Friday before the Colts

Posted by Darren Urban on November 22, 2013 – 4:09 pm

The Cardinals have become stellar on defense in the second half – that’s well-chronicled and came to the forefront against last week in Jacksonville when the Cards shut out the Jaguars the final two quarters. The Colts have been a second-half kind of offense, most recently showing that off when they rallied a week ago from a 17-6 halftime deficit to beat the Titans.

So something has to give when the two teams play Sunday. Right?

“It’ll be a good matchup, two second-half teams going at it,” Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell said. “Hopefully  we can have a good start though. Hopefully we don’t wait until the second half again.”

I don’t think anyone will have to wait for the second half to get a feel for Sunday’s very large game between these teams. But these teams’ respective strengths will collide eventually, and we’ll have to see which comes out on top. The Colts are up three games in the AFC South and it would take an epic collapse for them not to win the division. This game is not as crucial to Indy as the Cards. Then again, the fact Bruce Arians is on the other sideline will mean something.

— That last thought reminds me of the game the Cardinals – and first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt – played against the Steelers at University of Phoenix Stadium in 2007. The Steelers were generally regarded as the better team, as the Colts are now. The Cards won the game, and you could tell it meant a ton to Whiz and his staff. I’d expect that emotion to flow from Arians and his staff too in a win.

— What, you say you don’t fully understand the Arians-Colts connection? Click here for the whole story.

— And if you missed it, this was a sad but important lesson learned by offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin.

— Linebacker John Abraham has been better than the Cardinals could have hoped. He’s playing nearly every snap, he’s defending the run, he’s been upgraded on the injury report so he’s been practicing full, and he’s the sack machine he’s always been. Shut out in the first six games, he’s had seven sacks in his last four games. That’s a franchise record for a four-game stretch, and it’d be tough to bet against him reaching Andrew Luck Sunday.

— Remember Patrick Peterson’s muffed punt in Jacksonville, the one where he somehow got it back and the Jaguars were angry and challenged the call? Yeah, they weren’t allowed to challenge the call. That’s been confirmed in the latest NFL officials video (which you can watch here, along with some more somehow-that-wasn’t-pass-interference call from Patriots-Panthers). At the time, it was pretty clear the muffed punt wasn’t reviewable. How an entire officials crew didn’t know that is surprising.

— Congrats to former Cardinals wide receiver Jerheme Urban, who at age 33 has been named the head football coach at his alma mater, Trinity University.

— It will be a blow if the Cardinals cannot get Justin Bethel back and healthy Sunday. You don’t want to mess with concussions, of course. But the Cards’ special teams clearly took a hit last weekend when Bethel went out of the game. Even Arians acknowledged no Bethel isn’t a good thing.

— At least the NFL recognized the problem with the play. Jaguars defensive back Will Blackmon, the player who hit Bethel with the illegal blindside block that caused the concussion, was hit with a $21,000 fine for the play.

— Don’t forget the Cardinals are going to wear red-on-red Sunday. Here are some images from past red-on-red games. And, against my better judgment, because I have zero belief in correlation of such things, note the Cards are 12-3 wearing red-on-red since 2005. That stat is courtesy of Cardinals’ VP of media relations Mark Dalton.

— If you are coming to the game Sunday, the annual holiday food drive to benefit St. Mary’s Food Bank is taking place. Please bring non-perishable food items to drop off at the gate so those less fortunate can be helped. (You can donate money if you want).

— No Reggie Wayne for the Colts. “It’s like taking out the heartbeat,” Arians said. But they do have tight end Coby Fleener, who has taken a bit to get rolling in the NFL but who is coming off his best game. And we know how the Cards have been with tight ends. Stop T.Y. Hilton first, of course, but they better watch Fleener.

Between the background between Arians and the Colts, the teams’ records, the Cards’ three-game winning streak, this is going to have a playoff feel to it Sunday.

But before that, we walk off with Carson Palmer’s Chronicles video: “My mustache is ginger, but very Tom Selleck.”

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Posted in Blog | 19 Comments »

19 Responses to “Friday before the Colts”

  1. By andystandsup on Nov 22, 2013 | Reply

    Love the Cards stats and trivia that VP of media Mark Dalton puts outs before and after the game.
    Question is, if he’s the vice president – who’s the head guy?

    And don’t say it’s Calvisi.

  2. By HunterSThompson on Nov 22, 2013 | Reply

    Red with red! My favorite uni combo! Thanks for putting in the good word Darren. 😉

  3. By infitzwetrust on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    I hope Greg Toler doesn’t get an interception.

  4. By Darren Urban on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    Infitz —

    RE: Toler

    Since he has already been ruled out for the game, he probably won’t.

  5. By Jerry on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    Just curious, where does the money go when players are fined? Does it go to some kind of foundation? I’d like to see go for better protective gear such as helmets I’ve seen more helmets come off of players this season than I have the last decade.

  6. By Darren Urban on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    Jerry —

    RE: Fine money

    It goes to charity.

  7. By LadyBird04 on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    What’s with Carson’s right hand? He starts off the Cronicles with his right (his throwing hand) and then changes to his left. You mentioned he was on the injury report earlier in week with a hand issue. How serious is the problem? We really need him able to hold the ball but if he can’t hold a pen…

  8. By Darren Urban on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    Lady —

    RE: Carson

    He practiced full all week, so it can’t be that big of a deal.

  9. By Andy Kw on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    This should be a very good game. The Colts have a stellar offense and a decent defense.
    -Palmer vs. Luck
    Both are great Quarterbacks, Luck’s accuracy needs to improve but he has been making a lot of great plays with his feet. Carson Palmer has thrown 6 TD and 2 INT the past 3 games so he is on a role.
    -Ellington vs. Brown
    Trent Richardson probably will not get going in this game but he will be a threat in the upcoming games. Donald Brown had his best game last week gaining 80yds and 2TD runs. Mendenhall has been inconsistent lately but has been improving nonetheless. Ellington is coming off his work game so anything is possible.
    -Fitzgerald & Floyd vs. Hilton & Heyward Bey
    Hilton is one of the fastest receivers that I have seen in the NFL so our defense needs to be at full capacity in the secondary. Darrius Heyward Bey has dropped to many balls so his inconsistency could be used in the Cardinals favor. Floyd is coming off the best game of his career (6rec 193yds 1TD) and is becoming an NFL receiver threat. Fitzgerald is coming off one of his best games in the season (6rec 61yds 1TD). Lets see who is more dominant.
    -Rob Housler vs. Coby Fleener
    Both are becoming reliable targets and both are still adapting to the NFL level. Housler has more experience but Coby Fleener is Luck’s go-to target since his Stanford Days.

    -This game should be one of the best games of the week.

  10. By Mike G on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Looking forward to this match up tomorrow. Good correlation between the Cards-Pitt game under Whiz– I think it is very similar and could be a spring-board game for the Cards. I think the Mathis – Sowell match up is the most important in this game. Sowell seems to be battling out there. Hope the Big Red can come on top!!! —Darren–Has Sowell met Cardinal expectations thus far through 10 games????

  11. By clssylssy on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    Was watching ESPN this morning and was very pleased to hear the props given to the Arizona defense; we actually were seen as a potential threat to both the Colts and the Eagles offense! This is going to be another great game with a lot of people taking notice, so I hope we don’t start off slow and feel too comfortable because we are at home. We need to play a complete game for the full sixty and treat it like a playoff game. No room for mistakes, no stupid penalties (taunting, off sides, etc.). Last week’s game against the Jags was a good practice for this week’s contest with the Colts and if we can play as error free as possible, use the opportunities the defense gives the offense to score TDs, control the time of possession, we might pull a win out. I don’t think the Colts offense can stand up against our D’s blitz but we are going to have to keep the pressure on Luck and remember he is a very physical young QB who can’t be allowed to get loose. We are still the only team in our division without a divisional win and St.Louis is looking better with their game going either way (I’m picking Chicago?) as could the 9ers (likely their win); things are definitely getting interesting and a win would put some real pepper in the gumbo! Even with BA’s familiarity with the Colts, that can cut both ways and Pagano surely is familiar with BA’s style and thinking as are some of the players so, this is going to have to be a COMPLETE team effort. Looking for the Red Sea to rise up and show just how talented and “interesting” (ESPN’s words) this Cardinal Team is. Let’s be LOUD & PROUD! GO CARDS!

  12. By 'Zona Fan 89 on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply


    Did you actually mention anything to the organization about fans wanting to see the red on red look? If so, thanks! If not, I suppose you’re still awesome 🙂

  13. By Andy Kw on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Do you think Daryl Washington will have at least 60 tackles by the end of the season?

  14. By Darren Urban on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Dwash


  15. By Andy Kw on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    What happened to TE Jeff King? Is he on the injury reserve list or something?

  16. By Darren Urban on Nov 23, 2013 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: King

    Yes. That information can be found very easily:

  17. By Mark Moreno on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren…Since the Cardinal’s are wearing Red on Red…Do you think they will open the roof for tomorrow’s game? barring any weather…since they do good also when It’s open Thank’s

  18. By Darren Urban on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    Mark —

    RE: Roof open

    I would guess it will be open assuming the weather cooperates.

  19. By ored on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    i guess all things lined up,the red on red,open roof,you know,all those things that are condusive to a win,even larry looked more comfortable out there,more like his old self making catching tds look’s to keeping our bottles lined up,after all it’s not weird if it’s working.

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