Splash plays, and Jaguars aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on November 26, 2017 – 8:16 pm

The Badger was active.

He made a huge interception at the most crucial of times – on a drive where it looked like the Jaguars had stolen momentum and were on their way for a game-winning field goal. But Tyrann Mathieu read the play perfectly and got the pick. That’s two this season, and while you’d hope for more, you can’t argue that the two could have come at better times.

The plays were there Sunday. Blaine Gabbert was pretty good again. You see what he can do when his legs are needed (although, as Bruce Arians pointed out, there are times when that can cause an issue too, because the fumble was a play that need not have happened.) Another touchdown pass to rookie Ricky Seals-Jones, and a run game too.

Defensively, Chandler Jones had two sacks and five tackles for loss and deserves consideration for all-pro. I don’t know if he’ll get any given the Cards’ record, but he has earned it thus far. The run game stops are what impressed me the most Sunday.

Next week will be interesting. The Rams come to town, playing so well, and the Cards are anxious to play them again after the London wax job. Jacksonville is a good team with a very good defense. That’s what this three-game homestand – good opponents – is about.

— Calais Campbell returned a fumble 10 yards for a touchdown, but otherwise was held in check. Gabbert spun away from a potential sack or two. But the Cards didn’t let their former star beat them, all the while welcoming him back. It was good to see the big guy.

“The Birdgang showed a lot of love to me and that felt pretty good,” Campbell said. “Definitely have me chills down my back. My old teammates on the Cardinals, talking to those guys and getting all the love before the game and during the game and even after. The coaching staff, I have a lot of friends in that building, so that was fun. I really wanted to get this win so it definitely hurts right now.”

— By the way, that’s two straight games in which Campbell has returned a fumble for a touchdown when playing at University of Phoenix Stadium. His final game here as a Cardinal was against New Orleans last season, when he scooped up a loose ball and rumbled 53 yards for a score. Campbell’s team has lost both games.

— A few weeks ago, I’m guessing not many thought Phil Dawson would be booting a 57-yard field goal to win a game. That would’ve been good from 62- or 63-yards, I’m thinking.

— D.J. Foster gets a spectacular 12-yard toe-catch to set up the field goal, and also had a very nice kickoff return. It was called back on a penalty, but you can see where he excels there. He’s got a chance to make an impact, especially with T.J. Logan still hurt. It’s a great story too, since he went to Scottsdale Saguaro High School and ASU.

“It’s pretty incredible, kind of a surreal moment to get out there on that field and represent Arizona,” Foster said.

— Mathieu talked this week about getting a chance to face friend Leonard Fournette on the field for their first time after the two came from the same neighborhood yet never played together. Mathieu did his job one specific time, tracking down Fournette on a screen pass and dropping Fournette for a loss of five.

“It’s a tough challenge, especially being 190 pounds and running a 4.5 and he’s 230 and runs a 4.4, so the advantage is on his side,” Mathieu said. “There was actually one play, he ran through the hole and then Budda (Baker) came flying in, so kudos to Budda. I was just waiting on (Fournette) and just trying to get in front of him but Budda made a great play. I might take him out to dinner after this.”

Mathieu smiled. It was a good day.

— There was a scuffle post-game between Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham and Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson, with some swings. It looked heated, but it was calmed quickly and as soon as it was over, Gresham was shaking hands with other Jaguars personnel. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Gresham. Jackson simply said “it was a misunderstanding.” Cardinals guard Alex Boone was there too, looking like he was trying to help end things. Asked about the emotions after a win like the Cards had, Boone said “I mean, I think they’re kind of high.”

— It was a quiet, workmanlike performance from running back Adrian Peterson, but those 79 yards on 20 carries were so important. The Cardinals gained 108 yards on the ground, which is the only way they are going to have a chance to win games.

— Fitz and Campbell swapped jerseys. As did Fournette and Mathieu, and Patrick Peterson and Jalen Ramsey. Lots of mutual respect there.

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Posted in Blog | 30 Comments »

30 Responses to “Splash plays, and Jaguars aftermath”

  1. By Jon on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    Dare I say that this was the most entertaining game across the NFL this season? It was certainly right up there. What a great, fun game to watch! Nice to have that for a change….

  2. By Fmr USAF Pilot on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    Cards beat Jaguars.
    Who’d have thunk it after their performances in prior games?

  3. By georgiebird on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    If the Jags are that good of a defense- then Gabbert played well. Now Cards’ fans can see how a mobile QB will make the OL look a lot better. Palmer might have been sacked 5 times today.
    Starting to see new guys contributing -Baker, Pierre, Seals, Gabbert,

  4. By georgiebird on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    HB had the big play of the game. I watched him most of the game and contrary to what people are saying- I thought his positioning was excellent but he is just a step or two slower than where he should be. HB knows what he should be doing but there is no burst to his game. His interception was based on his knowledge of the game and not on physical ability.

  5. By georgiebird on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    Glad to see the Cardinals giving some of the new players a chance. Even with the win today, there are only 4 teams in the NFC with a worst record than the Cards.

  6. By Steve on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    All this win did was screw up our draft position but I have to say it was a fun game.

  7. By nate on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    Thankful for a win. Tough one in a tough season.

    Its nice to see the special teams unit stepping it up

  8. By CARDS62 on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    Lot of good from this game and some bad and some sad.

    1) This Jags D is very good and our offensive line did great. Open some holes all game and only 1 sack and that is on Gabbert for holding the ball too long. I think the play calling was much better this game with runs to the outside and more first down passes, and with the Jags pressing we did need to take some shots down the field. I also liked that we had more guys protecting on certain plays. LT Veldheer best game of the season by far.

    AP showed his age. Younger AP would have had around 200 all purpose yards this game and DJ would have also been around 200. Our line did that well. AP is also a fumble just waiting to happen.

    B. Gabbert has to protect the ball better especially when he runs. Right now also a fumble waiting to happen when he runs. He also had some Carson throws this game. Gabbert has been my boy all season as you all know and the kid can throw the ball. Those 2 passes to set up the FG, the 16 yarder to FItz, the throw to JJ Nelson before he even cut, and one more he threw not many QBs can make those throws. Kid has an arm and this was against an elite defense and we have another one coming in the Rams. I hope you guys are sitting down for this one. Our TEs caught 8 passes for 107 yards and a TD. TEs as a weapon way to go Gabbert and way to go coaching staff.

    Very good defensive game plan as Jags are excellent running team but we shut it down besides QB runs and our pass defense was also very good. Our 3rd down defense was excellent. The best it has been all season.
    Best game I have ever seen Chandler Jones play. Dude was awesome.
    Best game I have ever seen Josh Bynes # 57 play. How he is not starting for us I do not know. He even covered well.
    Did not see anyone catch a pass on Patrick Peterson all game and he had couple of nice punt returns.
    The sad to me is Karlos Dansby looked old and the Honey Badger looked injured. The interception was huge and I saw the comment above and the announcer even said wow this was Honey Badger best game all season, but to me watching him was very sad as he missed play after play and tackle after tackle including the tackle on the long kick return. I know its the two ACLs and it is sad.
    We had others also miss tackles, but my thinking is that it was a very strong defensive game plan and overall game plan by our coaching staff of not letting the Jags defense beat us. BA even deferred the decision after winning the coin toss, and did not go for it late in the game on 4th and 1 at midfield and punted the ball to make the Jags offense beat us, but they went 3 and out which allowed us to win the game.
    Old man Phil Dawson best game for us by far on kickoffs and field goals as he also deserves a game ball.
    This was our best win on the season against a hot club with an excellent defense, but a poor QB and WRs due to injuries.
    Really proud of our fans at the game as we heard you loud and clear all game and you treated the big fella C. Campbell as he deserved to be treated.

    Good night to all and go Cards beat those Rams!

  9. By JTDG on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    My observations from the game;

    – Arians deferred after winning the toss. Who would have thought it?

    – This was the best game the cards have played this year. There was life, energy. I don’t know where this team has been all year.

    – Chandler Jones played as good a game as any cardinal has played on defense, that I can remember. Wow was he good.

    – Ricky Seals Jones catches another TD and leads the team in yards. Grant it, projections are difficult after only 2 games, but if he played 16 games, he would have 56 catches for 1008 yards. Big reason the team is playing better.

    – With Buc injuried, Josh Bynes comes in and leads the team with 9 tackles and forces a fumble. I think he needs to be resigned.

    – Tyrann Mathieu became the Badger again. 4 tackles, 3 passes defensed and a pick. That is more like it. Best game of the year for him.

    – Gabbert should start the rest of the year. Again, projections are tricky, but Gabbert in a 16 game season would project out to 4000 yards and 40 TDs.
    He has looked good but has to cut down the turnovers. 3 picks and 3 fumbles in two games is not good. If he could correct that, he could be something here.

    – Gabbert only threw the ball over 20 yards in the air once. It was a quick pass game. It set up the deep pass to Jaron Brown. So much for ‘chunk plays’. BA seems to be changing.

    – The decision to move Veldheer to RT was a terrible decision. Veldheer looks at home back at LT and Wetzel is a better RT. The Oline only gave up one sack (really one Gabbert) and Adrian Peterson ran the ball at 4 yards a clip. Maybe the cards should keep Veldheer and trade Humphries in the off season?

    – Special teams actually was special. Minus the one big return by the Jags, the team had decent punt returns, and 4 huge FGs by Dawson and a great game of punting by Andy Lee.

    – People, Olsen Pierre is a player. He has 3 1/2 sacks and has started the last 3 games with 2 sacks. Do not be surprised if this guy gives us 8-10 sacks next year.

    – I think Troy Niklas could be a nice weapon for the cards. I think BA should use him more.

    – I sit 5 rows behind the Jags bench. After his TD, Campbell yelled at the crowd, and was very monsterous. After an earlier play, he flexed and yelled towards the card bench. This was an important game to him and speculation would say, he had something to prove.

  10. By CARDS62 on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    Oh two things I forgot before hitting the send button.

    1) Did #43 Hasson Reddick get injured early for us? I did not notice him one time in this game. If he played can you tell me how many snaps.

    2) Talk radio going crazy in Jacksonville after the game. They can not believe their awesome defense allowed B. Gabbert to beat them. It is humerous. The kid did horrible here and that is a fact, but he can throw the ball and he played well this game and I think he will play even better for us. I hope we use a similar game plan offensively against the Rams.

    GO Cards!

  11. By DZ on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    Glad to see the Cards fight to the end of the game today. There were plenty of mistakes and stupid penalties, missed assignments and focus issues.
    But good teams find a away to overcome those things and come back again and again for more.
    Today, the Cardinals were a good team. Picking each other up and players expected to make plays, did so.
    I think the coach found out that a few future pieces are legit and that will make future decisions much clearer.
    He must have had some humble pie with his Thankgiving meal too. He took what they gave him and exploited it.
    DJ Foster out of the backfield on pass plays is a huge improvement. Not sure why it took so long.. Now let’s get him involved returning kicks..
    Seals-Jones is all upside.
    Gabbert can lead this team. Still have to get a QB for the future but its not as desperately urgent and we have time to marinate the rookie.
    A lot of empty seats today. A win like today’s will help with that as well as one this coming week against the Rams.
    As long as the team plays 60 minutes hard and smart. The fans will not jump off the bandwagon. Win or lose.

  12. By Joe holst on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    Love your aftermath Darren always look forward to it. Crazy how special teams can effect the outcome of the game hopefully the Cards will build off us this. Look for them to lock up Blain to a contract soon I predict 3 years 12-15 million. Also will let Drew Stanton walk. Out of all the college QBs coming out I like Louisville s Lamar Jackson the best.

  13. By Fmr USAF Pilot on Nov 26, 2017 | Reply

    As several have written before, it appears more likely, with this win, that the Cards will win enough games to just miss the playoffs and thus finish lower in the draft order.

    The only good part of that is, if BA allows Gabbert to continue to play, it is more likely that he will become the #2 QB next season, assuming that Keim allows Stanton to walk.

    Of course, that assumes that BA and Keim will return, which I don’t favor because it practically guarantees continued mediocrity.

  14. By Johnson on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    A win means … a good position in the draft pick goes begging…Does it even matter??? We end up going 6-10 or 7-9 and get the same crap picks and no QB….We need higher draft picks and a 6-10 season isnt going to help.

    Do we have chance to make the playoffs? Absolutely NO! ….we have to build for next season and we can only do that by picking essential players and higher draft picks. We play the Rams next and that will be blood bath…we will be back to being dumpster fire garbage and we get blown away by the Rams! Nothing has changed!

    Gabbert was a revelation – will he be a starter next season? NO! Palmer decides to come back, we will go back to Palmer again and stick to Stanton, Gabbert then leaves in Free agency! Its the same old story repeating again!

    Calais showed that he should have been signed back in AZ, alas thats the kind of decisions that this organization makes! Happy for the young guys who gave their 100% and deserved a positive note!

    Overall, a win just hides the major issues that this organization is facing right now, but there is probably hope for the future. I still have no hope in Keim making any changes next season!

  15. By Corgon on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    Someone has to discipline Gresham. It’s not fire in him, it’s childish behavior. Flags and fights over and over.
    About the game… A nail biting one and finally we was able to win it. Nice. And about that 4th and one at the Texans game……

  16. By jeffcardinalfan on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    I wont repeat stuff in previous comments much…jags tackled EXCELLENTLY or ap wudda had 150+. amazing that ba adjusted gameplan to fit best way for cards personnel to attack jags. cards got hosed on a few penalties. the te down the middle has been there all year. GRESHAM once again showed he is a liability by getting in fight after game. imho gabber has shown enough to be offered a contract-he is much more comfortable with quick passing game-its similar to what he did at mizzou…with more time in bas system the chunks will come-gabbert has great arm and is a good deep ball passer. first time I remember larry being a non factor as receiver…in order to beat rams larry will have to be much more involved-I would like to see some deep shots to larry even if he is covered-we all know he usually comes down with the ball and maybe somebody should tell that to gabber-he hasn’t got a lot of reps with larry in practice and he may honestly not know how great larry is.

  17. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    Palmer fumbles and throws INTs just as much as Gabbert, but Palmer can’t run and he’s 37 years old.

  18. By Kevin S Mesa on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    Where was this short passing game when Palmer was at QB? Some of us have been begging for this from the Cardinals for a couple years now — ever since opposing defenses started taking the chunk plays away.

    We just beat a good team with our 3rd string QB… as well as having our #2 receiver out and of course no David Johnson. The Cards were never as bad as some of the naysayers on this blog believe (I saw people saying we might only win one other game all season, the Giants game). But man, not being able to put Houston and Tom Savage away really stings now. 6-5, we could at least be dreaming still about the playoffs (and no, I don’t think this is a playoff team, but we’d only be a game out). 5-6… the win just makes our draft position worse.

  19. By Fmr USAF Pilot on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    Re: empty seats; Caused by players kneeling during the Anthem or a team performing poorly???

  20. By JTDG on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    Fmr USAF Pilot,

    Maybe a little of both.

    I know there were empty seats as the 4 seats next to me remained empty all game. Early in the 4th quarter, I looked across the stadium and noticed a lot of empty seats in a close, well played game.

    The reason ? Could be a combination of things.

  21. By JTDG on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    For those who talk about draft status;

    The Eagles did not originally have the 2nd pick in the draft when they took Carson Wentz.

    The Rams did not have the number one pick originally when they took Jarod Goff.

    The Texans did not have the 12th pick originally when they took Deshaun Watson.

    Point is, if you like a QB and want him, you might have to give up a bunch of picks, but do you think these teams regret their decisions?

    Now grant it, you need a trade partner, but every year, someone moves up. If the cards have the 17th pick and love Josh Rosen, then they need to trade a boat load of picks and go get him if the can.

    As for 2017, are you going to tell DJ Foster and Blaine Gabbert not to make that play, because we want to draft better? Those guys are fighting for a job. The cards are playing young guys like Seals Jones and Foster, Olsen Pierre and Chad Williams. And those guys are hungry and play with fire and want to win.

    I’ll take that and worry about moving up in the draft in February.

  22. By Hammy on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    Re: Steve

    “All this win did was screw up our draft position but I have to say it was a fun game”

    First off I’m glad that you are a Cardinals fan and are passionate enough of a fan to post on these blogs. I find it pretty ridiculous that you are rooting for draft position rather than a playoff run. The draft guarantees nothing in today’s game. There have been numerous top 10 picks by our team that have fizzled out fast and not lived up to their draft status. For those fans really wanting to draft a quarterback in the 1st round… Think again! Here comes Blaine Gabbert! Aside from those two turnovers, he played really good football again and was very poise and accurate. I do agree with you about it being a fun game. It was great to get a win, go Cards!

  23. By Coach K on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    Gabbert is proving why he was a first round draft pick.

    I’ve been critical of Keim, but I think he got a blue chip QB for the future at a bargain price, and perhaps for the next five or six years.

    I’d still grab a young QB this draft, but I would not reach for one unless he is exactly the right guy.

  24. By Scott H on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    More later but I LOVE the pic of Campbell and Fitz hugging after the game. Those are two big men….big in size and big in terms of impact. I wish they were BOTH still Cardinals.

    I love the swapping of the jerseys. Great to know these guys can go at it the way they do during the game, then come together afterward.

    BTW, is that why Gresham was so mad after that game? No one traded a jersey with him???

  25. By DZ on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    Lose for a better draft pick????????? What do you think this is, the NBA????
    I haven’t watched that joke since the San Antonio Sterns kick the nads out of the Suns legit chances for a run.
    Where is the honor of on the field play?
    How many top 5 picks have the Patriots made.??
    You can say all you want about their honor or lack there of. But the bottom line is, when you play them, they will have schemes for everything you throw at them and then some grey area stuff too.
    But damn it, beat them on the field of play and you will have a days work cut put for you. Players and especially coach’s.
    And I am not a Pats fan, but do recognize brilliance when I see it.

  26. By Marlon Skrusinski on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    I thought about 2 things in particular last night.

    I remeber well when Arians first got to AZ, he proudly said he wasn’t a “fullback guy”,and the Cards traded Antohny Sherman to the Chiefs, which at the time was an eyebrow raiser. Arians didn’t liked the idea of “hinting” the opponent’s defense that a run was coming. Now, everytime we see a WR or TE moving behind the line of scrimmage, we already now a run play is coming. Now we can say that is predictable…

    Second thing is related to the first. Arians liked blocking TE’s first, and he said that it was the WR’s job to catch balls. Now, when the TE’s are more involved into the passing game, you see things starting to click, the WR’s get open more often and suddenly there is an actual passing game.

    That said, I just can’t understand Arians. People say he’s a genius, and he may even be that, but I just don’t get it. His playcalling is predictable, he’s been figured it out already, he tries to reinvent some concepts with some questionable results, his “no risk it no biscuit” thing is a failure this days, he has a mancrush on some specific players, he insists on investing on skinny and small receivers who are fast, but can’t catch the ball, etc…

    Don’t get me wrong, I hope he can change his mind and reinvent himself and have sucess, but things were starting to look like he Whisenhunt era. This last game I saw a different attitude, I hope that carries on.

  27. By CARDS62 on Nov 27, 2017 | Reply

    The thing to remember is if we keep winning it will probably be because Gabbert is playing well which means we can release the $ 20 million dollar man and also Stanton which will free up a lot of money for free agents. Sure we move down in the draft but definitely worth it. We also have extra picks this year and JTDG makes an excellent point we can move up for our QB and our Center, Billy Price, OSU. Start Gabbert next year and we see how he does as we bring the rookie along.

    This was a great win against a hot team with a great defense, but lets remember their QB is not good and their WRs are beat up. They dropped a few passes including at least one bomb where the receiver was once again behind our defense. Encouraging the most was our offensive and defensive game plans were great to beat a team like Jacksonville.

    The Rams will be a great test for our young players and coaching staff to come up with a successful game plan.

    I hope I am wrong, but I just do not see a lot more wins this year as I see too many weak players. Effort and execution is what I am keying on for the remainder of this year. I will feel better if we had a healthy David Johnson and a healthy/motivated Smoke Brown on the field.

    GO Cards beat those Rams!

  28. By Dan Nicholson on Nov 28, 2017 | Reply

    Re: Negativity , We are all free to post on here, minus foul language, but all your posts are total negative. Big Red won, give it a break. Great posts by most . Way to go Cards

  29. By Dan Nicholson on Nov 28, 2017 | Reply

    Re: Draft . Couldn’t agree more. You are correct about possibly trading up if it comes to that. Much rather team win , just read everyone’s posts ….. I still like QB from Missouri, Drew Lock, guy is on fire and rising fast.

  30. By Johnson on Nov 28, 2017 | Reply

    There is a lot of talk about playing with passion and worrying about the draft later in 2018…thats the kind of mentality we have, not forward thinking and planning for the future. There is a reason we have been a laughing stock for this long. Going 7-9 or 6-10 is such a Cardinal thing to do – its like hey we played and werent good enough, maybe next year! Ugh!

    As for Eagles, Rams not having higher draft picks – no they didnt – but they did what was necessary to get theur future QBs and plan ahead – Has this organization ever done that? – If they did then we would have won a few Super Bowls by now just like Eagles and Rams are heading towards – a brighter future. Gabbert has been great but expecting him to be the future QB is such a Cardinal thing to do – he is cheap and there is hardly any thing worry about, if he fails – we will go back to Stanton or whoever is cheap in the market.

    As for Pats not having a higher draft picks – yeah they dont, then how they hell are they such a successful organization? Well, they do what is necessary to get players in Free agency, if they lose a player – they try to successfully upgrade to another player and turn him into a SB material through coaching. Cardinals dont have the luxury of coaches who can coach to turn this team into a SB material – instead you have coaches like Amos Jones who still have jobs, defensive personnel like Bettcher who look clueless in their defensive play.

    The only positive spot are the younger guys who are playing like they have nothing to lose – they are hungry for a win and ultimately a contract for the future! have that Killer instinct to succeed. Us younger fans want a credible and winning organization, not just the status quo that the Cardinals have been for god knows how long! The Rams are coming to town – its either gonna be a London epic meltdown or positive fightback like we saw against the Jags. Which will it be?

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