Yet another ugly performance by Arizona on the east coast

Cardinals 7, Patriots 47

Good thing the Cardinals already won their division – at this rate they will be 8-8 and not looking too great for the playoffs.

I’m not going to rehash this ugly mess; however, wtg Larry Fitzgerald for another 100-yd game and another TD (courtesy of Matt Leinart, who also lost 2 fumbles and threw a pick.)

The Cards’ DST was atrocious, earning me ZERO points in my fantasy playoff game.  Oh, wait, my mistake.  I got ONE point.  Thanks.

Next week, Arizona hosts Seattle.


Week 16 Pre Game Report – Egads, not the east coast again!!!

On Sunday, the Cardinals travel to New England to meet the (9-5) Patriots who are struggling for a playoff spot in the very tight AFC East.  Currently, the Pats, the Jets, and the Dolphins are all tied atop the division. While Arizona has already clinched the NFC West, they are looking to improve their seeding, but failed miserably last week at home vs. Minnesota.

New England has won the last 4 meetings vs. the Cardinals.

Of note, Steve Breaston needs only 91 more yards to join teammates Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald with 1,000+ yd season this year.  If he makes it, Arizona would be only the 5th team in history to have (3) 1000+yd receivers in a single year.

But of course, New England – who is 22-2 in December since 2003 has a group of now-healthy RBs who ran all over Oakland last week. 

As long as the “good” Cardinals’ defense shows up (you know, the one that played against Dallas) and if Warner doesn’t toss any INTs, Arizona has a great chance of beating the Patriots and (hopefully, for us Patsie haters) keep New England out of the playoffs!


Pro Bowl Rosters Released – 5 Cardinals!!

Congratulations to Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, Adrian Wilson, and Sean Morey – all named starters for the 2009 Pro Bowl.

You can read the complete rosters here.


That was ugly. Week 15 Post Game Report

Cardinals 14, Vikings, 35

I’m sure getting behind 21-0 in the first quarter sealed the fate for the Cardinals today.  Against a decent Minnesota rush defense, they were even more dependant upon throwing the ball, which was subpar.  Unfortunately, Kurt Warner was banged up and very off today, and Larry Fitzgerald was nowhere to be found today (the two combined to lose me my fantasy playoff game where I was seeded #1, GRR). 

Anyway, while the Cards have secured their division title and playoff win, they do need to find themselves again and soon not only to improve their seeding, but to gain back the confidence they seem to have lost lately.

Next week:  at the New England Patriots who annihilated the Raiders today.


Week 15 Pre Game Report – Vikings (8-5) at Cardinals (8-5)

The Cardinals, fresh off their division-clinching victory against the Rams last week host the playoff-hopeful Vikings on Sunday.

Minnesota has historically had a decent run defense, which shouldn’t be a problem for the Cardinals’ offense and the “Warner Machine” (name courtesy of nfl.com).  The offense has put up 28.6 points per game this season, and Kurt Warner is looking for his 22nd consecutive game with a TD pass.  As long as the offensive line can keep tabs on Jared Allen and prevent the sack, Warner should, again, have phenomenal numbers against the league’s 20th-ranked passing defense.

The Cardinals’ pass offense isn’t really much better (ranked 19th in the league), but, especially at home, they find ways to make big plays.  At this time, it is uncertain whether Gus Frerotte or Tavaris Jackson will get the start at QB, but I believe the Cardinals defense will step it up regardless.  From a rushing standpoint, Adrian Peterson has averaged 120.1 rushing yards per game; however, Arizona’s D has been pretty consistent not allowing a proliferation of yards.  On the other side of the ball, rookie Tim Hightower’s 10 TDs leads all rookies, but, as previously mentioned, the Vikings have a decent rush defense.

Should Minnesota win, they will maintain a one-game lead over the Chicago Bears in the NFC North.  Arizona is looking to improve its seeding in the playoff race.

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(The Warner Machine)

(source: nfl.com)


CLINCH!

Cardinals 34, Rams 10

Wow, that word hasn’t been uttered since 1975 – the last time the Cardinals clinched their division.  In fact, they haven’t even been to the playoffs since 1998.  But after today’s explosive performance – on both sides of the ball – the Arizona Cardinals are officially the NFC West Division CHAMPS!  Congrats guys!

I’d have to give a game ball to the defense today, forcing 3 turnovers (2 FF by Gerald Hayes and an INT by rookie-stud Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie who, incidentally, ran it back 100 yds for the score!) and 2 defensive TDs (Rodgers-Cromartie’s and Darnell Dockett’s 11-yd fumble recovery TD.)

The Cards weren’t as stellar on offense, with Kurt Warner’s 24/33, 279 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT.  He did surpass 4,000 yards today, something he hasn’t done since 2001, as well as setting a franchise record for completions with 347, breaking Neil Lomax’s previous mark of 345, set in 1984 (MVP anyone?!?)  Larry Fitzgerald caught the only TD on only 73 yds, and Tim Hightower’s ran one in as well.  Rounding out the top offensive players are Steve Breaston (7 rec. for 90 yds) and Anquan Boldin (5 rec. for 62 yds.)  But it was enough, and that’s all that matters. 

Next week, the Cards will host the (also 8-5) Minnesota Vikings, who are playing for their playoff lives in a close battle in the NFC North.

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(Yet another awesome picture by Donald Miralle, Getty Images – check out his photos, they are incredible!)

(Source: nfl.com)


How bad do they want it?

The Cardinals have been able to “officially” clinch the NFC West for 2 weeks now; however, it does not seem that they really want to do that yet.  It’s easy….WIN a game. Relying upon San Francisco losing is a pathetic way to win a division title, especially since the 49ers aren’t laying down and playing dead, beating Buffalo in Buffalo Sunday.

Also, relying on playing at home doesn’t work either.  Understandably, the Cardinals have a horrid road record and can’t seem to win on the east coast; but that’s no reason to play like they can’t win, for the fact of the matter is they CAN win.  Same with the NY Giants.  It appeared to be a “Oh no, here’s the defending Super Bowl champs.  We can’t beat them, so we won’t play like we can.”  On any given Sunday, any team can win (except Detroit, lol); however, it all boils down to attitude.

The Jets beat the unbeaten Titans.  The very inconsistent-with-no-defense Broncos beat the Jets.  Come on Cardinals.  You are going to the playoffs for the first time in a decade.  PLAY like a winning team.


YUCK!

What is up with Thanksgiving Day games this year?  All 3 were horribly one-sided.  Although one would expect that with Detroit and Seattle, I was looking forward to a really exciting night game vs. Philly.

Then I remembered that it was on the east coast…where NO west coast team (including Arizona) can win this year for some unknown cosmic reason.

So, at the last minute, I sat Denver RB Peyton Hillis and started Tim Hightower instead in one of my fantasy leagues because I had a “feeling.”  Apparently it was a mild case of tryptophan poisoning brought on from turkey overload.  I truly had no clue; however, when I looked it up on WebMd, it said (in very tiny print…you have to look closely) “In case of excess tryptophan consumption, do not operate heavy machinery or set fantasy football lineups.”  And I consider myself usually quite informed.  Oh well.  The Eagles held the Cardinals to a measley 25 yds on the ground.

Had Kurt Warner NOT tossed those early 2 INTs, the game might have turned out differently.  Oh, and had the defense shown up, then perhaps the outcome would have been different as well.  Warner failed to convert his 6th consecutive 300+ yd. game to tie his own record, falling short by 65 yds.  He did toss 3 TDs though, 2 to Larry Fitzgerald (thanks for the fantasy points Fitz!) and one to Steve Breaston.  Anquan Boldin was a bit “off” tonight, dropping a few passes including a sure TD, not to mention fumbling on the 10-yd line when the Cards were only down by 14 in the 3rd quarter.

Arizona did manage to extend their streak of consecutive 20+ point games to 9, the longest active streak in the league.

After a nice long week, the Cardinals will host the Rams.  Should the 49ers lose in Buffalo Sunday, Arizona will clinch the NFC West. 

fitz-justin-case-conder-sharpshot.jpg  TD!!


How appropriate…

…The CARDINALS and the EAGLES on Thanksgiving.  (Well, I was mildly humored.)

Anyway, as I will be out of town (in San Diego at the Chargers/Falcons game)….

…In honor of Thanksgiving and the Cardinals…

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This was funny too…

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Have a safe and happy holiday everyone!!  Go Cardinals!!!


Disappointment, thy name is Cardinals

Cardinals 29, Giants 37

Yeah, 29…odd score….botched PAT.  However, Neil Rackers managed a very respectable 11 points and an interesting 67-yd attempt free kick (unusual…and failed.)

Dang, where to start.  Despite being home, Kurt Warner looked off.  he just didn’t have his usual pocket presence and uber-commanding zing on the ball (perhaps the Giants’ D breathing down his neck didn’t help.)  He did manage to throw for 300+ yards for the 5th consecutive game; however, this was his 2nd consecutive game without multiple TDs (and he did toss an unfortunate INT.)  While the offense had moments of pseudo-brilliance, they were not sustained for very long.  Anquan Boldin snagged another TD and Larry Fitzgerald broke the 1,000-yard mark today as well. Steve Breaston showed why he’s the #3 guy and Tim Hightower reclaimed his worthiness as the starter.  J.J. Arrington had some clutch carries/catches as well, cementing him a place on the team for a while and a force to be reckoned with.

This was Arizona’s first loss at home this year, but at least it wasn’t against some pathetic team like Detroit or Cincinnati.  At least their loss was to the defending Super Bowl Champs, and, according to far too many analysts, the best team in the NFC.  (But really, what do those analysts know?  I’m certainly NOT basing my fantasy picks on their drivel anymore this season.)

The DST had some problems themselves, particularly on special teams.  What was up with Domenik Hixson and his ridiculous 201 return yards?  It was nice to see Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie step up and have a fab day, though, proving why he was a vital draft selection. 

At any rate, Arizona will still likely clinch the division, especially since Dallas beat the 49ers (and face it, the Cards are a much better team than San Fran.)  Next week – Thursday, actually – the Cards will be in Philadelphia and Donovan McNabb may still be benched.  Unfortunately, it is another dreaded road game in an eastern time zone where I found out today that all of the west coast teams (Seattle, Arizona, Oakland, San Fran, San Diego, and Oakland) are a collective 0-15.)  How cheery.  Maybe McNabb will start and the game will go into OT.

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