Bears aftermath, thankfully with no OT

Posted by Darren Urban on August 20, 2017 – 12:19 am

The Cardinals scored a touchdown with three seconds left, and Bruce Arians did exactly what he had to do, down one point: He went for two.

“No. No. No way,” Arians said to the suggestion he’d even consider kicking there. “That’s against all rules of preseason football.”

Amen to that. Added bonus: When the pass fell incomplete — and Blaine Gabbert had Jeremy Ross wide open, so the play call was great — the final score was 24-23 … the exact score of the infamous Monday Night Meltdown loss to the Bears, the night Denny asked us all, rhetorically, what the third game of the preseason meant.

What did the third game of this Cardinals’ preseason mean? You’d like to see the first-team defense defend the run a lot better, especially since the top two Bears running backs didn’t play. Arians said the tackling was poor, and it’s clear the injuries at inside linebacker make a difference. You’d like to see the pass protection for Carson Palmer be a little better, but Arians said Palmer held the ball too long a couple of times.

No one is going to proclaim the Cards world-beaters in what they saw, but it was a typical second preseason game — again, even though it was the Cards’ third, that Hall of Fame game didn’t mean much with the starters. Next week, in Atlanta, against the defending NFC champs when the starters figure to play a whole half against the Falcons’ starters, that will be something to dissect. That’s where the Denny philosophy should kick in.

— The Cardinals need Karlos Dansby and Deone Bucannon back for the regular season. If that wasn’t apparent, it’s becoming moreso. Haason Reddick missed a little time because his arm was cramping, but the ILBs haven’t been stout. Arians said the run game defense issues were in part because of that position. “I’ll be concerned if we’re playing with the group we had tonight,” Arians said.

— That was such a Tyrann Mathieu-from-2015 interception. A welcome sight. It’s good he didn’t lose that fumble at the end of the run.

— I’m sure I’ll hear about this comment, but I thought Justin Bethel was solid and Brandon Williams obviously showed up. It sure looks like these ate the corners the Cards will roll with — Peterson, Bethel and the two Williamses — and it seems like that can work.

— Drew Stanton was not as on target as the week before. But he moved the Cards into field goal range. I’ll be honest, the way Phil Dawson had been kicking in practice, I thought he’d hit that one.

— The Cards are off Sunday, and have one week left of camp. The regular season gets closer.

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30 Responses to “Bears aftermath, thankfully with no OT”

  1. By Louis Callegari on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    cards have to play better . or its going to be a long season.

  2. By JohnnyBluenose on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    I only saw the last two minutes but I was impressed with Gabbert’s arm strength and his mobility. Jeremy Ross made a nice catch for his touchdown and it is too bad he and/or Gabbert messed up the two point conversion attempt. Maybe Gabbert unnecessarily rushed his throw. Just from reading Darren’s comments it seems like we need to get a lot better in too many areas in the next three weeks…and that includes Carson Palmer. And one last not relevant comment…a couple of weeks ago I mentioned that Ryan Lindley was alive and seemingly well and playing as a backup quarterback for the Ottawa RedBlacks in the Canadian Football League. I was watching a game on Friday night and there is another ex-Cardinal playing for Ottawa…running back William Powell who played sparingly a few years ago.

  3. By faster on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    third preseasongame resume?

    well, baker is a rookie,
    gabbert is not stanton,
    and dawson is not superman.

    but a 63 yard miss?
    i will start to worry about the special team again when he miss from 57 yards.

  4. By TucsonTim on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Bracing for all the excuses and extenuating circumstances, not the least of which is, it was only a preseason game:

    Another special teams loss by Amos and company.

  5. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    fwiw: WR, OL, DL, ILB, QB

    arguably fragile/oft injured/mostly fast – JJ Nelson, John Brown, Jaron Brown, Britt Golden (I love all these guys btw)

    physical/unproven/lots of potential – Momah, Seale Jones, Kris Hogan, Ross, maybe Chad Williams (maybe Chad in injured category, but at least new)

    Doubt BA would consider more of a mid range offense, 4 TEs, but latter group fits, might limit risk of “unavailability” of first group…

    OL and 1st unit DL looked bad, ILB looked bad, imo

    Not exactly sure why, but find myself rooting for Blaine… not sure if Pandora box or treasure chest, lol.. but think back to Derek Anderson and Skelton et al…Blaine
    seems just on another level

    Herm Edwards tip this am: don’t watch only ball & QB, take cue from middle of DB backfield, S in middle of field? watch how many rushing, 5 or more on rush? Ss and DL dictate most plays per Herm

    Cards looked bad, but many teams just look awful this preseason….

  6. By mitchaz on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Sticking Point:

    BA keeps telling Carson Palmer that he has to get rid of the ball faster. But here’s the problem…without Smoke in the lineup, the Cardinals’ WRs are not getting quick separation. Throwing the ball too quickly is how CP makes his biggest mistakes…like the post he threw into the end zone last night that should have been intercepted. Carson Palmer needs time for plays to develop…but his lack of mobility and, last night his out-of-sync offensive line made that very difficult. Something has to give here. BA needs to take more measures to maximize Carson’s protection. Keep the RB in. Keep a TE in from time to time. Chip the edges. Cater the offense more to its strengths.

  7. By mitchaz on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Updated 53:

    QB (3): Palmer, Gabbert, Stanton

    * With 2 games left I’d like to see Gabbert get a few series with the number ones.

    RB (4): D. Johnson, K. Williams, C. Johnson, Penny

    * I want to see K. Williams play early on as we did in game 1. Chris Johnson made a good block in pass pro, but after that kept releasing as a safety value when he was needed in protection. Did not run the ball with any real burst.

    * Penny makes it over Ellington because of STs. Penny was good again on STs and made a good, hard stop on a punt return. Plus, he is a key blocker on punts.

    WR (6): Fitzgerald, Jaron Brown, Nelson, John Brown, C. Williams, Ross

    * With John Brown injured, it would be great to find a way to keep Chris Hubert as well. Ross’ value on STs and savviness as a veteran WR gives him the slight edge on Brittan Golden. But that competition should go down to the wire.

    TE (3): Gresham, Niklas, Momah

    * All three are playing solid. Hakeem Valles plays a lot on STs, but should start the year on the PS.

    OL (9): Humphries, Iupati, Shipley, Boehm, Veldheer, Wetzel, Toner, D. Johnson, Holden

    * Tony Bergstrom is deserving of a roster spot, but can the Cardinals really afford to pull the plug on 4th and 5th round picks (Dorian Johnson and Will Holden) so quickly? With Wentzel and Toner being so versatile, the Cardinals can be patient with the rookies.

    DL (7): Rucker, Peters, Mauro, Nkemdiche, Gunter, Pierre, X. Williams

    * This unit has flashed but been very inconsistent. It would be wise, imo, to add another player to this mix and start Xavier Williams on the PS.

    ILB (5): Dansby, Bucannon, Reddick, Bynes, Wright

    * It would be great to move Reddick to the edge where he belongs, but injuries to Dansby, Bucannon and Byners (and Wheeler) are making this impossible.

    OLB (4): Golden, C. Jones, Martin, Bazzie

    * It’s looking like Jarvis Jones is going to have to start the year on the IR. This unit should be upgraded when Reddick is used on the edge.

    CB (4): Peterson, Bethel, B. Williams, T. Williams

    * Hard to believe Tramon Williams dropped that interception. But he put a lick on Cohen, which was long overdue.

    S (5): Mathieu, Bethea, Branch, Baker, Miller

    * Rudy Ford has been injured and Harlan Miller made a couple of key tackles last night.

  8. By mitchaz on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    The same formula that spawned last year’s 7-8-1 record was on full display for the Cardinals last night. The Bears were the faster and hungrier team, which was particularly disappointing considering this was an Arizona home game.

    It seemed like a fitting culmination of a tumultuous week of practices in which WRs were called out for no longer being legitimate NFL caliber players and in which the Cardinals’ players were expressing how bored they were in their fourth week of camp.

    In this game, the Cardinals, for the most part played like they were bored.

    Many will say, like last year, that pre-season games are meaningless and that everything is so vanilla, so it really doesn’t matter.

    Yet, with the Cardinals, their weaknesses have little to nothing to do with vanilla schemes and everything to do with basic football principles and execution.

    Last night was yet another chapter of:

    * special teams ineptitude and game changing gaffes
    * putrid tackling
    * losing the battle at the line of scrimmage on both sides
    * loss of contain on the edge (is this ever coached?)
    * wide open receivers off bootlegs — every time
    * wide open receivers on the goal line — every time (which was supposedly another point of coaching emphasis this past week, getting the goal-line defense in sync, assignment-wise)

  9. By mitchaz on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Despite the overall disappointments — some players came up big:

    QB Blaine Gabbert — when one watches the way in which Gabbert throws the football and runs with the football, he is far superior in every shape and form than Drew Stanton. Stanton was right back to being the erratic, harried QB he has been for the past few years, routinely missing his targets on wide or high throws. His mechanics (feet, arm cock and high release point) remain a huge issue. Gabbert, on the other hand, has a quick and smooth release and he is throwing frozen ropes with accuracy.

    WR Chris Hubert — for the past two weeks it has been clear that the Cardinals’ QB are often targeting Hubert, because as BA has been saying he is often “wide-ass open.” Hubert was up to the task this week, showing very good acceleration and stronger hands.

    WR Jeremy Ross — he’s the one slot WR/flanker who has lower body strength and very good balance. Plus he is an asset in the return game. His TD was a thing of beauty as Gabbert threw a dart into the exact window opposite the CB and Ross timed his jump perfectly and looked the ball right into the triangle, while keeping his feet in bounds.

    TE Jermaine Gresham — is developing into a go-to TE in the red zone.

    TE Ifeanyi Momah — showed his value as a receiver when he made a nifty catch in traffic and then dragged tacklers 5 yards for a first down.

    G Tony Bergstrom — watched him more than usual this game and he is playing very efficiently with very good technique.

    T John Wetzel — playing with superb technique, strength and balance.

    DT Frostee Rucker — it was great to see Rucker look like the Frostee of old, slithering off blocks to make plays and chasing plays to the sideline.

    DT Robert Nkemdiche — another solid performance on what was a supper night for the Cardinals’ d-linemen.

    OLB Alex Bazzie — showed edge quickness.

    OLB Kareem Martin — showed edge strength and has been one of the best surprises of camp, especially with Jarvis Jones injured.

    CB Justin Bethel — played with good leverage and confidence.

    CB Brandon Williams — blanket coverage and is seeing the ball a little better.

    S Tyrann Mathieu — turned the momentum of the game around with his nifty Badger-like interception.

    S Tyvon Branch — turned in his best performance —was all over the field making tackles and plays — was about the only one in the first quarter, but he kept on coming and never backed down.

    P Matt Wile — good hang time and distance

  10. By Louis Callegari on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Darren you think Arains will on the hot seat if the season goes bad?

  11. By Darren Urban on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Louis —

    RE: Arians


  12. By D on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Az has to be concerned when backup RBs run through and over at will, and they can’t run the ball themselves. DJ has to stop dancing and pick a hole. (If there is a hole)
    Honey badger is back. The punts were good, Gabbert has a strong arm.

  13. By clssylssy on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Only preseason….but, we looked like a bunch of bush league amatures, sadly reminescent of last seasons start. It all starts at the line and, again, I’m not optomistic about our chances at keeping a QB healthy, sure hope they plan to keep all three. Our D-line, except for R. Nkemdiche was weak and ineffective and our defense as a whole seemed checked out to the point of being non-existent. On Tyran’s interception, it was like he was single handedly fighting off the entire Bears team and there wasn’t a red uniform in sight! Great play by the badger that could have been a TD if he’d had any help. While I know Bethel has become everyone’s favorite whipping boy, I thought he had a few pretty impressive plays that made me remember why he made the Probowl as a Special Teamer.
    Last week, I thought BA was probably being dramatic and overstating the weakness of our receivers last week, but sadly, now I”m a believer. Hard to imagine that at one time we had the best receiver room in the league; these little speedsters just don’t have the size to matchup to a guy a foot taller with a arm reach that complete negates any effort to catch that bomb downfield.
    Once again, we seem to not have the basic skills necessary to win. Our technique is sloppy: tackling, blocking, catching the ball under fire ,are all things BA’s been harping on since he got here but still no improvement? Perhaps, as I was always taught, these are skills learned at an early age and if players don’t have them by the time they get to the Pros, it’s a little late in the game to start unlearning bad habits to become proficient in a new skillset, so I continue to be unimpressed with SK’s eye for talen and his three year plan.
    Now we begin our road games, which given the level of maturity of this team, scares me; remember fellas this is WORK and WORK to be taken very seriously for the future of careers.
    I have a feeling that practice this last week of camp will be very quiet but with a lethal intensity that will be unlike any “camp” these guys have experienced.
    Perhaps, this ugly game was exactly what was needed at a very critical time to bring these guys down to reality.

  14. By JohnnyBluenose on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Just saw some highlights including Mathieu’s interception return which scared the hell out of me. I don’t want Mathieu tackled, especially by a mob…too reminiscent of him wrecking his knee returning a punt during his rookie year. Nice play though and I was impressed by Tyvon Branch’s effort in racing upfield and blocking for the Badger during his return.

  15. By truths4all on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Yes, it is early in the preseason, but the thought continues to churn around that the Cards could have made some moves where they could have drafted the steadily developing Mahones instead of the promising, but very slowly transitioning into a new position Reddick.

  16. By shannon robinson on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    I’ve got to say Blaine Gabbert is a real find. I thought he played well against the Cards in last year’s first 49ers game and now I’m not seeing those gross overthrows or missfires he had struggled with before. Like the Wolfman, I was delighted we didn’t draft a QB in the first or second round, then we get a free top prospect by signing Blaine. Stanton remains #2 for all the right reasons, however this kid has responded to the Cards’ coaching in a surprising way. He throws a really hard pass with mustard on it when required. He appears to throw to the open guy which is all you can ask because a lot of that is instinct and what your QB has to do. He doesn’t look antsy with his feet and shows no fear in the pocket. He can run! He’s exciting! Way to go Steve Keim and now Mr. Gabbert is putty in BA’s hands. A tip of the Cards’ Wing to the Front Office!

  17. By georgiebird on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    let’s say no major changes to the team.
    Then I’ll be kind and say 8-8
    And while all QBs will have a fall-off against tougher defenses. Palmer’s drop is precipitous.-it always has been. Said it before but Carson is the 2nd coming of Jim Hart- nice guy, throws a great pass but just don’t rush me.

  18. By georgiebird on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Also mentioned this before but the loss of TJ Logan was probably the 3rd worse thing that could have happened to the Cards. Could possibly revise that to the 2nd worse thing.

  19. By JTDG on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    It was fun being at the game last night. I watched the raiders on TV as my brother and I swap tickets for preseason. But walking into the stadium and taking my seat felt like football was back.

    As for the game,

    – The bears ran at Marcus Golden and had success. It seemed they audibled to run his way and Golden could not set the edge. To further comment on Darren’s comment, with Golden not setting the edge, the inside LBs could not get through the traffic and you saw a lot of tackles by Branch, who I thought played his best as a cardinal.

    – It was a welcome sight seeing the Tyrann become the Badger again.

    – Our centers played poorly. first, Shipley missed block after block, only to watch Toner do the same. Not a good game for our centers. This could be a problem this year.

    – I will say, I noticed Boehm had a great block on a screen, unfortunately, Shipley missed his block and the play went no where.

    – Darren, I will second your comment that the secondary looked good,but I said they would before the game. With Glennon and that horrible bunch of receivers the bears have, I could have played CB. I will say for the first time, Brandon Williams was getting his head around and locating the ball. Maybe there is hope for him someday. Not this year, but some day. It is sad that he was forced into action last year.

    – But I will argue, Bethel had a PI on one of his only chances. Can’t say he was tested and he failed when he was tested with PI.

    – Gabbert is heads and shoulders better than Stanton when you watch the live. This is not even a debate. Stanton makes poor decisions and misses wide open receivers. Gabbert has a huge arm, one of the best I have seen live, and throws into windows. I will say, in this system, Gabbert has a chance.

    – Our receivers not named Fitz, are very questionable. It is time to look for cuts or trades. I will say that little guy, Hubert gets open. Not impressed with the receivers at all.

    – It was sad to see Victor Cruz playing in the 4th quarter for the bears, What was worse is he caught no balls.

    – Nkemdiche and Pierre played well. Both are on their way. Now this is what you want to see in the progression of players.

    – Scooby I thought did well enough to earn that 4th spot. His issue is he doesnt trust his eyes and reads. Many times I noticed he waited on the RB instead of reading the play and meeting him in the hole.

    So, center and receivers are concerns. Golden did a bad job setting the edge, we need Dansby and Buc, Our future at Dline looks bright, and our CBs need the Falcons to test them. Finally, I like Gabbert and its good to see the Honey Badger back after a year of absence.

  20. By Scott H on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Maybe no OT, but….same final score as that infamous Monday Night game AND also another “WOW” play by the Bears ST’s, just as there was in that Monday Night game. A return off a missed FG that basically covered a full 110 yards. Nice. Perhaps some tackling might have helped…..

  21. By Scott H on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    JohnnyBkue –

    RE: Honey Badger’s INT

    It scared the hell out of me, too! Didn’t it look just like the late game INT against Philly in 2015 that ended his season??? Looked the same to me – him laying out to get in front of a receiver to make the play.

    But what can ya do? He can only play the way he plays. He only has one speed – all out, hair on fire. If he’s not doing that….then he’s not the Honey Badger. We’ll just have to keep holding our breath, I guess.

  22. By JTDG on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Let me throw out a possible trade I would consider.

    The Jags thought they had a LT in Brandon Albert who ended up off the team.
    The cards need a receiver who can be explosive.

    I would seriously consider moving Jared Veldheer to the Jags for rookie wr Dede Westbrook.

    In watching the game at home, Veldheer is struggling on the right side and I really think Wetzel or John could be as effective. The Jags get that LT they need and the cards get an explosive wr.

  23. By aschatte on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Super baffling how this organization functions with relation to getting needed players. How did even BA think we would have 12 NFL quality receivers is amusing and baffling at the same time….Clearly last year WRs were dropping catches as well and injuries finally took it toll on many of them…We just didnt care and relied on the this “talent” getting better rather than looking for pieces in free agency. OT will struggle when the seasons begins – I pray for Palmer. When the amount of good people we lost on defense, it would have always struggled – one can hope for the best. Even if we go through a bad season, BA will still be here and he should but I doubt whether he will be one who will bring us a SB. Hopefully at least in the 2018 draft this organization uses its brains gets a future QB rather than replying on Gabbert and Stanton.

  24. By GARY HICKERSON on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    I just want to comment on ANQUAN BOLDINS retirement anouncment,i remember his first game as a rookie for the cardinals ,against detroit in detroit anquan had 210 yrds and in one year ANQUAN ,BOLDIN ,LARRY FITZGERALD,AND STEVE BREASTON WERE ON CARDINALS ROSTER TOGETHER ,ANQUAN AND LARRY BOTH HAD OVER 1400 YRDS EACH AND STEVE BREASTON ALSO HAD OVER 100O YARDS IN THE SAME SEASON,I WISH ANQUAN COULD HAVE STAYED with the CARDINALS longer who knows what could have been!!CONGRATS ON YOUR RETIREMENT ANQUAN..and go CARDINALS!!

  25. By CARDS62 on Aug 20, 2017 | Reply

    Last preseason we could not pass or stop the pass and this preseason we can not run or stop the run. O LINE just pisses me off!. Find a center like we have been telling you for years! JTDG I like your trade, but Jags do not have a QB so I think they will keep the young guy and just know this is another rebuilding year and they have to get a QB next year.

    Special Teams back to letting us down again, but did recover onside kick.

    A bad team comes into your house and controls the game is a very bad sign. Good to see Honey Badger playing so smoothly once again.

    Glad you guys are coming around on Gabbert over Stanton like I have been saying for a long time now Gabbert is #2. Gabbert has the tools always has it is just his head. Wish he would have won the game as it will be great for his confidence, but on his most important throw of the year to win the game he reverts back to the old Gabbert and threw a very poor pass with no defender in his face. This is troubling. Can he be counted on? I honestly do not know but based upon his past it has to be a concern.

    We all really need to closely watch this next game as it is the one to tell us the most about our team. Playing the Falcons at home with starters for both teams playing the most, and our only look this pre-season at playing against a true first string NFL QB. I have been worried/excited about this game for a month and now after the BEARS game I am just worried.

    GO Cards!

  26. By Scott H on Aug 21, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Meant to tell ya, I was watching the Eagles – Bills game and that Darby kid ( the CB the Eagles just got in that trade ) was one of the true standouts of the evening. He defended a couple of passess ( in limited time ) and made an INT. He looked fast, he covered well, made good moves on the ball.

    Made me wonder ( again ) – why weren’t we looking for one of these guys????

  27. By Bob41 on Aug 21, 2017 | Reply

    This pre season is looking exactly like the one a year ago…..hummm?

    No O line last year, no O line this year and the front office is content to ignore the situation. Oh well, we’ll just let the WRs carry the day.

    Predictions, anyone?

  28. By JTDG on Aug 21, 2017 | Reply

    Scott H,

    The only reason that would make sense is Bethel. For some reason, Keim just wants Bethel to win the spot. Each year, he doesn’t. But bringing in a good young stud like Darby would require giving up on Bethel, which Keim after 6 years doesn’t want to do.

    Can you think of any other reason?

  29. By JTDG on Aug 21, 2017 | Reply


    I saw 3 passes thrown Bethels way in the game. Grant it, it was to a receiver I never heard of from Glennon, who won’t be their starter soon.

    The first one was for a 12 yards gain
    The second was behind the receiver and Bethel batted it down instead of going for a pick (go back and watch if you don’t believe me)
    The third was a deep pass where Bethel held the receiver to prevent him from getting something deep.

    On the other hand, I didn’t count it up but I can recall at least 4 pass break ups and one “should have been INT” by Brandon Williams. He actually looked like he is learning and had his best game as a card

    Sometimes I am tough on guys, ie Williams and Nkemdiche, but I will give credit when due. Both guys are getting better.

  30. By Scott H on Aug 21, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Geez, I hope not. But I can’t say no, you’re wrong. Either way, who cares? For better or worse, looks like we are riding ( stuck?? ) with Justin Bethel.

    And, no, we shouldn’t be in a position where we are “stuck” with a question mark at CB because the team didn’t to anything to address a glaring need during the off-season. You and I both know, there hasn’t even really been any REAL competition for Bethel here this off-season. Or, is that what a 36-year old Tramon Wiiliams is supposed to be????

    The organization has left itself wide open ( wide-ass open?? ) to taking a lot of heat from fans if this CB spot is a liability ( again ) this year.

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