QB normalcy in Redskins aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on October 12, 2014 – 8:07 pm

Late in the game Sunday, with the Cardinals trying to run the clock nursing a three-point lead, Carson Palmer thought it would be a good idea to call his own number on a bootleg. And he convinced Bruce Arians of that.

“I let them talk me into keeping that damn ball on third down, and I never should have done that one,” Arians said.

So, Palmer was asked, let’s get this straight: You hurt your shoulder, way back in the season opener, running the ball – and then Sunday, in your first game back, you talked Arians into letting you run the ball?

“That’s one way to put it,” Palmer said, to laughs. “I won’t say that. But you did.”

“I was talking (Bruce) into a lot of stuff,” Palmer said. “I was just excited to be out there.”

— It was easy to joke around after a win. After the debacle that was the Denver trip – a defensive breakdown and injuries galore – Sunday was the ultimate cheerup. Palmer was back as starting QB. The defense, while it had a couple breakdowns, held up decently. And then there was the cheer that reverberated around University of Phoenix Stadium late when the Cowboys’ win in Seattle was announced.

(Suddenly that trip to Dallas looks very, very difficult. But that’s a topic for another day.)

— The Cardinals’ play was far from perfect, with 14 penalties (yikes), an offense that couldn’t put the ball in the end zone even though the Redskins seemed to almost want them to be there, and a defense that had a couple of breakdowns. But these two weeks were about beating teams they should beat, and that’s one down. One trip to Oakland to go.

— Palmer said he “isn’t out of the woods” yet. The Cards will continue to approach this nerve deal cautiously. But he was no worse for wear after Sunday’s game. Call it a positive step.

— The play of the day for Palmer wasn’t the TD pass to Michael Floyd or the laser he completed to Smokey Brown for a first down, but the flip he somehow made to running back Robert Hughes on third-and-2 for seven yards. It kept alive a field-goal drive early in the fourth quarter, and it should have been a sack. Multiple Redskins were hanging all over Palmer, and frankly, I’m shocked they didn’t call it in the grasp.

“I should have gotten the ball out quicker,” Palmer said. “That’s kind of one of those things I’m talking about. I need to practice.”

Instead, he ended up with a I’m-a-warrior-type highlight.

— Great sign to see Alex Okafor with two sacks. If he can end up being a guy who can consistently pressure the passer, it would be a Godsend to this team.

— Tyrann Mathieu admitted he is “not really comfortable” with the knee brace he has to wear. “But I have to be comfortable with it, so I play these mind games with myself and tell myself I’m comfortable with it,” Mathieu said.

— Mathieu picked up the Andre Roberts fumble and starting running around in an old-school Honey Badger kind of way (which included holding the ball awfully loosely around the field …) but eventually decided discretion was the better part of valor. Why wouldn’t he, when he acknowledged he had some flashbacks to the punt return against the Rams – in which he was running around trying to make something happen – before he was caught and his knee was turned into spaghetti.

“No question,” Mathieu said. “Made two people miss and then I said time to get down. Very reminiscent of last year. Very.”

— Patrick Peterson got beat on DeSean Jackson’s 64-yard slant-and-run touchdown. Mathieu looked like he could have been over the top. Mathieu said the Cards “kind of messed up our coverage a little bit.” Plus, Mathieu said he took a “horrible angle” toward Jackson, costing him a chance at the tackle.

— Always nice to see Fitz get to the end zone. I’m guessing Fitz was the most happy about it.

— How many games can this team go without throwing an interception? No turnovers. Again.

— Speaking of turnovers, I was thinking to myself late in the third quarter the defense really needed to force one. Then came the questionable Roberts fumble – I could have sworn he was down, referee Ed Hochuli said after the game there was not conclusive evidence to overturn the fumble call – and then three straight picks. All in the last 13 minutes. All due respect to Rashad Johnson, but Jerraud Powers’ pick was the thing of beauty. He hid as the Redskins tried a wide receiver screen and popped out of nowhere to steal the pass.

— That’s enough for tonight. I can’t say the quarterback won’t be a story this week – Palmer gets to face his former team – but we are done with the QB-or-not-QB drama. Thankfully.


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29 Responses to “QB normalcy in Redskins aftermath”

  1. By jakeplummersghost on Oct 12, 2014 | Reply

    How about Alex Okafor’s first one-handed sack and his second bullrush sack? Plus his pressure of Kirk Cousins on one of the INTs?

    My boy.

  2. By TucsonTim on Oct 12, 2014 | Reply

    And Ginn returned some punts. 🙂

  3. By Steve on Oct 12, 2014 | Reply

    I like that Okafor got 2 sacks but I’m going to nitpick here in that the Cards really need a speed rusher, one that can turn the corner with quickness and agility. Okafor is strong, he got both his sacks bullrushing his opponent back into the QB but I watched him closely throughout the game and he does not appear to have the explosiveness and speed to gain the edge on a tackle. I know the draft is a long ways off but a Von Miller type pass rusher would be just what this defense needs.

  4. By Red Dead Redemption on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    I am not saying, Michael Sam is some unused talent. I mean, just like the thought process goes. If the player was that good? They would be starting and on the roster.

    But the Cowboys defense is playing well. Because of which, they would not have much use for him on the starting roster anyway.

    I’m happy Okafor got two sacks. But the Cardinals need help rushing the QB. Sam proved – at least in the pre season, he can do just that.
    There he is just sitting on the Cowboys practice squad.

    It would be a good business move for the Cardinals (jersey sales), It would give them national attention, and it’s a football move nobody would question – they need help.
    If it worked out? The NFL gets a positive story for once. If it didn’t? The Cardinals gave him a fair chance and look good regardless.

    I would really like to know why this could not happen. I’d love to get Todd Bowels and Arians take on this.

  5. By Brad on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Still trying to figure out why Arians called 3 pass plays when we were 10 pts up and just outside of FG range, could have taken 2 mins off the clock, was a nervous fan watching the last 5 mins which should have been 3 mins, congrats on the D for stepping up while they have so many injuries! In saying that the boldness of Arians play-calling is refreshing after Whisenhunt, can really help us down the track!

  6. By Mill on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    It’s funny when it goes in our favor, but I would be furious if that call would not have been reversed for my team. Ed can hide behind the “inconclusive evidence” crap, but he was down.

  7. By Robert on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    honestly, once again PP gor burned, had penalties, and is now grossly overpaid. he will not even make the pro bowel this year

  8. By JohnnyBluenose on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Way to go. Another comeback win. I hope there will be no more talk about Palmer being soft. The Catman is still perfect….a great decision to sign him. I know we won’t take next week’s game against Oakland for granted because we are far from perfect and there is a lot of work to do. And one of these days the opposition will actually catch the interceptions that have been thrown to them. Fitz had a very strong game and Mathieu almost looked like himself at times. And yes, he does need to carry the ball more securely. That was a fumble just waiting to happen. I don’t want to look too far ahead but I must admit I can hardly wait to watch our guys play the Cowboys. I just hope we can stay healthy. Keep going.

  9. By rod on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    4 turnovers and only won by 3 points is a little concerning but then again, we did enough to win which is what builds champions. With all of the things that have happened this year it was a good outing.

    That Okafor bull rush was sweet!

    Oh, Housler caught a pass!

    No interceptions this year wow! No whammies no whammies!

  10. By rod on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    I swear I saw the entire game. 3 points…I’m losing it.

  11. By ryan on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    YA BABY! 4-1 going to Oakland. Palmer wants some sweet revenge out there!

    LETS GET TO 5-1

  12. By BeastMode on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Was I the only one who saw how scared Andre Ellington was playing? I mean I love the dude, but he was diving to the ground, taking it out of bounds instead of making contact, on at least 9 plays. Nonetheless Go Cards.

  13. By cards62 on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    I have a great deal of confidence in our coaching staff and GM. It has been a very long time since I felt that way. Hope we can keep all of these coaches together for a couple of years before the poaching. Love the fight in our players. I think all the players missing this year have us all worried about this long season and our teams ability to hold up all year, but our coaching staff is doing a great job coaching up those that are still going. Great job coaches and thanks for a wonderful season. We actually know how to win games now that we should lose when for so many years we would find ways to lose games that we should win.
    Proud of our players and organization. Go Cards

  14. By D on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    A win is good, even though the offense needed to get more points from the D turnovers and the offense had trouble in the redzone..but hopefully Palmer can practice more this week to correct those issues. HoneyBadger did look bad on that Jackson slant, but he did have a overall good game.
    Nice to see Okafor get two sacks, now they need to get another road win this Sunday.

    I am guessing the Steelers are wishing they had kept BA.

  15. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply


    I totally agree with you. I can’t imagine why anyone is giving you thumbs down.

    Okafor had a nice game and sets the edge on the run well. He does seem to be strong and did a nice job getting under the pads of the tackle and driving him back.

    But you need someone on the other side of him. Acho is not the guy and we all know Abraham is gone, so I can’t for the life of me understand why someone would give you a thumbs down for suggesting that we get an OLB with quickness on the other side.

    Orakpo or Justin Houston are two guys, that right now, are edge rushers who are free agents next year. They would be a perfect compliment to Okafor provided he continues to play well.

  16. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Impressive to see C. Palmer throw it into stands instead of sack or INT several times, great presence of mind even though reintroduced to speed of game after month out.

    No INT for season = wins. 4-1, just how we all wrote it up, huh, lol…

  17. By BirdsSTC on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Rod –

    We won by 10 points.

  18. By rod on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Oh yeah, the interception…durrrr…thanks 🙂

  19. By William Barry on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    A good win, and Palmer played well. —for someone being out 4-5 weeks. Defense played well, Okafor had two great sacks, and getting those turnovers (3) in the last stanza was great. Would have liked us to get TD’s out of the turnovers, rather than FG’s. (although last Int turned into a TD). Carsons leadership skills and game management skills are very good. GO CARDS TO 5-1.

  20. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Red Dead Redemption —

    If you believe Michael Sam is that good, fine, make that argument.

    Problem is, you start talking about jersey sales and attention. So we’re back to exactly what this conversation should NOT be about. It should be about whether Michael Sam is a better football player than any other alternative we have, not about the fact that we have a chance to get a guy who’s newsworthy because of his sexual orientation.

    So while I personally didn’t thumbs-down your comment, that’s why you’re getting mostly thumbs down.

  21. By OH IOcards fan on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Agree …its about winning football and improving on field play. Plus Sam is not an OLB he proved that in the pre season. Can fit well in a 4-3 as a situational pass rusher but would be a project as an OLB and not really a scheme fit here.

  22. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Brad —

    I didn’t mind the first shot, but trying to go for the end zone two plays in a row… yeah, I didn’t like that either. Not when another FG puts you in a position where the Skins need two TD’s to counter.

    Still, as you say, Arians’ play-calling is refreshing.

  23. By Dr. G. on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Darren – – ??? With all the accolades for Bowles, it appears that Arians trusts him explicitly to run the Defense and devise the schemes. As BA is Offensively minded, does he take much action to have regular input on Defense, or does he put Bowles on auto-pilot?

    Secondly, does Bowles have much input on ST’s? His guys are out there! Thx

  24. By Darren Urban on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Dr. G —

    RE: Defense

    I would guess Bowles pretty much runs the defensive ship. Don’t know about special teams. Probably not much input.

  25. By Scott H on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Dang it, I never get a chance to weigh in on Monday until late in the day! What truly comes out of this game for me is the “concern” ( for lack of a better word ) that this team just can’t make it easy on itself. Seriously. The game is in the win column and that is all that matters. But against the Redskins….in your yard….WITH your starting QB…should it really be that hard??? I look at the 3 takeaways in the 4th qtr and I see what should have been their chance to put that game AWAY. Instead, they come away with only FG’s. I’m watching this from home and I’m seeing a game that is staying in reach for the Redskins. And then they score. 23-20 with time left. Then the Cardinals call that play on 3rd down where it looks like Palmer can get around that corner but he drops to the ground. Out of FG range. 4th down and we’re giving them the ball back. NOT comfortable. And we get bailed out by an UN-BELIEVABLY bad throw by Cousins, right to a Cardinals defender, and ONLY THEN is it over.

    NOT complaining about a win. Given the un-certainty about the QB’s all week, I was gonna take a win any way we could get it. Just sayin’ that it did NOT have to be as hard as it was. The Redskins tried to melt down in the 4th qtr with those TO’s and we let them hang around by not putting ANY of those opportunities in the end zone. Just sayin, against a better team, maybe that comes back to bite us.

    We ARE gonna face some better teams soon ( Eagles, Cowboys ).

    All that said, I was THRILLED to see Palmer back in action. He does not look like he is at 100%, but…Ok. Maybe he needs to get his strength back up and maybe that’s only gonna come with some time and working that shoulder back to form. But it bears noting that both Fitz and Floyd ( like Palmer’s shoulder ) were having a hard time waking up during the last few weeks. GREAT to see them coming back to life and finding the end zone yesterday. Both plays were absolutely beautiful! Fitz plowing his way to the end zone on his score was a sight for sore eyes. He was NOT gonna be denied and THAT is the Fitz we know and love. Now that we know he’s alive and well, let’s feed the beast. This offense NEEDS to get the ball to Fitz more often to open things up for everyone else. Believe it.

    Loving what I’m seeing from Andre Ellington. Going back to the afore-mentioned 3rd down play that WOULD have allowed the Cardinals to ice the game, I have no idea why they don’t go with Ellington on that play. NO idea. I have even less of an idea why they’re asking Palmer to try to get around the edge on that play. NOT a bad play to call. But with their execution…they sure made it LOOK like a bad idea.

    AND, after just getting Palmer back after a month, is that what we want to be doing??? Having him run for the 1st down marker and maybe taking a hit near the sidelines??? NO. NOT necessary.

  26. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    Scott H,

    The 3rd down Palmer run;

    Palmer talked Arians into that play. He thought he would be all by himself on the bootleg. Turns out, not so much.

  27. By Scott H on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Like I said, in theory, not a bad call. The execution was awful. I would just rather not see Palmer as a ball carrier at that point.

  28. By JohnnyBluenose on Oct 13, 2014 | Reply

    @Brad and @Scott H….agree with both of you. Obviously BA has forgotten more football than I will ever know but the plays that were being called late in the game were making me very nervous and seemed to be designed more to keeping the Redskins in the game than sealing a victory. And I guess it’s nice that we got a touchdown on Cousins’ last interception but I think the smart play would have been for Powers (or whoever it was) to simply fall down after catching it rather than risk fumbling the ball away and having it returned for a Washington touchdown. A remote possibility, I know. But why risk it?

  29. By Scott H on Oct 14, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG & JBNose –

    Hey, it’s in the win column now. Beautiful thing. Onward!

    PS – no more bootlegs for Palmer!

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