Packers aftermath, now with more sacks

Posted by Darren Urban on December 27, 2015 – 8:54 pm

The last time the Packers played in Arizona, it was highlighted by a strip-sack of Aaron Rodgers. It only made sense that this time the Packers came to Arizona, it was highlighted by a strip-sack of Aaron Rodgers. Actually, two. And actually, that’s the only thing those two games had in common.

That game long ago was seemingly who was going to have the ball last because Rodgers and Kurt Warner were so excellent that day (kinda ironic it ended on a defensive stop, so …) Sunday wasn’t that. Sunday was Cardinals’ domination, the kind of game that has to make any team that has to come to Arizona in the playoffs pause.

Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald both said they don’t think the Cardinals are peaking, and that’s in part because they would rather the team peak in about three or four weeks, when the playoffs begin. But the Cards were pretty good against an admittedly banged-up Packers team (although with the Cards without Tyrann Mathieu and Rashad Johnson, sympathy wasn’t forthcoming) and don’t have a whole lot of complaints.

Now, next week is going to be interesting. The NFL officially moved the Panthers-Bucs game to a late kickoff, matching it with the Cardinals, so the Cards can’t just base their playing time on the Panthers outcome (A Panthers loss and Cards win and the Cardinals are the No. 1 seed.) Meanwhile, you don’t know what the Seahawks are going to do. Do they definitely want to escape the sixth seed, which is still possible? The difference between going to frigid Minnesota/Green Bay or Washington in that case might mean something to the Seahawks.

So much to consider.

— There seemed to be a lot of concern about the right index finger (wrapped, as you can see below) of Palmer that was jacked up in Philly. He only missed one play, but some thought it was going to be an issue. Didn’t look like it to me.

— The Cardinals now have 57 touchdowns this season, soaring past the franchise record of 53 set in 1948. So, so many touchdowns.

— How’s this for interesting: With their nine-sack game Sunday, the Cardinals have 35 on the season – the same number as the Seahawks. The teams are tied with the Eagles for 14th in the league. The Cards are tied with Denver for fourth in scoring defense, at 18.5 points a game.

— Veteran DT Cory Redding couldn’t get to the end zone in Detroit, getting tackled after an interception after a 30-yard return down to the Lions 4. After he picked up a Packers fumble Sunday at the 36, it wasn’t going to happen again.

“I would not be denied,” Redding said. “My boys and teammates gave me a hard time the first time. Letting the quarterback tackle you, blah, blah, blah.

“I picked up the ball and tried to go as far as I could. I had a nice little convoy. (Packers RB Eddie) Lacy tried to (get me), I didn’t even know it was him. I just shoved off somebody and kept running.”

— Crazy Palmer numbers: He is now 29-8 as a starter for the Cardinals, and 26-4 in his last 30 starts. Quite a happy birthday for a guy who turned 36 Sunday.

— It was funny to see Larry Fitzgerald dress so quickly Sunday to try and do his interview at the podium. Usually Fitz is among the last but he wanted to get out of there. He was ready to go after Calais Campbell – except Dwight Freeney already thought he was next. Freeney, told he was going to go after Fitz, fixed that quickly. He pulled rank, telling Fitz he was older. So Freeney went first, and Fitz sat in the corner waiting, legs out like he was a kid waiting for his mom to finish shopping.

— Freeney has had three sacks in a game six times before Sunday, but Sunday was the first time since 2006.

— In three seasons, Bruce Arians – after taking out the Packers Sunday — has already beaten every NFC team at least once.

— Many asked during the game if David Johnson was hurt. He was not. He came out because of the big lead and Andre Ellington’s need to work. Arians said Johnson is fine.

— The amazing touchdown-to-punt ratio stat held up for another week. The tally now is 57 touchdowns for the Cardinals this season, and 55 punts. It’s hard to fathom if the Cardinals can make that hold up through the season finale.


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Posted in Blog | 41 Comments »

41 Responses to “Packers aftermath, now with more sacks”

  1. By cardsbaby on Dec 27, 2015 | Reply

    This is a great time to be hitting our stride in most aspects of the game. Punting is still not good, but if everything else is clicking hopefully that will not be an issue.

  2. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 27, 2015 | Reply

    David Johnson is just sooooo smooooooth! There’s just no wasted motion when he runs, and he has a great change of direction move that’s very deceptive. I’m glad we got out to the big lead and were able to keep him fresh for the playoff run. DJ has been compared to a lot of RBs, but regarding his smooth running style, he does remind me some of Emmit Smith.

    Great job team!

  3. By shane on Dec 27, 2015 | Reply

    great win! but it really got me upsetf that the nfl flexed the panther vs buc. game too the same time the cards are playing.. so the cards are basically forced to play all there starters .. i wanted plamer & alot of the key guys too sit if the panthers won .. i just dont like the idea of playig seattle in a divison game week 17.. i mean they have nothing to lose idk if seattle is dirty or not but i dont want to find out if i dont have too… it scares me a little

  4. By Scot on Dec 27, 2015 | Reply

    Another amazing number. The Cards swept the NFC North by an amazing score of 151-68.

  5. By rod on Dec 27, 2015 | Reply

    Fantastic dominating win!

    That’s what I want from the defense every week!!

  6. By georgiebird on Dec 27, 2015 | Reply

    It’s amazing to see all the records being set this year. As a long suffering (not lately) Cardinals’ fan, I have been blown away by this year’s performance. It all seems like a dream but I’ve pinched myself enough to know this is for real.

  7. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 27, 2015 | Reply

    Even if the Cards end up with the 2nd seed, it’s a very real possibility that they could still end up playing two games at home to go to the Super Bowl.

    My guess is that Minnesota will beat Green Bay next week to become the #3 seed and the Packers thus the #5 seed. That would set up the Vikings #3 hosting the Seahawks (#6) in the first weekend of the playoffs. If Seattle wins, they would travel to play Carolina (#2) in second week of the playoffs, and the Cards would host the winner of the Green Bay (#5) vs. Washington (#4) game. If the Seahawks and Cardinals would both win that second week, Seattle would travel to Arizona to for the NFC Championship game. If the Vikings win in week one, they come to Arizona, and the Cards would need to win and have either the Packers or Redskins defeat Carolina at home for the Cardinals to host the NFC Championship game against the Packers or Redskins.

    Of course, the Cardinals can beat any of these teams on the road or at home, but I’m guessing the Cards would like to play both at home which is a very real possibility even if they should loose next week.

  8. By Cheesebeef on Dec 27, 2015 | Reply

    This team is so damn ridiculously good. That’s all.

  9. By druwalka on Dec 27, 2015 | Reply

    I admit, my mentality of “next man up” birth from last years season, I was surprised as a die hard cardinals fan that our secondary held up against a great passer like Rodgers.

  10. By Mark G on Dec 27, 2015 | Reply

    Having survived the Buddy years, after jumping on the AZ Cardinals Bandwagon when it rolled into Tempe, this year has been quite the blessing. Great team, great players, great staff and great fans, an unbeatable combination!

  11. By ohmyhec on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    Great game! Holy Smokes. Watching the Cards play, then turning the station and watching another game is very problematic for me. Why? Well because the Cards play like the PROS they are!

  12. By faster on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    what a evening! first bowles win with the jets, hurra, then the steelers losse, hurra, and then i have seen a healthy palmer and one of the best defenses i have ever seen at work with a convincing win.

    so ein tag, so wunderschön wie heute ….

    stay healthy, beat the patriots ….

  13. By LadyBird04 on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    Never liked Rodgers (the man seems snarky) and now Matthews is added to the list….punk move offering a hand up to Palmer and pulling hand back – “kindergarten” move. Grow up and play like a man~

    Great game and play by the Cards on both sides of the ball. Hate it that the NFL changed game time for the Panthers next week. Would have been nicer to know what we needed to do.

  14. By Donna778 on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    So proud of are Cardinals! My brother was a big fan to bad he not here to see but I’m sure that he is watching. GO CARDINALS!

  15. By Cardinal's Chick on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    Wow…great game! For the most part they played good football for all 4 quarters. Admittedly, I was concerned about Bethel stepping in for Tyrann…and Aaron Rodgers tried to test him a few times…but that young man stepped up. I loved seeing the Packers beat down, especially after the way Clay Matthews played Carson Palmer.

    I do have 1 complaint. I live in Georgia…so I watch the games on t.v. I hate seeing all of that green and gold in the stands. The people who sold their tickets to GB fans have something I don’t…a seat in the UoP stadium. They should be ashamed of themselves for selling out…should have their season tickets revoked even!!! That’s just downright treason…

    I’m looking forward to the last game…but I think it will be WAY more competitive than this one was.

  16. By clssylssy on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    That is the kind of game EVERY football fan wants to watch because it’s the game being played to perfection by players who are having a great time without all the negative drama…EXCELLENT JOB! We have such a talented and special bunch of guys…wall-to-wall,top to bottom in this organization they have now had a taste of what’s it’s like to win with an exclamation point against a respected opponent. I was worried about our defense with Rashard & the HB sidelined but couldn’t be more pleased with the passion and toughness these guys brought. Enjoy the victory then do it again next week against Seattle! Lovin every minute & SO PROUD OF THIS TEAM !

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

    Not much time at the moment, but wanted to wish Carson a Happy Birthday! What a way to celebrate! But. really, the present has been all ours!!!

    What is REALLY coming out of the last 2 games for me is how AMAZINGLY balanced this team is. They scored 40 in Philly on a night when Palmer threw only 1 TD pass. The run game carried us. Then, they put up 38 yesterday and only 14 of those came via the passing game. The defense scored as many as that on their own and laid the groundwork for most of the rest with the sacks and the take-aways.

    What a night for the defense. It was a beautiful sight to behold.

    And how’ bout them Falcons!!!!! The door to the top seed in the NFC is OPEN!

  18. By Marlin on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    Its time these “transplants” and “snowbirds” recognize that the Phoenix metro area is more than just a warm weather resort. Our fans need to demand respect for this team and the community. In places like Cleveland and Philly and Pittsburgh and Chicago and Boston….etc…..season ticket holders don’t allow other season ticket holders to switch gears and support a rival in selected games. We shouldn’t either. The Cardinals franchise has earned the respect of the entire community. Its about time we ALL give them what they have earned.

  19. By Marlin on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    If you’re a part-time Cardinals fan…..and really still love your home team (Bears, Vikes, Pack, etc). Please STAY HOME when your team comes to town. Its hard enough fighting the other guys….we don’t need people in our own community fighting us too.

  20. By Chris on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    After starting the season at 6-2,and looking at the rest of the schedule, I never thought 14-2 ( hopefully) ,would be possible. The loss at St.Louis and Pittsburgh are games that were winnable at the end. I have been a Cardinals fan my whole life.I love the ride,right now,and if the defense plays the way they did yesterday, they are gonna be hard to beat!

  21. By joe holst on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    David Johnson is similar to great a Ottis Anderson.

  22. By Cactus jeff on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    David Johnson is a bigger faster Matt Forte. Go ahead use it as your own Gambo.
    Bob Massie is my player of the week. He looked great. Most improved player of the year.

  23. By Rod on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    I sat through some tough years with the Cards when I was a season ticket holder from 95-2000…Sat in Sun Devil Stadium and baked my brains out sitting the lower lever on the east side at the bowl end about the 10 yard line and around 20 rows up….I hated September 2P kick offs…Still loved going to watch them play even though at time they weren’t that good, but still a fan.

    Now, I feel vindicated for taking the abuse of all the opposing fans that sat in the same area as me. Every home game felt like it was a road game, especially against Dallas..Now, all that BS I had to put up with seems worthwhile!

    Go Cards….

  24. By kauaicardsfan on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    This is such an amazing season so far! So much props from for GM Kiem and BA for finding these talents in the draft and FA and just waiting for a call and making this team so deep in talent it just blows me away!!!
    IMUA ( def Strong or go Foward) CARDINALS!

  25. By Scott H on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    My take on other fans showing up at our games is that the Phoenix area is such a great destination for anyone from other cities ( especially Green Bay in December! ), it makes sense that they come here when they’re team does. I think it is more about the area being a great place to get away to for a long weekend. Heck, you probably see a lot of Packers fans in places like Miami and Jacksonville, and San Diego ( in December ) as well. But do you see them showing up for games in Cleveland? Baltimore? St Louis? Probably not.

    And the Phoenix area has always been / will always be a place where people come after they retire. And they bring their allegiances with them. What can ya do? During Christmas weekend, I’m sure some local fans travel to other areas and they make their seats available. You put them up on Stub Hub or wherever, they are available to whoever wants to fork over the cash. That’s just the way of the world.

    Seeing other fans there last night didn’t bother me at all. I knew the CARDINALS fans were still going to make sure the Packers knew where they were. And once we got rolling….don’t tell me you didn’t love the hell out of seeing all those Packers fans reacting with shock and dis-belief at how thoroughly their team was being destroyed!!! THAT was a GREAT thing to see in our house!!!

  26. By Storm Byrd on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    If Cards get the #1 seed they may stumble into a division round rematch with the Seahawks who would have the #6 seed w/a loss to the Cards.

  27. By Darren Urban on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    Storm —

    RE: Seahawks

    This is true.

  28. By Jason on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    This game was so epic. Listening to the Go Pack Go chants on the Great Lawn, then to be celebrating with my fellow season ticket holders by high fives over their heads all game long and drowning them out was priceless. Most historic Cards season EVER! SB or BUST!

  29. By Richard S on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    I never saw a game in the heat at Sun Devil Stadium. I do remember putting up with the bitter cold in St. Louis where your nose would freeze. The first game I saw was a Cardinal win over the Steelers, with QB Terry Nofsinger leading the way in a thrilling 6-3 game. We arrived late and missed the first Cardinal field goal. The last game I went to and the only game in Arizona I made was Matt Leinart’s first start. Wiz said he couldn’t throw deep. I do recall him hitting Boldin with a long bomb for a TD though, but Denny Green was the coach then. Since I got an extra ticket I was sitting next to all the Kansas City fans making a lot of noise when the Chiefs were ready to snap the ball. Not every out of area fan wanting to buy a ticket to a Cardinal game is from the opposition. I drove all the way from the Bay Area for that game. As to why I don’t go to Cardinal games out here in the Bay Area, is the violence you see sometimes towards other teams fans in the parking lot after the games. Who wants to end up in a coma when you go to see your team play especially when you can see things better on TV including replays?

  30. By Cardinal on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    41 seasons a cards fan this is our greatest team ever

    have wore #90 Docketts jersey since 2008 , when had to special order it hate that he deserted us ………… glad he got cut by SF………… and glad we didn’t resign him after that .

    wish I could just change the name on back to REDDING Love me my new # 90 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. By Darren Urban on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    Cardinal —

    RE: Dockett

    With all due respect to Darnell, the Cardinals cut him when he wouldn’t take a pay cut. He was able to get at the time what was a better contract. I don’t blame him. It’s the business.

  32. By hammerdon on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    there were plays left on the field sunday . but that was the best i’ve ever seen a cardinals team play . i thought rookie of the year might be a possibility for DJ with 2 big games left .. but he rested the entire 2nd half. . and i can’t believe the lack of press for what Bethel did on sunday . not just the play of the game .. the 4 straight defenses against mcarthy , rogers . the packers resulting in turnover on downs was 1 of the most Amazing feats by a relatively inexperienced corner i’ve ever witnessed . and he had his typical impact on ST
    i don’t know what Kiem , co was thinking when they resigned Bethel for 3 more .. it should have been 6 LOL this team looks to be healthy , peaking at the exact right time .the D-line certainly does .. on saturday we had some weaknesses teams thought they would be able to exploit . namely .. a new inexperienced corner , and not much of a pass rush , the packers O-line was horrid . but i think those weaknesses are shored up . we’ll see if they can get to Wilson shortly . GO CARDS ! ! ! ! ! ! !

  33. By Scott H on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    Cardinal –

    RE: Being a fan for 41 years

    Good on ya, mate! Nice. I’m right there with ya. I can trace being a Cards fan back to the age of 8, which would put me at 42 years. That tells me a lot about your character. Because we ( and many others ) know that the last 40 years or so has NOT exactly been a great span of decades to be a fan of this team. The last 10 years, since the stadium opened, has been much better. But the 30 years before that??? That was like wandering lost in the dessert for 30 years. Ironic that we actually moved TO a dessert in 1987, huh? Go figure. At the time, it seemed a perfect back-drop for a team that often seemed like a place where nothing could grow. Sticking with the dessert theme, the Cardinals would often turn out to be a mirage during those years. There would be a glimmer of hope…and it would disappear.

    But the arrival of UoP Stadium has given us a lush, green oasis that never goes away! We KNOW it’s really there. Suddenly, the dessert is a pretty damn cool place to be!

  34. By Black on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    Great game. The most intriguing part of the blog was the Cardinals not yet peaking. The way the Cardinals played Sunday, no team in the NFL can beat them. No one. Hard to imagine peaking beyond here.

  35. By Bob Roberts on Dec 28, 2015 | Reply

    So many 4 -12 seasons I have had to be a part of. Sitting in the unforgiving sun at Sun Devil stadium sweating and losing. The Warner years were good to us but since the Cards came here there has never been a team like the one we have this year. I am still so used to all of those losing seasons that I still keep waiting for something to go wrong like what we have now is all just make believe.

    Can’s wait til they crush the Sea-Chickens next week!!

  36. By Eazy E on Dec 29, 2015 | Reply

    Arizona is primed and ready for a nice playoff run!


    Carson continues his push to at least stay in the MVP race with another good performance going 18-27 for 265 yards, 2 TDs, but 1 Interception that was a bad decision. He should have thrown the ball at Mike Daniels’s feet instead of trying to squeeze a near impossible pass in all that traffic!


    3 Backs had 39 yards rushing or more in Kerwynn(8 for 44, and 1 catch for 4 yards), Andre(7 for 40, and 1 catch for 5 yards), and David(9 for 39 and a TD, 3 catches for 88 yards including that splendid 44 yard scamper)! A grand total of 121 yards rushing when you include Drew’s (2 for -2).


    Larry caught 4 passes for 29 yards and scored for I believe the first time since the Cleveland game, a touchdown! Nice job Fitz for sitting down on that stick/stop route. Mike Floyd had another big game with 6 catches for 111 yards. John only caught 3 passes for 25 yards, but did have a nice TD with the slant! Gresham caught a pass for 7 yards.


    From LT to RT, Veldheer to Massie, we are looking so good here! Ran the ball pretty well on them and only gave up 2 sacks!


    Where do I start with our D-Line?! 9 sacks between our front 7, total domination! With Bakhtiari out before the game and Bulaga exiting during it, like Coach said we should rack up some sacks! Calais absolutely dominated and had a monster game with 6 total tackles and 2.5 sacks in the first half and overall! He could have had more, but he wanted his friends to eat too! Frostee had a couple tackles and a sack also. Cory Redding recovered that fumble and off he went. He just knocked Eddie Lacy over and kept going. I’m glad he didn’t get tackled and I love the Ric Flair celebration too! Rodney and Red also contributed against the run and did their thing!


    What a game for them also! Minter is getting more consistent with his 8 tackles. Deone had a bone-crushing hit on the sack and he forced a fumble to boot. He also had 4 tackles. Golden is coming along with 3 tackles and a 0.5 sack. Okafor hasn’t been ”getting to the QB as often as when he started the season”, but he had a QB hit and defended the run very well. Kareem had a very nice game with 4 tackles, sack, and a forced fumble that as a result was a fumble and returned for a TD by the aforementioned Cory Redding. Freeney beasted with a 3 sack game and reminds us of John Abraham or as I affectionately call him ”2 Bible Names”! 3 big sacks and a forced fumble that led to a Jerraud Powers scoop and score!


    Without the Honey Badger and Rashad Johnson, our 2 Elite safeties and I mean Elite, we still befuddled Aaron Rodgers and that explosive Packers offense. Patrick I think is getting a little bored shutting down the top WRs, sike… The aforementioned Powers had a nice scoop and score TD and played well. Tony and D.J. are doing a heck of a job filling in for again our elite safeties! Tony had 6 tackles and D.J. only had 1 tackle, but it was a forced fumble upending James Starks and Chris Clemons recovering it! I couldn’t believe that D.J. was let go by Houston because he can play! Thanks H-Town… Bethel played well also with an important pick in the end zone where Aaron rarely turns it over. Only 5 picks thrown in his entire career in the red zone! 256 yards total for the Packers offense!!! I don’t care how up and down they’ve been on offense this season, that’s impressive!


    They did what they do! That is all.

    I wish we would’ve shut them out, but I’ll take 8… The most complete game of the season thus far…

  37. By Kaleb on Dec 29, 2015 | Reply


    I wasn’t able to hear the broadcast yesterday, I was wondering if they provided an adequate explanation to the ruling of NO safety on freeneys sack near the end of the game. I know the game was already over but after watching the replay several times I don’t understand how they spotted the ball near the 1 yd line. Your thoughts?

  38. By Darren Urban on Dec 29, 2015 | Reply

    Kaleb —

    RE: Safety

    Actually, when I watched the replay, I could see how they saw a part of the ball/front foot barely out of the end zone. Was the spot a little favorable? Perhaps. But I could see why they didn’t overturn the call.

  39. By cardinal on Dec 29, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H ya ive been through all those 40 seasons too the 3 yrs i lived in stlouis they were 10-4 11-3 and 10-4 but lost in the first round of the playoffs 2 of them the 80’s were tough but we had our chances in 1984 and i begged them not to leave st louis in 1987 90’s were tougher till that 9-7 team finally won a playoff game in 1998 over Dallas in Big D. Then some more dark seasons till wiz got us to our best season in 2008 with 3 big playoff wins and a close super bowl loss he’s not a head coach [ 2 trys your done] Ran too many good players off !!! And as is st louis is not a football town anymore/ [ bout to lose their 2nd team ] luv some of the denny greene accusitions he made for us , and made our bird a little tougher looking hated buddy ball in the 90’s ….but so glad when he got us changed from phoenix to Arizona cardinals



  40. By llopez55 on Dec 30, 2015 | Reply

    Two things stood out for me in this game;

    Signing Dwight Freeney turns out to be another gem. Not only in the production, but the influence on the DLine. You could see it in the extra effort by Calais Campbell, Frostee Rucker, etc. I don’t how practices go or how much they communicate off the field, but seems to be working the past few weeks.

    SOOO glad to see the Cardinals dominate in a game where the stadium seem to be 50/50 with cheeseheads. Hopefully it goes a long way to establishing that needed fan base that will not sell their tickets even when GB is in town. A perfect statement by the Cards.

    Thanks Darren for the updates all season long.

  41. By sbrown on Dec 30, 2015 | Reply

    Eazy E – don’t forget what set up that lone touchdown, the PI which was on a un catchable pass for about 40 yards, then the unsportsmanlike called on BA which gave the Packers half the distance to the goal line.
    Gift call on the PI to the Packers, but still was a dominate win by the entire team.

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