A few good Cardinals

Posted by Darren Urban on January 5, 2016 – 11:12 am

I have seen the movie “A Few Good Men” a few times. Or 50. It’s one of those films I can’t help but leave on the TV when I come across it. (I know I’m not the only one.) So much of the dialogue is memorable.

(Hang with me here. I’m getting somewhere with this.)

The last day-plus of the Cardinals-Seahawks aftermath heading into the Cards’ playoff bye week has been filled with opinions on both sides of the fence, not entirely unexpected. The Cardinals are saying it meant nothing in the grand scheme. The players insist there will be a rally. Some on the outside are calling what the Seahawks did “The Most Impressive Victory of the Year” in the NFL and are saying the Cards rank behind both the Panthers and Seahawks in the NFC — in large part because of that finale result. There are spots in history that point to each side as being right, examples of teams that have lost late and done fine in the postseason, teams that have lost late and tripped.

But that’s when I think back to the line Kevin Pollack delivers to Tom Cruise wondering if Cruise’s character should take a legal run at Jack Nicholson’s character as “A Few Good Men” pushed toward a conclusion. Pollack’s “Sam Weinberg” makes it clear that as a lawyer, he wouldn’t, and he doesn’t think the late lawyer father of Cruise’s “Danny Kaffee” would either.

“But here’s the thing–and there’s really no way of getting around this–neither Lionel Kaffee nor Sam Weinberg are lead counsel for the defense in the matter of U.S. v. Dawson & Downey,” Pollack says.

And here’s the thing — and there’s really no way of getting around this — none of those previous teams are the 2015 Arizona Cardinals.

This was a team, after all, that many thought a week ago were the Super Bowl favorite. They may or may not have been, but one game shouldn’t change everything, either. Comparing now to past situations is natural, but by the time the Cards play, two weeks down the road, it’ll be a distant memory. The Cardinals are either going to play a team in their first playoff game that a) they have beaten or b) they finished four games better than in the standings against a more difficult schedule. If the Cardinals win that game and reach the NFC Championship, that finale will be part of the final statistics but little else. No one knows really what that finale loss means, or if it even means anything.

Hopefully, you can handle that truth.



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27 Responses to “A few good Cardinals”

  1. By shane on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    i really like the fact that this loss now took all the media attention away like it always does because its the cards lol but now most of the media is saying the hawks & the panthers are now the favorites over one week 17 game. As frustrating as it is to listen too i like it because this cards team always does its best when there the underdog or when more people expect them too lose then win.. They will now fly a little under the radar even as a No.2 seed & i believe that will only help. Cant wait for the first game!

  2. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    The players and coaches weren’t playing to win which is pretty obvious now, and that’s fine with me. I just wish that BA would have said they were going to play it safe before the game instead of saying they would play to win (and then later admit he lied). If everyone knows your playing to keep your team healthy, then nobody would be shocked by the outcome. I know Arian’s pledge to play to win didn’t set well with many fans who didn’t sell their tickets, but kept them and showed up to cheer on the Cardinals who were never seriously playing to win the game. Win next week and nobody will much anymore about trying to win or not.

  3. By Darren Urban on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    Ottis —

    RE: Arians plan

    Well, he didn’t share it with the players either, which is why he was bothered. In theory, the players thought they were going to win. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes hard to deal with human beings and their thought process, regardless of whether they are athletes or not.

  4. By DTL on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    lol, well done.

    Always bettter to be an underdog, discounted by the pundits entering the tournament. Amazing, 13-3 and back to being a dog. Love it!!

    PS: This week reminds me of the week off between Conf Champ game and SB during our last run… BA will have ’em ready to play.

  5. By Dynosoar on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    BA is a master strategist.

    Perhaps, and I don’t know for sure so it’s only a “perhaps”, BA knows his team well enough to know how best to motivate them and a loss at this point, to the Seahawks may do more to motivate, provide urgency and develop focus than a win.

    If we hoist the NFC trophy and follow that with the Lombardi then as has been stated, no one will care. I won’t.

    On a side note, my son and I will be at the next home game on the 16th. He’s ten and plans on wearing his Packers jersey Despite my detailing the ongoing “only red in the red sea” discussion. Can’t imagine where he gets that devotion from. (Sorry Marlin, I tried.)

    In 39 years as a fan, this is my first NFL game and It’s a Cardinals Playoff Game! I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

    I have good friends here and perhaps I may get to visit with some of you on that weekend.

    The Lombardi Trophy or Nothing at All!
    (And I’m sick of nothing.)

  6. By Amir on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    I guess I understand all this… but

    I absolutely dislike all our division rivals especially Seachickens and really wanted to win that game even if an ugly one point win. At least we could have kept competitive. For the entire team not showing up at all for the game was simply bad and unacceptable for a professional team. Watching them gloat after the game was even harder to swallow.

  7. By Dr H on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    After what BA has done in his last year with the Colts and the last 3 years here, winning the coach of the year 2x in 3 years, I’m not going to question his strategy. I do think that being the underdog now (geez, over that last game which everyone knew no matter what, really didn’t mean anything, Palmer came out at half time etc which that alone would make it difficult for us to win) motivates this team more than being on top. I also think that the Seachickens are forgetting that Palmer came out, some starters also came out at half time so their so called “blow out” really doesn’t mean a whole lot……l think we lulled them into a false sense of security. Gosh, I can’t wait for Sherman to shut up and watch the Cards win the SB from his own living room!

  8. By D on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    The last time I watched that movie, I remember thinking that Hollywood sure loved to paint Col Nathan Jessup as the Bad Guy. We need men like him on that wall…

  9. By Dynosoar on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    I was concerned about my thumbs down, until I saw everyone has at least one. Hmmm.

    Mr./Mrs./Miss Thumbs Down, Welcome!

    Please come here and discuss all things Cardinals and be an honorary fan of our team as well as your own. How sweet is that?

  10. By Scott H on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    OK, how is THIS for ridiculous? As stated, I do not put too much stock in power rankings. I rate my team based on what I see and what I think. But tell me this is not QUITE biased –

    As the Cardinals won 10 ( TEN ) games in a row, they never were ranked ahead of the Panthers. And you could tell that when they were finally moved ahead of the Pats, it was done be-grudgingly. Yes, the Panthers remained un-beaten. OK, hard to top that. But after Week 16 and a RESOUNDING domination of the Packers by the Cardinals as the Panthers fell to the Falcons ( a lesser team, for sure ), THE PANTHERS REMAINED AHEAD OF THE CARDINALS. Got that?

    But this week? After the Seahawks beat the Cardinals ( and even in doing so remained THREE WINS BEHIND THE CARDINALS ), they move right up the list, right ahead of the Cardinals. REALLY???

    Give me a damn break. That is based entirely on a bias the media obviously has for the Seahawks and their “need” for the Seahawks to suddenly be a favorite to win the NFC again. Puh-lease.

    Sorry but how is a 10-6 team better than a 13-3 team? Anyone think for a minute the Cardinals would have been moved ahead of the Seahawks if their positions were reversed? I say ABSOLUTELY NOT. No way.

    I also say that power rankings should no longer be done by people, who clearly cannot see things objectively, can only operate per their biases for certain teams. Power rankings should be done ONLY via a computer program that has NO biases for players ( Brady, Manning, Newton ), teams ( Pats, Seahawks, whoever is un-beaten ), or coaches ( Carrol, Belicheck ). I could consider them more valid at that point.

  11. By Scott H on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    Amir –

    I see what you are saying and I agree. What I REALLY did not like and what does concern me is how much FASTER the Seahawks looked than the Cardinals on offense and on special teams. THAT bothers me. Because that has been all too typical of the games in recent years where they have smoked us. I did NOT want to see that in Week 17, heading into the playoffs. And let’s face it – it’s not just that they LOOKED fast – they ARE fast. And they were effective on offense when we beat them in Seattle as well. Our offense won that game by landing more punches than Seattle could. It is valid cause for concern as to how effective our defense can be against a team like Seattle. Which kinda makes it a necessity that our offense be at the top of its game if we are to see them again. I wanted to come away from Sunday feeling VERY confident that we can do that.

    I know we CAN. But, unfortunately, we saw what this match-up looks like when our offense ( for whatever reason ) doesn’t show up.

    Also, I mentioned this a few weeks back and I’ll put it out there again – think about how effective a player like Matthieu can be against a Russell Wilson. He is the PERFECT player to spy a QB like that and keep him from getting comfortable and / or keeping him behind the line of scrimmage. But we don’t have that PERFECT player on defense anymore. And against a QB like Wilson – who, let’s be honest, has TORTURED the Cardinals over the years, that could be the difference.

    Looked to me like the Seahawks may have taken a real good look at tape of the game we played against the Vikings. Because I saw a lot of the same type of plays being made. Plays where their O-line did a great job of picking up our blitzes, leaving us out-numbered on the other side of the line of scrimmage, and all Bridgewater had to do was find the guy who was wide open. He did that all night and it looked too easy. Meanwhile, our offense was playing sluggish, even against a defense that was missing so many key players.

    See where I’m going with this? The Seahawks play that kind of game BETTER than the Vikings do. That is a problem. The common factor in BOTH games was that our offense was “off.” It was a little off against the Vikings and we squeaked by with a win. It was WAAAAAY off against the Seahwaks and we didn’t stand a chance.

    That says to me that we need our offense to be on its A-game for any game we are going to play from this point. ESPECIALLY against the Seahawks or Panthers – the teams we figure to have to beat if we are going to go where we want to be.

  12. By Black on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    Its simple.

    The Cards, Seahags and Panthers are the toughest in the NFC Playoffs.

    If either of the three have to play two of these teams they won’t make it. Therefor Cards are going to the SB.

    Seahags can’t get by the Cards and the Panthers. Same as the Panthers can’t get past both the Cards and the Seahags. The Cards only have to play one of the two.

  13. By JohnnyBluenose on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    @Scott H…..Relax. No-one should care about or pay attention to power ratings. We will see the Seahawks again in less than three weeks and then we’ll see which team is better. I like our chances.

  14. By jeff ford on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    the media spin on the nfl hasnt changed in my 45 years of being a fan. anything done by the poplular teams is magnified. if the cards had went 16-0 the media wud have only pointed out the weaknesses of some of the cards opponents. if the cards win their first playoff game the medias response will b-just wait until they play carolina or seattle again, they will lose. if cards lose the first playoff game media will say-see, they werent really that good.
    ;it seems that our society tells us to b good and well behaved but in reality it is almost always a win at any cost, do anything u can to get the money mentality that is lauded by the media.
    just my opinion…but im thrilled with a 13 win season…how quickly we become spoiled…how many miserable 3-13 or 4-12 seasons have we suffered through?
    absolutely the cards can win the superbowl but they will have to play their best and like every superbowl winning team they must remain healthy and the calls must go their way and the ball must bounce in their favor.

  15. By CreditCard on Jan 5, 2016 | Reply

    Can’t resist:

    Truth …. you can’t handle the truth!

    Carroll doesn’t look like Jack Nicholson nor wears the uniform, but he does look like a sleazy used car salesman, or hypocritical TV preacher.

    Jeff Fisher looks more like Nicholson — with more hair, but less piazza.

    I do have to admit, that I miss the sideline facial gestures of Harbaugh, looking and acting much like Coronel Klink

  16. By clssylssy on Jan 6, 2016 | Reply

    Hard to believe anything BA says anymore, whether he’s being Wiley or just putting on face. I have always been a believer that actions speak louder and he looked like he was completely blindsided by this team’s performance against Seattle..and,I don’t think he is that good an actor! Seems the only people who showed up to play were the veterans who have been to the big dance before, BA and David Johnson. This is the most talented team in the NFL but they seem to lack heart and the motivation and consistency that makes a team “elite”. Other teams in the playoffs are hungry and I especially worry about those teams who fought there way in like the Redskins,Chiefs,Steelers,and especially the Seahawks. On most days we could take ’em but we seemed to have lost our mental toughness and spark, believing we could rest on our record. I’ve been a Cards fan for twenty years and before coming to Arizona grew up a Chief’s fan so am quite accustom to getting all hopeful only to get my heart broken by seeing my team choke in the playoffs (the Chiefs).
    Everyone on this thread “hates” the Seahawks because they are so good but I see a team that showed up to make a statement and played all out to win which is what winners do. The thought of a week off from practice REALLY worries me as these guys seem to need someone constantly holding their feet to the fire to keep them focused and doing their preparation homework for the big final test!
    For all the discussion about whether this team is better than the ’08 team, we’re about to see which team shows up. Playing the Redskins at home scares me more than playing either the Panthers or the Seahawks, as we tend to dismiss “lesser” teams, forgetting that we were once one of those teams that came within a minute of winning a SB!

  17. By DTL on Jan 6, 2016 | Reply

    Humbly offer the Cards (players and some coaches, perhaps as BA noted) just learning how to be an elite team. Its a process, Cards never looked into face of Wild Card weekend bye, didn’t act like they’d been there before in week 17 b/c many players (and some coaches) hadn’t. But they’ve proved to be quick learners.

    We had that mini bye game vs Vikes, and hadled the next game just fine, no? Eagles game was a max performance, thats what we should expect next because that is who we are. Being Aesop’s Tortoise new to Cardinals, but let the Media and Seahags fall to sleep on us like the Hare. Trust your eyes…

    Yep, got Aesop tale from Book of Virtues read to kids last night…

  18. By joe 67 on Jan 6, 2016 | Reply

    So glad you are going down to see the game. I think you read that I saw my first game in the desert this year. Opener with Saints. (I had season tix in Stl. so I have seen a lot of games, but not in AZ). I think you will love the stadium, the city and the people. I know I sure did!
    Bring home a WIN!

  19. By lhcflagfootball on Jan 6, 2016 | Reply

    I’m not too worried about this loss…it is a little concerning but I’d rather see them lose in week 17 of the NFL season with a first round bye already secured then in the divisional round of the playoffs. BA has said before that good teams don’t lose two games in a row. I don’t see the red birds losing their next game at all.

  20. By Dynosoar on Jan 6, 2016 | Reply

    joe 67,

    yes. Yes I did read that. I’m excited as well. If you were to plan your perfect game for your second trip, what team would you like to see in the game or would it matter?

    I almost don’t care who they play, but my son’s a Packers fan so if they play each other, we both get to see our team. That’d be cool, but I think we’ll see the Vikings.

    And then if the Redskins take care of the Panthers, the NFC will be against one of our St. Louis rivals.

    All I want is 3 more wins. In the scheme of an entire season, is asking for 16-3 too much to ask? I don’t think so.


  21. By TroyBoy on Jan 6, 2016 | Reply

    OH BOY!!! I am stoked, people. I was born in StLouis. I watched for years, there, losing and my hoping for a great team the next year. I see all the JIMs ( Bakken, Hart, Otis) JV Cain, Mel Gray, Dan D, Conrad, Terry Metcalf, etc…) running all over the place and not winning consistently every year. Horrible coaching and bad moves in off seasons. Never beating the Redskins in the old NFC East, when it was very good. I have suffered heartache and headache year after year after year. Then, I leave Missouri and still follow my team then they move. I still follow. LOVE MY CARDINALS.. My wife and I go to SB 43. We lose, but we played the best we have ever played (Next to the Panther game that year in the WC game) I left with my head held HIGH into the night air. Leaving smiling and bragging on my team. Steeler fans, who, by the way are fantastic winners, asking me why I am so excited about the LOSS? Well, 1) We should have beat you because we played better 2) Fitz and Kurt were amazing. 3) I am used to losing to bad teams and good teams forever, but we played you guys great 4) I will never lose hope because Larry will win his and one for us before He leaves. That is it folks, Larry wants this bad, he will go absolutely off during these playoffs, wait N see what I tell you. I can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. Sit back and enjoy, SB50 belongs to our CARDINALS!!! Rise Up Red Sea. TEAM is what it takes!!!

  22. By rod on Jan 6, 2016 | Reply

    If the records were reversed do you think the Seahawks would have phoned it in? I just don’t see them doing that…I wish the Cards would have been engaged in this game.


    But I’ll put that behind us… Go grab that ring 💍 guys!

  23. By Mike on Jan 6, 2016 | Reply

    You cards fan sound just like us Seahawk’s fan the media is biast against our teams. It’s true and its about money, Seattle has one of the smallest markets in the NFL. That being said your cards came to win if they didn’t shame on them. Whatecer makes you feel good about your team getting stomped have at it. I home they meet again in the playoffs so the hawks can Dominate them (again) when its all on the line! And tougher schedule my ass 4 of the 5 teams Seattle lost to are in the playoffs. The fifth was the same rams team that beat your cards! Go Seahawks!!

  24. By Darren Urban on Jan 6, 2016 | Reply

    Mike —

    RE: “feel good”

    I’m confused. “Whatever makes you feel good about your team” …

    Isn’t that what you are doing when you are defending why the Seahawks have six losses?

  25. By Scott H on Jan 7, 2016 | Reply

    Hey, Mike –

    Were ya pounding your chest like you are here after we went into Seattle and pounded your Seahawks earlier in the season? Just wondering.

    Know what I wish? I wish we were playing in Seattle if we play you again – because Carson Palmer is 2-0 against the Seahawks there as a Cardinal. HE OWNS YOU IN YOUR HOUSE. Pound your chest over that.

  26. By Scott H on Jan 7, 2016 | Reply

    Sunday’s game, the Seahawks beating the Cardinals, was the most impressive game of the year? Really?

    Not the Broncos beating the Patriots for the first time? When the whole world was in awe of how Tom Brady and how that team in general was playing?

    Not the Falcons beating the 14-0 Panthers and the other-worldly Cam Newton? The guy who EVERYONE was hailing as the league MVP and a player who was virtually un-stoppable?

    Not the lowly Texans rising up to deal the Bengals their first loss?

    Not the Cardinals beating the Packers by 30 – the same margin of victory – in Week 16? When that game mattered more to the Packers than Sunday did to the Cardinals? When the Cardinals forced the Packers to pull Aaron Rodgers from the game in total surrender?

    Gimme break. Did the moron who made this claim even bother to look back over the season at all, or did he just look at Week 17?

    Then again, maybe we should consider what a complement this is to the Cardinals – that beating THEM, not the un-beaten Partiots, not the un-beaten Bengals, not the 14-0 Panthers, was the biggest win of the 2015 season. Hey…thanks, moron!

  27. By joe 67 on Jan 8, 2016 | Reply

    I do hope to get back out there and see another game. No, wouldn’t matter too much, but not the Bears, Rams or maybe the Browns. Other wise, nope, doesn’t matter.

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