tampa,” Arians said. “There are no excuses not to come out and play well.”

— How red-hot is Justin Bethel on special teams?, which grades special teamers (among others), has never had a guy grade out the highest in two weeks of the same season, and Bethel has done it three times – including against Houston last week, in which Bethel had PFF’s highest special teams grade ever.

— The Jaguars, which won their first game of the season last week, hasn’t won back-to-back games since 2010.

— Going against the worst rushing defense in the league – in part there, I am sure, because so many teams have blown the Jags out and have run a lot to grind second-half clock – the Cards should run the ball effectively. They need to run it effectively.

— John Abraham seemed confident he wouldn’t be hampered much by his bad hamstring. He’s playing so well, the Cards have to hope he isn’t.

— There isn’t much to analyze about this game. The Cards have put themselves in good position to be 6-4. Now they just have to play like it.

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Posted in Blog | 13 Comments »

13 Responses to “Friday before the Jaguars”

  1. By ben on Nov 15, 2013 | Reply

    Wasnt that last Jags game also where Beanie Wells just couldnt hang onto the ball?

    Like three fumbles or something like that right?

  2. By Darren Urban on Nov 15, 2013 | Reply

    Ben –

    RE : Beanie

    That sounds familiar.

  3. By clssylssy on Nov 15, 2013 | Reply

    Congratulations to Justin Bethel…the Cardinals best kept secret weapon! Very impressive article in PFF and great to see a Cardinal getting top honors:)

  4. By Nick Pepe on Nov 15, 2013 | Reply

    It hasn’t been pretty, but we are better off now than we were 12 months ago (In my humble opinion). And I think we continue to get better each week.

    If that’s the case and we are one week better than last week, it should be another fun Monday.

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member

  5. By Hammy on Nov 16, 2013 | Reply

    Oh man the memories. I remember that game in 2009. I was fortunate to see it live when I lived in Jacksonville. There were ALOT of Cardinals fans there. Antrell Rolle’s family was there representing the team as well. Overall good turn out by the Birdgang! I was surprised that we had so much fan support for an east coast game. It was great! Anyways I like the direction our team is going in and I am very optimistic about us making the playoffs. I think every last game we have is a winable game. Yes I know we have Seatlle and the Niners but I dont care, I know we can beat them. Have yall noticed how confident Palmer has been playing the past couple of weeks? Really hoping that we get both Housler and Ballard extensively involved this week against Jacksonville. I think that is the key to our success for the rest of the season. Especially if Housler can spread the coverage and open up the field. Compliment that with Andre “Ellington of whales” then we are gonna be a dangerous team to beat!

  6. By louis on Nov 16, 2013 | Reply

    i hate to spoil the fun we will be upset by jags sorry.

  7. By mal on Nov 16, 2013 | Reply

    Congratulations to clssylssy for finally writing a succinct post…

  8. By Scott H on Nov 16, 2013 | Reply

    This may not be a game where Palmer would NEED to throw for 300-plus and 3 TD’s but…um…shouldn’t we be able to realistically expect such a game from him at some point this year??? Seems to me we should. So, why not this week? The Jags are one of THE worst teams in the league against the pass, aren’t they? With his plethora of targets here and against THIS defense, Palmer should be able to have a 300-yard, 3 score game, it should look relatively easy, and he should be able to watch some of the 4th quarter from the sdielines.

    Yes, I have already stated that things in the NFL don’t always go as they SHOULD, so I’ve already acknowledged that. Regardless, Palmer SHOULD be capable of a big game on Sunday. Another game with 200 yards or less AND multiple INT’s is just not gonna be acceptable. Seen enough of those. We’re more than halfway through the season. And it’s about time we saw a big performance from the QB.

  9. By thallusphx on Nov 16, 2013 | Reply

    The Cardinals will not make the playoffs.

    They will not catch the Lions and their Easy Schedule. Lions will have 11-13 Wins

    These next 4 weeks are a preseason to the final 4 weeks of the season.

    Their best shot is to win 3/4 of the final 4 games. With one of those wins against the Niners.

    But I do not see the Cards being able to win against the Rams, Titans, Seahawks or Niners.

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

    Nickname for Bethel: The Bullet…

  11. By georgiebird on Nov 16, 2013 | Reply

    The play calling against Houston was very good. However, offensive team speed is still a weakness.
    Noticed that all the TDs by the Rams last week against Indy had at least a 35 yard play imbedded in the “drive”- not really drives but big plays. And the Rams are not a good team but speed is an equalizer.

  12. By Scott H on Nov 16, 2013 | Reply

    thallusphx –

    Well, if the Cards do not make the playoffs, it’s not REALLY a disappointment ( IMHO ) because they were NOT seen as a legit playoff contender going in. However, they have put themselves in the race at this point, so…might as well enjoy it for what it is.

    Geez…if the Cardinals played in the NFC East, they would be a division winner.

  13. By ored on Nov 16, 2013 | Reply

    i would be satisfied with a balanced ground-passing game,win the turnover battle,field position,limit sacks,and raise the 3rd down/red zone efficiency,and of course let the defense be their dominant self.

    some teams are just never flashy but do what’s necessary to win,even if it means the defense has to be the dominant component,if we just get more consistency on offense i think most fans are good with that.i don’t know if that means we have more talent on defense or they just play and execute better as a unit,if so,then their remains hope that the offense will come around in time.bottom line being that keim will keep churning to make us better and his talent evaluation seems better than we’ve had in the past.

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