Cardinals vs. Giants – Arizona Fights To Stay in First in the NFC West

The Arizona Cardinals followed up their season opening win against the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football with a 25-14 win over the New York Giants, and have taken the lead in the tough NFC West.

The Cardinals earned their victory without starting quarterback Carson Palmer, who was scratched from the game due to a shoulder injury. Without Palmer in the lineup, the Cardinals turned to Drew Stanton to lead them to victory, and the 8th year veteran did his part to lead his team to victory.

Coming into the game, the Giants were 0-1, after dropping their season opener to the Detroit Lions, which meant they would come out more focused in this game because they don’t want to fall to 0-2 to start the season, because teams that do rarely recover in time to make the playoffs.

Instead of the Giants jumping to an early lead, it was the Cardinals that drew first blood, scoring on the opening drive of the game on a 1 yard run by Jonathan Dwyer. On the next possession, Sam Acho intercepted an Eli Manning pass meant for Victor Cruz, giving the ball back to their offense which took advantage of the turnover and scored 3 points on a 49 yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro.

In the second quarter the Cardinals offense stalled, and they were unable to score any points, and Eli Manning was able to find Rueben Randle for a 7 yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds left in the first half. The third quarter was just as uneventful for the Cardinals offense, which couldn’t score any points. The Giants on the other hand found the end zone again, when Eli Manning connected with Daniel Fells for a one yard touchdown.

Just like the week before against the San Diego Chargers, the Cardinals came alive in the fourth quarter, Chandler Catanzaro made a 37 yard field goal to make the score 14-13. On the next Giants possession, they were forced to punt the ball after a three and out, and Ted Ginn Jr. returned the punt 71 yards for a touchdown in what was probably the most exciting play of the game, making the score 19-14. The Cardinals attempted a two point conversion to make it a 7 point game, but failed.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Giants fumbled the kickoff return, and it was recovered by Robert Hughes for 25 yards, to the Giants 21, where the Cards added another field goal, after being unable to move the ball. It all went downhill for the Giants after that, on the next drive, Eli Manning drove the offense the length of the field to the Cardinals 17 yard line, but Rashad Jennings fumbled a pass that was recovered by the Cardinals.

With the score at 22-14, the Giants still had a chance to tie the game, but couldn’t get anything going on offense, and the Cardinals sealed it with a 33 yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro, who made four field goals on the day.

Drew Stanton played well enough for the Cardinals, especially for someone playing on short notice, but the Cardinals will be hoping for the return of Carson Palmer for their next game, which is against their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, who are coming off a tough loss to the Chicago Bears and won’t want to lose more ground to the Cardinals.

Cardinals vs. Chargers – Arizona Rallies In The 4th Quarter For The Win

The Cardinals entered the 2014 NFL season with hopes of making a deep playoff run, after surprising the league with their unexpected success last season. They kicked off the season against the Chargers who made a surprise comeback in the playoffs despite their record.

 

The first half of the game was a defensive slugfest, which was surprising, because the Chargers are better known for their offensive prowess than their defensive skills, but they managed to keep the Arizona offense from the end zone until the second quarter. The Cardinals defense, which was one of the best in the NFL last season, showed that they are still as dangerous as they were last year, despite losing players like Karlos Dansby in free agency, and the injuries they sustained in the offseason, by chasing Phillip Rivers around all night, and never giving him enough time to get in a rhythm.

 

The Cardinals broke the scoreless tie with a 22 yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro, with 12:42 left in the second quarter, the Chargers were able to respond with a field goal of their own a little over six minutes later, when Nick Novak hit a 36 yard field goal, after Jeremiah Attaochu blocked Drew Butler’s punt, and gave the Chargers the ball back at the Arizona 17 yard line.

 

The Cardinals returned the favor by intercepting a pass by Phillip Rivers that was meant for Eddie Royal, and managed to move the ball into field goal range for Chandler Catanzaro, who hit a 44 yard field goal to end the half, giving the Cardinals a 6-3 lead.

 

The third quarter was dominated by the Chargers, and it looked like they had the game under control. They scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the second half, when Phillip Rivers found Malcolm Floyd for a 16 yard touchdown pass, to cap an 80 yard drive. On the following possession, Carson Palmer was sacked by Jeremiah Attaochu, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Dwight Freeney at the Arizona 29.

 

The Chargers took advantage of the good field position, and Ryan Matthews added another touchdown for the Chargers on a 20 yard run, making the score 17-6 to end the quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals pulled within five points when Carson Palmer found Stefan Taylor in the end zone for a five yard touchdown with 12:30 left in the game. The Chargers couldn’t score on the next possession, giving the ball back to the Cardinals, who scored another touchdown when Carson Palmer connected with John Brown for a 13 yard score, which made the score 18-17, and gave them the lead for the first time since the first quarter.

 

The Chargers had one final possession to try and score a field goal or a touchdown, but they turned the ball over on downs, allowing the Cardinals to run out the clock and win the game.

 

Arizona played a very good game and have shown that they can keep up with good teams outside their conference, they will have a tough time in their next game against the San Francisco 49ers, but if they can maintain the same defensive intensity and execute better on offense, they should be able to win the game.

Preseason: Cardinals vs. Texans – Arizona Looking Impressive as They Shuts Out Houston

The Arizona Cardinals started their preseason slate with a match against the Houston Texans. The game as hardly a match to begin as the Cardinals took out the Texans 32-0.

Big Highlights

The main starters only played for the first few possessions. In the first five minutes of the match, Larry Fitzgerald got a seven-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer. Later in the first quarter, Jaron Brown caught a five-yard touchdown pass from Drew Stanton. This came not long after the Texans’ Ryan Fitzpatrick was intercepted by Antonio Cromartie. Chandler Cantanzaro had a field goal near the end of the quarter too.

The Texans got a first down at the end of the first quarter. The Cardinals kept on forcing punts as the Cards would take a 20-0 lead into the half off another Cantanzaro field goal. Marcus Bernard also intercepted a pass from Fitzpatrick late in the quarter.

No one scored in the third quarter as Logan Thomas played at quarterback for the Cards. Thomas did lead the team on a long drive that went into the fourth quarter but the team could only settle for a 25-yard field goal from Cantanzaro.

After a three-and-out for the Texans in the fourth quarter, Thomas led the Cardinals on a fourteen-play, nine-minute drive and got six first downs and converted a fourth down on a sneak. He soon got a 12-yard touchdown pass to D Buckner. In the end, Texans quarterback Tom Savage was sacked by Joseph Dickson in the end zone for a safety, thus giving the Cardinals a 32-0 lead. This was actually the second time Savage was sacked in that possession.

Top Players

The Cardinals’ passing game was strong as Palmer, Stanton and Thomas combined for 27-34 with 326 passing yards. Palmer completed all five passes in his short work while Thomas went 11-12. John Brown had five receptions for 87 yards. Frostee Rucker and Bryan McCann both had four tackles in the game. Cantanzaro was also perfect in kicking field goals and extra points as he is looking to try and take Jay Feely’s job.

In addition, the Cardinals were able to steer clear of Texans rookie star Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney only had one tackle although it was for a loss. Fitzpatrick also went 6-14 with only 55 passing yards to go with his two interceptions.

Injury Points

Michael Floyd, who is expected to be Palmer’s second option at receiving behind Fitzgerald, was not in the game for the Cardinals due to a groin injury and his status is still questionable. Ted Ginn Jr., Nate Potter, Max Starks and Jonathan Cooper have been held out of practice recently and their status for the next game is uncertain as well.

Previewing the Next Match

The Arizona Cardinals’ next preseason game will be on August 16 as they travel up to Minneapolis to take on the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings may be adjusting to playing outdoors after leaving the Metrodome for TCF Bank Stadium on University of Minnesota campus but the team will be in the midst of a strong quarterback battle between Matt Cassel, Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Ponder. The Cardinals can win if they get these three quarterbacks to crack under the increased pressure that they are in as it is unclear as to who could be the starter for the Vikings.

Things Look Good For The Cardinals As They Head To Training Camping

With the 2014 NFL season a little over a month away, NFL teams have started getting ready for the regular season, by starting their training camps. The Arizona Cardinals missed out on the playoffs despite winning 10 games last year, mostly because they play in the toughest division in the NFL, the NFC West, where the top two teams won 13 and 12 games respectively.

The Cardinals have spent their offseason acquiring players they feel will help them improve their standings in their division, and help them get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

Head coach Bruce Arians is proud of the way his team responded to his coaching style last year, and expects more from his team this year. The second year coach said he feels that the Cardinals are one of the top 10 teams in the league, but they play in a tough division, and have to win their division to give themselves a chance in the playoffs.

So far in training camp, the Cardinals have had to deal with some injury issues, and have had to have players like Andre Ellington and Antonio Cromartie sit out practice. This has given the coaches a chance to get a better look at some of their younger players who have been thrust into the first team practices due to injuries to projected starters.

According to reports, All Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson and the team are close to coming to terms on a long term deal that will make Peterson one of the highest paid defensive backs in the league, and keep him in Arizona for the next few years. Once the deal with Peterson is finalized, the team can focus on extending their other young players like Michael Floyd.

Michael Floyd has looked very good so far in training camp, and has made some spectacular catches during practice, including a touchdown over Patrick Peterson. The third year receiver had a breakout season last year, with over 1,000 yards receiving, if he continues to improve his game, teams will have a hard time covering him and Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Another standout during the first few days of training camp is Josh Brown, the Cardinals 3rd round pick in the 2014 Draft. The 5’11” rookie receiver has been turning heads with both his speed and play, which included an 82 yard touchdown reception.

Statistically, the Cardinals were the best defense against the run, and the 14th against the pass. They lost Karlos Dansby to the Cleveland Browns, but it’s likely not to affect them too much because the team feels Kevin Minter is ready to step into the role.

The Cardinals are very talented and deep in just about every position, and were one of the hottest teams towards the end of the season, which is why a lot of NFL analysts and Experts have them ranked as one of the 10 best teams in the league. If they can find a way to get past the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers in their division, they will be considered a Super Bowl favorite.

2014 Draft Day Recap

AZ Cardinals and Draft Day

 

Draft day was anxiously awaited by many football teams and fans alike, but it has now come and passed. Many new players coming out of college were picked up by professional football teams around the nation, and other professional NFL players were traded to different teams. Almost all of these drafted and traded players will be seen playing in the coming football season.

The Arizona Cardinals were able to trade Brandin Cooks for Deone Bucannon and the Saints’ third-round pick during the 2014 NFL Draft, to which they selected Josh Brown. The addition of these players has helped put the Arizona Cardinals in a better position to be successful for the coming football season.

Draft day wasn’t just a big day for the Arizona Cardinals. It was also an important day for many other NFL teams. This following infographic gives you a recap on what happened during the 2014 Draft. Continue reading to learn more about the other players and teams the Arizona Cardinals will face during the 2014-2015 football season.

 

 

2014 Draft Day Recap

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The AZ Cardinals New Line-Up for 2014

In order for a football team to make it far in the playoffs, a football team needs both a strong offensive and defensive line. This allows the football team to win more games by both scoring points and by preventing the other team from scoring. Although football season doesn’t start until fall, spring is the time of the year when the teams start gearing up for the coming season. Different football teams are scouting players and improving strategies in hopes of a winning season. The Arizona Cardinals are no different.
Arizona Cardinals fans can be secure in the knowledge that their preferred team is making changes for an improved season. For the 2014 fall season, the team is focusing on upgrading its offensive line and maintaining the same defensive line you saw last year. In order to make these goals a reality, the Arizona Cardinals have brought back strong players from last season and have also added some new players to the lineup. These new players are filling different starting positions and should help to increase the Arizona Cardinals defensive and offensive lines. If all goes as planned, the Arizona Cardinals strategy for the season includes making a third playoff appearance in the NFC West.

The AZ Cardinals New Line-Up for 2014

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Arizona Cardinals Opponents Set For 2014-15 NFL Season

The Arizona Cardinals emerged as one of the surprise teams of the NFL last year; they were the only team to defeat the Seattle Seahawks at home, and the first to do it in two years. They finished the season 10-6, but didn’t make it to the playoffs because the tough NFC West division. See what kind of surprises they can show you this year by buying your Cardinals tickets today.

The Cardinals will be trying to improve on their 2013 season and make the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The Cardinals have added a few new faces to their team, a couple of which are former Carolina Panther Ted Ginn Jr. and former New York Jet Antonio Cromartie. These players will add some depth to the Cardinals, and will be key players in their quest for a playoff spot. The Cardinals will also get 2013 standout rookie Tyrann Mathieu back from injury, making them one of the best defenses in the NFL.

The Cardinals have a tough road ahead of them in their quest to make the playoffs, because they still play in the toughest division, and will have to be able to beat the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, and the San Francisco 49ers to get in the playoffs. They will also have to play against teams from the AFC West, which had three teams in the playoffs last year.

The notable games on the Cardinals schedule are:

At home against the San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers prevented the Cardinals from making the playoffs by defeating them in the final regular season game, which was very close. The 49ers lost Donte Whitner, Carlos Rogers, and Terrell Brown in free agency, and haven’t made any significant moves so far in free agency. The Cardinals have a chance to get payback against their division rivals, and will need to win at least one game against their division rivals if they want to make the playoffs.

At home against the Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks will be trying to repeat as Super Bowl champions, and will also be looking for some payback, after the Cardinals defeated them at home. The Seahawks lost Chris Clemons, Golden Tate, Sydney Rice, and a few other key players from their championship team, but will still be a formidable team because of their depth. A win against the defending champions will give the Cardinals a lot of confidence, which is bad news for the rest of their opponents for the rest of the season.

At home against the Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles were another surprise team last season, with the emergence of quarterback Nick Foles, after starter Michael Vick went down due to injuries. The Eagles also defeated the Cardinals last year in Philadelphia, so the Cardinals will try to avenge the defeat. Philadelphia recently released their Pro Bowl wide receiver Desean Jackson, which means Foles will have a tough time against the Cardinals secondary unless their other receivers step up.

At Home against the Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs were a playoff team last year, and had the best defense before they were riddled with injuries, which led to their late season slump. With all their injured players expected to be back before the start of the season, fans should expect a defensive matchup when these two teams meet.

At home against the San Diego Chargers: The Chargers were another surprise team last season, mostly because of the sensational play of quarterback Phillip Rivers. The Chargers are going to be an improved team, and will be a good test against the Cardinals. The Cardinals don’t have too many games against bad teams, so they need to win a game like this against a team that has a defense as questionable as the Chargers.

On the road against the Denver Broncos: As previously mentioned, the Cardinals have a tough road to the playoffs, if they can get a win against Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Denver who added DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib in the offseason, it will send a message to the rest of the league that the Cardinals are a team to be reckoned with.

While the Cardinals do have games against the Raiders, Redskins, Cowboys, and Giants, they have to be wary of those teams, especially the Giants and Redskins, because they have enough talent to be playoff teams this season.

Here is a list of the teams the Arizona Cardinals will play this season.

Home Games: Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins.

Away Games: Atlanta Falcons, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams.

A Bright Future For The Arizona Cardinals In The 2014-15 Season

Although the Arizona Cardinals failed to reach the playoffs this past year, the 10-6 record that they held in a very competitive NFC West division is certainly a positive sign. While it’s the first above-.500 record that the Cardinals have had in the last few years, it is still something that the Cardinals could potentially improve upon if they make the right moves heading into the offseason.

The biggest concern for the Cardinals comes from hardly any cap space to deal with. The Cardinals have about $6 million in salary cap space as Calais Campbell and Carson Palmer are both making at least $11 million. Therefore, there is a need to take a careful look at what’s going on with the Cardinals from a salary standpoint.

There will be a need to consider the free agents that the Cardinals could consider. Running back Rashard Mendenhall is the biggest free agent on the Cardinals’ roster that could be at risk of heading out. Mendenhall split the rushing duties with Andre Ellington for much of the season, getting 687 yards and eight touchdowns.

Mendenhall’s totals are close to half of what he was getting when he was starting for the Pittsburgh Steelers a few years ago but at the same time he and Ellington have combined for more than 1,300 rushing yards this season. Keeping him on board to continue running a two-back system that has proven to be effective could be important to the Cardinals.

Kicker Jay Feely is also going to be a free agent and will need to be retained by the Cardinals this offseason. Feely went 30-36 in field goals this year and even at 37 years of age is still proficient with 127 points scored last year.

One big consideration to figure out involves what to do for the draft. It may be best for the Cardinals to go after a linebacker with the 20th pick in the 2014 draft. With an increasing likelihood that Karlos Dansby may walk and Daryl Washington being in significant injury trouble while also dealing with legal issues, it may be best to go after a top-line linebacker.

Alabama’s C.J. Mosley or Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier should be open when the Cardinals make their first round pick so it may be best to go after one of them to create some security at the linebacker position. This is especially the protect the team in the event that any existing players might potentially go down with an injury again like with Washington during a good portion of the past season.

A quality tackle should be gathered this offseason as Eric Winston is a free agent and is heavily expected to head out due to his expense. The Kansas City Chiefs’ Branden Albert would be an ideal pickup at this point.

Finally, an effective third wide receiver could be useful to go alongside Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd. Darrius Heyward-Bey is a free agent who is expected to go for around $3 million this coming offseason so it may be ideal to go after him. He has experienced a good resurgence in his career while playing with the Indianapolis Colts. The Cardinals should prepare to go after a slightly higher total in order to lure him away from Andrew Luck.

Cardinals vs Chargers – Arizona Will Have To Play Better Before Regular Season Starts

The Cardinals lost their first preseason game 24-7 to the Chargers at home. In a game where most of the starters played for a good amount of time, they just could not get anything going on offense. I know if the regular season starts off like this game, they will have a hard time selling out of Cardinals tickets.

Right at the start, this game was going to be bad for Arizona. Darrell Stuckey blocked the first  punt attempt, thus bringing the ball within field goal range. Luckily, Nick Novak missed the 51-yard field goal attempt. Not long after that, the Chargers went on a 85-yard touchdown drive. Mathews had four strong runs in this drive including a one-yard run that resulted in the touchdown.

The second quarter included the Chargers continuing to shut down the Cardinals’ offense. The Chargers even blocked a 26-yard field goal attempt by Dan Carpenter. However, Philip Rivers was not doing very well throughout the quarter. Rivers struggled to get any extended passes out and even threw an interception to Jasper Brinkley that included a quick lateral to Patrick Peterson. The end of the quarter had an unusual turn of events as Mathews fumbled the ball at Arizona’s goal line and Arizona’s Rashad Johnson recovered it. However, he fumbled himself right away and the Chargers’ John Phillips grabbed it for the touchdown.

The Cardinals scored their only points early in the third when Carson Palmer threw a touchdown to Malcolm Floyd. On the following possession for the Chargers, Charlie Whitehurst had a 57-yard pass and some success in the shotgun while Fozzy Whittaker got a touchdown run. Whitehurst spent much of the third quarter in the shotgun position. Novak also got a 50-yard field goal in the quarter.

The fourth quarter was essentially a time for the teams to just run the clock down and to test assorted players. Thomas Keiser sacked Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton for a 22-yard loss at one point. In fact, Stanton was sacked three times in the game with 2.5 going to Keiser

The final preseason match for the Cardinals will be on Thursday Aug 29th against the Denver Broncos in a game that will finalize the rosters for the upcoming season. I hope that they were able to obtain some good information during these 4 preseason games. I am looking forward to using my Cardinals tickets this season.

Cardinals vs. 49ers

The Arizona Cardinals lost an important AFC West division game on Monday night, October 29, 2012. The 24-3 loss allowed the 49ers to take a two game lead at the top of the division with a 6-2 record while the Cardinals fell to 4-4. The 49ers balanced their ground game with consistent passing from QB Alex Smith, who completed 18 of 19 passes for 232 yards, throwing three touchdowns. Make sure to catch all the football action by buying your tickets today on 49ertickets.org.

In the first quarter the 49ers opened the scoring on their first drive that featured Frank Gore on the ground for 5 and 17 yard gains as well as a catch for 11 yards. Kendall Hunter helped with runs of 9 and 7 yards along with Smith passes to Mario Manningham for 10 yards and Delanie Walker for 23 yards. Michael Crabtree caught a short touchdown pass and the 49ers were up 7-0. Except for one play, the Cardinals were unable to move the ball in the quarter, held to one first down in which QB John Skelton completed a short pass to LaRod Stephens-Howling, who gained 24 yards on the play.

After Smith hit Crabtree for 22 yards to the Arizona 25 to set up a 4th and 1, David Akers kicked a 43 yard field goal in the second quarter, padding their lead 10-0. On the next series the Cardinals once again failed to move the ball after three downs and punted the ball. The 49ers then went to work on a scoring drive, mostly in the air. Smith mixed up the passing, hitting Manningham a few times, Crabtree, Walker for 15 yards and Vernon Davis for 25 yards. The drive climaxed with a 9 yard touchdown pass from Smith to Crabtree, giving the 49ers a 17-0 lead. The Cardinals were able to gain a few more first downs before the half expired, but on 4th and 8 near mid-field, Skelton threw an interception to Chris Culliver.

The Cardinals picked up a few more first downs on their opening drive of the third quarter but were still unable to score, so they punted. The 49ers scored on their next possession thanks to a big touchdown pass from Smith to Randy Moss for 47 yards, extending the lead 24-0. It was the only time all night that Smith threw to Moss. On the next series the Cardinals finally put a Jay Feely field goal on the board after 14 plays near the end of the quarter. The Cardinals manufactured a steady drive with 5 first downs, advancing to the San Francisco 10. They elected to go for a field goal on 4th and 2, ending the shutout 24-3.

The final quarter produced no points, as three Arizona possessions proved to be unproductive. Arizona, did however, get to the 49er 7 yard line inside the two minute warning but four shotgun passes led to the Cardinals getting stopped at the 1, as the 49ers ended the game with a three touchdown lead. The Arizona Cardinals will really need to step up their game if they want to try and catch this team for the division lead.