Colts aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on November 24, 2013 – 8:04 pm

Bruce Arians stuck with them. That’s what popped to mind Sunday. There were many calls to dump Rashard Mendenhall to the bench and Carson Palmer too. The Cardinals’ coach didn’t. Sunday that paid off.

This isn’t to reignite the Mendenhall-Ellington debate. I still think Ellington is the better back (and oh my he showed some of his shifty goodness against the Colts, especially with that 17-yard run along the sideline) but Mendenhall had a burst against Indy we hadn’t seen. And if he can play like that, he’s worth having on the field and worth being the yin to Ellington’s yang. As for Palmer, the cacophony surrounding him when he was throwing way too many interceptions was hard to ignore. Arians stood by him. Now? Palmer looks like a QB of a playoff team.

“The biggest difference really is trust,” Palmer said, before admitting, “It took a little longer than you’d like.”

There are many things going well for the Cardinals right now. But offensively, they are clicking, and those two vets are in the middle of it.

— It does feel like sometimes, the defense gets a short shrift. They just do what they do, they control the game, and the Cards are winning (or at least have a chance to win). Palmer said it best: “Identity-wise, we’re a defensive football team,” the quarterback said.

— After all the talk all week of Arians and his Colts memories, that was more or less put aside Sunday. Lots of pre-game hugs (and a few postgame) but basically it’s been the B.A. the Cards have known all year. “It’s crazy, he’s been even keel all week,” defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said.

— If there was a question about which better second-half unit would win the second half – the Colts’ offense or the Cardinals’ defense – it came out on the Cardinals’ favor. Arizona took the second half, 13-8, and honestly, I’m not sure how safety Yeremiah Bell didn’t get a hand on the lone touchdown pass to tight end Coby Fleener.

— Then again, if you would have said Luck would give up as many touchdowns throwing the ball as scoring, the Cards would have taken it.

— Good to see you hold on to one, Karlos Dansby.

— Good to see Darnell Dockett not get a sack on that play, too. “I don’t care,” Dockett said. “They say, ‘You had the sack.’ I don’t care, Karlos had the touchdown, and I’ll take the interception touchdown over a sack any day. I’m glad I didn’t hit his arm and knock the ball out.”

— Arians with his quote of the day, talking about his second half defense against the explosive Colts: “We didn’t want any bullets left in the gun. I know I’m not supposed to say bullets anymore. It’s not the politically correct thing. But here in Arizona it’s OK.”

— It was kind of amazing that the Cardinals, on their first two TD drives, did not face a third down. That’s one way to avoid the third-down conversion problem.

— Speaking of that, 7-for-14 on third downs works. And Dave Zastudil only punted twice. He had never had fewer than four in a game since joining the Cardinals in 2011.

— Palmer’s touchdown of 26 yards to Larry Fitzgerald was a thing of beauty. Palmer hung in the pocket a long time and absorbed a crushing hit by linebacker Kelvin Sheppard while delivering the perfect pass – with Fitz being chased by two defenders.

— According to media relations VP Mark Dalton, that makes the Cards 13-3 overall wearing the red-red uniforms and seven in a row. And here I am feeding into the frenzy. I disappoint myself.

— Fitz looked like Fitz on those touchdown catches. He now has eight this season, double his 2012 total. His other numbers don’t match up to what he’d like, but heck. All he does is catch touchdowns. The Cards could live with that.


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47 Responses to “Colts aftermath”

  1. By cardinal on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply


  2. By Jasonc on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    It feels good for me to have defended Carson, Mendy and the Cards on this blog before the 4 game win streak! Of course now the hater fans will say “so what we beat the Colts at home and they’ve been struggling” who cares, I only care about the next game!

  3. By Dre on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    Good team win. Go cards let’s get Los lock up for two more years

  4. By georgiebird on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    The Cardinals were slight favorites in this game but the results were beyond anyone’s expectations. Just an excellent game played game on both sides of the ball.

  5. By georgiebird on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    The most obvious thing in the past two weeks: the Carolina Panthers have to be the luckiest team in the NFL.

  6. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    Your first paragraph says it all. The Palmer INT’s divided this blog into defenders of Palmer and those who were ready to write him off just a few weeks into the season. How many times did I read something like “Why not give Stanton a shot?” or “What have we got to lose with Stanton?” Or the familiar “it can’t get any worse…” Some Cards fans have short memories. Remember last year, when we tried Lindley because “it can’t get any worse”? It got worse.

    I hope to see the anti-Palmer camp acknowledging they were wrong and eating some crow on this blog.

    4,000 yards is now a distinct possibility… just needs to average a little over 220 the last 5 games.

  7. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    WOW! We haven’t played a game like that since Kurt Warner left! Just total domination and a balanced attack to boot! Keep up the great work team — you’re really starting to gel with each other and the new staff. Coach Arians really had the Colt’s number. Another nice job by the O-Line to keep Carson Upright.

    And super kudos to Michaell Bidwill for selecting Steve Keim as GM who got this team back on track!

    We control our playoff destiny at this point and that’s more than most of us could have asked for at this point.

  8. By ored on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    small things+all the big things done well= chemistry,we have the talent,now we are starting to put it together,the more we do it the easier it gets and the better we get at it,the big red bird is arising from the ashes right before our eyes,all those timing and route issues will start to become 2nd nature the more they do them.

  9. By Bay Area Bad Boy on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    yes, I have to eat crow. Palmer and Mendenhall both looked good today. So I will give credit where credit is do. Now as a true Cardinal fan, lets keep it going. Big game next week in Philly. Eagle are coming off a bye week, so I hope we have our big boy pants on. Great win. Go Cards !!!! So, So much better than last season.

  10. By nate on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    signature win

  11. By red bird of death! on Nov 24, 2013 | Reply

    We are awesome, and now let’s go kick some eagle ass!,!,!!,!!, whoooooooooooon red birds Fly high!!!!

  12. By T. Stone on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Nice. lets keep it going. AND… I’ll be the first to admit it, I had to Google the word cacophony. That’s a Nice word. There will be cacophony surrounding the Cardinals next week in Philadelphia stadium for sure. Darren, good to watch the Chat last week. Keep up the good work Cardinals.

  13. By Cheese on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Dear Darren,

    No complaints! AWESOME!!!!!!!!


  14. By Darren Urban on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Cheese —

    RE: Complaints

    Lol. Good to hear.

  15. By Dynosoar on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Bay Area Bad Boy,

    we don’t want to eat crow, we want to eat Eagles, Seahawks, Rams and 49ers. After the last few years, you and everyone were entitled to worry about our O-Line and QB production. Crows aren’t on the list, but Eagles are.

    Georgiebird, man o man are you dead on with both comments.

    Against the Rams, black jerseys and red pants. Playoff teams win in November and we’ve won four straight. Elite QB’s throw for 1st downs and touchdowns on 3rd down. Palmer did that (when he had a 3rd down.)

    Good line “It was kind of amazing that the Cardinals, on their first two TD drives, did not face a third down. That’s one way to avoid the third-down conversion problem.”

    Elite QB’s throw accurately and consistently above 60%
    Palmer has 3 games over 70%, 5 games between 60 & 70% and only 3 under 60%. Last 7 games are all over 60%.

    He’s rated 10th on stats.

    We’ve got all the stats for a playoff team. After watching today’s game, It was obvious we have the attitude and fortitude of a playoff team. I don’t know what the post-season will bring, but I’m excited and a run to New York isn’t as far fetched as it once was.

    But first – the Eagles, Rams, Seahawks and 49ers. Then we can talk about the next 4 games of the season.

    Darren, who do I contact to request black jerseys with red pants? Who chooses what uniform we wear?

    This season is turning out to be sweeter than I could’ve imagined.

  16. By Big Ken on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    It’s ALIVE!!!!!

  17. By Rich on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Any reason BA would not put Stanton, Minter, and a few others out there in the final couple minutes? get those guys some snaps and eliminate the risk if injury to a few key players?

  18. By Darren Urban on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Rich —

    RE: Subs

    The question didn’t come up. I will try to ask today.

  19. By rod on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    I think BA didn’t put those guys in and frankly kept attacking is because the offense is still new and needs to keep building. Sort of when you finally “get it” when learning something, you keep doing it for a while so it sinks in, you don’t just stop.

    Wish I could express my thought a little better. 🙂

    Great win !

  20. By Rich on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Our home crowd is really getting loud again. Reminded me a little of the NFC championship game against the eagles. Gotta keep it up, Red Sea !!!

  21. By rod on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    It was embarrassing to see the stadium so empty with 7 minutes to go. I get that the game was over and folks wanted to beat the traffic but maybe that’s another symptom of why we don’t get any respect. I don’t see other teams fans doing that.

    TV land saw a 3/4 empty stadium of supposedly a hungry fanbase during and awesome victory, I don’t get it.

    Maybe the folks who left early are in reality the losers and haters who always cram the message boards when we are losing but are silent when we win!!

    It was embarrassing.

  22. By Corgon on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    This game was so complete! It was nice to see what’s going on when everything is working like a swiss clock.
    The run D? Man oh man! Except Luck’s 28yrd scramble in the 4th and the last drive we gave up 19 yrds on the ground. Ok, not the Seehawks, but still, the 7-3(now 4) Colts with a legit QB.
    The moment of truth is coming! Let’s nab the next 3 in a row and and go after the ‘hawks and the 9ers with 10 W under our belt.
    Go Cards! Team is what it takes!

  23. By 'Zona Fan 89 on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    I knew it was all about the red pants!

    From a Cards fan living in Indiana, that game was fun to watch! 🙂

  24. By Eric G on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Absolutely fantastic win. The NFL can no longer ignore the Cards. Go out and beat them Iggles this Sunday. We should be happy they aren’t playing the Sunday night game for three reasons. #1 the Cards have a bad record on nationally televised night games and seem to play bad too. #2 I live near Philly and it is freaking cold right now. It looks to be 50 during the day, which is tolerable. A game at night would be frigid. #3 Sunday night games end around midnight here. Wonder if BA is thinking maybe a practice up in Flagstaff for a day to get some acclimation.

  25. By clssylssy on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Now THAT’S what I’m talking about! AWESOME GAME! Wow, everybody looked like they were clicking and played like contenders in getting a substantial win over a respected opponent! All along I think BA has had a different RB role for Mendenhall and it wasn’t an “either/or” issue between he and Ellington, am happy that he wasn’t dissuaded by the armchair experts calling for Mendenhall to be benched as he was looking very Adrian Peterson-like on some of his runs yesterday–big bodied guy, moving like a souped up steamroller mowing them down and picking up yards! Together he and Ellington really brought some attention to our running game! If we can just take each week a game at a time and not get over confident we are looking like we have a shot. And, great play calling by Coach BA, was very happy for him and thought he probably deserved the Game Ball. The Philly and the Titans game both have the potential for being played in the cold which traditionally we have not been good at adapting to (Seattle goes without saying) and I don’t know how we can prepare for that but it seems one year Whiz had the guys playing with wind machines & artificial noise before a Seattle match (we still lost)? And, CONGRATULATIONS LARRY FITZGERALD for being the youngest to ever reach 11,000 yards–kinda surprised that you didn’t mention it Darren, or maybe you did but I missed it. Loved the Red on Red uniforms too, they really leave no doubt that it’s the Cardinals Team on the field and kinda punctuated each play. It’s only taken us eleven games to “jell” but the Cards are gaining some attention as the most “interesting” team in the league…been here before and it’s good to be back! Let’s keep our peddle to the floor for the remaining stretch!

  26. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Congrats on fine win, shades of 2008-2009, no? BA told us Palmer was not the problem, guess the old fart knows something. And Ray Horton was not the second coming, Bowles was;) I’ll just sit back and read all the pithy comments, basking in the big win for a day. But sure hope we punk the Eagles.

  27. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Darren: Noticed jasper Brinkley got a lot of plays, new LB package?

  28. By Darren Urban on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    DTL —

    RE: Brinkley

    They definitely used some new wrinkles.

  29. By red bird of death! on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    We’re not ever going to have black jerseys and red pants , just forget it,. We should however loose those darn white and red get ups that make us look like total herbs out there , can we just go back to our old school red jerseys white pants Darren ? cause I know you want to talk about this right now.

  30. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply


    Has anyone mentioned the parallels between the 2013 offense and the 2011 defense? You see players talking about how Arians’ scheme is complicated, and took a while to digest, but now it’s clicking. Palmer’s INT’s are down, and perhaps this is partly him throwing better passes, but also that the receivers are now where they are supposed to be. The 2011 defense seemed similarly to suddenly start getting it right at around the halfway mark. I remember Horton saying early in 2011 that he hadn’t even introduced many elements of the scheme yet and I seem to remember Arians saying earlier this year when the O was struggling that he was going to simplify things for a while.

    I think some of us fans forget that adjusting to a new system can take a while.

  31. By Brian on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    that’s how we play D in AZ! good job by the o-line. im beginning to put my trust in bruce and his coaching. great win. lets see more dominations in the future!

  32. By Dynosoar on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Never thought this was possible, but I’m cheering for the Redskins tonight.

  33. By Corgon on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    WOW. Just realized, after 11 games (except the number of the interceptions) Tom Brady has almost the same stats as Palmer.
    The difference is 9 yards, 1 td for Brady, but Palmer has the BETTER completion percentage. WR problems here, TE problems there, I’d take TB’s stats every year in a heartbeat.

  34. By Dynosoar on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply


    You’re spot on. Incredibly poor message to send our team.

    I watched the Real Salt Lake / Portland Timbers playoff game last night (soccer) and Real won. It was 1-0 and because it’s a two game aggregate and Real won the first game 4-2, they had a two point margin going into the game. This meant Portland needed to score 3 goals to tie the aggregate score and four points to win or be eliminated.

    The Portland fans were still chanting/cheering/dancing and excited all the way till the games end and even a few minutes after.

    It would be a statement if our fans had the same passion and staying power. I can only imagine how the Portland team felt regarding their fan base and wonder greatly about how our Cardinals feel about their fan base. The Portland fan base drives a team to success.

    I couldn’t believe how empty the stadium was at the end. I’ve seen less empty seats during a loss. Incredibly poor message to send our team.

  35. By rod on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Yep, and I was thinking about the fans who were there until the end of the game and was like, those are the fans!

  36. By john faile on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    This reminds me of the red uniform 2009 win over vikings.

  37. By SteveG on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Wonderful game..I wonder of Fitz is more focussed on his 2 TD’s or his one drop? (I believe I am correct in saying his first “drop” of the year?)..My $$ are on the drop….

    Amazing what health does to a players ability (bot Rash and Fitz)friends?

    Docket, Williams, Campbell and friends? AMAZING!! (pressure AND stone cold run stoppers)..Seriously, was Luck comfortable on ANY throw all day?

    “I think he’s got it”…Anyone with eyes re. Carson Palmer. (NOW the fun begins for the O) Oh, and props to the Oline..didn’t hear a single name all game..always a GREAT sign!!

    Philly is gonna be a test..I suspect we will do well against that D.

    Biggest weapon that the Cards have?? Steve Keim.

  38. By John The Draft Guy on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Here is what I see out of Palmer;

    This guy believes in his offensive line, stands in the pocket till the last second with his eyes down the field. You never see him take off to the left or right till the pocket is compromised. He will step up and allow the tackles to ride the speed rushers by.

    This is what I have been saying about a good QB can make the line look good. A bad QB can make a good oline look bad.

    I like that Palmer trust his wrs to make the plays. A few times, Floyd was covered, but was one on one. Palmer put the ball out there for Floyd to get it.

    He was pin point accurate with his two TDs to Fitz. Just perfect passes and great routes by Larry.

    Even when he was incomplete, the passes made sense. I think of one down by the goal line, where he tried to get it to Roberts. The ball almost was picked due to a very good play. But looking at the throw, Roberts had a DE on him in a zone blitz. Right read, good pass, the DE just made a great play on the ball.

    I was one who wanted to trade for Palmer when he sat out in Cinncy. I was pushing to grab Palmer at the beginning of the season. I was all for drafting a QB till we landed Palmer. I believe in this guy and I think these last couple of games is showing why.

    In a first year of a new coach and new QB, I figured it would take some time. Not to mention, Fitz being hobbled. I dont think they knew how to use Floyd and what they had at RB, nor did they have the right guys on the oline. But I think you are seeing the team now gel on offense and an offense emerging.

    Just look at Palmer the last three games since the Bye week.
    3 -0 record, 68% comp ratio, 6 TDs , 1 pick, 974 yards and a passing rating well over 100.

  39. By Peter in Canada on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    JTDG –

    You are absolutely right about how a good QB can make the line look better than it is. From 2010-2012 everyone was complaining about the offensive line. In 2008 we went to the Super Bowl with Gandy, Lutui, Sendelin, Reggie Wells and Brown. No superstars there but not many complaints. Under Anderson, Skelton, Kolb etc. the line with minimal changes suddenly were no good. Our line is still not great because Palmer even yesterday had pressure but as you say he did not panic and stepped up into the pocket to buy the necessary time to complete his throws.

  40. By Peter in Canada on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    John Faile –

    I remember that game. In keeping with JTDG’s comments Bridges played left tackle and kept Jarred Allen the premier pass rusher that year off Warner’s back when everyone predicted Allen would have a field day. In the following 2 years, post Warner he never looked as good.

  41. By johnnybluenose on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    rod. you are absolutely correct. were there that many colts fans in attendance or do the people in arizona not know how to properly support their team? you people are so lucky to have a team in your city/state. i happened to be in new orleans a week ago when the saints beat the niners. i did not have a ticket but i went to the superdome. their fans are solidly behind their team and bourbon street was crazy afterwards. i know it helps when your team wins and the game is close. new orleans is a small city like phoenix but the NFL is a bigger deal there than it is in phoenix. maybe winning has a lot to do with that. if so, now that we are winning again maybe our cardinals will receive the support they deserve. let us hope.

  42. By Jasonc on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply


    I lived in New Orleans from 1998-2002 when the Saints had the likes of Billy Joe Hebert, Danny Wuefel, Billy Joe Toliver, Jeff Blake and Aaron Brooks playing QB for them. They were just 5 years removed from the playoffs and were back in the playoffs again in 2000 and they didn’t have any where near the support they have today. I moved back to New Orleans again from 2006-2010 and it was the aftermath of Katrina, the signing of Drew Brees, the hiring of Sean Payton and the magic/winning that ensued that really turned that fan base into the fanatical group they are now…throw in a SB victory and forget about it. I still have many friends who are Saints fans and I joke with them all the time that they are a Drew Brees injury away from being irrealevant again!

  43. By cardsalltheway on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Nice! With that win and the news below out of Seattle, WA things could end up very good…

    On February 2nd, 2014 at MetLife Stadium – Kickoff Countdown

  44. By andystandsup on Nov 25, 2013 | Reply

    Did I just see Darren use “lol’ in a response?
    Is the world nearing its end?

  45. By ored on Nov 26, 2013 | Reply

    totally agree with the offense and palmer in particular comments…don’t ya just love it when a plan comes together.that said we still need to draft a qb this next draft,someone to learn from palmer,how not to take off running everytime there’s pressure,keep your composure and make em pay for every hit.also seems like the injuries are worse when constantly scrambling,look how many hits palmer has taken,he just gets up,ready to go again,where as kolb or skelton constantly had injuries from being hit while scrambling.

    i think maybe next year we try to find stanton a starting job somewhere and draft a qb of the future…also i wonder if whatever they saw in lindley is growing into anything.

  46. By johnnybluenose on Nov 26, 2013 | Reply

    @Jasonc. thanks for the insight. hopefully our winning and our elite players can get the fans more excited.

  47. By clssylssy on Nov 26, 2013 | Reply

    rod & dynosoar
    I have a feeling that those who left were very dejected and demoralized Colts fans or people had kids who had to go to school the next day and had homework, or the casual fan who was coming to see the Cards play a big name team…you will get that in any NFL stadium, it’s not usually the season ticket holders who tend to be the die hards and stay till the last whistle is blown. In the midwest, playing outdoor, it’s not uncommon to see fans begin leaving at the half in subzero weather and when we played at Sun Devil, it was the same for Cards fans enduring triple digit heat…again, the season ticket holders seem to be a different breed maybe because they’ve got so much invested in tickets or they’ve figured out that by staying they will actually have less traffic. I really don’t think too many people are watching what is going on in the stands when the action on the field is so awesome. I’ve had people mention to me that there doesn’t seem to be that many at the game come kickoff time because the stadium isn’t completely filled but then I have to explain that’s because of the pregame festivities on the great lawn and straglers still partying and finishing that last beer. Believe it or not, there are some stadiums that don’t tailgate!

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