Domination, and 49ers aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on September 27, 2015 – 7:27 pm

It had been 47-7, a dismantling of an NFC West rival, and Calais Campbell was happy. But not too happy.

“My message the whole time will be, ‘Keep putting work in, keep respecting the process,’ ” the defensive end said. “We have a long way to go. We haven’t accomplished anything yet.”

Those weren’t just words to Campbell. As he spoke, he used his hands to emphasize his point. There were some laughs last week about Bruce Arians telling his team they weren’t (insert bleep noise here), and more chuckles Sunday when Arians said his team now smells just a little bit better. But the idea that the Cardinals will keep their heads about them even though they have scored a ton – 126 points in three games, seven points better than the high-flying Patriots – and dominated two weeks in a row.

“The kind of guys we have on this team now, no one is going to get carried away,” said long snapper Mike Leach, who is playing in his 16th NFL season and has a good pulse on such things. Leach noted that the best part of the Cardinals is that even in spots where they are young, there are vets who have taken guys under their wing.

Plus they have a coach who, while he might smile a bit when he says it, is willing to say they ain’t (need that bleep again) and mean it.

That isn’t to say the Cardinals didn’t play really, really well Sunday.

— The Cardinals have 17 touchdowns in their first three games, only the fourth team in NFL history to do so. The last was the Cowboys, who had 18 touchdowns in the first three games of 1968. Kind of mind-boggling.

— Carson Palmer is now 16-2 in his last 18 starts with the Cardinals. He made one really bad decision – he said he was trying to throw his interception out of bounds but instead, the floater was not even close to anything but 49ers cornerback Kenneth Acker – but had a bunch of nice throws. Plus he had two dropped, including what would have been a 28-yard TD to Smokey Brown.

— Chris Johnson turned 30 Sunday and he averaged 5.0 yards a rush and gained 110 yards on the ground. And he’s the youngster in the offensive trio that lit up the 49ers, alongside Larry Fitzgerald (9 catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns) and Palmer (311 yards passing and the two TDs.)

— He’d never ever say it, but I can’t help but think Fitz is sitting back having “I told you so” thoughts to the NFL world.

— Tyrann Mathieu. “Savage season” indeed.

— Justin Bethel not only had his first interception of his career for a touchdown, but it came on his first defensive snap of the season. Plus he forced a fumble on a kick return (the 49ers kept it) and downed a punt. What a day.

— Drew Butler did not hit a great punt that ended up being returned inside the Cardinals’ 20-yard line and set up San Francisco’s only touchdown. But he did strike a good punt on the play where Bethel caught it cleanly at the S.F. 1, held for a beat, and then tossed it back so he wouldn’t take it in the end zone.

The officials first threw the beanbag around the 4 where the Cards ending up grabbing the ball, but Leach was there to help.

“They were just discussing it and I was just letting them know, reminding them what the rule was just in case,” Leach said.

The Cards had the same play last year with Bethel against the Lions. Leach wasn’t going to forget. And on the next play, the Cardinals swarmed Carlos Hyde for a safety.

— That punt-and-return by the Niners for their only score was the only time the 49ers crossed the 50 the whole game.

“The passion the defense plays with is … unbelievable,” Leach said.

— Colin Kaepernick was bad. The Cardinals made him look so with the four INTs. But Torrey Smith had no catches against cornerback Patrick Peterson. And Anquan Boldin was held to two catches for 16 yards.

— There were a ton of good performances, but linebacker Kevin Minter stood out again too. It felt like a make-or-break year for Minter. Three games in, it feels like he’s making it.

So … the last time the Cardinals put a defensive back in their Ring of Honor, it was at halftime of the game against the 49ers, which the Cardinals won. And then they later reached the Super Bowl. Just sayin’ …



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30 Responses to “Domination, and 49ers aftermath”

  1. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 27, 2015 | Reply

    First, I got to talk about ADub going into the ROH.

    Man that was great seeing his highlights, big hits, his stats of 25.5 sacks and 27 picks, which are HOF worthy.

    But what struck me was when it was over, Honey Badger came out and gave ADub this “muscle grimace pose” and then Adub gave it back and they shared a laugh. That guy wishes he was still out there.

    And to have the 2005 or 2006 version of ADub on this team, man that would be fun to see.

  2. By Craig on Sep 27, 2015 | Reply

    Great Win!

  3. By Steve on Sep 27, 2015 | Reply

    Really impressed with Chris Johnson. He has lost a step but runs with patience, finds the hole, lowers his pads and can move the pile a little bit. He still catches the ball well and showed good blocking on a couple of plays to help keep Palmer clean. All in all just a good old fashioned butt kicking of a disliked divisional rival, WELL DONE!!

  4. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 27, 2015 | Reply

    Care to revise that prediction, Greg Bedard? This was supposed to be the first of ten straight losses if I recall…

  5. By rod on Sep 27, 2015 | Reply

    One word, PROLIFIC !!







  6. By Coach K on Sep 27, 2015 | Reply

    A year ago when everyone thought Fitz was gone, I said Palmer and Fitz need each other. This is their opportunity together to finish their careers with a Championship. In these last two games, I see a connection growing. These guys are pulling for each other to make that championship a reality for both of them. I see a special connection here that I envisioned last year.

    I think we have a shot at winning the division and hosting two playoff games at home if this connection keeps expanding.

  7. By JohnnyBluenose on Sep 27, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG….I don’t think it’s accidental or coincidental that Adub’s #24 remains un-worn. I think it’s out of respect for him. Eventually someone will wear it. Hopefully he will be a special player too. Matthieu has chosen to wear #32 and I think one day, twelve or so years from now, the same respect will be given that number when Matthieu bids us adieu. Our Cardinals dominated today. And we are only going to get better. Keep going.

  8. By b2bsing on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Lost in the excitement of the rout….Patrick Peterson had 0 passes defended and 0 tackles… team effort!!

  9. By Darren Urban on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    b2b —

    RE: Peterson

    I’d argue Peterson had a great game. If you don’t throw to the receiver he is covering not even once, it says something.

  10. By Amir on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Wow… what an all around performance by the team!! It is extra sweet when it is against 49ers!

    Go Cards!!!

  11. By NJAzCardsFan on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    The Cards front office should sign C Johnson to a longer contract. He fits this offense really well.

    Michael Bidwill, Kurt Warner, BA have really changed the culture of the Cards. With the improvements to the complex and not being afraid to pay quality players, one can see that when quality players/FA’s like C Johnson and others want to come to Az. Even thought other teams had interest in them. When that happens, you know the Cards have turned the corner for the better. It reflects in the quality of the play on the field…..

  12. By Scott H on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Happy Birthday to CJ! We are lucky to have this guy. And he is lucky to have this opportunity. Everybody wins. If he doesn’t win Comeback Player of the Year, it will only be because Carson Palmer did. Amazing.

    Congrats to A-dub! The team did him proud by playing the way they did, laying a major league beat down on a division rival.

    And welcome back from the dead, Larry Fitzgerald!!! Looks like you ARE who we thought you were!!

  13. By Fan in Chi Town on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    What a great win. Dominated in every facet of the game. If Carson stays healthy this could be a special season. Every time he gets hit I hold my breath, though. And seeing how that St. Louis player hit Forth lush ether’s knee, I’ll be holding my breath a lot this Sunday.

  14. By Fan in Chi Town on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Correction…Roethlisberger’s knee. Autocorrect strikes again.

  15. By joe 67 on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    I remember some big games in St. Louis against the East rivals that made me extremely happy, but this one……..WOW! How nice, how sweet this was for a long time Cards fan and one that has learned to dislike the niners and hawks just like I always did the Skins, Cowboys Giants and Eagles.(Never did like the Rams)
    Still some things to work on, but so happy right now. If we can just stay healthy we have a good chance against anyone.

  16. By TucsonTim on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Only negatives in an otherwise almost perfect game, a couple dropped passes, a silly INT, a really bad punt, and opposing fan crowd noise that made it hard for the o-line to hear the snap count…which got dramatically better as the game progressed. Sad that we have to use a silent count in our own stadium.

    Hopefully winning will continue to bring more real fans. Loved the crowd noise on the first series of downs for the 49’s. Don’t think they were ready for that level of intensity…obviously

  17. By Scott H on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    The days of the Legion of Boom are over. The best secondary in the NFL now wears red and white.

    As I have said myself leading up to both of the last 2 games, the QB’s we were facing were not good QB’s. And BTW….that tutoring that Kap got from Kurt Warner? It didn’t take! Anyway, I am no less impressed by the defense because of that. When you play a QB who is not very good, a good defense should force mistakes and capitalize on them. Our D ate Kap alive yesterday, period. They were dominant. They kept Drew Brees under control, too.

    LOVING what this team looks like right now! We face another struggling QB next week, one that CAN play very well but is mostly inconsistent. Should be another opportunity for our D to feast on some mistakes. The way the offense is playing only helps.

  18. By Jim B. on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, Peterson was thrown at at least one time and was fairly badly beaten on the play. Luckily the ball was a little under thrown and Powers made a diving interception under the route. Peterson still had a great game… all the DBs had a great game when they held them to 67 total passing yards and get four interceptions. It was great to see Bethel getting on the field too & proving he can do more than just be a pro bowl special teams player (which he also was in the game).

  19. By Kevin S Mesa on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Amazing stat lines in this game. Often when a team builds up a big lead on defensive TD’s (or TD’s scored by the offense but set up by a turnover deep in the opponent’s territory), or special teams TD’s, the end-of-game stats will actually favor the team that was trying to come from behind. Look at the PHI-NYJ game, for example… Philly got off to a 24-0 lead, and ended up winning, but was outgained by the Jets by nearly 100 yards.

    The Cardinals outgained SF almost 3 to 1 in yards and had almost 3x as many first downs. Time of possession, sacks, yards per play… every stat favors AZ.

  20. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    “opposing fan crowd noise”, those people will never be Arizona Cardinals, will never be part of the #Birdgang. Every team has some, SF more than most…fun to steam roll right over them after they paid up for tix, lol.

    Well done Cards, well done.

  21. By John The Draft Guy on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Darren and b2b,

    Kaep tried to throw to PP’s man once.

    It was way short and it was picked (either Powers or HB, so many picks, hard to keep them all straight) . Too bad, because if Kaep could have thrown it deeper, PP might have picked it.

  22. By BigBobDiesel on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Peterson wasn’t beaten at all, he actually had coverage over the top and powers had coverage under him. Either way Kaep didn’t have a play.

  23. By don on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    by far , the best overall game i’ve seen this team play .
    i hate to be negative after that performance . but 1 area really stood out . and that was the play of Okafor . having the outside position gives responsibility to keep everything inside . and he failed on almost every positive play the 9ers had yesterday . we won’t be seeing mobile QB’s every sunday . and it obviously didn’t cost us the game . but we’ll see kap again , wilson twice . i think it’s an easily correctable mistake .. but it’s a jr high mistake . and 1 that i don’t expect several times in 1 game from a veteran player . especially understanding who you’re facing . what they tend to do. and really . if he’d been disciplined , made those plays . we’d be talking about a shutout , how great Okafor played …
    GO CARDS ! ! ! ! !!

  24. By clssylssy on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    I have to agree with Fitz, that this win was the best ever. We beat Seattle in their house when nobody else could, SF beat us in our house when nobody else could, so the victory is twice as sweet, and in my mind makes the 9ers our historically toughest opponent. Watching the 9ers in their opener, showed they have a lot of talent but have been beaten savagely by teams that were bette in the last two week; devaluing their QB, players, and a franchise that has been legendary throughout the years merely, negates what an unbelievably talented team these Cardinals are and what they have accomplished through team work and belief in what they still are able to accomplish.
    Great Induction Ceremony for a great Cardinal, Adrian Wilson, appropriately punctuated with a sound stomping of one of our toughest rivals, begun with some explosive defensive fireworks. What a day…what a feeling! And, we emerged without serious injuries!

  25. By cards62 on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    I do not recall watching a more dominating performance by our Cardinals. Our entire team played well, our entire defense played well, but wow our secondary won the game and set the tone for the game. Very nice on Adub day that our secondary won the day. We made Kaepernick look like Ryan Lindley or Max Hall and How sweet it is. Did you see Kaeps eyes after the first quarter? He was done. I knew our secondary was the strongest group on our team in the pre-season and had the chance to be special in 2015 but wow what a performance. I have never seen our secondary have a better game in 44 years than they had today. This was even better than the play off win against the Cowboys years ago when Aeneas Williams had a great game.
    Talk all you want about Patrick Peterson and I was all over him last year, but I will take these 3 games from him all season and I have nothing but positive things to say about his game this year. I know he can get hurt returning punts and some fans do not like it , but I like this move as QBs are not throwing much PP way so returning punts I think can keep PP well focused and if he can break a couple like he did his rookie year it will help us win games and I think will raise his play also on defense. Confidence means so much in sports. Local Jacksonville Fox Station carried the game and they had our record listed as 1-1 all week. Lets stay humble all year and do our talking after the Super Bowl.

    So happy for Fitz and Carson putting up great numbers and it did not count, but did you guys see that catch by Floyd? They showed it again in slow motion and my gosh did he go get that ball.

    Rams week this week so we can really see how well our offensive line is playing. Their play this year has been my biggest pleasant surprise. I am worried about Carson this game so I sure hope the game plan calls for a lot of quick hitters this game and run the ball a lot. Rams offense does not look good so our defense should give our offense plenty of opportunities.

    Go Cards Great Win

  26. By Richard S on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Not to be Debbie Downer or whatever but an article I read today on I believe it was named the 6 worst teams in the league and 3 of them were the Saints, the Bears and the Niners. Beat the Rams and their 12th ranked defense and their 32nd ranked offense. Wow I thought Foles was better than that.

  27. By Scott H on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Richard S –

    OK, but consider this….last season, we won games against weak teams like the Redskins and the Raiders that were not very convincing. O, at least, they were not dominating wins. And those teams were among the worst in the league at that time. The wins we’re seeing this year ARE dominant. The Cardinals are jumping on these other teams early, setting a tone, and then keeping their foot on the gas. The Saints were able to get close for awhile but the Cardinals shut the door with some authority to close it out. For the Bears and Niners? The door wasn’t even open.

    The fact that they are using defensive and ST scores to win the way they are just under-scores how complete this team is. Nothing wrong with using all three phases to win. That is what SB teams do.

    Look what the Pats did to the Jaguars yesterday…I really don’t hear many people saying anything about them beating up on a bad team. I DO hear people saying plenty about how dominant the Pats look so far. And there is really only ONE other team in the NFL that has looked THAT dominant so far – the Cardinals.

    Let’s enjoy this, Debbie. 🙂

  28. By Scott H on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    Kevin –

    RE: Every stat favors the Cardinals

    Yeah – including the final score!

    I swear, I really did try to feel bad for the Niners a few times, but….I just never quite got there. Does that make me a horrible person??

  29. By 11ZFAN on Sep 28, 2015 | Reply

    I was completely embarrassed to read that our Cardinals had to do a silent count because the 49ers fans were so loud. Being a season ticket holder for 10 yrs now, we would prefer only Cardinals fans at the game. That being said, I feel like we shut them up after the first drive so I hope the players felt the same. Great win!!!

  30. By Eazy E on Nov 1, 2016 | Reply

    Back on Track, but it’s the 49ers!

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