Playing with the big boys now – Week 12 Pre Game Report

Giants (9-1) @ Cardinals (7-3)

I’m going to forego the NFL Network-type analysis for a good-ole highly opinionated blog.  I don’t care if the Giants have only lost one game.  I don’t care that the Giants “shredded” the Ravens’ defense last week.  And I really don’t care about Eli Manning.  What I do care about is that the Cardinals are home, that Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin are having pro-bowl seasons, and that I believe they think they will win. 

That said, NY RB Brandon Jacobs’ MRI was negative, but the bruising back will likely rest on Sunday (making me scramble to find backup RBs in all 3 of my fantasy leagues), but with Bradshaw and Ward, Jacobs’ absence shouldn’t be traumatizing.  The Cards have a very good run defense, so that should be an interesting matchup.

For Arizona, J.J. Arrington has complemented Tim Hightower in the backfield, so the Cardinals have a rushing attack as well.   The defense has been forcing turnovers virtually every week, and Neil Rackers and the special teams have been awesome!  Coupled with the prowess of the passing game, I would not be surprised to see Arizona win. 

I just hope it’s a good game.  So many of these alleged great matchups this season have been rather uneventful.

GO CARDS!!


Whew, I was worried they were going to blow that one…

Cardinals 26, Seahawks 20

The Cardinals are a veritable lock to clinch the division…already.  Very nice.

Kurt Warner had another fab game today (32/44, 395 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT) as did Anquan Boldin (13 rec. for 186 yds), Larry Fitzgerald (10 rec. for 151 yds), and J. J. Arrington with 2 TDs.  This is Warner’s 18th consecutive game with a TD which is one short of Neil Lomax’s record, and illustrates why Warner is now the league’s top rated QB (especially after Philip Rivers of the Chargers had back to back subpar games.)

Which leaves me to ask angrily, “What happened to Tim Hightower??!”  I started him in fantasy play over Denver’s Peyton Hillis who had a ginormous day; therefore, I’m quite perturbed right now.

The DST was, again, great…with 2 sacks and 4 turnovers, particularly Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie’s lead-preserving INT with 2 minutes left in the game.

Next week will be a GOOD game…the Cards (now 7-3) host the (9-1) NY Giants who decimated the Baltimore Ravens’ defense. 


Week 11 Pre-Game Report – Cardinals (6-3) @ Seahawks (2-7)

Last time these teams met (week 14 last season), Matt Hasselbeck had a fabulous day with 272 yds and 4 TDs as Seattle beat Arizona 42-21.  But that was last year.  Hasselbeck is coming off a back injury and Kurt Warner is having a Pro Bowl/MVP season, while the Cardinals lead the league in points per game (29.2).

Anquan Boldin leads the league in TD receptions, with at least one in each of his past 6 games (a franchise record.) While I hope the Cards do win, my opponent in one fantasy league has Boldin, so while I’ll hope for a continuation of his current record, I hope he does limit his scoring to just 1 TD.

My only concern is the Cardinals’ difficulties on the road and the proliferation of penalties they have amassed this season.  If they play a clean game and the offense continues to exhibit its dominance, then this game shouldn’t be a problem.


The Penalty Bowl – Week 10 Post Game Report

Cardinals 29, 49ers 24

Holy cow, 20 penalties during this game….unbelievable.  This might be expected if the Broncos were playing the Raiders, but the Cards??

What a game, though, eh?!?  Most MNF games lately have been quite boring, but this was a definite nail biter!

First of all, I want to shout out a big THANKS to Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald (another TD), Steve Breaston (121 yds!!), Neil Rackers (11 points!), and the Cardinals DST for giving me the win in 2 fantasy leagues this week!  I did start Tim Hightower as well, assuming he would have a great night, but he only managed 50 yds.

Not to downplay Anquan Boldin, however, who, as always, was phenomenal, but I couldn’t draft him in any of my leagues this year.  Q continues to lead the league in TDs and TDs in the red zone…even with missing 2 games after his injuries earlier this season.  He had 2 more tonight…his 3rd multi TD game this season.

The Cardinals now have a 4 game lead in the division, and are a veritable lock for clinching the NFC West.  Kurt Warner is also on pace for possible MVP status, adding to his impressive numbers (32/42, 328 yds, and 3 TDs.)  In fact, Warner has thrown for 300+ yds/game for 45% of his career games….impressive.  The crowd was chanting “MVP MVP MVP” throughout the game as well.

The defense was outstanding themselves, despite giving up quite a few yards and scores; however, 2 INTs (Dansby, Wilson) and a tremendous goal-line stance at the end of the game to preserve the win.  Actually, there were 2 more INTs which were negated by penalties.  Definitely too many penalties.

So, is anyone else thoroughly annoyed by Mike Singletary?  I swear, he has a problem every play and the camera has to cut to him complaining to a referee or yelling at a player, or, even funnier, yelling at Mike Martz (who, I’m thinking might end up getting himself fired for disagreeing with Singletary.)  It was annoying, nonetheless.

Anyhow, the Cards go to Seattle (2-7) next week where Matt Hasselbeck will return following his back injury.  Arizona is not the greatest on the road, so let’s hope this win stimulated them a bit more for the road.

boldin.jpg  Arizona’s ONE…

breaston.jpg   TWO…

 fitz.jpg   THREE punch!!


Another reason to love Hightower

Whilst watching NFL Total Access this evening, Michael Fabiano divulged that Tim Hightower was his number 1 fantasy sleeper this week vs. the 49ers.  As I was contemplating starting NY’s Brandon Jacobs instead of Hightower (along with ATL’s Michael Turner – which is a no-brainer), I have since come to my senses and will be starting Hightower in the 2 leagues where I own him.

Just thought all you fantasy folks might like to know.  Other Fabiano sleepers (in no particular order because I wasn’t paying that close of attention) were ATL’s Matt Ryan, MIA’s Greg Camarillo, CAR’s DeAngelo Williams, NO’s Deuce McAllister, STL’s Donnie Avery, NYG’s Kevin Boss, PIT’s Mewelde Moore, JAX’s Matt Jones, and I can’t remember the last one (but will likely do so as soon as I post this entry.)


Cards seek to remain atop the NFC West – Week 10 Pre Game Report

The red hot (5-3) division-leading Cardinals host the troubled (2-6) 49ers Monday night, hoping to extend their lead in the division.  The last time these teams met, week 1 this season, Arizona won 23-13 on Kurt Warner’s 197-yd, 1 TD performance while Edgerrin James rushed for 100 yds.  But the Cardinals’ offense has exploded since week 1.  Last week Warner threw for 342 yds and 2 TDs vs. the Rams.  Currently, Warner is having a Pro Bowl season, with 16 TDs, 6 INTs, 2,431 yds and an impressive 104.2 rating which leads the NFC while in 2nd in the league behind San Diego’s Philip Rivers (107.8 rating.)

The rest of Arizona’s offense has been tremendous as well.  Anquan Boldin didn’t seem to miss a step during his short absence following his injury vs. the Jets and Steve Breaston and Jerheme Urban stepped right in and were both quite productive.  Larry Fitzgerald is always a stud, and rookie Tim Hightower’s 1st start last week amassed him an impressive 109 yds and a TD.  Arizona leads the NFL in scoring, with 29.3 points per game and an average of 34 at home.  Additionally, the Cardinals are 5-0 at University of Phoenix Stadium this season, and 9-2 since Ken Whisenhunt took over.

With new San Fran coach Mike Singletary’s dramatic benching of J.T. O’Smelling-Salts, er Sullivan, QB Shaun Hill makes the start with a 2-0 record.  Additionally, Frank Gore typically runs well vs. the Cards; scoring at least 1 TD in their last 5 meetings.  But the Cardinal defense has been hot hot hot, like the desert itself.

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(Love the Medusa-esque hair!)

(Source: nfl.com)


Still in 1st Place (and already nearly a lock for the division title) – Week 9 Post Game Report

Cardinals 34, Rams 13

Well, it appears the upstart Rams have stalled much like earlier in the year, thanks to stellar performances by Tim Hightower, Kurt Warner, Jerheme Urban, Anquan Boldin, and the DST.

Hightower, starting in place of Edgerrin James managed 22 carries for 109 yds and a TD, and I was very warmed to see James on the sidelines giving teammate Hightower his props everytime he came out of the game.  There are not a lot of teams wherein that occurs.

Warner was hot again (23/34, 342 yds, 2 TDs), leading the announcers to speculate if he will, in fact, retire after the season, as he is undoubtedly enjoying his current 15-games-with-a-TD-pass streak and likely Pro Bowl season.  Boldin added another TD to his stats on 6 catches for 85 yds.  Larry Fitzgerald did not score this week, but snagged 87 yds himself on 6 receptions. Urban managed only one catch today; however, it was an amazing 56-yd TD grab.

And cheers to the DST!!  They earned me an impressive 24 fantasy points with 2 INTs (Rolle and Hood, including Rolle’s 40-yd TD), 2 forced fumbles (Wilson and Watson), and 2 sacks (Wilson and Dockett.)  Thanks guys! 

The Cards are now an impressive 5-3 and host the (2-6) 49ers next week. 

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(Tim Hightower)

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(Antrel Rolle)


Week 9 Pre-Game Report, Cardinals (4-3) @ Rams (2-5)

Coming off a tough loss last week to Carolina, the Cards look to rebound vs. the newly-resurgent Rams (and Kurt Warner’s former team) at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

The Cardinals had a good game last week.  Edgerrin James’ fumble was, frankly, the turning point.  Therefore, one wonders if Tim Hightower will get more carries in addition to his goal-line TD prowess.  As I have him on 2 fantasy teams, I can offer my emphatic, “YES!  Give HIM the ball more!!”

It is safe to say that Anquan Boldin is back, and that Steve Breaston has cemented himself as the #3 WR behind Q and Fitz.  With the Rams 3rd from last vs. the pass, expect the passing game to continue to be stellar.

From a defensive standpoint, Adrian Wilson has intercepted the ball in his last 2 games against the Rams, but Marc Bulger has the newly-healthy Donnie Avery making some huge plays as well as Torry Holt, who has 5 TDs in his past 6 games vs. Arizona.  Another consideration:  Steven Jackson.  St. Louis is an impressive 10-4 when Jackson rushes for 100+ yds.

Arizona has won 3 of the past 4 games.

warner.jpg

(Possible MVP candidate??  He’s having a great year!)


So Freaking Close

Cardinals 24, Panthers 27

Let me first say that Anquan Boldin is a maniac!! Wow, 1st game back after a serious facial injury/surgery and he caught 9 balls for 63 yds and 2 big TDs. But alas, as has been the case with the Cardinals this season, they can’t seem to close the deal on the road. 

Kurt Warner had another fabulous day, 35-of-49, 381 yds, 2 TDs, 1 INT, but was just shy of getting the win due to Carolina’s final drive which consumed the final 6 minutes of the game, not allowing Arizona’s offense a chance.  Edgerrin James’ fumble didn’t help the Cards’ efforts either.

Tim Hightower continued his impressive rookie year with another TD.  No scores for Larry Fitzgerald, but he did have another 100+ yd game (115).  It was nice to see Steve Breaston continuing his admirable season even with Boldin’s return with 91 yds.

The D forced 2 fumbles, including a hat trick by Karlos Dansby (sack, forced fumble, recovered fumble).

The Cardinals remain atop the division despite dropping to 4-3.  Next week they travel to the newly-hot Rams for a division rivalry.  Hopefully their road-loss streak will end.

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(He’s baaaaaaaaaack!!!)


Week 8 Pre Game Report – Cardinals (4-2) at Panthers (5-2)

Coming of a much-needed bye week, the Cards travel to Carolina to meet the Panthers, with Arizona atop the NFC West and Carolina tied with Tampa Bay atop the NFC South.

First of all, I am sick about hearing how wonderful Carolina’s one-two-punch running game is with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.  Granted, they are great; however, where is there talk of the tandem of Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower? Again, everywhere I turn it’s Jake Delhomme this and Steve Smith that, but what about Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston and Anquan Boldin (who is supposed to return Sunday)?

With respect to special teams, Carolina has not scored once all season, while Arizona had 2 special teams TDs 2 weeks ago vs. Dallas.  Yes kids, the Dallas Cowboys, an early season favorite to go to the Super Bowl (but quickly falling apart).  The game began with a kickoff return by J.J. Arrington for a TD and ended with a blocked punt by Sean Morey which was recovered by Monty Beisel in the endzone for the historic win. The Cardinals’ defensive line has been great this year as well, and will, hopefully, be able to disrupt the Panthers’ run offense.

While the Cards are undefeated at home this season thus far, they have lost their past 2 road games, being outscored 80-52. 

Carolina has won the past 4 meeting vs. Arizona and leads the series 5-2.  The Cardinals are 5-0 when Warner doesn’t commit a turnover.  As long as the offensive line can protect Warner’s blind side from Julius Peppers (who has 4.5 sacks vs. Arizona), then the Cards might just upset the Panthers for the win.

az-logo.jpg

(Source: nfl.com)


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