Playoff withdrawal? Remember Cards-Pack

Posted by Darren Urban on January 8, 2017 – 9:29 am

Sure, with the playoffs starting this weekend you can stew about a team that was top 10 in offense and defense, seventh in the league in point-differential, scored more than 400 points and lead the league in sacks and yet under .500 and not in the postseason. But with it being Wild Card weekend and all, and the Packers once again playing, there is always the opportunity to go down memory lane. Maybe you’d like to re-read about last year’s playoff win over the Packers, or watch the highlights. But if you are looking for more — and perhaps, with Kurt Warner again on the verge of the Hall of Fame — how about a full replay of the Cardinals’ 51-45 wild Wild card win over the Packers in the 2009 playoffs?

You remember that one, of course. Warner had more touchdown passes (5) than incompletions (4). Larry Fitzgerald scored a pair of touchdowns (and kept the ball after each, FYI.) And it went to overtime with a dramatic ending, just like Cards-Pack 2015.

No, it’s not a real game this weekend. But it’s something.

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41 Responses to “Playoff withdrawal? Remember Cards-Pack”

  1. By Steve on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    Darren: The Bills, Eagles, Saints and Cardinals all had 7 win seasons and the Cards had the weakest strength of schedule, yet those teams are picking ahead of us in the first round. I thought tiebreakers in the draft were fixed by who had the lowest SOS? Thanks.

  2. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    Steve —

    RE: Tiebreakers

    Tiebreakers only matter when the teams are tied. Those teams were 7-9. The Cardinals were better at 7-8-1.

  3. By Big Ken on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    Haunted be that ‘tie’.

  4. By kauaicardsfan on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    yes talk about withdrawals, hated watching the playoffs without the Cards in it 🙁

  5. By Scott H on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    To this day, I believe Warner’s performance in that game – against what was supposed to be one of the best defenses against the pass that year – might be THE best single game performance ANY QB EVER had. More TD passes than in-completions??? That is simply ridiculous. What an AMAZING game to watch. Of course, because it involved the Cardinals – a team that many would have a hard time finding as sexy as the Pats or the Steelers or the Cowboys – I don’t think it quite gets its due, much the same as Super Bowl 43 doesn’t. But that doesn’t matter. This game was an all-timer.

    And go figure, that after Rodgers just totally roasted our defense in the 2nd half of that game, it was the defense that scored the winning TD and got us out of there.

  6. By Scott H on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    That Houston-Oakland game was awful but it was hard to not feel for the Raiders, seeing that, as Cardinals fans, we know exactly what that was like for them. To be a team that, at full strength, was as good as anyone and capable of playing with anyone but after you lose your starting QB, then your back-up QB…you pretty much have no shot. That really did suck for us back in 2014. And I’m sure it sucked for Raiders fans yesterday. That kid they had playing QB was just horrible. A shame. With Derek Carr, that game wouldn’t even have been close.

    And it was making me sick to hear all that hoopla being made about the Texans defense during the game. What a joke that was. Yeah, they may be a good defense. But EVERYBODY looks a lot better when they’re playing a 3rd string QB who has no idea what he’s doing.

  7. By Tommy on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply


    I know this is a touchy subject, but has there been any consideration to cutting Daryl Washington? He is still on the roster and I believe is getting paid around 8,000,000 annually. He hasn’t played in three years, is really any plus side to keeping him on the team?

  8. By Darren Urban on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    Tommy —

    RE: DWash again

    He is not getting paid anything annually. When you are suspended, you do not collect money.

  9. By Julio on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    Man sweet memories

  10. By texascard on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    All this fire amos talk leaves me confused. How can anyone make a logical argument that the problems with sp. Teams are not solely at the feet of the gm? How can you love keim and hate amos? It makes no sense.

  11. By georgiebird on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    After watching this game there are many takeaways:
    But the main takeaway- Don’t even try to compare Carson Palmer to Kurt Warner.
    Palmer is a nice QB but Warner was in a class with Brady, Brees and Manning(s).

  12. By Jacob Hewitt on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    Clemsons QB said
    I like this stadium when he beat the Ohio Buckeyes in Arizona he said it’s good luck for him My QUESTION is is there a chance the Cardinals Will Draft him in 2017

  13. By CardsNation on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    As I watch the Lions and the Giants game. I was like if they were the Cardinals, they will win it, but we’re not in the playoff and I believe if we are, we will make to the SB. I know how good the Cardinals is and it’s a frustrating season.

  14. By clssylssy on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    Did I miss your explanation of why Daryl Washington is still on the team? I know he is taking up a roster spot because of the dead money he costs but if we could put a productive body in that spot that would help us win games and give us a shot at the playoffs, I would think a team dedicated to the win, would just go ahead a eat it? What am I missing here? I mean, other teams have players suspended and they cut them so why is this so different?

  15. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: DWash (again)

    1. He’s not getting paid any money.
    2. He doesn’t count as a roster spot.
    3. He’s still around because of both cap hit and the effort to possibly recoup some bonus money.
    4. Why, whenever the Cardinals do something you disagree with, do you pin it on the organization being cheap and/or not wanting to win?

  16. By Brian R. on Jan 8, 2017 | Reply

    that todd haley west coast offense was so fun to watch. that was exciting times!

  17. By mitchaz on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    More Wild Card Weekend Thoughts

    * Not one valiant effort made from the visiting team in all 4 WC games—in each case the visitors looked like they wanted vacation to happen asap—especially the Giants, whose WRs already took a brief vacation during their prep week for Green Bay. The defensive efforts from all 4 visiting teams were awful. Looked like the Dolphins had no plan against the Steelers’ offense—and they had even played the Steelers during the season.

    * BA always says “don’t be that guy.” Well, OBJ is the epitome. Anquan Boldin next in line.

    * Games further prove that backup QBs aren’t going to win playoff games or get a team to the Super Bowl, which is exactly why Bill Belichick doesn’t believe in paying a backup QB $4M a year (better to further invest the $4M in the offensive line to keep the starting QB healthy). Better to groom a young QB who can either take over one day as a starter or be traded to get value in return.

    * Tom Coughlin must be feeling somewhat vindicated today—the team never invested in the defense the way it did this off-season, and yet that defense gave Aaron Rodgers all day to throw. Plus, Coughlin was such a stickler for getting good play on STs and the Bobby Rainey gaffe was, I dare say, BA Cardinals-esque (for the past 4 seasons). Reminded me of some of the boneheaded decisions Patrick Peterson has made in key games, like trying to catch a punt into traffic on a full sprint just when the team had started to gain a little momentum—or electing to fair catch a punt on the 3 yard line. Or Ted Ginn, trying to return a kickoff 9 yards deep into the end zone and laying the ball on the turf at the 10 yard line allowing the Panthers to turn a 16-14 game into 23-14 with all the momentum they need from that point forward.

  18. By clssylssy on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    Sitting on the outside, looking in, is always painful and maybe more so when your season has been marketed so strongly, when you have the talent, the proven ability and still come up short.
    Watching the GB/Giants game was frustrating to the point where I quit watching…couldn’t believe that the Giants defense could be so ineffective against Rogers when we had proven him a mere moral on more than one occasions! Don’t these guys do their homework and watch how other teams have been successful against these guys? Perhaps that sounds simplistic however, I do know that other coaches have studied how Arians has achieved success in Arizona (Sean Payton credited Arians with things the Saints had tried to do–apparently very well too, in their close win over Arizona). Green Bay IS playing very good and have “peeked” at the right time, but, “unbeatable”? Maybe, at Lambeau in 3 degree weather, but, nonetheless, I think the Cards have proven on more than one occasion, they know how to literally “snatch victory” from Aaron’s grasp!
    Watching these games being played outdoors in subfreezing weather, I do believe that there is a definite advantage for the home team, and if the league were serious about preserving “the integrity of the game” by establishing a level playing field, all games would be played in domes…not only for player safety/health but also for that of the fans who are forking over the mega bucks for the “experience”.
    And, I think the Cards are going to Lambeau next season, which, could be an automatic loss for our fair weather birds, that has nothing to do with their play on the field or play calling.

  19. By Jacob Hewitt on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    Do the cardinals have a chance of drafting Clemsons QB Watson
    Or do u think the Cardinals even want him Palmer is getting to be a older
    QB and I think it’s time for a new young QB like Clemsons QB Watson

  20. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    Jacob —

    RE: Watson

    Do the Cardinals want a QB of the future? Yes.

    Is it Watson? No idea. Will he even be on the board? No idea.

  21. By Jacob Hewitt on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    I’m a huge Clemson Tiger Fan and a Arizona Cardinal fan and I’m about 65%
    Sure that he will be in draft and I watched the US army all American bowl
    I saw a guy said he would be playing QB for Clemson so I’m not sure if
    Watson will be in Draft

  22. By Jacob Hewitt on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    Also I looked at a mock draft for 2017 and Watson was on it it scared me becouse it had him going to Cleveland Brown and they will just wast him and it had QB Mason Rudolph going to Arizona and that really scared me but do u see Mason Rudolph going to Arizona besides all that do you think they will draft a QB this 2017 draft

  23. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    Jacob —

    RE: Draft

    I don’t know how the Cardinals will look at this right now. We are well ahead of their draft meetings. They don’t even know what exactly will happen. Yes, I think they’d like a QB but where it comes from is TBD.

  24. By Erik on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply


    Here is an attempt at answering your question about the special teams coach. I could be completely wrong and if that is the case, Darren, please correct me. I look at the two times punts were blocked because Kerwynn Williams screwed up his job. I kept hearing the excuse that he is not normally in that spot so that is why he screwed up. I never heard anyone ask who put him in that spot. If it is known the player cannot man the position, shouldn’t we blame the coach who put him there? Would that coach be Amos Jones?

  25. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    Georgiebird —

    Re: Warner/Palmer comparison

    Kurt was an interesting player. I mean, he didn’t even play in the NFL for several years after college — wasn’t considered good enough. Then he took the Rams to two Super Bowls, but after hurting his hand, was ineffective. He lost his job after fumbling six times in the opener in 2003, just two seasons after taking the Rams to their second SB. Seems crazy now, but he also was pretty average in New York while keeping the seat warm for Eli.

    And let’s not forget, when he came here in 2005, he was originally named the starter, but was pedestrian in his first 3 games, all losses, with the Cards scoring just 43 points in the 3 games. McCown took over because of a groin injury to Warner and did well enough that Denny actually said McCown had won the job — we only saw Kurt again that year because McCown got hurt. The following year, Warner started out great (3 TD’s in an opening-week win vs. SF), and then the Cards lost the next 3, scoring just 10, 14 and 10 points in those games, with Warner posting ratings of 77.9, 69.0 and 53.8, 5 INT’s and only 2 TD’s. This led to him losing the job to Leinart.

    Leinart was supposed to be the starter in 2007 as well, but fortunately (in some ways) for us, was ineffective enough that Kurt replaced him in the 3rd game and then never looked back.

    We look back on the Warner years with rose-colored glasses because he took the franchise to its only Super Bowl. But the reality is, the Super Bowl year, we were basically a team like the Saints are now — just trying to outscore everyone. 427 points scored, 426 points allowed. Kurt got to throw all day because it was the only way for us to outscore the opponents, so he put up big numbers. He also had Larry in his prime as well as Boldin to throw to.

    I think Kurt, when “on,” was nearly unstoppable. But he had stretches where he played terribly. I still remember the Super Bowl year, the game against the Jets where we lost 56-35; Kurt put up huge numbers (almost 500 yards), but it was all because we were down by a mile the whole game due to him turning the ball over a bunch of times in the first half, whether by fumble or INT.

    Remember, as great as we remember him for giving us two good years, Kurt is a guy who lost his job to Marc Bulger and Matt Leinart at various points in his career.

  26. By 53 Card Deck on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply


    I meant to ask this in the live chat, but I missed it. Now that the 2013 Draft class has had 3 complete season of work, how would you rate it?

  27. By Darren Urban on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    53 Card Deck —

    RE: 2013 draft

    I’d say it was a C. Chance to be better long-term if Mathieu can stay healthy and carve out the career the Cards still hope he can. Cooper obviously washed out. Minter turned into a decent starter. Watford provided a key backup the last couple of years. Okafor was OK at times. Ellington started so fast and then became invisible. Taylor has been solid on special teams.

  28. By texascard on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    You want to fire a coach because two punts got blocked. You seriously believe that two blocked punts were the difference in playoffs or nonplayoffs this season. Nevermind the rest of the personnel problems, but those two blocked punts were the difference!!! I am actually laughing out loud at that. Hell, fire every sp. teams coach in the league! Thats funny. Youre a funny dude

  29. By Erik on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply


    I was just trying to provide an example as to how coaching may have played a role in bad special teams play.

  30. By JohnnyBluenose on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    Clssylssy…..our Cardinals are going to Detroit next year to play indoors vs Matthew Stafford, not outdoors at Lambeau Field vs Aaron Rodgers. This is the one good thing we got out of not winning our division this year.

  31. By georgiebird on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    @Kevin S. Mesa
    Did not say that Warner was perfect. Just said don’t ever compare Carson Palmer to Kurt Warner.
    You can compare Palmer to guys like Jim Hart and Charley Johnson and Neil Lomax.

  32. By JTDG on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply


    Draft Grade,

    I get why you say a “C” . Your point that several have contributed in some way, is true.

    But what a disappointment it was. Watford wasn’t suppose to be just a weak back up. Cooper was labeled a HOFer. Okafor was suppose to be an answer to our pass rush. Minter sat for 2 years, then was average the next two.

    Frankly, there is a good chance that only Badger will be on the team after 4 years. That is not good And if he has another injury plagued season, he could be released after 2017.

    How do you build a team that way? To me, that can’t get a passing grade can it?

  33. By Darren Urban on Jan 10, 2017 | Reply

    JTFG –

    RE: Draft and “supposed to”

    Of course not. Every pick you take is “supposed to” be a starter or major contributor. You don’t draft guys to wash out.

    So let’s say you judge on that scale, and it doesn’t even measure up to a C. Let’s say you give that a D, given what has happened. I’d wager that the majority of drafts in the NFL would get Ds. I’d have to look, but again, measuring not only on performance of player but also team (a team could have every draft pick starting but if they won six games …)

    The sheer amount of a) movement in the NFL from team-to-team and b) undrafted free-agent success makes your bar a pretty high one overall.

    I’m sure you’ll say that the Cardinals haven’t drafted well and that’s fine. I’m just saying, again, it all comes down to each person’s perspective.

  34. By Jacob Hewitt on Jan 9, 2017 | Reply

    Boooooyahhhhh Arizona Cardinals Need Clemsons Watson he won championship

  35. By Scott H on Jan 10, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin –

    I enjoyed the post on Warner. Yes, I am probably one of the rose colored glasses guys where he is concerned but I DO remember that when he first came here, it really wasn’t very good for awhile. In fact, based on how he had played in New York, I was adamantly opposed to him coming here at all. I thought he was done.

    But I will say this where the whole Warmer / Palmer comparison thing is concerned….you say that when Warner was on, he was un-stoppable but he had stretches where he was terrible. Well, I would say the exact same for Palmer. BUT Warner has been to 3 SB’s ( also owns the 3 top passing performances in SB history). Palmer is nowhere near that level of achievement. So….there IS a definite distinction between the two.

    Also, Palmer may own the single greatest season ever by a Cards QB ( 2015 ) but….I’ll take 2008 over that any day.

    If I have to try to nail down the REAL distinction between the two, I’d have to say that Warner was a guy that was typically able to play his best when you really needed it. Hate to say it, but Palmer has not been that kind of player. Only ONE post-season win for his career? He just has not played well on the post-season stage.

  36. By Kevin S Mesa on Jan 10, 2017 | Reply

    Scott —

    I think that’s a fair point. One of the hard things about judging postseason performances is small sample sizes. But you definitely are right that Warner stepped it up in the postseason. I was at the game when he had 5 TD’s and 4 incompletions — it was amazing.

    So disappointing that Palmer in 2014 got hurt and we had Lindley in the playoffs, and then in 2015 he had that finger injury which everyone said was no big deal but he wasn’t the same after that.

    I’m not trying to compare Warner and Palmer either — I just think we look back on the Warner years as if it was all wonderful, which isn’t really how it was.

  37. By mitchaz on Jan 10, 2017 | Reply

    Scott, Kevin, everyone…

    Kurt Warner’s and Carson Palmer’s approaches were/are very different, imo.

    Warner was all about exploiting mismatches in coverage and exploiting blitzes through carefully designed “hot” reads. The reason why Warner’s WRs were consistently more open than Palmer’s is that Warner would do what Tom Brady and the Patriots do—he would give his receivers (WRs, TEs, RBs) option routes based on where and how they were being leveraged. In other words, if the DB is shading you inside, you run and out route, and vice versa. Warner had an uncanny knack for being able to wait until the exact moment the receiver gains separation and then deliver the ball in stride. Where Warner got in trouble was, for example in the Super Bowl, was correctly identifying the Anquan Boldin would be able to run the skinny post, but not being able to account for the help the gave the CB by not rushing OLB James Harrison and dropping him into the passing lane. That’s what teams tried to do with Warner—they knew he would have the receiver go opposite of the leverage and thus they would try to bait the throw and have a LB or S jump it. Warner knew that Fitz and Q were often getting bracketed so that’s why he feasted on passes to the likes of Steve Breaston and Jerhemy Urban, because he knew they would be single covered and have the #3 and #4 CBs covering them.

    With Palmer, his approach is less on mismatches and option routes and more on “timing” passes. As the play develops, Palmer has a sense of when to release the ball and what spot to deliver it. When the receivers can execute the timing of the route, then Palmer will get the ball to the prescribed spot, pretty much on a dime. However, when the timing of the route is disrupted, this is where Palmer has to recalibrate the timing and the spot of his throw and as we saw, for example in Minnesota when Palmer in the red zone tried to throw a 12 yard out to John Brown at the pylon, Brown’s timing was disrupted, as he was double teamed by the Vikings’ two best CBs ( Rhodes and Munnerlyn) and when Palmer threw it to the pylon anyway, Brown hadn’t been able to make his out cut yet and Xavier Rhodes was able to pick it and go the distance.

  38. By Scott H on Jan 10, 2017 | Reply

    Kevin –

    RE: Warner’s early years in Arizona

    No, it was NOT all wonderful! There were some ugly performances there, for sure. Can’t help remembering that game that San Fran won ( after we had some big leads during the game ) when the Cards were backed up to the goal line…..and I’m saying to myself, just don’t fumble the ball here. Sure enough, Warner fumbles, Niners recover in the endzone, TD, game over. I lost my friggin mind over that one!!!

  39. By Scott H on Jan 10, 2017 | Reply

    mitchaz –

    VERY nice breakdown of both QB’s. I think Warner has some of the best numbers in NFL history against the blitz. He was amazing that way – especially during that 2008 season. His numbers against the blitz that season were off the charts.

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