Rams aftermath

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

There was so much good. Carson Palmer, taking – basically – the week off and slicing and dicing the Rams regardless. Larry Fitzgerald being a frequent and effective target. John Abraham coming up with three sacks and making GM Steve Keim look like a genius for signing him. Karlos Dansby having yet another fantastic game and making Keim look like an uber-genius.

But it’s hard here on Sunday night to get past the Tyrann Mathieu knee injury. It’s probably a torn ACL. That’s the mood in the locker room and what Bruce Arians said, although the coach put in the caveat that Monday’s further tests are needed to cement such a diagnosis. Usually, if the team is willing to come out and say that’s probably what it is, that’s what it is. The Cardinals are fortunate to have a ton of defensive back depth, and assuming Mathieu is down Rashad Johnson goes back to starting and the Cards have Antoine Cason and/or Javier Arenas to fill in. It’s not ideal. There is a reason Mathieu was starting and playing so much and his versatility really helped this team. But we’ll hear all about next man up, because what else can you do?

— Abraham has 11 sacks. This was a guy unwanted – for his price, I’m sure – by the rest of the league before the Cards picked him up. He went sackless the first six games. Now he’s a menace. And he’s playing all the time. Abraham was thanking the Cards on Twitter for picking him up when no one else believed in him. The Cards need to be thanking him. He’s the first Card with double-digit sacks since Bertrand Berry had 14½ in 2004. Berry made the Pro Bowl. I don’t know if Abraham makes the Pro Bowl, but he deserves some thought.

— Speaking of Pro Bowl, Dansby anyone?

— I mean, what a season. It’s driving him batty he dropped all those picks early in the season, which cost him gaudier stats and probably a touchdown or two. As it is, Dansby now has six sacks, three interceptions and more than 100 tackles. Re-signing him is not going to be an easy process – which, because it’s because Dansby is playing so well, is not a horrible thing for Keim.

— The Cardinals went 8 for 14 on third downs. That was impressive. Easily the best percentage (57) of the season.

— I am probably the only one who cares, but I loved that Abraham was rocking the Vancouver Grizzlies Mike Bibby jersey as his post-game dress today. Not sure he knows Bibby is a Valley product, but Mike Bibby Griz? Priceless.

— Michael Floyd did not look like himself on his gimpy ankle. They got him a couple of late catches, but they need him to be healthy down the stretch.

— Jay Feely misses a 50-yard field goal, barely. OK. But then he missed a 25-yarder and we all know that does not sit well with Bruce Arians.

— They gave left tackle Bradley Sowell help and Palmer was smart about things, but the offensive line deserves credit for holding up the way they did in pass protection. And Arians deserves credit for making sure the coaching staff adjusted from Week One.

— Tight end problems? What tight end problems? Jared Cooks sliced up the Cards last time. Today? Three catches (in six targets) for 49 yards. And 31 of those yards were meaningless on the final play of the first half with the Cards playing prevent.

— The Cardinals got unlucky that tight end Jim Dray fumbled right before the goal line on what should have been Palmer’s second TD pass. They got lucky it was called a TD so a long return was negated – although the Cardinals clearly didn’t chase Janoris Jenkins on the runback having seen a touchdown signaled.

— You can’t say enough about Palmer. That first drive? Impressive. That TD drive right before halftime? More impressive.

— It was good the Cards snapped the NFC West losing streak. But as solid as the Rams can be, they aren’t the Seahawks or 49ers. Those tests still await.


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27 Responses to “Rams aftermath”

  1. By UK cards fan on Dec 8, 2013 | Reply

    Thanks for replying to my tweets during the game Darren, much appreciated. Overall good game, I think Rashad is more than capable of slotting back into his position… and I’m also impressed with that Vancouver Griz jersey, I would really like to own one of those.

    One criticism: It seems at least once a game a cards WR is oblivious to palmer putting them in motion, something that should’ve probably been sorted out by now.

  2. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 8, 2013 | Reply

    Way to finish — again — guys!

    And yes, Abraham and Dansby need extensions after the season is over. Would like to have both, but would have to choose Karkos due to his younger age and pairing with D-Wash. Like Darren said, good problems to have — nothing at all like last year in that regard.

    Needless to say, keeping Palmer upright and comfy pays HUGE dividends. As good as the line was, we’ll still need to add more depth and talent on the O-Line. The season is just to long for anyone up front not to go down. As long a Palmer is QB, O-line depth will be critical.

  3. By BirdsSTC on Dec 8, 2013 | Reply

    Proud of my Birds today. Honey Badger… man, that really hurts. I’m watching the Panthers get their clocks cleaned by the Saints right now. Here’s hoping maybe they lose some confidence and drop a few more after tonight. One can hope. Keep it up Red Birds and make us proud!

  4. By Big Ken on Dec 8, 2013 | Reply

    Rashad Johnson gets another interception. He’s underrated.

  5. By Sir60 on Dec 8, 2013 | Reply

    A very impressive defensive performance.

    I think we are going to miss the Honey Badger.

  6. By Infitzwetrust on Dec 8, 2013 | Reply

    Get well soon #32!

    Regardless of what happens this season, it’s great to know we are one of the better teams in the nfl. We have a solid core and just need a few more complimentary peices to become a championship team once again. Here’s to hoping we can win it out!

  7. By georgiebird on Dec 8, 2013 | Reply

    Very good game for the Cards. Winning a division games and staying ahead of the Rams is part of the process of getting better and then taking aim at the Seahawks and 49ers in years to come..

  8. By Brett n Co. on Dec 8, 2013 | Reply

    Great game! But you’re right Seattle and San Fran will be the monkey to get off our backs.

  9. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 8, 2013 | Reply

    Well, after tonight, the Cards’ path to the playoffs is clear. Difficult, but clear. They have to win out. Any other scenario, we’d have to get a ridiculous amount of help. If they win out, they are in if Carolina loses their other game against the Saints (highly doubt they lose to NYJ or Atlanta, just as I highly doubt SF loses to TB or Atlanta which is our only way to pass them even if we beat them in the finale). That’s about all there is to it. Philly and Dallas are irrelevant to the wild card if we win out; one of them will win the division and the other will have at least 6 losses.

    That loss the first week to the Rams hurts badly now. As does the loss last week when we had all those calls (and non-calls) go against us late.

  10. By VaCardsFan on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply


    While I agree its doubtful… I can still see the niners getting over confident and sleeping on Tampa Bay who has been playing good football as of late. But maybe its more wishful thinking, at any rate hopefully the Cards keep this momentum up and dominate the Titans!

  11. By cardsalltheway on Dec 8, 2013 | Reply

    What, not a mention of Darnell Dockett? Here he is behaving badly? Will he be fined?–nfl.html?vp=1

  12. By Rich on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Great Performance , especially By Palmer. Crowd was not very loud at the game. We need to “ramp up the noise” !

  13. By red bird of death! on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Must win next week and take it from there, damn good show today love it, we shocked the world once and we will do it again! GO CARDS!

  14. By azgrays on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, forgive my lack of understanding about how Wild Card system works exactly, but perhaps you could write a post this week outlining the various scenarios that have to happen from here on out in order for us to make the playoffs.

    I know that we cannot catch Seattle. Are all of our hopes hanging on us winning + the 49ers losing? Do we have any wriggle room? What about Carolina and Detroit currently occupying those two WC spots? We’ve beaten both of them. What has to happen in order for our record against those teams to come into play?

  15. By johnnybluenose on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Very good game yesterday. I actually expected the Rams to put up a bit of a fight but we were clearly the better team. A very tough break for Mathieu. That two point safety we got has turned around and bitten us and bitten us hard. That’s a shame because he has played and conducted himself so well. And for bringing in a new coaching staff and so many new players who have performed beyond expectations, my Most Valuable Cardinal is Steve Keim. Great job. Tough decisions to be made going forward though. And just like the game against the Colts, it irritated me yesterday to see so many empty seats late in the game. How hard is it to stay until the end, especially when you are winning? And how glad is everyone that we played in philly last week and not yesterday? And is the NFL getting a wee bit nervous about their decision to play the Super Bowl in New York after seeing all that snow yesterday? Keep going Redbirds…..and will we see red on red at home against the Niners? Would not bet against it.

  16. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    We make playoffs if Carolina goes 1-2 and we go 2-1, or they go 2-1 and we run table., Otherwise, probably “shouda coulda”. Great game, left minimum of 13 pts on table, maybe more. Maybe this just sets table to AZ SB next year?

  17. By shannon robinson on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Did Coach Pratt our Pass Rush Specialist get his game ball for that one? Prayers go out for the Honey Badger – what a great kid to have on our team. Interesting that Mr. Keim kept Curtis Taylor on the practice squad so another LSU safety now steps up. Bradley Sowell is my hero this week – good job Coach Goodwin! Fascinating to me how the Cards were low key on the injury to Palmer – retrospect says he was hurt in the Philly game and kept fighting. This is a fun team to root for.

  18. By brian r, on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    cardinal fans need to fill the seats

  19. By mal on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply


    The playoff picture is pretty simple. There are 4 division winners and the next 2 best teams are the wildcards. If wildcards have a tied record, there are tie-breakers.

    The 2 teams ahead of us for the wildcard spots are SF and Carolina. If we end up tied with the same record as Carolina, we win the tie-breaker cuz we beat them head-to-head. If we end up tied with SF, they win the tie-breaker, cuz after head-to-head the tie-breaker is division record.

    If the Cards win out and Carolina loses one more game, we’re good. If the Cards win out and SF drops their game in Tampa this week, we’re good. It’s a lot to wish for, mostly becuz we still have a game in Seattle.

  20. By mal on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply


    I agree with azgrays — with the playoff picture so clear now, I think it would be a great time for an article.

    Its hard to believe, but the Cards could finish this season at 10-6 or even 11-5 and still not make the playoffs. What a helluva story line this is becoming for BA’s first year as a head coach.

  21. By clssylssy on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Another great team effort and proof that old dogs still can hang with the young pups, are relevant, and can teach them something with a good thrashing! Love having such a strong veteran corp in guys like Dansby, Fitz, Dockett, Abraham, Mendenhall, Palmer, Feeley, Collenge strong “second tier” of young vets like Peterson, Washington, Cambell, Housler, Dray,Bethel etc,. to help our rookies learn the ropes on the field and provide a stable locker room. My heart breaks for the Honey Badger and I hope his Cardinal brothers will keep him under their wing and provide him the support and focus to get through his surgery and rehab to be back 110% by minicamps and OTAs. Even if this team gets edged out of the playoffst, it has been a great beginning and something to build on. I just hope that the front office is smart enough to be able to keep this team in tact as much as possible without the complete do-over that has prevented us from any kind of continued success in the past. Now that we have a division win and have had a good showing at home, it’s time to take the show on the road and show the world that we’re not just a fair weather dome team. Tennessee can be a hostile foe in December so it’s important that we keep our eye on the prize and PLAY STRONG from beginning to end. GREAT JOB PLAYERS, COACHES & BIRDGANG. Prayers and love for #32.

  22. By Matthew Thomas on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    It’s Great that we win against those rams. But it STINKS that we about to lose Honey Badger the final 3 games of our season is going to be ALOT tougher without honey badger playing because that injury.

  23. By John The Draft Guy on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Rich and Brian,

    I can’t agree more. Card fans come late and leave early. I can’t image KC or Seattle fans leaving half the stands empty with most of the 4th quarter to play. I saw it with the Indy game and again I saw it.

    To top it off, it wasn’t loud in there. A division game and it really wasn’t that loud.

    Then to top that off (and no I am not kidding), on 3 occasions as I am leaving the stadium, drunks were passed out cold and being put on stretchers by paramedics.
    These were grown men, probably with a wife and kids. Oh, I am sure they are so proud.

    Are you kidding me? I have been a loyal season ticket fan for 22 years now and if the stadium can’t figure out a way to handle all these loser drunks, it might be my last.

    I go to the games to watch football because I enjoy the game. I really don’t see any other reason to go. Cheer on my team, maybe have some friendly give-n-take with another teams fan and have a good time. I don’t go to see how many 9-10 dollar beers I can shove down my throat so I can pass out in the walkways. Or jump in my truck/car and see how many people I can cut off in the parking lot.

    I really dont care how many thumbs down I get, Get it together Card fans, this isn’t Oakland for Gods sake.

  24. By Chris B on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Big Ken- I don’t think underrated is the word. Matheui is just better. That’s not a knock on Johnson… at all.

  25. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 9, 2013 | Reply

    Patrick Hoog and others —

    Yes, if the Panthers go 1-2 while we go 2-1, we are ahead of them. But going 2-1 also leaves open the possibility of losing the spot to Philly or Dallas if they each win all their games up to their finale. I know we lose the tiebreak to Philly; not sure about Dallas.

    I don’t think that’s a likely scenario — both those teams have been pretty inconsistent — but just pointing out that we aren’t guaranteed to be in if we and Carolina both finish 10-6, because there are still other teams that could end up tied with us there. We are definitely in if we and Carolina both finish 11-5.

  26. By mal on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply

    Kevin S-

    But if we win out, and Carolina wins out, we finish at 11-5 and they finish at 12-4, and we miss the playoffs. Incredible. (unless SF stumbles in Tampa… )

  27. By clssylssy on Dec 10, 2013 | Reply

    Agree with you John the Draft Guy. The Birdgang has a way to go to reach the level of the Chiefs or Seahawks fanbase when it comes to being LOUD & PROUD as well as showing respect by staying until the job is done and our men have left the field. In a post interview, Jeff Fisher said that the crowd noise was” not excessive” in the Rams game which is just plain embarrassing! I’m always floored at how relatively empty the stadium is at kickoff because of the tailgaters who want to get another beer down before having to pay inflated prices inside…seems many of our “fans” have their priorities out of order! When the stadium first opened in 06, I think things were pretty well organized and their was more of a no-nonsense policy that has relaxed considerably in the following years. Before it was more “family friendly” vs. the hottest party in town however, I think the atmosphere around the country has changed and it’s not just University of Phoenix or the Cards. Many family and friends are season ticket holders around the country and hardly go to the games but give the tickets away to clients or associates because of all the BS that detracts from the game experience. As our team continues to build and win games, we, as fans need to learn how to match our players and coaches in class and not be one of “those teams” everybody hates because of a reputation for being obnoxious thugs! COME’N BIRDGANG…WE CAN DO IT! The New NFL Bag Policy is no substitue for personal responsibility 🙂

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