Since the Seattle game

Posted by Darren Urban on December 17, 2013 – 9:46 am

The Cardinals had just lost to the Seahawks in a nationally televised game, a 34-22 decision that wasn’t really even that close. Afterward, quarterback Carson Palmer was blunt. “We all need to step up our game,” Palmer said. “Everybody needs to step up their game. Mainly me being the quarterback – that’s your job. We have to keep growing.”

The Cards were 3-4 and offensively limping along.

The Cardinals have played seven games since, leading into this week and the rematch with the Seahawks, this time in Seattle. That’s no easy task ever, but Palmer’s plea to have the Cardinals step up their game? Message received. In the seven games since Seahawks:

— The Cards have averaged 369 yards of offense a game and averaged 29.9 points a game.

— The Cards have given up 295 yards on defense a game and allowed 18.6 points a game.

— The Cardinals have gone from 29th to 19th in the NFL offensive rankings.

— The Cardinals have gone from 16th to seventh in the NFL defensive rankings.

— Palmer has a quarterback rating of 106.0, with 13 touchdown passes, four interceptions with 69 percent completions.

— Linebacker John Abraham has 9.5 sacks.

— WR Michael Floyd has 27 catches for 516 yards.

Oh, and the Cardinals have won six of seven to get into the playoff hunt. Now the Seahawks are standing in the way of continuing playoff hopes. Bruce Arians called this a barometer for his team. Measuring yourself against the best usually is.

— Speaking of playoffs, which we have done here a lot lately, the NFL put out the reality on paper Tuesday. If the Cardinals lose in Seattle and the Panthers and 49ers win, the Cards are done. A win in Seattle and the Cards are still breathing slightly based on Carolina and New Orleans at that point.

— A pair of Cardinals are up for weekly awards based on fan votes. Cornerback Antoine Cason is in contention for the GMC Never Say Never award for his overtime interception in Tennessee (vote here) and running back Andre Ellington is up for the Pepsi Next rookie of the week award (vote here).

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39 Responses to “Since the Seattle game”

  1. By SteveG on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Seattle and SF are #’s 1 & 2 in the SI power rankings…

    Pretty sure that means that the Cards have the toughest remaining schedule in the league….

    Go CARDS!!!

  2. By rod on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    I think we’re gonna get’em this time!!

  3. By Mike G on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is good! Big win for the Card’s in Titan land. Definitely reminded me of 2009 when the Titans tied the game up —as you pointed out. You have to give the Card’s credit– they have had a nice year. They have improved as the year has went on as your article above points out. Also–They have improved in taking care of the football in the 2nd half of the season–and that should bode them well in these last 2 games against the Hawks and 49ers. I am looking for the Card’s to play a tough game against Seattle. The offensive line must hold up on that fast artificial surface. I hope the Card’s don’t go too many plays with 4 receivers in this game– they must keep someone in the backfield to block. In the first match up Seattle stated fast–Im hoping Arizona can reverse that in this game–Hawks are due for a home loss and nothing would be better if Arizona takes this game. Hoping Carolina stubs their toes in their last 2 games as well .Really impressed with how Arian’s is using his tight ends–all 3 are contributing–Ballard, Dray and Housler. This has been a huge upgrade from last year. Hey Darren–Do you think the Card’s coaching staff this week in practice will be focusing extra with Palmer on specific silent snap counts in dealing with that crowd noise in Seattle???????

  4. By Darren Urban on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Mike G —

    RE: Silent

    I’m sure they will.

  5. By Rick on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Would love to see the 49ers lose to the Falcons and if we beat the seahawks we would then play the 49ers for the final playoff spot at home in front of the red sea. That would be awesome! Although I wouldn`t mind seeing the Panthers lose at home to the Saints and then lose to the Falcons either. I just hope we can somehow get into the playoffs. Go Cards!!!

  6. By Jon on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    If the Cardinals lose and the Panthers win, shouldn’t that alone be enough to do us in? SF owns the tiebreaker against us, so if we lose and they lose along with us, then the best we can do is tie them by beating them in the final game of the season, which still not result in a playoff berth for us.

    Am I missing something?

  7. By Darren Urban on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Jon —

    RE: CAR win/AZ loss

    That’s correct.

  8. By Dynosoar on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply


    When I was growing up we played tackle football every day (I had a neighbor who had a 50 yard front yard, plenty for five and sometimes six boys). We had one injury in all those years and it was a sprained ankle that was healed enough to play on after a single weekend.

    We didn’t wear pads or even helmets (well, every four months or so we’d wear helmets, but those department store helmets in the 70’s weren’t really protection.)

    I watch rugby whenever I can and while there are injuries, I don’t see them very often and I’ve never seen anyone seriously injured. I’m sure they happen and we have at least one rugby coach who posts here and may have better insight.

    What I’m thinking is if (and I don’t see it happening) the NFL ever gets truly serious about safety, in addition to the “heads up” training at the beginning levels of football, they’d promote tackling rugby style. As kids we would wrap each other up or try to get a hand on our opponents/brothers/friends, but we never tried to “blow someone up”. It was never about intimidation, it was about friendly competition and playing better than the other team.

    Then again, if one of us was injured we wouldn’t have anyone to play against tomorrow, whereas at the College and NFL level there’s always someone to step in if someone’s injured.

    I’m not attacking the way things are done. I hate to see any player on any team injured and certainly don’t thrill in even an opponent or rival having injuries. I understand when two men with biceps as large as my quads are hitting each other with full speed and strength, injuries will happen and these are also men who understand this. My discussion is simply a progression of Johnnybluenose that as long as tackling is allowed to be a “blow up style” and not a rugby “wrap up style” injuries will not slow down.

    The NFL has made strides to keep players safe, but teaching different tackling methods in addition to the “heads up” program to our youth will make a lasting impact. (Sorry, couldn’t resist a good pun.).

  9. By Dynosoar on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    My brothers a huge Seattle fan and we were discussing this game. He doesn’t give us a chance at all, then he started telling me why. His reasons, look who you’ve played (I responded, the same team you’ve played), he said look at all the interceptions Palmer throws ( I said, you’re looking at the beginning of the year, look at the last six weeks, less than one per game.)

    He kept going and I realized something, even my brother who looks at everything NFL every week has no clue what our team has done these last six games or so. If he’s an indication it may be the same for most, if we’re not one of the “popular” teams we’ll be ignored.

    That’s ok, I don’t mind being ignored all the way to the Super Bowl just like our last SB run. I mean, look at KC. They were the only undefeated team and and a 3 or 4 win Dallas team still got more air time in a loss than KC in a win.

    We may be the best team to beat Seattle in their stadium in a long time. We’re on fire and our team is not the same team they faced at the beginning of the year.

  10. By Mr Robles on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    With the Safety’s injured any cap space for Free Agent sigining? Kerry Rhoads?

  11. By Darren Urban on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Mr Robles —

    RE: Rhodes

    Not gonna happen.

  12. By Shayawn on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Go Falcons!!!!!!!

  13. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Ok Gang, here is a moral question for the playoffs…

    Assume on week 17 – 12/29 this scenario – Carolina is 10-6 after a loss in an AM game… 49ers are 10-5 -and Arizona is 9-6 to meet in the PM game.

    Will Arians tank to the 49ers in the PM game to make the playoffs? It would be obvious and most would not understand…

    This would be the results – 49ers – 11/5… Cards and Panthers 10-6 tiebreaker to Cards… Panthers are out….. Cards in…. This is a quasi rerun of a prior post.

    Cards staff will have all afternoon to decide – playoffs or try for a moral win????
    If Cards win, there is a 3-way and the Cards are DONE!

    Not likely, but…. just sayin’….. the math works….

  14. By Darren Urban on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Math

    Um, if the Cards are 9-6 and tank, they’d be 9-7, right, behind Carolina?

    Bottom line, if Panthers win this week (10-5) and Cards lose (9-6), Cards are done. No chance for playoffs.

  15. By Mark Moreno on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Damn I hope the the Falcons beat the 49er’s and The Panther’s lose to the Saints.. Go Cardinal’s!!

  16. By the way - Dr. G. on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Sorry, I meant Cards to be 10-5…..

    you are correct with your scenario….

    But that was a typo…. . the assumed scenario is for Carolina to lose both games…

    This supposed bottom line is : 49ers – 11-5 … Cards and Panthers tie at 10-6… That is what I meant without the typo…

  17. By Darren Urban on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Typo

    Got it. But If Cards are 10-5 and Panthers lose to go to 10-6, Cards in regardless. Beat Niners, Cards are 11-5 and ahead of Carolina. Lose to Niners, in on Carolina tiebreak. Panthers eliminated before Az/SF game.

  18. By Dr. G. on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Yes… I stand corrected… that scenario worked last week, not this week.

    I’m optimistic and we will see what happens next week…. I do see a reasonable scenario where the Saints and Carolina flip. We still need to win 2 games and hope for some help.

    Someone said “bleak” last week…. Agreed…. Be well…

  19. By Eric G on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    It’s entirely possible that the Cardinals win both games and still don’t make the playoffs at 11-5. Ugh.

  20. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    I nearly pulled a groin just watching the embarrassing thumping we took at Seattle last year. This past Sunday, I hurt my hip adductor in the last 4 minutes trying to sack Fitzpatrick, but it healed quickly with ice (and a lil scotch) after the win in Tenn;)

    My plan is to be ready Sunday and hope we hit Russel Wilson in the mouth a couple times, hard, early, so I don’t get so beat up this time.

    C’mon Cards, one time … just one time.

  21. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    PS: The only reasonably possible way we get in the tournament is if we win out.

  22. By PCF on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Card’s will have to play two teams this weekend. The Seahawks and Zebras!!!!

  23. By Dr. G. on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Darren – apologies for the brain cramp – Here’s the scenario for 10-6 to get in- –

    They lose in Seattle and beat the 49ers. San Fran beats the Falcons. The Panthers lose their final two games. San Fran is 11-5, Cards and Panthers are 10-6, the Cards have the tiebreaker.

    As you say… any win by the Panthers or 49ers is curtains…. Remote, but possible.

  24. By Credit Card on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    It is a shame the Cards remaining schedule wasn’t first at home against SF and then on the road with Seattle. I think if the Cards had the chance to play SF first, being at home — would be a war, but I think the Cards would come out on top. Then if the last game was against Seattle in Seattle — the Seahawks would be sitting most starters heading into the playoffs. Unfortunately, it is the other way — it’ll be a tough road, but I think the Cards might surprise.

  25. By Kevin S Mesa on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Patrick Hoog: “The only reasonable possible way we get in the tournament is if we win out.”

    Not true. One of Carolina and SF has to lose two games. Both of those are fairly unlikely, but if it’s Carolina, we only have to win one. If it’s SF (or both SF and Carolina), we must win both.

    The odd part is that if you assume Carolina is going to lose two, we actually WANT SF to beat Atlanta as that avoids the 3-way tie and means we don’t have to win both games, only one. Problem is, we won’t know ’til the final week if Carolina will beat Atlanta, so for now we should just hope Atlanta beats SF to give us control over our own destiny.

  26. By Scott H on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Well, the “reality” hasn’t really changed – since the loss to the Eagles, the Cardinals have been pretty much in a position where one more less probably puts them out. Never mind all the scenarios. They have to win. Period. Otherwise, nothing else matters.

    IMHO, the real hope is that the Cardinals win this week – and let’s be honest about ANYONE’s chances of winning in Seattle – and the Panthers somehow lose the last two. That would give the Saints the NFC South and the Cards would win the tie-breaker over the Panthers. We don’t want to have to be battling the Saints for a wildcard spot because they win the tie-breaker with a head-to-head win. San Fran is pretty much in ( they ain’t losing to Atlanta this Sunday ) and no one else from the East or North is probably going to be able to get in.

    It ALL comes down to the Cards winning in Seattle. And if they can pull that off, it comes down to what happens with the Saints and panthers. We need a Cardinals win first, a Saints win second. Without both of those, it pretty much comes to an end on Sunday.

  27. By Credit Card on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    Big guys in the middle will determine the winner. If Dumpster Dan and Amalu have outstanding games, and our center and two guards open holes and provide a safe pocket … the Cards will win. The men near the snap of the ball will determine the outcome. I like our odds.

  28. By Seahawk206 on Dec 17, 2013 | Reply

    You guys are bums. Just look at yourself your talking about SINCE THE SEATTLE GAME!!!!! LOL Were going to smash you just like we did that Thursday ( IN YOUR HOUSE). Just look at it this way at least you will be tied at kickoff……..#GOHAWKS


  29. By Darren Urban on Dec 18, 2013 | Reply

    Seahawk206 —

    RE: Trolling

    I’ve never understood why people love doing this so much.

    Then again, I don’t mind. Provides more pageviews.

  30. By Big Ken on Dec 18, 2013 | Reply

    I love the end of that video Shaughnessy and Lynch doing the tie up-jump ball.

  31. By Red Dead Redemption on Dec 18, 2013 | Reply

    The Panthers will have to go 0-2, I know people are pointing to the fact we have beat them and have the tie breaker, which isn’t wrong.
    But the panthers are the 5th seed, currently, owning the tie breaker over the 49ers who are 6th.
    If we finish 11-5 and the Panthers finish 11-5, they will get in, over us.
    Because, the 49ers have the tie breaker over us, we can’t get higher seeding than them.
    The Panthers can’t drop out either, because they beat the 49ers.

    It sucks, but I point to the rigged games of the Patriots and Panthers, also the Cardinals and Eagles, for the reason of the dim playoff hopes.
    The ram game haunts as well, we had that one.

  32. By wampag on Dec 18, 2013 | Reply

    I wonder what sunday will bring

  33. By wampag on Dec 18, 2013 | Reply

    Has Abraham talked to any of his old teammates that you know about D? I know pro’s are supposed to be about winning i just wonder how “into” it they will be, good thing it’s a monday night game and national

  34. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Dec 18, 2013 | Reply

    I’m getting taped up early, whole body tape job, fearing a dreaded sports hernia in Seattle. Remember how every injury seemed to be that the last couple years, now hear nothing about those…
    …guess I’m just nervous about our fate, one thing for sure, our guys will come in determined, but must be mentally sharp, ready at the start… like Winston and Sowell must avoid false starts…Defense must both pressure and contain Rut Wilson …M. Floyd and Andre R. must hold onto the passes thrown their way… mental toughness all around .. the one guy not worried about mental readiness is C. Palmer, and that gives me some optimism coming in… yet his ankle… so…

    …can’t wait for Sunday…

  35. By johnnybluenose on Dec 18, 2013 | Reply

    there has been some discussion here about the potential for injuries when an on-side kick is attempted and whether or not elite players like fitzgerald should even be on the field when this play occurs. some have said that it is an exciting play and maybe it is. but I think it is the outcome of the play that gets fans excited not the actual play. the kick usually occurs late in the game when the outcome is still in doubt and you definitely want your team to have possession of the football. that’s what gets your blood pumping, not watching 12 or 14 guys piling on top of each other trying to corral a bouncing football. as a strategy we all understand why the on-side kick occurs. except as a surprise (think sean payton in the superbowl) the kicking team is behind and needs to immediately get the ball back to have any reasonable chance to win the game. but maybe there is another way, one that does not unduly affect player safety. consider this. after scoring a touchdown AND successfully converting a two point conversion attempt from the FIVE yard line, the team retains possession of the ball at the 50 yard line. if the conversion attempt fails then the ball is turned over to the other team at the 50 yard line. there is no kick-off. I am not advocating for this. I am only suggesting it as an alternative to the on-side kick. for the purists out there who would argue about unnecessarily tinkering with the game, I would only say that the two point conversion already exists (and was a needed and welcome rule change when it was introduced a few years ago) and that a two point conversion is more of a “football play” than is the on-side kick play. and if the on-side kick was eliminated altogether by ruling all kick-offs illegal if they do not travel at least 25 yards, then a team does not have to waste a lot of time practising them and practising defending them. and that would also tend to reduce injuries, assuming that the on-side kick is a more dangerous play than all others. any thoughts? any other suggestions?

  36. By CTGuy on Dec 18, 2013 | Reply

    The Craziest Cardinals Playoff Scenario of All

    1) Arizona beats Seattle this week.

    2) San Francisco beats Atlanta this week

    3) New Orleans beats Carolina this week

    4) Atlanta beats Carolina in the 1PM game in Week 17

    5) Arizona get into playoffs with a win or a loss against the Niners in the 4PM game in week 17. So why risk an injury and play the game–it’s better to forfeit, since the Cardinals will get the #6 seed regardless!


  37. By Eric Fontana on Dec 18, 2013 | Reply

    As mentioned by Jon, if the Cards lose and Carolina wins it is all over for the Cards. 49ers don’t matter at that point.

    If the Cards lose and Carolina loses, we need the 49ers to win Monday night. (so that a 3-way tie does not result if we beat the 49ers the following week and Carolina loses again.) Interestingly, if Carolina loses and the 49ers win, it makes no difference what the Cards do against Seattle. The Cards would be in with a win over the 49ers coupled with a Carolina loss.

    On the positive side, if the Cards win and SF should happen to lose to the Falcons, the Cards control their destiny by beating the 49ers.

    Cards also get in with 2 wins and 2 New Orleans losses.

  38. By Scott H on Dec 18, 2013 | Reply

    Seahawk206 –

    Take a hike, loser. Just zip it until your team actually wins something. Stop pounding your chest. Overall, your Seahawks haven’t had any more success over the last several years than the Cardinals have. Seems to me we both played a SB against the Steelers during that time. But where the Cardinals actually showed up and made a REAL game of it, your Seasquabs looked like they had no business being in a SB and you losers have been complaining ever since about how the officials took the game away from you. yeah, right. The score was 27-10. The Seahawks would actually have had to been IN the game for the refs to have taken it away from them. Maybe if they make it this year, they can actually contribute to a game that is worth watching.

  39. By Dr. G. on Dec 19, 2013 | Reply

    Seahawk 206 –

    Be sure to remember last year when your team was gifted a win over Green Bay by 2 bad calls in the closing seconds. And your sociopathetic leader was proud to win it by hook or by crook…. Lots of class… The Cardinals have class, your team leader is just crass….

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