Ugly Ugly Shootout – Week 4 Post Game Report

Cardinals 35, Jets 56

Holy old-QBs’-arms Batman…Brett Favre tossed 6 TDs (3 to Lavernaeus Coles) while Kurt Warner (after a really horrific start) came back with 2 in what looked very early to be a complete rout of the Cardinals.  Warner uncharacteristically fumbled 4 times (losing 3 of them) and tossed 3 INTs before he finally came alive in the 2nd half to almost make it a game.

Edgerrin James rushed for only 29 yds but scored twice, with rookie Tim Hightower rushing for one TD as well. 

3 Cardinal WRs had 100+ yd days today, Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston each amassed 122 yds and Anquan Boldin managed 119 yds and a TD.  WR Jerheme Urban caught Warner’s other TD pass. 

Defensively, Chike Okeafor managed the only INT by Favre.  Okeafor and Darnell Dockett each racked up a sack; but aside from that, it was really the Brett Favre show.

Next week, the Cardinals host the Buffalo Bills.

A note on Boldin’s scary injury.  After suffering a sandwich collision with FS Kerry Rhodes and SS Eric Smith which caused his head to snap forward then back, Boldin was unresponsive on the field before being taken away on a stretcher to a local hospital.  During the halftime report for the afternoon games, it was announced that Boldin does, in fact, have movement and feeling in his extremities. 

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(Boldin after the collision)


Week 3 Pre Game Report – Cardinals @ Jets

Sunday will mark the starting of the old timers….Brett Favre and Kurt Warner have 75 years between them and 4 Super Bowl appearances.  Unfortunately for the Jets (and fortunately for Arizona), Favre is still getting used to NY’s playbook and has not looked like the Favre of eons past while Warner is on fire.

From a WR standpoint, Larry Fitzgerald has 100 yds in 3 of his last 4 games, and the Jets Chansi Stuckey is trying to be the first Jets’ WR since Keyshawn Johnson to have a TD reception in the first 4 games of a season.  Anquan Boldin has been on fire lately as well, but Laverneaus Coles is coming off an injury which has hobbled him quite a bit during the early part of this season.

Edgerrin James has rushed well in his two games vs. New York, amassing 262 yds and 5 TDs. His teams are 18-0 when he rushes for 120 yds and a TD.  With the addition of Tim Hightower, Arizona has that added edge, particularly at the goal line.

Calvin Pace, now a Jet, will be meeting his former team after signing an ungodly 6-year, $42 million contract with New York in the offseason.  For the Cards, unfortunately, Bertrand Berry is out indefinitely with a groin tear and Adrian Wilson is also injured with a hamstring; his status for Sunday is questionable.

The Cardinals’ last victory against the Jets was 23 November 1975, when they beat Joe Namath 37-6.

(Source: nfl.com, azcardinals.com)


3-0?? No. Week 3 Post Game Report

Cardinals 17, Redskins 24

As is usually the case, the game boiled down to turnovers.  While Washington took the ball away twice – and scored 10 points as a result – the Cardinals D failed to manage a single one.

The officiating was suspect, but lately, what else is new?  On a 4th-and-1 in the 1st quarter, the Cards scored what appeared to be a TD, but they were flagged for delay of game.  A very livid Kurt Warner pled his case to no avail.  Warner had a decent day going 16-of-30 for 192 yds, 2 TDs and 1 INT (although it was what I call a deflecterception…not his fault.  In fact, there appeared to be a pass interference infraction on Leigh Torrance who tipped the pass intended for Steve Breaston which was not called.)  Larry Fitzgerald racked up his 3rd 100-yd game in his last 4, with 107 yds including a beautiful 62-yd TD.  Anquan Boldin wasn’t as explosive as last week’s phenomenal outing, but managed to snag Warner’s other TD toss.  Edgerrin James was 7 yds away from a second consecutive 100-yd rushing effort on 18 carries.  Warner was sacked twice. 

The penalties hurt the team, that’s for sure.  With 6 penalties for 42 yds, I’m sure Ken Whisenhunt (who has been preaching clean games) is not too happy.

Defensively, despite giving up over 300 yds and no turnovers, Karlos Dansby and Bertrand Berry each recorded a sack of Jason Campbell, who was great today (22-of-30, 193 yds, 2 TDs.)  Antwaan Randle El tossed an 11-yd TD to Chris Cooley and Clinton Portis extended his rushing TD streak vs. Arizona to 4 games.

The Cardinals will stay on the east coast all week as they visit the Jets next week.


Week 3 Pre Game Report – Cardinals @ Redskins

The last meeting of these two teams, last season, resulted in a narrow margin of victory for Washington as Neil Rackers missed a 55-yd FG attempt as time expired, giving the Skins a 21-19 win.  Washington has won 8 of the last 9 meetings as well, and also leads the historic series 72-44-2.

But they haven’t played the new and improved Arizona Cardinals.

The NFC’s highest-rated passer is none other than Kurt Warner, who beat out disgruntled Matt Leinart for the starting job at the start of the season.  Add to that rookie RB extraordinaire Tim Hightower and the league’s best WR tandem in Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, whose 3 TDs from Warner led to a manhandling of Miami.  Defensively, Darnell Dockett returns to his hometown, and his ability to stuff the run will likely give Clinton Portis et al. fits; however, Portis does have a rushing TD in his last 3 games vs. the Cardinals.  Additionally, Adrian Wilson has intercepted a pass vs. Washington in 2 of his last 3 games against them.

The Cardinals haven’t gone 3-0 since 1974.

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(Gotcha!  Minus the face mask penalty, of course.)

(Source: nfl.com)


Week 3 News and Musings

Kurt Warner was awarded the league’s Offensive Player of the Week award for the 7th time, posting a perfect QB rating of 158.3 vs. Miami in the Cardinals’ manhandling of the Dolphins.  Additionally, this was the 3rd time in his career he posted a perfect rating, tying the Colts’ Peyton Manning.  After 2 games, Warner’s rating is 128.5, 2nd only to Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger with a rating of 136.3.  He also has 42 300-yd games in his career, 12 as a Cardinal, tying Charley Johnson for 3rd all time in the franchise.

Edgerrin James passed the 15,000 yds mark after adding 55 rushing yds Sunday; becoming the 14th player in history to do so.  Taking it with a humble grain of salt, while he is obviously happy, he says he needs to continue working. 

The passing game has been phenomenal thus far, with superstars Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin continuing their offensive domination as the strongest current tandem in the league.  Particularly Boldin, who hasn’t been happy as of late, has really stepped it up, catching 3 TDs last week against Miami (I wish he would have shared a bit since I have Fitz on a fantasy team!)  Additionally, Boldin’s 100+ yd game was the 22nd such accomplishment in his career, tying TE Jackie Smith for the most 100+yd games in franchise history.  He is also the first Cardinal since 7 December 1997 to have 3 TD catches since Rob Moore.

Finally, the Cardinals have scored 20+ points in 10 consecutive games, dating back to last season, which is currently the longest such streak in the league.

Well done guys!!

*   *   *

In order to mix things up a bit, Ken Whisenhunt used Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie as a wide receiver, and plans to mix up defensive players on offense a bit more.  Apparently Boldin offered to play safety, but Coach said they can’t get “too crazy” just yet.

Despite the 2 decisive wins, the team has 2 road games ahead, starting with Washington, who will likely present a greater challenge than either Miami or San Francisco had.

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(The one-two….three punch!)

(Source: azcardinals.com)


2-0!!!

What a game!  For the first time since 1991, the Cardinals have gone 2-0. 

Apparently Bill Parcells’ “new and improved” Dolphins still need improvement.  Kurt Warner had a field day against a non-existent Miami defense, with Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin combining for nearly 300 yds and 3 TDs by Boldin.  This is the first time since Noember 2006 that these receivers have combined for over 100 yds apiece in the same game.  Aditionally, this is Boldin’s 22nd game with over 100 yds…a franchise record.

Tim Hightower is the first Cardinals rookie to  rush for a TD in each of his first 2 games, and hopefully this streak will continue.

Next week the Cardinals travel to Washington to take on the 1-1 Redskins.

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Dolphins @ Cardinals, Week 2 Pre-Game Report

Last time these two teams met, in 2004, Josh McCown threw a 2-yd TD to Larry Fitzgerald to give the Cards a 24-23 win. Overall, Miami is 8-1 vs. Arizona, with 8 straight victories.  But this is not the Miami team of eras past.  Last season, they were the worst in the league at 1-15 when Bill Parcells took over and revamped the entire team.  But are they really any better?  After all, they have 1 victory in their past 20 games, and have lost 10 straight on the road.

Arizona forced 6 turnovers from San Francisco last week.  Pretty darn impressive, if you ask me.  Former Jet QB Chad Pennington tossed a couple of TDs, but threw a late INT to lose the game to the Jets and their new golden boy, Brett Favre. in the last minute.

Keep an eye on Arizona’s running game.  Edgerrin James had over 100 yds, but rookie Tim Hightower appears to “have a nose for the end zone.” Also, DE Travis La Boy hopes to add to his 2 sacks last week.

If Arizona wins, it will be the first time since 1996 that they have started the season 2-0.

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(Source: nfl.com)


Cardinals atop the division

Cardinals 23, 49ers 13

Yeah, I know it’s only week 1, but with losses by San Fran, Seattle, and St. Louis, the Cardinals have bragging rights, at least for this week.

The key stat for this game is turnovers. While San Fran committed 6, Arizona had none. Now add on the steady performance of Kurt Warner, who went 19/30 for 197 yds and a TD to Larry Fitzgerald, the solid running game by Edgerrin James (26 carries, 100 yds) and rookie Tim Hightower who scored his first NFL TD, and only 4 penalties and Ken Whisenhunt should be happy. Even Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston got in on the action for the offense, with Boldin the team’s leading receiver with 82 yds – all in the 2nd half – and Breaston’s 40-yd catch to set up Fitz’s TD.

Defensively, Adrian Wilson picked off J.T. O’Sullivan, while Darnell Dockett, Travis La Boy and Bertrand Berry forced fumbles, twice on the QB.

Kurt Warner extends his winning streak against the 49ers to 8-1.

Next week, Arizona hosts Bill Parcells “new and improved” Miami Dolphins.

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(Source: nfl.com)


Week 1 Pre-Game Report – Cardinals at 49ers

Perhaps the biggest obstacle facing the Cardinals on Sunday (aside from Matt Leinart’s temper tantrums) is how to defend against 49ers starting QB J.T. O’Sullivan.  Says NT Bryan Robinson, “It’s weird … but me personally?  It scares me.  You don’t know what the guy is capable of.” 

The Cardinals lost twice to San Fran last season, and the 49ers lead the all-time series 19-14. 

But Kurt Warner is 7-1 vs. them.

Of particular interest is how the battle for the #3 WR will go after the “defection” of Bryant Johnson to San Francisco.  Both Steve Breaston and Jerheme Urban have played well in the preseason behind Larry Fitzgerald and the recently-irked Anquan Boldin.  Additionally, after the release of Marcell Shipp, Edgerrin James’ backup, Tim Hightower, is likely to do some damage as well should he get some touches.  And I am eager to see how #1 draft pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie performs.

Interestingly, this is the third consecutive year where these two teams have met in the season opener.  It would be nice if Arizona can capitalize upon last year’s upswing and make it to the playoffs this year (their last postseason appearance was in 1998.)

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(Sources: azcardinals.com, nfl.com)


With a snip, snip here and a cut, cut there…

Among the “fatalities” leaving the Cardinals’ organization following the roster cuts from 75 to 53 were:  LB Brandon Moore, LB Matt Stewart, LB Joe Tafoya, WR Lance Long (who is eligible for the practice squad), C Pat Ross, RB Steve Baylark, RB Chris Vincent, OL Kelly Butler, OL Carlton Medder, OL Jasper Harvey, WR Jamaica Rector, TE Alex Shor, TE Brent Miller, QB Anthony Morelli, DB Michael Adams, DB DeMario Minter, DB Dennis Keyes, DB Travarous Bain, DL Jason Banks, DL Keilen Dykes, and LB Chris Harrington.

LB Eduardo Castaneda will be a ninth practice squad member.  In addition to Long, Morelli, Banks, Dykes, Harrington, Clifford, and Medder are also “prime practice squad candidates.”

(Source: azcardinals.com)


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