Niners aftermath, before the weekend

Posted by Darren Urban on October 6, 2016 – 11:54 pm

Is everything fixed? No. Even Bruce Arians noted, for instance, that the Cardinals have yet to break their zero-points-in-the-first-quarter streak, much to his chagrin. The Cards were 5-of-16 on third downs. But the bottom line is the Cardinals got that win they needed, within the division, on the road, with the backup quarterback. The 49ers are not a good team, but a 12-point road win still means something.

In this case, it means the Cardinals can feel better about this next week-plus as they try to climb back into the thick of things. There is time for starting QB Carson Palmer to get healthy (and there is significant optimism he will be OK by the time the Cardinals play Oct. 17 at home against the Jets). There is time to get others healthy. Or at least, healthier.

There is a big stretch coming. “Monday Night Football” versus the Jets. “Sunday Night Football” against the Seahawks. A road game in Carolina before the bye. This will determine if the Cardinals will be players in the second half of the season or not.

“We’re a team that can rip off a bunch of them,” defensive tackle Calais Campbell said.

A bunch would be nice. Tonight, about 30,000 feet up somewhere over California, one is a nice start.

— David Johnson, in case you weren’t sure, is a beast. The Cardinals needed to run against the league’s worst run defense, and they did. Johnson banged out 157 yards, and that’s what you need when you are starting the backup QB.

“I feel unstoppable, basically,” Johnson said.

He looked that way, too, basically.

— Johnson’s 695 yards from scrimmage through five games is a franchise-best. John David Crow had 665 through five games in 1960.

— I’m sure Drew Stanton would’ve liked to pass the ball better. Arians said Stanton was simply working too fast at times. But the goal – the main goal and by far the biggest goal – was engineering a win, and that’s what Stanton did. The second goal? Don’t turn the ball over. Check that box too. Goal three (OK, I’m speculating here) is ride Larry Fitzgerald. Always a good thing to do.

— Calais Campbell, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, is only the second player since sacks became official in 1982 to get two sacks, an interception and a safety in a game. Baltimore’s Adalius Thomas did it in 2006.

— Markus Golden was great. He’s turning out to be a heck of a second-round pick.

— Fitzgerald was magnificent on his two TDs. Run an excellent route to shake a cornerback for one. Squeeze the cornerback until the last second before the oh-so-subtle shoulder push to create room for the second. That’s why he’s a future Hall of Famer.

–Speaking of Fitz, the chest bump he delivered to guard Earl Watford after a score knocked Watford to the ground.

“Earl always thinks he’s like a phenomenal athlete,” Fitzgerald said. “So, I always tell him, whenever I score, I’ll meet you down there and we’re going to jump as high as we both can and he’s never even close and now he fell down too. So, that was real bad for him. I’m going to stay on him for that.”

Caught on TV, it’s something the big lineman will have a tough time living down –although he’s cool enough to embrace the moment.

— The special teams has not played well and deserve the criticism they have gotten as a unit. But Thursday night, they were pretty great. J.J. Nelson breaking off a 40-yard kick return. Ifeanyi Momah causing a turnover on a kick return. Ryan Quigley booming punts that hung in the air for five seconds. Good coverage on kicks and punts. A good day all around.

— Tyrann Mathieu had his rough moments as he moved back to his familiar slot cornerback role, but he’ll live with the ups and downs after the win. “I got out of there alive, so that’s all that matters,” Mathieu said with a chuckle.

“Sometimes I felt great, other times felt I was too hesitant,” Mathieu added. “Hopefully the more I play the position the more comfortable I will be doing it.”

— Great job filling in on the offensive line for Watford and John Wetzel, although we will have to see how Evan Mathis and Mike Iupati are. Iupati hurt his ankle – that’s a player you don’t want to lose for any extended time.

But at least the Cards have a little time to sort it out. After a win.

D.J. Swearinger, Tony Jefferson, Carlos Hyde

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45 Responses to “Niners aftermath, before the weekend”

  1. By vinma98 on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Redemption…vindication…for now. Hope this carries over to the next game against our old buddy Todd Bowles. This win was much needed and we get an extended break for our players to rest, relax and recharge for the next opponent. Stanton was great. I believe the 0 interceptions was monumental. David is a beast. Larry is Larry. Defense seem in sync yet not the best I feel. Just glad we got the win…Happy Belated Birthday gift for B.A.! GO CARDS!

  2. By Matt on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    I didn’t get to watch the whole game but just looked at the stat line and saw a bright side-the offensive line didn’t give up ANY sacks this game. For two guards going out and having a backup QB, I’d say that’s a pretty big deal

  3. By Marcelof on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Great win, not great performance

    A much-needed W came at the right time, although concerns are still there. Too many drops on easy balls, those were horrible, poor Stanton.

    Staton: played as expected – Backup – could’ve had better stats had the players not dropped that many times. He looked more confident although.

    Floyd – JTDG and his theory of trading him for a top CB by the beginning of the season. oooooh

    Another miscommunication in the secondary costed us a TD.

    Marcus Cooper had another INT, I still don’t forget the couple of TD passes he allowed against the RAMS 14×3 for him.

    Golden is just a beast, talking about beasts, D. Johnson is the mother of beasts.

    Do we have a punter? Really? am I dreaming? woow.

    Despite the Win and some sparks of good individual performances Cardinals MUST get much better to beat Jets / Seattle / Carolina…. :/

  4. By Scott H on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Can’t really weigh in until later, but one thing right off the bat….DJ and Fitz can’t continue to be the whole offense. And DJ cannot get that kind of workload every week. We should have seen a little more of Ellington last night.

    BUT….glad to get the win.

  5. By joe holst on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Why did the hang onto Drew Butler and his 39 yard punt so long, Aaron Brewer is a breath of fresh air, if the special teams do there job and the offense doesn’t turn the ball over the defense can take the game over and the Cards will win 99% of the time.

  6. By Dan on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Campbell showed up finally. Lets hope it continues.

  7. By Dan on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    David Johnson is the best RB in the league….incredible vision, stiff arm, body control and smart. What stands out to me is the ability to change direction multiple times within split seconds while setting up a defenders with another move while seeing where every guy is at. Vision and the ability to make a move and know how the defender will react…………the dude is just a stud not to mention he’s very flexible in the knees………plus he’s got good size and great hands. Loved the pick when we drafted him too.

  8. By joe holst on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    The all-white socks look amazing, is there anyway we could petition to have their road uniforms look like that all the time? The players looked faster and looked like they were more comfortable playing. Bring on the Jets,

  9. By Marlin on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply


    I think Iupati has an ankle… hopefully its not a knee!

  10. By Darren Urban on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Marlin —

    RE: Iupati

    You are correct.

  11. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    The cards needed a win. A season saving win. It is a world of difference between 2-3 and 1-4. The path isn’t easy, but at least they are giving themselves a chance.

    What I liked;

    – Chandler Jones made a lot of things happen. I could see him taking on double teams to free someone. He was rushing from inside to get that push so the QB couldn’t step up. He was tough against the run. His stats don’t show it, but it was a very good game for him.

    – Marcus Golden learned something in the offseason. Maybe it was Jones, maybe on his own, but he is a force out there in the first 5 games. We can finally say our two OLBs are set.

    – Yes DJ is a beast. Some of his jump cuts are Barry Sanders like.For a guy that big, it is almost unfair to have feet like that.

    – If Fitz isn’t the GOAT, he isn’t far behind. With the cast of characters that have played QB , it is amazing he just keeps on going. The first TD was brilliant. The niners were jumping his slant moves so he runs a slant then bounces back outside and is wide open. Just awesome.

    – Campbell showed up big time. 2 sacks, a safety, an interception. Keep it going big guy.

    – Special teams played special. Funny, two guys who saved the day started on the practice squad. Momah caused and recovered the fumble to start the second half and Golden recovered a fumble by Brown and the onside kick. Maybe, special teams just needed their guys.

    What I didn’t like;

    – Drives of 75, 80 and 87 yards for TDs by the niners. They weren’t just a blown play, they were sustained drives. Not good

    – Badger had a tough night as his guy, Kerley has a huge night. I will say it again, he will get there eventually but it is hard to watch the Badger be average. I’m sure he feels the same way. But what heart to go out there and give it your all at 80%.

    – Do we have any other receivers besides Fitz? Every week I ask this. John Brown had a good week last week, but look at the passing yards, Fitz and Johnson and that is it.

  12. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Here is why I love the draft so much. Most people never think twice about these things, I see them as turning points in a franchise.

    Go back to the 2015 draft. It is day two, where the 2 and 3rd rounds are picked. Steve Keim and company have fallen in love with a running back out of Nebraska, Ameer Abdullah. It looks like he is going to fall to us at pick number 58, but 4 picks before, at pick 54, the Lions choose Ameer.

    Keim has to go back to his board and decides on an OLB from Missouri. Then , two more RBs come off the board and in round 3, He chooses David Johnson.

    Just think, if the Lions go a different direction, the cards do not take Golden or DJ. Instead, last night, we go against SF with Ameer injured and unable to play.

    With Golden’s two sacks, giving him 6 and with DJ’s great performance, all I can say is THANK YOU DETROIT.

  13. By HB#32 on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    For all the people crying about Keims bad first round picks in the last 2 years. I have 3 words ” David Freaking Johnson”. That may work out to be one of the best picking in the last 5 years. DJ didn’t look to bad as well. Time for the jumper to get back on the bandwagon. Not sure hat is wrong with Floyd but if he can be moved he should be.

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    The first drive, DJ runs for a first down. Then BA has Stanton throwing. We go 3 and out. Later in the game, there is a drive where I think we only threw once and ran it down there throats.

    I think many fans have voiced, they wanted to see that offense, the one that ran the ball much more and limited the throws down the field. OK, it was against the worst run defense, but it looked like we could have down the same vs the rams.

    Listening to the guys on NFL network, it was interesting to here them say, this is the offense the cardinals should play when Palmer comes back. With the cowboys of the 90’s with Emmitt, Aikman and Irvin, maybe the cards should move more to a run first, hit Fitz and occationally take a shot to Brown when the safeties creep up. Not to mention, work the TEs in.

    Not a bad thought. Won’t happen with BA. He has his formula for winning at it has worked, but maybe he can compromise a little?

  15. By Kevin S Mesa on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Thankfully we had the 49ers this week — if there’s a team in the NFL that I’d be confident we can beat with a backup QB, it’s them.

    Injuries to two OL obviously not good. Will be looking for status updates.

    Also, I can’t imagine at this point, with CJ out, what an injury to David Johnson would mean, so let’s hope he holds up. Ellington can’t be the feature back.

    I’m sure we’ll hear some more gripes about the play calling, especially the repeated attempts again to heave the ball downfield to a well-covered John Brown instead of just taking what the defense gave us, but at least it didn’t bite us this time. Opening play of the game, DJ rambles for 17 yards, so what do we do on the next play? An errant pass to Floyd, setting up 2nd and 10, and then everyone at Levi knew the next play would be a run so they stuffed DJ for 1 yard, and now we have 3rd and long. Later in the game we seemed to get religion and had more 1st-down runs, setting up a lot of 2nd-and-6, 2nd-and-4, etc. type situations. Let’s see more of that.

    Floyd is quickly becoming irrelevant. Another incompletion on a pass he should’ve handled on the sideline at what, at the time, was a key moment in the game. Can’t see him staying as a Cardinal and it’ll be interesting to see how much he commands if he doesn’t start turning it around big-time. Now on a pace for 38 catches and 544 yards.

    Ultimately, I don’t care about looking a bit sloppy. A road win with a backup QB is gold. But we’ve got a long way to go and can’t afford any more losses to teams we should beat — not with 2 games against Seattle and road games at Minnesota, Carolina and Atlanta, among others. We’re probably going to lose at least 1 or 2 of those, so we’ve got to win all the rest.

  16. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    I liked those “metallic foil” cardinal logos on the helmets Thursday night as part of their color rush uniform – if you could really call it that.

    I have to laugh at black unis being used as part of a color rush uniform package. As for black being a color, technically it is not. Black absorbs all colors of the visible light spectrum (i.e. reflects no colors of the visible light spectrum).

    “Black is the darkest color, the result of the absence or complete absorption of light. Like white and grey, it is an achromatic color, literally a color without hue.”

  17. By Canadian Redbird on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Finally we have a punter that can help us maintain field position !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nice effort Quig !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. By Chuck 1 on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Needed the win. A loss to the woeful ‘Niners would have probably doomed chances for a playoff spot.
    I counted at least five inaccurate passes by Stanton to open receivers, most early in the game. Luckily, no INTs.
    Right on, JTDG re: three long TD drives by the ‘Niners. Defense needs to improve or the better teams will eat up the clock and put points on the board.
    DJ reminds me of Wayne Gretsky in his ability to see the field (ice), defenders and blockers.

  19. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply


    How does DJ make up for bad first round picks? That doesnt make sense.
    BTW, DJ is a pick that almost didn’t happen. See my post above.

    Here, I’ll help you.

    All you Keim haters, did you notice the 2015 draft played a huge role last night. From JJ Nelson’s KO return, to Gunter taking on double teams, to Humphries setting the edge on run plays, they were ballin’. Not to mention, Golden and DJ slowly become stars of this league. Looks like Keim scored in 2015. #executiveoftheyear.

    That is how you do it. Now don’t make me do your job again.

  20. By Joe C. on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG, I gotta say looking at the cards draft history, 2013 and 2015 are some pretty good years in comparison to the past. 2014 may be a good year if Nicklaus/Martin stay on the team. Back to the present. If the cards gel and make it to 10-6 I wouldn’t want to see them in the playoffs. Nice to have this mini bye and then the real one. Regroup, heal HB up and grind out some wins. The defense should be able to shut down the Jets and if we score 21 points we’ll be in it.

  21. By Scott H on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    I thought he mostly white uniforms were absolutely horrendous. God awful. I hope we are done with those. Our white uniforms need the red socks and black or black / red shoes to look proper. That all-white thing…..SO horrible. Can’t wait to get back to our home red look. And hopefully, we will look better PLAYING in them as well.

    But just seeing them win a damn game last night was a sight for REAL sore eyes, no matter what the uniform was.

    On that first punt that went 19 yards, I was thinking wait….I thought we cut Butler!!! But after that, the punting was notably better. Not great. But better. Seemed like Quigley was good for 45 yards every time and as long as we are god on the coverage…..again, not great, but better.

  22. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Joe C.

    2013 will always go down as bad because you had a top 10 pick (#7) and completely whiffed. Then added guys that are average in Okafer and Minter. You come out of that draft with the play making but oft injured Badger.

    2015, see above. Golden makes this draft. I liked DJ from the senior bowl but never thought Golden would develop into a top sack guy. Having Jones sure helps. But, if Gunter continues to start, Humphries improves, and Golden and DJ continue on their path, 2015, could rival 2004 (Fitz, Dansby, Dockett, A. Smith). Of course Gunter has two tackles in the first 5 games and Humphries is still pretty shaky.

    2014, I am not feeling it. Bucannon is an average LB (never was a safety), Niklas and Martin never developed, John Brown is a decent #3 and could be a number 2 receiver. Logan Thomas was a huge miss. So you come out with an average LB and a number 3 receiver. Not a great draft.

  23. By CARDS62 on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Huge win for our Cardinals

    JTDG is right on in his assessment of the game, and Scott H. makes a great point about using a second back a little more.

    1) PP game ball. We only saw him once or twice the entire game and his receiver once during the game and his receiver had zero catches. Patrick great job and trust us when we do not notice you it just means you are earning our all pro votes.

    2) Really liked the officiating this game until the pass interference call on the Honey Badger in the 4th quarter. Did I miss something as I did not see him do anything? I agree Honey Badger had another rough game.

    3) Love the drive in the 4th quarter tor the TD and eating up clock. I believe only one pass out of the backfield to Dave Johnson and Elligton also came in for 3 straight carries and a first down. Would like to see Dave Johnson have a breather a little earlier. This drive was also with 2 backup guards. I am with the announcers when Carson comes back run the ball and play action pass a lot.

    4) I have a man crush on David Johnson. He did blow a critical block this game and he owned it after the game just like he owned his fumble last game. Great running back and a humble young man who always praises his offensive line. Just really like the way he conducts himself on and off the field. We need to extend him after this season.

    5)What in the world has happened to our receivers and tight ends? We have one receiver right now. The one and only Fitz. I have never been a huge fan of Michael Floyd like a lot of you have, but I have always stated his physical gifts and talents. I also went on record saying he will have a monster year this year as it is a contract year for him, and my opinion is he is a money player or sunshine soldier. Of course I have been wrong and he is having the worse season of his career by a long shot. This year he is healthy and last year he was injured and playing much worse.

    Well I live in a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida so it is time for me to go and watch the show of hurricane Mathew. Be safe and enjoy your weekend Cardinal Fans.

    Go Cards beat those Jets.

  24. By D on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Wonder if we will be seeing a vladimir ducasse signing…

  25. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply


    Good call on this one. Also notice that Peters seemed even more happy than Campbell.

    Watching replay, what a bullrush by DT @CoreyPeters91 on the Campbell safety. Drove 2 blockers back to the end line, wide open path for CC

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

    Last night was another beautiful performance for Fitz but it was horrific for how completely absent ANY of our other WR’s were. Some of it was bad throws….OK. But not all of it. Floyd just looks lost. Inexplicably lost. Just as I’ve been wondering what has actually happened with Palmer that has him playing so erratically ( trying to kind, folks ), I am wondering what the hell has happened to Michael Floyd? Don’t know if this is a regression or maybe tentativeness from the recent concussion, but….I actually had to wonder at some points last night if he was in the game or not. Because regardless of his physical presence on the field, he was not a factor at all. Completely irrelevant. And is that what a supposed stud WR should be going into his 4th year???? Absolutely not.

    But I don’t know what explains our plethora of passing game weapons being so effectively in-effective against a team like the 49ers. Yeah, it was Stanton at QB and that is a factor. But……that shouldn’t explain why everyone but Fitz was so inept last night. Floyd and Brown have had big games with Stanton in the past when it seemed like Fitz was getting less of the love.

    And as others have said, it was killing me that this Kerley kid was getting open all night and having a field day against our defense – with BLAINE GABBERT as his QB, no less. He was THEIR Larry Fitzgerald last night. Seeing Larry tear a defense apart is no surprise. He makes it seem normal. But Kerley??? Hardly a household name, is he?? How was he getting SO wide open as often as he was?? It looked like Gabbert could find him any time he wanted. Considering that the 49ers had no other WR’s doing anything, that was crazy. Our secondary is just not good enough. We have PP taking away whoever he covers and teams just go to anyone else because they can.

    Our defense SEEMED dominant last night but…..against a very bad team. I’m not sold. They make big plays during the games but in between those big plays….teams are moving the ball, picking up 3rd downs, extending drives, scoring when they need to. It’s not consistent enough.

  27. By krehbieo14 on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Re 2015 Draft:

    THANK YOU STEVE for picking Markus Golden and David Johnson.

  28. By Joseph Robinett (Lightwing) on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    It’s a beautiful thing to see such a shining bright star like David Johnson exude humility, for all of us, and, especially, the younger, and more likely, impressionable souls to emulate.

    Michael Irvin made an interesting comment after the game when he suggested that the Cardinals might be wise to use a similar, and, thus, simpler, game plan, in the future, like the one they used against the 49ers… He suggested, And I’m paraphrasing here, run Mr. Johnson more, more, than having Mr. Carson P. throwing too many challenged throws that have, and can, lead to turnovers.

    I thank The Great Spirit for this most beautiful team, and to Mr. Michael B. for serving meals to our brother and sisters of the streets, thank you, good sir.

    Sincerely, Lightwing

  29. By Richard S on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    The Cards need to start scoring in the first half. It’s embarrassing to be the only team in the NFL to not do so. I’d settle for a field goal. When we got to the 40 yard line in the 1st quarter I was just hoping for a first down which would put us in field goal position. Instead we got the bomb which wasted a down. If you can just get 3 points in the first quarter, more scoring will follow. When you let the other team get up on you, the game changes and the QB takes more of a beating that if you start on top and our QB’s don’t need to take more of a beating.

  30. By TLT on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Exhale..ahh. So many did so well. Great way to spend 11 days off…we need the break as much as the players. Hope we get healthy. Well done.
    Go Cards…

  31. By Dr. G. on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    For those who bombed my post yesterday, it just points to low information fans, especially on this site and Darren’s blog. I only pointed to the players who were doing the “woe is me thing” that was factually reported instead of taking revenge on their record and performance. The 9ers is just a start as noted in the writeup today.

    The old-timers here know there are few Card’s Fans who have been in their corner longer than I through all the bad and good years. And still, it is apropos to hold our Pros accountable as does Arians and Keim and encouraging them along the way… Like we say, …if you get beat, that’s cool, but if you beat yourselves, that is another story.

    How many have many, many memorabilia items along with a signed Aeneas jersey, play golf, and support the fund raisers…? True Card’s Fans are the best…

  32. By GARY HICKERSON on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply


  33. By NYCardinals on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Dr G,

    RE: Low information fans

    Interpretation: “Well, if you don’t agree with me, you’re stupid”.

    That’s a solid argument, man.

  34. By Dr. G. on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Lots of interesting observations today…the most is multiple posts indicating that when Palmer returns, the better approach might be to LIMIT the riskit//biscuit stuff that has become a telegraph to the league. He gets rid of the ball earlier, thus taking fewer hits and blitzing on a 3-step drop is nearly impossible. And pound the rock on the ground with multiple backs. DJ is a gift; keep him fit.

    I’ve been harping with some others that more short quick crossing and flat patterns to the big guys is harder to defend than the aerial bombs… When they’re open, go for it, but the little speedsters are vulnerable to INTs more often. And guess what? …grinding the clock while keeping our Defense off the field cannot be understated. JTDG…good stuff… be well Card’s Fans…

  35. By Scott H on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    Looking ahead….I can’t even think in terms of going for wins in a row. Yeah, we need them. But the confidence level remains shaky, at best. Getting the win last night meant everything. Beating the 49ers means very little. Really. That shouldn’t come to anyone’s ears as negativity. If we’re feeling great about beating THAT team last night….then, where the hell did our SB aspirations go??

    And if ya think the coach is thinking anything different than that, think again.

    Our two wins have come against teams that are not good teams and both of them blew themselves up against us with so many turnovers. Where I struggle right now is trying to figure the line between how good we were and how bad they were. I give our defense credit for feasting on bad teams and the offense credit for taking the turnovers and cashing them in. THOSE are good signs!

    But we need to see those things against a good team. We need to see this team getting on the scoreboard much earlier. We need the offense to sustain long drives on their own. And we need to get teams off the field more often on third down.

    I can’t think any further ahead than the Jets. And they are in very much the same boat we are. Struggling….having concerns about their QB ( and with good reason – I think Fitzpatrick is the only QB with more INT’s than Palmer )….the defense playing below expectations. ONE of these teams will find themselves next Monday night. We need it to be us!

    Man, I also hate how our schedule is laying out. After only SIX games, we will have already played HALF of our home games. Ugh. Lots of road trips coming up.

  36. By Dr. G. on Oct 7, 2016 | Reply

    NY Cards… I debate FACTS here, not to include insults. If you don’t like to hear facts, you can name yourself however…at least we may have being a Cards fan as something in common…that is, unless you root for the Giants…be well 🏈🏈

  37. By faster on Oct 8, 2016 | Reply

    ” …The special teams ….were pretty great….”

    hmmmpf. momah great, yes. nelson, ok, but the remaining part was good, not great.

    i would say, they are on probation and they played accordingly. most important, they didn`t loose the game.

    now, a miniby and then the jetz. it will be interesting, how bowles plays the cards defense.

  38. By mitchaz on Oct 8, 2016 | Reply

    If anyone had told you that with 1:51 left in the 1st half, behind 7-0 with a QB who was routinely missing passes, that the Cardinals would score 33 points, would you have ever believed it?

    At that point I would have called it a miracle.

    Credit Chandler Jones for tipping Gabbert’s pass at 1:50 and Calais Campbell for intercepting the tip—then Larry Fitzgerald for running a textbook double move and Drew Stanton for slowing his throwing motion down just enough to get the ball to Fitz to make it 7-7.

    Then for the first time this year, the Cardinals come out of half-time ready to make a move….and who would have thought that (a) they would pooch kick the kickoff and that (b) Ifeanyi Momah would make the ST play of the year (other than the 60 yard FG) by forcing a fumble and pouncing on it himself.

    Then…David Johnson, who was outstanding all night to the tune of 157 rushing yards, bounces off-tackle for a sweet go-ahead TD…followed shortly thereafter by what may be the best pass Drew Stanton has thrown as a Cardinal…a perfectly thrown fade to the end zone for Larry Fitzgerald. 21-7 Cardinals.

    Was very frustrating to see the 49ers march the length of the field to make it 21-14…at that point it still was anyone’s game.

    But the defense regrouped…highlighted by 14 tackles by Deone Bucannon…2 sacks by Markus Golden, 1.5 sacks by Kevin Minter, 2 sacks by Campbell, the last for a safety…some pesky coverage, highlighted by Pat P. keeping Torrey Smith without a single reception and Marcus Cooper making a sweet interception of Gabbert at a time when the game was still in question and the Cardinals needed a momentum shift.

    I would also add that D.J. Swearinger had a very good night coming up to clean up on missed tackles and blown contains on Gabbert.

    Plus—how about the STs? Both Nelson and John Brown had good returns—the cover teams were the best all year—Quigley punted very well and even handled one bad snap to help Catanzaro go perfect on the game.

    The offense closed the game out on a 6-7 minute 4th quarter drive behind the legs of Johnson and set up by a hungry offensive line that featured John Wetzel and Earl Watford at the guard spots. Jared Veldheer, A.Q. Shipley and D.J. Humphries played very well…Mike Ipuati was a beast before he got injured…and TE Jermaine Gresham had a much better game this week, making some key blocks to spring Johnson.

    I cannot even begin to express how relieved I feel after the near hopeless feeling I had toward the end of the first half.

    The only suggestion I have is that the team really needs a #2 RB now. Even though Ellington and Taylor ran hard when they got their carries—the Cardinals need someone tougher than Ellington and more dynamic than Taylor. Because…BA must have felt good tonight to ride that running game as much as the could and not turn the ball over. But—he has to give Johnson some much needed breathers.

    If BA wants to stay with the power running game, how about Elijhaa Penny? He seems like a physically suited RB the team can ride for some stretches—plus he lowers his shoulder upon contact, something that can wear a defense down.

  39. By Dr. G. on Oct 8, 2016 | Reply

    Mitchaz ~ ~ Very astute overview….but especially agree on bringing up EPenny from the PS before he is stolen by another team. He is on the PS for a reason; our staff sees something there…a bulldozer listed at 247lbs..! Gotta make room for another big RB.

    How surprised were they when DJ first got the nod? Just like the QB position, we need to keep up the diligent quest…they must see the headlines by now…G’day

  40. By John The Draft Guy on Oct 8, 2016 | Reply

    Scott H,

    I feel you. By stating the facts, you will be labeled as a non fan or negative. But when you take off the rose color glasses, take a step back, and look objectively, yes, this is not a good team right now.

    To allow 3 drives of over 75 yards against the niners is a red flag for the defense. I think Palmer has been abused and with both guards out, it might be tough on him. I don’t think the receivers (other than Fitz) haven’t been playing well. They seem to have issues even getting separation. This one game doesn’t fix the underlying issues.

    What is good? Those OLBs are playing at a high level. DJ has been very good rushing the ball and Fitz, well he is Fitz. PP has been lights out and the Badger is getting healthy. Cooper is a decent number two and Jefferson is second in the NFL in tackles.

    There are things to build on, but guys like Brown and Floyd have to play better. Humphries and Shipley (and the two back ups) have to protect Palmer. The ILBs have to make plays and Campbell and crew have to control the line of scrimmage.
    Until we see that against a better team than Tampa and SF, we will not be a playoff team.

  41. By clssylssy on Oct 8, 2016 | Reply

    No, I would have to say everything is FAR from fixed. When two players essentially carry most of the load for a win and players are lost at key positions, there is much cause for concern and need for some very intense work.
    We were able to be successful against an opponent who is struggling as much or more than we are, but the fact that the two teams punted nine times with no score in the 1st quarter is not exactly like pounding our opponent…and some of the errors committed by our defense in the last minutes of the game could have turned this into another missed opportunity very easily.
    I have some real concern about facing the Jets and Todd Bowles in our house, given the overly relaxed, overly confident, and relaxed feeling our team seems to have developed at home. Bowles knows defense and he knows our defense probably better than most of our players. He knows how our team ticks and probably can second guess BA before he ever makes a call. Our defense is going to have to bring their A game and play their best with no more “communication” miscues, missed and broken takles, and blown coverages. The secondary is going to have to play at the level they are getting paid to produce. Calais, Golden, Jones, looked much improved and let’s hope it is a sign of an awakening long overdue Special Teams was a bright spot last week…keep it up and don’t become complacent. Our offense looked so much better in the area of blocking and defending the QB, now if receivers & TEs, not named Larry Fitz, could learn to catch!
    We did well sticking more to the run game, to the point that about every commentator made note that this was the big difference in the Cards being able to be successful. BA wants to continue to throw it to Floyd so he can get better! WT? That philosophy really scares me! It’s one thing to work in practice but this is not group therapy! I like Floyd but, this is about winning games and putting the best people in positions for the team to be successful (or has the philosophy changed) so PLEASE don’t be stubborn at this very critical turn in the road. We desperately need these two wins before the bye and if I were in charge I would being getting in some work everyday so that the home field comforts didn’t offer a false sense of security.
    We got a taste, hopefully it was seductive enough as to want more! GO CARDS! WE CAN DO THIS!

  42. By Scott H on Oct 8, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG –

    You speak the truth, my friend. And I don’t give a rip about being labeled as negative or a non-fan. We all have different views. Some are the rose-colored glasses type, some go way over-board on the ridiculously negativity side, but then you have the people who see what is happening / not happening and aren’t afraid to question or criticize it. And THOSE are the people I enjoy hearing from.

    No, this is not a good team right now. The roster says they are. What they are doing on the field, going back to last last season, SHOULD tell you they are not. I can’t listen to anyone saying they feel like we are back on track after a win against the 49ers. Ya know, I tried feeling like that after we crushed the Buccs and look where that went. We got spanked by the Bills and Rams the next two times we took the field it quickly became evident that the Buccs are a bad team. So….I gotta see a lot more before I am anywhere near confident.

    I appreciate what you said.

  43. By James samuels on Oct 9, 2016 | Reply

    Great win Thursday! But am I the only person that notices that every Defensive player on the team gets dogged out except Honey Badger?
    I Love the Badger even while he is getting back to 100% gradually every week but the press, coaches and fans rip every other Def. player.

    One example is from JOHN the GRAFT GUY….
    – “Badger had a tough night as his guy, Kerley has a huge night. I will say it again, he will get there eventually but it is hard to watch the Badger be average. I’m sure he feels the same way. But what heart to go out there and give it your all at 80%.”

    Justin Bethel..Cardinals 3x Pro-Bowler..was out for months from foot surgery and rehab like Honey Badger and is moving back to his full potential.
    but here is a quote from Bruce Arians…..
    “Justin has to decide that he’s going to play with that foot,” head coach Bruce Arians told reporters Monday. “He was just an average spectator on special teams (in the season opener against New England). He
    missed two tackles. If he’s going to play, he needs to play better. Or he shouldn’t play.”
    What do you ALL think?

  44. By BJ Rassam on Oct 9, 2016 | Reply

    It’s troubling to see the Cards at 2-3, and by no means is everything fixed.

  45. By clssylssy on Oct 10, 2016 | Reply

    .Having high standards and expecting accountability is what all the great teams or successful companies, have in common and are a cornerstone of their legacy.
    When I came to Arizona, the Cards weren’t even a recognized entertainment venue; the locals supported high school and ASU football before the Cardinals; we’ve come a VERY long way and I believe accepting mediocrity from talent capable of so much more would be counterproductive . These are grown professionals who do not need coddling; when they do their job at the level they’re capable of they get PLENTY of love and renumeration.
    Thank you for your very insightful and informative posts and your “brutal honesty” that is merely the standard set for us by BA and the front office.
    We’ve got our work cut out for us, but all is not lost now that we’re no longer fighting for last place in our division!
    FORWARD to MNF and the Jets, on our way to redemption!

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