Friday before the Broncos (and Peyton)

Posted by Darren Urban on October 3, 2014 – 5:35 pm

Peyton Manning has been playing quarterback in the NFL since 1998, but the Cardinals have only truly played against him once — at least, until the Cards visit Denver Sunday. Sure, Manning started against the Cardinals in Indianapolis in 2005 in the regular-season finale, but he played only three plays before Tony Dungy yanked him in a game mostly remembered (?) as Cardinal Rolando Cantu becoming the first Mexican non-kicker to play in a game and for Neil Rackers breaking the NFL record for field goals in a season (and the Cards still losing).

Manning’s full game came at University of Phoenix Stadium under the lights of “Sunday Night Football” as Peyton dismantled the reigning NFC champions in a 31-10 rout as Manning had 379 yards passing and four touchdown passes.

What happens this time? The Cardinals have a better defense than at that point. Whether that means they can slow Manning down, well, that’s something else entirely, isn’t it? Bruce Arians said he expects the Broncos to go no-huddle early, like the 49ers did, and attack quickly. “If we can weather that storm,” Arians said, “I like where we’re at.”

Also in the Cardinals’ back pocket: The run defense. Even Manning can have a tough time if his team can’t run. “If we get in a one-dimensional game,” Arians said, “I like our chances.”

If the Cardinals can get to 4-0, with a win in Denver …

Drew Stanton starts again. It’s old hat by now, really, and given the improvement game over game, the hope is Stanton can make another step forward. It’s possible, because the Broncos are only OK against the pass. As long as the protection holds up. And Stanton doesn’t turn the ball over, which is what doomed the Cards the last time they played Peyton.

— The Cardinals have yet to throw an interception. “Man, why are you trying to jinx us?” Arians said, feigning disgust. “It’s like bringing up Cat Man.” Cat Man, or kicker Chandler Catanzaro, was a subject of a similar question earlier in the year when he hadn’t missed a field goal. Except Catanzaro still hasn’t missed (9 for 9). Maybe Stanton keeps it going too, although Arians correctly mentioned the Cardinals have “thrown some (interceptions) they’ve dropped. Luckily, we got those back.”

— Catanzaro could get a field goal try of 60 yards or more Sunday in the Mile High air, Arians said.

— Manning needs one touchdown pass to reach 500 in his career, and nine to tie Brett Favre for the most in NFL history. Arians was confused at first, thinking Manning needed nine to get to 500, when he was asked about possibly surrendering 500 this weekend.

“If he gets nine, I’m not getting on the plane,” Arians said. “I think he needs nine of them, doesn’t he?”

Arians was told it was just one. “ One? I thought it was nine. I’ll give him one.”

— Manning, not surprisingly, was downplaying the 500 angle. “If (running back) Montee (Ball) wants to run for five touchdowns and we don’t throw any and we win the game I can assure you I’m fine with that,” Manning said.

— I feel confident in saying Ball will not rush for five TDs. Not against this defense.

— Lot of talk about people on the Cardinals that “know” Manning. Arians and Tom Moore know his offense. Antonio Cromartie once had three interceptions in a game against Manning, in 2007. Jerraud Powers battled Manning every day in practice for a couple of years in Indy. I agree with Arians. It doesn’t really matter.

— That said, I like the idea that Todd Bowles has had two weeks to prepare a defense for this game.

— So much has been made about the stats of Larry Fitzgerald, who only has 10 catches for 107 yards in three games. Michael Floyd has a lot more yards (252) but he only has 11 catches himself to lead the team. And Smokey Brown nine. The receptions are spread out quite a bit thus far.

— Arians was asked about this being a big game Sunday, and he referenced having Fox’s No. 1 NFL crew on hand as a perk. “You want Joe Buck and Troy Aikman doing your games,” Arians said. “Nothing against David Diehl, he’s a hell of a kid, but you know?”

Diehl, the former player and new analyst, did the Cardinals’ game against San Francisco two weeks ago.

— The Cardinals-versus-Broncos, although a frequent preseason occurrence, is very rare in the regular season. The two teams have only met nine times ever, and the Cardinals have only won once – the most recent meeting in Arizona in 2010. (There was also a tie). The Cardinals are 0-4 in Denver, although they haven’t played there since 2002.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this turns out. As Arians said Friday, the season isn’t over with a loss. But a win certainly would help the cause.



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Posted in Blog | 20 Comments »

20 Responses to “Friday before the Broncos (and Peyton)”

  1. By Tyrelle on Oct 3, 2014 | Reply

    Let’s go boys

  2. By Patrick on Oct 3, 2014 | Reply

    What really hurt the cardinals in the last meeting against the colts was leaving the tackles on islands against freeney and Mathis. Even after it was clear the tackles could not handle it, Whisenhunt and Grimm were too stubborn to change. I think that philosophy had a lot to do with Warner retiring and manning not coming to Arizona. If Arians was our coach manning could very well be a cardinal.

  3. By Eazy E on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    The game will come down to pressure on Peyton and their WRs vs. our DBs and vice-versa. We need to do us though because people saying how great Peyton is against the blitz and I concur but it’s our thing. Pat and Cro have to contain Demaryius and Emmanuel and that is no easy task but neither will getting open consistently on them and Powers vs. Welker is key too. Honey Badger vs. Julius Thomas or Tony Jefferson or Rashad. The game will be won or lost there I think. I highly doubt Montee Ball who is ok will run well this game against our #4 ranked run defense. Our guys at WR have to play well also. Larry vs. Aqib, Floyd vs. Harris Jr., Brown vs. Roby(Rook vs. Rook), etc.

  4. By rod on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    Badger will be on Welker

  5. By Marlin on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply


    Is PP ill?

  6. By Darren Urban on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: Peterson

    He was Friday. Arians said he’d be fine for Sunday.

  7. By William Barry on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    We are in good shape with Stanton-remember one game at a time!!!!!!! Go Cards, Peyton can be beat.

  8. By azdesertrat1953 on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    Well, Drew has been doing good against other Teams that have beat the Cards a Lot in the past and here We all are again.

    So, no chance the Cards can Win or so I have heard. Sounds a lot like the song and dance I heard two weeks ago before the 49’ers game.
    Okay. I say opinions are like ears, everybody has at least Two.

    Denver, another Team that has Beat the Cards about the Head and Shoulders repeatedly, just like the 49’ers Had been doing, in the Past.
    I want to see how this Cards Team deals with the Broncos and see if they Can shut down the run and make Manning, as BA would say, One Dimensional. If they can I like our chances too.

    Another thing that stuck out is the Fact we have a HC that knows that the Int’s are there, will be the first to acknowledge it and will Not sugar coat it.

    Get ready Boy’s and Girl’s, Mom’s and Dad’s, this one is going to be FUN!

    GO CARDS!!!

  9. By the way....Dr. G. on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    As the saying goes, “we’ve said and done what is necessary.” Now, let’s kick some butt; don’t care about the names!”

    Not a make or break game??? I think the best way to look at the season in its entirety, is to split it into 4 quarters. Try to win every quarter, a la, 3-1, 3-1, 2-2, 3-1… But if you take care of the Nest, and steal 3 or 4 on the road…wala… play-off time…

    The coaches can worry about the long-term games; the players can worry about the very next play!!! BREAK THE BRONCOS!!!! GO CARDS!!!

  10. By Scott H on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    Hey, no reason the Cardinals can’t make this game about THEM! I love Peyton Manning but….geez, after a awhile you just get tired of hearing people worshipping at the altar. AND you get tired of seeing him make it look SO DAMN EASY week after week. So…why not us? This team is too well-coached and prepared to get run over, even by the Broncos. I believe they will be in this one with a chance to win it in the 4th quarter.

    And even though it’s an away game, it’s not really that far away! If ya think about it….would ya rather go to Denver to play the Broncos or have to ALLLLLL the way to the east coast to play the Giants? I say it’s pretty even, honestly. And they already went ALLLLLLL the way to the east coast and beat the Giants. So…..why not us?

    Bring it, gentlemen!

  11. By Nick Pepe on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    This game means a lot in a couple of ways. First and foremost Cards face a true Super Bowl contender and one the best QB’s of all time on Fox’s game of the week (I still have to go out to watch thanks to being in Eagle country and the NFL’s double header rules). The Cards are starting to get some well earned hype, which is good, but there are many ready to say “it’s still the Cardinals”.

    And not to be selfish, but the second reason is my best friend is a die hard Bronco fan. I talk to him daily and we are closer than brothers. In prior (albeit few) match-ups he was usually the big favorite and the Broncos usually prevailed. We even needled each other during the pre-season match ups. I want this one. It would get me a free dinner tomorrow (all beverages included) and most importantly – it would let the world know “These ain’t your daddy’s (St. Louis/Arizona) Cardinals !!

    I think If we protect Drew we can get some big plays on them. I expect Ellington to have a huge game tomorrow. And the defense will wreak havoc again!!

    Nick Pepe
    Lifetime Member since 1971

  12. By clssylssy on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    Not a Make or Break Game? Wow, that doesn’t sound at all like the mindset of Champions! Who comes up with that stuff because it doesn’t sound like the philosophy that BA has been selling up to now and playing Peyton the Great. We beat the Seahawks (in their house even) when nobody else could, and the Broncos are still ****sore from being humiliated by the NFC West so, I hate it that I’m hearing this attitude that it’s no big deal? Every game is a big deal! True, we may not be able to win’em all but we shouldn’t go in with a mindset that losing is an option. This game is huge and is about claiming the right to be respected and taken seriously as a legitimate contender.
    Don’t Take Losses! Let’s Get’R Done!
    This is almost as disturbing as reading that our Superbowl Committee is worried that if the Cards play in that game the city will lose money…making it all about $$$$

  13. By Dynosoar on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    William Barry said – “Go Cards, Peyton can be beat.”

    Yes. Yes he can. Otherwise he’d have what, 16 Super Bowl Rings. I think he has one. He can be beat and our coaches and team are the ones to do it this week.

    Bring on the Broncos. Bring on the Seahawks! Well, when the time comes. Until then, one game, then the next.

    Pete Dowdle responded to a post of someone thinking the Cardinals expect to lose, in the article titled “Broncos Game Not Make Or Break…” It was a sweet response. I’d give it 53 thumbs up if I could. Or I guess it’s only what, 46 on game day.

  14. By Dynosoar on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    I want all Broncos fans to be able to see their team play on National Television two weeks in a row and see only one way to do that for them.

    Deny the one touchdown to Manning. Then the TV guys will have an even better story to sell the following week.

    I love BA’s response, “One? I thought it was nine. I’ll give him one.”

    Our offenses are pretty equal, but we’re better coached and have better special teams and a better defense. I expect a win, no optimism, I just expect it.

  15. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 4, 2014 | Reply

    Watched Thursday night an amazing game where the Arizona Wildcats shocked the #2 Oregon Ducks.

    Just finished watching ASU pull out a Hail Mary to beat USC.

    Can the cards make it a clean sweep?

    All 3 teams picked to lose. ASU had a back up QB just like the cards. Love to see a big upset in Denver.

  16. By Marlin on Oct 5, 2014 | Reply

    Hey John the Draft Guy…….this isn’t a phoenix area blog, its an NFL Cardinals blog. Couldn’t care less about UA and ASU. Stick with the NFL………

  17. By Dynosoar on Oct 5, 2014 | Reply

    John the Draft Guy,

    Keep up the phoenix area blog. Utah beat #8 UCLA yesterday and best of all, Alabama lost.

  18. By clssylssy on Oct 5, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG…thanks for reminding some that this is Arizona football and some of the best football is at the college level without the drama and other BS that seems to be the trademark of the NFL. College football is where our NFL heros of tomorrow come from and it’s great that we have become a legitimate contributor to the ranks of the the sport. Let’s keep the fires burning!

  19. By rod on Oct 5, 2014 | Reply

    Easy E-

    Looks like you were right man. Powers on Welker.

  20. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 5, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Marlin,

    Neither Univ of Arizona or ASU are in Phoenix. I guess you could say talking about ASU is for a Phoenix area blog? But UA? That’s like talking about Auburn in Tuscaloosa.

    So, Let me help you a little.

    Hey JTDG,

    This is no Arizona College blog !!

    Now you showed me. I’ll never mention UA or ASU again.

    Oh BTW, did you see how NAU lost, A tie game at 17-17 and then they throw a pick 6 on the 14 yard line. heartbreaker.

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