Friday before the Seahawks on Sunday night

Posted by Darren Urban on November 13, 2015 – 4:06 pm

By the time the Cardinals get to Seattle Saturday evening, it’ll be dark and probably rainy. By the time they play the Seahawks Sunday night, it’ll be dark and probably rainy. The crowd is going to be intense from the opening kick, and everyone knows the football world will be watching.

Bruce Arians knows his guys will be jacked up. He wants them jacked up. Except …

“Snotbubbles and tears don’t win s**t,” Arians said.

This is still about the execution. This is about being smart with the football and not turning it over. It’s about the Cardinals being able to run the ball with Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington. It’s about tackling Marshawn Lynch (sure, he’s questionable, but he’ll play) and containing Russell Wilson. I still think this game will be about the Cardinals scoring, because I believe the Cardinals’ defense can keep the Seahawks at bay.

The season won’t be decided Sunday but it’s impossible to get past the power of the swing it holds: The Cards lose, and they are just one game ahead of the Seahawks with seven to go and the Cards with a harder schedule. The Cards win, and the Seahawks are three games back, don’t have the tiebreaker and are under .500 – while the Cardinals get over the hurdle of winning against a “good” team (although the Cards still won’t have beat an above .500 team in that case.)

This one is going to be interesting, to say the least.

— If it is rainy as expected, I’m wondering what that will mean to a passing game that has been excellent. Will Arians dial it back a bit?

— I forgot that not only did the Cardinals not have Carson Palmer for their trip to Seattle last season, they didn’t have Larry Fitzgerald either. And now both aren’t only playing, but playing as well as they ever have.

— Lost in that win from 2013 was how stupendous the defense was that day. The Cardinals’ defense might have had – given the opponent and context – its finest day under Arians for sure. It ranked up there with the Jake Delhomme beat down in the 2008 playoffs. The Cardinals could sure use a similar showing.

— There is a concern about Jimmy Graham. The Seahawks’ other tight end, Luke Willson, has hurt the Cards before too. Something to remember.

Running backs coach Stump Mitchell, who can’t believe he remains the franchise’s second-leading rusher after all these years, said he wants Chris Johnson to win the NFL rushing title. Johnson is currently third behind Adrian Peterson and Devonta Freeman.

“To win, we have to have guys who have individual goals that are team-related,” Mitchell said. “Chris is too close to the top of the rushing title to not want to win it. And that’s his goal. I know it’s the offensive linemen’s goal. I’m not surprised. (CJ) loves the game, and we are running the runs he likes to run.”

— Lot of questions, since the Cardinals still have a Thursday night game left (at home against the Vikings Dec. 10), if the Cards will be a part of the uniform “Color Rush” happening on Thursdays. The answer is no, they are not part of that plan this season.

— Some good links if you missed them:

My Chris Johnson story and the promises he was not given.

This exchange between Patrick Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald Thursday was priceless.

Also thought the Jimmy Fallon bit (to pub fellow NBC property “Sunday Night Football”) was funny. Lyle Sendlein said it was the second time Fallon had poked fun at him. “I guess it’s better (this time) than him calling me a Human Angry Bird – I think,” Sendlein said. (You can watch the video, but I’m not so sure about that).

— Arians said he expects linebacker Alex Okafor to get 30 to 35 snaps in his first game back from a calf injury. He also said he’s going to have a steady rotation at outside linebacker. How the playing time is divided between Okafor, Dwight Freeney, LaMarr Woodley and Markus Golden will be interesting.

— Also interesting will be who is made inactive with everybody healthy – assuming Sendlein (shoulder) and wide receiver John Brown (hamstring) are both good to go (which I will not be surprised if it happens.)

— I leave with this: This is being written and posted as the horrifying events in Paris, with shootings and explosions and hostages, are playing out. Honestly, it’s tough to get too deep into football knowing that such things are going on.

With that in mind, I just say this – the game Sunday is important in the context of this world I work within and we all follow. I know I’ll hear from many if the Cardinals lose, but I ask you to just remember – it is just a game. Please keep it in perspective.


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20 Responses to “Friday before the Seahawks on Sunday night”

  1. By Steve on Nov 13, 2015 | Reply

    Pretty unreal what is taking place in Paris tonight, thanks for reminding us Darren that life and death is much more important in the big picture than a game football.

  2. By SCarolinacard on Nov 13, 2015 | Reply

    As Ric Flair always said ” to be the man, you have to beat the man “, and right now Seattle is still the man!
    GO CARDS!! Beat Seattle!!

  3. By Gilbert on Nov 13, 2015 | Reply

    Exactly right as important as this game is to both teams it is just that a game.

  4. By Scott H on Nov 13, 2015 | Reply

    Also, last season in Seattle, they had Ellington , but….not really. They may as well not have had him because he was so limited by the injuries that had mounted to that point….he had nothing left. He was shot. So, they had no Carson, no Fitz, and no one to run the ball. The Seahawks got a very depleted and watered down version of the Cardinals that day. And let’s face it – with at least Stanton at QB at that point, the Cardinals were still much more viable that day than they were a few weeks later with Lindley.

    At least if the Seahawks win this game, they will have had to beat a real team to do it.

    Darren, a question – supposedly, the glove that Warner wore actually achieved a BETTER grip on the ball when it became wet because….I guess either the ball OR the glove became a bit tackier at that point? I remember that point being made during the playoff game in Carolina back in 2008. It rained that night, too, but it sure didn’t seem to affect Warner’s performance. Does Palmer ever wear a glove? Would he wear one in the rain? Can we call Kurt to see if we can borrow it this weekend? 🙂

    Here’s hoping Sendlein plays. His absence in a game this big in a place as loud as Seattle could be huge.

    Here’s hoping Fitz continues to re-visit his old form on Sunday night. I believe I read that he has not scored a TD in Seattle since 2011. He needs to re-introduce himself to the end-zone in that building. And not just once. I want TWO TD’s from Fitz on Sunday night.

    And here’s hoping Palmer trades his 4 INT’s from 2013 for 4 TD’s this time around. IF the weather is not limiting the passing game, that is. I have aleady said I think a small ball approach would be a good way to go in this game. Ball control offense, extended drives, win the time of possession battle.

    And once inside the 10, have Palmer throw his 4 TD’s! Two to Fitz, one to Gresham, one to a RB.

    Time to bring the curtain up on the 2nd act. Show-time.

  5. By Darren Urban on Nov 14, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Warner glove

    I don’t remember Kurt ever saying he had a better grip in the rain. I know he had a better grip period with the gloves, which is why he wore them every game rain or shine.

  6. By Storm Byrd on Nov 14, 2015 | Reply

    Re the color rush:

    I bet the cards will just wear the red tops/red bottoms combo and the Vikes will wear their purple tops/purple bottoms combo.

  7. By Garth Short on Nov 14, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, your point that it’s just a game is a GREAT one. Garth

  8. By Dianna Bennett, Phx. AZ on Nov 14, 2015 | Reply

    Coach Arians, Great article. First of all safe travels to Seattle. Secondly, we want YOU and the ARIZONA CARDINALS to PAINT THAT TOWN RED, TAKE THAT FIELD WITH A FURY, LET THEM KNOW THAT THE ARIZONA CARDINALS ARE “IN THE HOUSE”
    BRING IS HOME A WIN !!! You are right, this is a pivotal game….
    (I give you FULL permission to use this for an, “on the plane speech, before the game speech and/or half time speech)
    GO BIG RED !!!!

  9. By Marlin on Nov 14, 2015 | Reply

    Heartfelt Prayers for Paris!
    Go Cardinals !!!

  10. By MichaelfromStl on Nov 14, 2015 | Reply

    I hate Just wanted to peek at the comments of the SEA-AZ matchup….but bad idea.. I’m throwing a SNF bbq this weekend, and will try to invite every single bandwagon Seattle fan near me that I can think of. Just for fun, and to experiment with behavioral studying on how a Seattle fan reacts after a loss.

    Even with an Arizona Cardinal victory this Sunday, I don’t believe the fans of the Seattle Seahawks will show the respect our team has deserved. They will stick with their claims of a 3rd Superbowl run, and continue to point at past years previous success. Their fan base is like the city of Philly winning a World Series, but all year round.

  11. By Jim McFetridge on Nov 14, 2015 | Reply

    Darren – Your comments are fair & accurate but dig much deeper than the average sports reporter. Thanks for your realistic, sensitive & insightful comments.

  12. By JohnnyBluenose on Nov 14, 2015 | Reply

    One of the many benefits to being a Cardinals season ticket holder is the opportunity to purchase tickets to away games for a reasonable price. A few weeks ago one of my friends told me that he was going to visit his daughter in Vancouver and he was hoping to go to the game in Seattle while he was there. I told him that I might be able to get him tickets. I put in a request for three tickets and on Wednesday the Cardinals called to say I could have them. My friend was very excited and thankful and is so looking forward to going to the game. Notwithstanding last night’s sad happenings in Paris, which are on the minds of everyone, he will still enjoy the game. Just not as much. Nous sommes Paris.

  13. By DTL on Nov 14, 2015 | Reply

    If pro golfers can grip a club in rain, Fitz, C. Palmer (et al) with their huge hands will manage just fine.

    Love the internal goal of a rushing tile, love it. Go Cards.

  14. By Onwatch on Nov 15, 2015 | Reply

    Humanity is losing to globalist wake up
    This game may be under attack

  15. By Richard S on Nov 15, 2015 | Reply

    My system has gotten off to a really bad start this week only picking 2 out of 9 games correctly, Carolina over Tennessee and Pitt over Cleveland. I hope the bad results continue into the afternoon games as I have the Cards picked to lose by about 2 points. This is a week of upsets so far, let’s keep it up.

  16. By louis on Nov 15, 2015 | Reply

    go cards,

  17. By Big Ken on Nov 15, 2015 | Reply

    I’m just glad Peyton didn’t become a Cardinal. Yikes…

  18. By Darren Urban on Nov 15, 2015 | Reply

    Big Ken —

    RE: Peyton

    Comon now, that’s revisionist history. I’m guessing the Cards — and the fans — would have been thrilled to have Peyton from 2011-2014.

  19. By Big Ken on Nov 16, 2015 | Reply

    ok sorry

  20. By Darren Urban on Nov 16, 2015 | Reply

    Big Ken —

    RE: Apology

    Nothing to be sorry about.

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