Talk pro football with SI.com's Andrew Perloff in Huddle Up, a forum to discuss the hottest topics around the NFL.
10/17/2006 09:51:00 AM
Cardinals' loss will bring change in desert
Matt Leinart walks off the field after the Cardinals' 24-23 loss to the Bears on Monday night. The Cardinals had a 20-0 lead in the third quarter.
Take heart Cardinals fans. Last night's collapse against Bears is the best thing that could have happened to your franchise.
Look at the Giants after the Miracle at the Meadowlands. Their disastrous loss to the Eagles in 1978 forced the Giants to completely rehaul their front office. They even reached out to Pete Rozelle and the NFL for advice on hiring a general manager. As a result, they hired George Young, who brought in Bill Parcells and built a Super Bowl team.
The Cardinals also have to ask for help. They need to tear down and start from scratch. Dennis Green isn't a bad coach, but he's not winning anything in Arizona. Neither is vice president of football operations Rod Graves. They'd be smart to secretly ask the NFL to put together a hiring committee for their next coach and general manager.
On a more positive note, Arizona hit the lottery with Matt Leinart. There's no way the former USC quarterback should have lasted until the No. 10 pick. Leinart reads the field like a veteran and he's put to rest any questions about his arm strength.
Now, the Cardinals need to take a little time and build an offensive line. And no more spending absurd money on talent positions - with the exception of quarterback. You don't build a running game over night by signing a free-agent running back like Edgerrin James. A strong rushing game is the result of the line and the system, not the back.
I see Leinart leading the Cardinals to the playoffs in the future. I don't see Edge or Green by his side. I think it's more likely Parcells makes his final coaching stop in the desert and leads Arizona to the promised land. He did the trick for the Giants after the Miracle at the Meadowlands.
Let me know if you think there will be ramifications from last night's Cardinals-Bears game.
We are just sick, heartbroken, and dumbfounded by this loss. The "Edge" who wnated the ball more got it!!! Then LOST IT!!! Green did not take one snap, fumble one ball, or miss tackles on a punt return, this loss cannot be laid on Denny's head. However, I think you are ultimately right, the continued losses will surely have a negative effect on his employment. The Cards to a man played well enough to win, the fact that they seem to be able to snatch "DEFEAT" from the jaws of "VICTORY" continues to be their saga as the worst NFL Franchise. I feel for them and all the Cardinal Fans.
You're right. Amazingly everyone wants to blame the loss on Rackers... but it is really the offensive lines fault. This is one of the worst offensive lines i've seen in a while... Edgerrin could have easily broke a few long runs with at least a decent line. also, I shouldn't absolve the Edge from his responsibility. That fumble had choke written all over it. But I agree. Arizona needs to get at least a couple of decent lineman before they can threaten anyone.
There is no doubt that there will be huge changes in Phoenix this offseason. Dennis Green has proven that just like in Minnesota that he has poor game management skills. He'll try to run the clock out in the fourth quarter with one dive run after another when he should be trying to score and put the game away. I agree that Leinart is a keeper but the rest of the franchise needs a major overhaul. And a change in ownership would be a great start, but that's one thing that only Bidwill himself can control. But hey, they have a great stadium!
Listen everyone is acting the Cards were a great team and Denny is a bad coach. Denny is the best thing that could have happen to the cards. This team is a young team and needs experience together. Remember everyone was saying they had no chance against the Bears because they were not a good team. Pitt didn't fire Cowher, stop acting like Parcells and all these other coaches have been doing so great, remember he is supposed to be a genius.
this cardinal team reminds me of the pats teams of the mid 90's. talent galore, tons of tough losses, but hope for the future. the talent is there and the defense showed last night they are getting better. they just need some tastes of success, and that is where a winner like Leinart will pay off. D-Green shoul dhave realized the running game was not working and tried to kill the clock with short passes to Boldin and Johnson. It stinks right now, but cards fans should look at last night as a painful lesson, but one that will make them stronger in the long run.
I think you are correct. I think the offensive cordinator for the cardinals should have been fired last night after the game for being such a pu*** and not letting Matt throw more when they had the lead.
It seems almost like the ESPN broadcast booth was right there on the Cardinals' bench last night. In the second half it seems each posession started with the broadcasters talking about the potential for a negative situation. And it sure happened. If you have a quarterback with a good arm, and an offensive line that can't block, you don't play martyball (or is it dennisball?) by handing off to a running back. shorts, flats, and screens eat just as much clock when completed. A lot of things could have gone differently in that game, but when it comes down to it, the bears won. Blame it on Neil, blame it on Dennis, blame it on anyone and no one. This collapse will be more memorable to me than when the Bengals lost a 21-0 halftime lead to the 49ers in '96, and I'm a Bengals fan.
I don't think it was a bad step. They played well against a good team and should have beaten them. I think part of their loss had to do with their mentality. If the run wasn't working why not just keep passing if it was working to begin with. Don't play to lose play to win.
Denny Green is done. That is the number one ramification from last nights debacle. Clancy Penderghast is the only good hire that Green has made. Every other coach has been a "buddy" of his and it shows. All of his little indians are afraid to tell the cheif that he is a moron. Keep Denny around as the GM, he is a terrific talent evaluater and does an incredible job with the draft. This is the most talented football team in Cardinals history, and that is a testament to his strength. The teams record though is a testament to his ability as a football coach. He refuses to play Leonard Davis at Guard even though he was on his way to being a top five player at that position before Denny got here. Putting Davis at right guard and Duece Luitui in at right tackle would make the Cardinals into a complete offense. But Denny says that Davis makes tackle money so he should play tackle. So screw everything else. My prediction is that Denny will quit before the end of the season, as soon as he knows what everyone else already does that his days in Arizona are numbered. When he leaves Penderghast will take over on a interim basis and I bet that the Cardinals will be respectable for the rest of the season.
Dennis Green has had success before. Art Shell has had success before. You can only do what you can with what you have to work with. Arizona received a "gift" when Leinart fell so far in the draft, but they signed Edgerrin James not only for what he brings to the table, but also to fill some seats in their new stadium. You build a winner with defense and smart offensive play-calling, not names. However, that being said, there are some coaches who have an immediate impact nomater where they go, and Parcells is one... and I am even a Cowboys fan.
As a Bears fan, my feelings after last night are terrible at best. Not only did Chicago look absolutly awful, but the team that deserved and really needed to win didn't.
That being said, I don't think you can blame Dennis Green for that loss. All year, Edge apologists have been whining about the Cardinals line and blaming it for his lack of success. Last night showed that even when Arizona's line plays spectacularly, he can't get the yards. Leinart, Boldin, Johnson, the offensive line and the entire defense played extremely well. If I'm a Cardinals fan, last night was both both heartbreaking and heartening.
The Cards will either grow from this or wither and die. Honestly, it will be the former. Green and Leinart will not allow this team to sink. Until they get a real o-line, they'll continue to struggle, but there are too many good pieces in place already for this team to fail.
You can blame rackers for missing the kck, but he was not on the field for the two defensive touchdowns that got them close, football is a team game. Look on the bright side, Leinert is the real deal and looks great, how many teams that pikced 1-9 are kicking themselves right now. Not a fan of either team, but felt bad for you card fans, the future looks bright, although ownership for you guys will be a concern, just like us O's (Orioles) fans here on the East Coast.
I didn't like what I saw from Edge. Even before the fumble, he didn't struggle hard for yardage like Boldin. The Cardinals' cheerleaders would have had an easy time tackling him. He also waits too long to head up field. Maybe he needs a new heart and more time in the weight room.
As a Packers fan, I've seen great offensive lines (only a couple years back) and I've seen terrible offensive lines (right now). It doesn't matter who's throwing, running, or catching the ball if there's no blocking. As Bill Walton would say, that Cardinals line is "hooorrrible." Take heart Cardinals fans, you may have a shot at Joe Thomas in the draft.
the cardinals need to contact the league office to request an nfl security investigation into the entire cardinals organization.it stinks all the way up here in maine.the cardinals are a dirty team as in game fixing dirty.any and all ties to gambling need to be exposed and eliminated not just with the cardinals but all of football.it`sstarting to look like the wrestling business out there,good entertainment but not to be taken seriously.gambling will ruin pro sports.it's ruined the cardinals.
hahahaha, oh man. As a Bears fan, that was probably the best fourth quarter I have ever laid witness to. What's wrong with the cardinals? We'll, for one, Neil Rackers has apparently lost all talent (but he shouldn't have been put in that position). It just seemed to me that the Bears D came out fired up in the second half...and with good reason, we were embarassed in the first half. Anyway, all I have left to say is that the Cardinals will be 4-12 at year end, Edge needs an O line, and Leinart will be pretty damn good.
Green did an excellent job of slowing the Bears down and showing the world some of the same problems Chicago had last year with Carolina. I'm a Chicago fan, but Lovie and company morally lost that game! Lovie should be on a hot seat more than Green. Hate to blame one man, but Rackers lost the game. If the Pats had Rackers they would never have won their Super Bowls!
You have to lay the blame on Dennis Green. Don't forget this is the second week in a row that they completely imploaded. Dennis Green isn't a bad coach, but he really didn't win anythiing in Minnesota, and I think we've seen the best he has to offer in the Desert.
I think this loss has to be laid at the feet of Dennis Green. The Bears defense knew what play was coming the whole 4th quarter. Edge up the gut on 1st down for 0 yards. Horrible play calling. Only a powerful running game could have pulled off that play calling and everyone knows Arizona doesn't have that.
I'm a diehard Bears fan and last night, I gotta say, there should be an asterick next to that win. The Cards deserved to win - no doubt! For the first time all yr, Grossman played like a rookie and never once corrected himself during the course of the game. But you look at Leinart and that's the picture of poise and maturity...in basically the biggest game short of the SuperBowl. I think the Cards O-Line did a good job protecting Leinart, but they simply didn't have the wherewithall to create openings for Edge. That's not saying the Edge is bad, but simply the O-Line was just only good enough to protect the pocket, and nothing more. I really believe Denny Greene is to blame here. There were multiple opportunities for the Cards during the whole game to put more points on the board. Sure, the Bears D is good. But the Cards offense basically played like this was their SuperBowl. There should have been better play calling on the 3-4 drives that should have resulted in more points in the redzone. Honestly, this totally reminded me of the Saints/Falcons game. For us Bears, Grossman (and Ron Turner) better learn from this complete failure.
I love the "shock" over this loss by all of the national media. This is just another day in the life of a Cardinals fan. Last night's loss was a virtual replay of the Cardinals' loss last week against the Chiefs. Nothing new here. I've supported Coach Green, but I just don't see the results.
Everyone sees the bad in what happened last night! Yes, the Cardinals blew a 20 point lead, didn't capitalize off 6 turnovers, couldn't block a pop warner defensive rush, can't run against a junior varsity team; we saw the growth of Matt Leinart. He is a big positive for that franchise! They won't make the playoffs this year, but the have the building blocks for the future. Spend money on an offensive line with talent and keep Edge in the back-field. The defense played great last night, keep the unit in tact and also give Dennis Green one more year. It is not his fault Kurt Warner had eight turnovers in 3 games and it is certainly not his fault his team can't sustain a lead in the fourth quarter. Coaches coach and players play!
Okay, I'm a closet Cards fan living in NY. I think the loss last night was great for this team. Leinart is going to be an incredible NFL QB and has, arguably, the best corp of young receivers to throw to. Their o-line is terrible and I beleive is putting the future of this team (Leinart) in danger of injury every week. They need to take care of that o-line immediately. Stop spending mega bucks on talent that depends on the o-line to produce. Hopefully, a huge shake-up is in store for this team. Judging by their new and amazing stadium, ownership is committed to this team. Show that commitment and clean house this off season. They have a great foundation to build upon.
real simple, the Bidwells do not care if they win or lose, therefor the Cards always lose! when ownership doesn't care it about its product, just the bottom line numbers, this shows and effects in all faucets of the organization.
the Bidwells aren't going poor owning the cards so why should they now begin to care?
I'm not sure who I'd blame for this debacle...The offensive line? They are always a target for their inept play through six games. Edgerrin? Sometimes, you have to make a play on your own (the best always do. A devastating fumble,a strip no less, is not the play I had in mind. The offense in general? Take it from a Charger fan, a killer instinct is a must in the NFL, although in this game, giving the ball back to the Bears offense wasnt such a bad idea, if not for the fact the Bears D kept that from happening by taking it to the house on each Cardinal mistake. Rackers? You get paid to do one thing and one thing only. And he aint doin' it with any consistency. Dennis Green and the coaching staff? Inevitably, thats where this will reside but that to me is always the easy way out. The front office? For once, maybe not this time. So who then? I live here in the Valley of the Sun. I,myself, bought into the hype. This was the year or at least very close to it. The Cards were gonna truely gonna be a contender. Which is why I blame myself. If I had been able to see that this organization is indeed jinxed and cannot get out of its own way, then this loss would have been no more shocking than any of the others, just a bit more entertaining. Shame on me or any of the actual Cardinal Fans that exist (if any are left after last night) for even thinking otherwise!
Someone here said the O-line played spectacularly?!?!?!?!? I know Edge is not the "pound the rock" back, but look at that last quarter and there was not 1 hole created by the line, and without that, there's no hope (ask Jamal Lewis). C.H.O.K.E.to improve(Cardinals Have One Key Element to improve). By the way, that loud thud you heard is all the 1-9 teams that passed on Leinart. Talk about poise and leadership while the world is caving around him. Last, I know football is a team game, but did you see how Urlacher took over that last quarter? It was like he was in a zone, "MJordan against the Knicks" type. He was everywhere! Kudos to the Bears defense, and sorry Cards'fan for tonight, but with Leinart you got hope.
The OL lost that game, pure and simple. Both Leinart's and Edge's fumbles are the fault of the OL. Also, Edge had no room at all to run. The Bears are a great team, but the Cardinals OL should have done something.
In addtion, blame the coaching staff. They had the Bears on their heels, then reverted to running the ball up the middle time after time.
The offensive line is the true weakness in the current iteration of the Arizona Cardinals. The team is advertising for what you can not do in the NFL; win without running the football. There is not one team that has won a Super Bowl, or even whiffed a title, without a top-tier running game. The only possible exception, since I hear it coming, were the St. Louis Rams, but that's not even close to true. I think Marshall Faulk's numbers will bear out the truth. Emmitt Smith first, now James? Wasted money. The team has Leinert, Boldin, and Fitgerald. A defense that seems to be growing. A very good kicker...and no offensive line. If you can't run, you can't win. There's no way to run down a clock, keep possession, and control a game without the run. Fifty-five yards on 30 carries isn't going to get it done. No running back could fix that with the line they have. You know what? Trade James for some offensive line players. Trade B. Johnson for some offensive line players. Draft some offensive line players. Can you imagine what Leinert could do with time to look for Bolden and Fitzgerald? Apparently the Arizona organization hasn't been watching the last 20 years of NFL football; it's not like it's the DaVinci Code.
Despite all of the mistakes which allowed the Bears to stay in the game the most crucial calls were the last three plays that Dennis Green made. After masterfully moving the ball downfield Green insisted that Matt Leinart hand the ball off for the second and third down. I get the fact that he did not want to be sacked for a loss and did not want to risk an interception/clock stoppage. However, had the Cards gotten the first down and moved 10 yards closer not only would the FG have been a chip shot but the clock utilization would have been wiser. Cudos to the Saints for showing the NFL how to manage a clock and win a game. The Cards should have watched that game first.
As a Bears fan, what I was made me want to throw up. Grossman looked like a deer caught in the headlights and made me think of Favre when he gets "off" his game like he sometimes does. The Cardinals played a good game, but then sat on the ball when they should have had better play calling. Play calling lost them the game, nothing else. Yes, Edge lost a fumble, but it was forced out by Urlacher; it's not like he dropped it to the turf. Cards should have won, but they didn't. Play calling, play calling, play calling. And thank God it's the Bears bye week, so Rex has some time to chew on his miserable performance.
I went to bed knowing the over-rated Bears had finally been handed what has been coming to them. I woke up, saw the final score and was amazed. I am not a Cardinal fan but wow, that one hurts. I do think something large needs to happen. I do not think the coach is the problem. The fans definitely deserve better. Who's professional sports fans don't?
Heartbreaking loss for AZ... I was really excited to see them play well and to see Leinart lead the team like the great player he is. The energy in the stadium was awesome. They need a running game and it starts with a revamped O-line. At the end of the game, all they needed was 2 yards in 2 plays. A good O line will guarantee 2-3 yards on every run play. The Edge couldn't get 2 yards in 2 plays to win the game. sad...
I think most of the national audience who were not Bears fans were pulling for the Cards last night. Heartbreaking. I predicted the loss after they only came away with 6 points on 3 consecutive turnovers deep in Bears territory. Fire the O-coordinator, not Green.
What a disaster of a game! I think it was a serious wake up call for the Bears and Cards. The Bears now no that on any given week any team can beat any team in the NFL. Hopefully the Cards learned that the game is NEVER over until there is no time left on the clock. It's all about special teams baby. If you can't make a tackle you're not going to stop any team in this league. Both teams have to smarten up!
I think that all cardinal fans should be excited about he future. The defense played great last night, and despite weaknesses in the O line, they did move the ball. This is a good nucleus and with a couple of key additions, it will certainly be a perennial playoff team. Denny Green is a good coach, and finally there is hope.
Everyone is talking about how bad the cards O-line and how good Leinart looked. Both true, but how about that Cardinal defense? They looked superior in every way to the vaunted Bears squad. If this team can stop turning the ball over they'll win some games.
P.S. The bears are obviously overrated and very flawed.
As a long time BEAR I must state last night our offence really let us down. Cards I give it to ya you played very well ,,however Dennis Green lost all my respect at the press conference. If you knew DA BEARS so much you would have won the game you bum. I hope this was a wake up call for us, everyone in the NFL will be gunning for us every week and we need to be smarter with our offence. Matt Leinert(spelling) really looked good out there. I honestly thought he would leave the game with a concussion but he did his thing like he was at USC or something. However Cards you played great but DA BEARS are still on top of DA world!!!! GO BEARS!
I totally disagree with the post earlier that said it shouldnt fall on Rackers....this is two times in a row that Matt Leinhart lead them downfield and the kicker, (who only has one job for the millions of dollars he makes each year) blows a 40 yard kick!? Get rid of Rackers and Green should follow as well. You dont run the football with all those turnovers, and you dont run the football against he best defense in the league. Matt proved he can make the passing plays in the first two quarters and I am sure he would have if they called for more passing. Matt has the arm, he has the talent and proved he can lead his team downfield. He's the future of the Cards and they are darn lucky to have him!
Hindsight may be 20/20 but ripping Green for the play calling seems overblown. You have a rookie QB with questionable arm strength playing against a very dangerous Chicago defense, you also have a veteran, pro-bowl RB that hadn't coughed up the ball in something just shy of forever. Green played the odds and got burned this time. After the Bears take the lead the play calling switched and the offense opened up resulting in the Cardinals moving down the field and giving them the chance to win the game on what should have been an easy field goal. Why did they lose the game? The front line is ponderous and not working together, Edge coughed up a [rare] fumble, special teams allowed a TD return, and Rackers missed an easy field goal. Hold Green responsible for not being able to keep his team focused on winning, not having his special teams ready to play, and for not managing to put together a quality front line but not for the play calling. Keep Green around for the rest of the season and give him the chance to turn the team around after this demoralizing loss. If he can do that then he's earned the right to keep the job if not then its time to move on.
The punter was a major problem for Zona, not just in this game but for the last two seasons. He hit line drive punts which have allowed teams to run back three punts in the last two years. Also he been blocked three times in the last two years. He may have made the pro-bowl a few years back(mandatory selection/only cardinal player) but he needs to go, like immediately. The kicker chocked and in the NFL you can't have a kicker that chocks. And the offensive lineman O. Ross who let a defensive end hit his QB, blind-side, without even attempting to block him should be demoted. He didn't block any lineman on that play. It was like he didn't even look to his right. All this said, great defensive effort, two weeks in a row. Leinart looks like Neil Lomajust left handed. And he didn't have his best receiver on the field. Fitzgerald would have made a huge difference. Bryan Johnson vanished after he took a hit in the second series on downs. Have faith Cardinal fans. Iv'e been pulling for this team for 36 years. Their defense has the llok of greatness and they now have a great QB. The coaches need to kick some kicker/punter's a##. And bench or maybe cut an offensive lineman or two. Also the officials blew the call on Edge's fumble. His forward progress had stopped and tey allowed the defense to hold him up and mug him. They blew that call.
green should be fired!!! the players did all they could and a damn good job of it. why put the ball on the ground in teh last minutes when it wasn't working in the first 45 minutes? stupid play calling led to a stupid,useless loss.
Can't imagine why people would blame this loss on anyone but Denny Green. He and his staff played that fourth quarter to protect their lead rather than playing to win the game. Somebody earlier mentioned "Martyball," then wondered if it might not be "Dennyball" -- I have to agree. When he was with Minnesota, I have rarely seen games more obnoxious than the ones between them and the Wannsteadt-era Bears; both coaches play extremely conservative styles of football. That conservative style might occasionally get you to 15-1 when you've got a young team that's surprising everybody; but when you've got an over-the-hill running back and essentially no offensive line, you have to take what shots you can get. Leinart was on fire, and Green and his staff let them get away from that, going for the chip-in field goal in the end rather than letting the rookie take a shot at the end zone, even though the Bears hadn't been stopping him much all game.
Cards fans (and I'm not one of you; I'm a Bears fan who's breathing a huge sigh of relief right now), y'all know you got a huge steal in nabbing Leinart where you did. He's going to be a good QB, probably better than Rexie. He's got good downfield vision, he's tall, and he has the swagger of a winning quarterback. I just hope your ownership gets him an offensive line before he bolts town fearing for his life.
Unfortunately there are only a few positive things to say about the Cardinals:
Ok, so maybe not. But I will say one thing, it was nice to see a stadium full of fans showing emotion during the game. I have been to plenty of Cardinal games in the past and saw more fans for the opposing team than the home team, last night, and this season there is excitement in the air. A franchise this troubled is not rebuilt overnight, it will take a few more seasons but with a solid fan base, a change of ownership and a promising QB things can only get better.
I think this game will be a turning point THIS SEASON. The defense was spectacular, Dennis "They are who we thought they were" Green is displaying his passion, and they play in a weak division. They make a few adjustments to their play calling at the end [start throwing in screens] to account for the shaky offensive line, and they end up being the worst team in football that nobody wants to play. Ramifications? maybe... all I can say is this is a team that I would tune in to watch from now on... and before yesterday-- I hated the Cardinals [I even laughed when the punt was returned for a TD]. GO CARDS!
Hey Cards, want Parcells? TAKE HIM. His record of 1 or 2 games above .500 with the Cowboys is a joke, but he continues to be treated like royalty by the sporting press. Earth to Jerry, you're getting Chan Gailey type coaching and Dave Campo type results, at Tuna Deluxe prices!
Bill Bidwell has run the organization the same for as long as he has owned the team. Why would anyone expect anything different? tax payer rip-offs and promises of titles lie underneath the unending mediocrity of the franchise. Stars such as Jim Hart, Otis Anderson, Larry Wilson, and Dan Dierdorf know the pain that Kurt Warner, Edgerrin James, and Matt Leinert will soon feel as well . Tell Denny Green to call Jim Hanifan or Gene Stallings
I agree things will change. Dennis Green is a nice guy, but I'm not sure he's capable of really taking a team to its max potential. The best the Cardinals could hope for is a new beginning with Leinart at the helm and a new staff to best use his assets, and build a team around him.
The Cardinals have a rich history of failure. When the name of the team is identified with that history the perception of the Fan's and the Players is hard to overcome. It's easier to give in and give up cause that's what the team is meant to do. Look at the Titans after they changed names, they went to a Superbowl. The Ravens won a Superbowl and the new Browns have the loss stigma of the old. Change the name of the team.
Why is everyone blaming E.James. He is a solid running back, he avg over 1500 yards on the ground and 200 or so in the air and will block. Lacking a good line to open holes will slow any running back down. Look at L.J. in KC lost some great lineman and he is stuggling at bit.
matt leinart should give all the money back and get the heck out of arizona before his career and his health are ruined. This is a terrible franchise and they really, really suck at player development. Matt you should hold out for a trade to a team with possible chance of winning in the next 10 years or so
I am a Bears fan. I thought Green was doing a great job of play calling in the first half. The Bear pass rush was ineffective and Grossman was doing what he could to give the Cards a win. 6 turnovers! Yikes! That said the Bears D is opportunistic. They will try to get the turnover all the time. The biggest mistake was not putting the punt out of bounds and making Grossman beat you.
Why is everyone dissing E.James he is solid running back who avg. 1500 yards on the ground, catches the ball very good and will block. Lacking a good O-line will hurt any running back look at L.J in KC lost some key lineman and is not having the great year many expected.
Bidwell is a born loser! Leiart wil go the same as PLUMMER who was the best QB ever for the lowly BIDWELLS. Hopefully Leinart will go to a real NFL team soon. Unless he gets hurt because of no protection.
This was deja'vu for me. As an MSU Spartan fan the Bears Cardinal game was similar to the MSU/Notre Dame game earlier this season. With a 17 point lead going into the 4rth quarter ND pulls in an unbelievable victor...or should I say MSU choked and they haven't won anything since. No Killer Instinct. Gotta blame the coaches and going back to last nights Cardinals/Bears game it holds true. Cardinals do not have a killers instinct they don't know how to win... To the credit of ND and the Bears they don't like to lose and as you witnessed last night if the offense couldn't put up the points the defense and special teams did. While watching the game I couldn't wait for grossman to come out of the game so the defense could score.
Most everything has been addressed except the punt coverage on the TD return. There was not a single Cardinal within 20 yards of the returner when he fielded the punt. With that much time and space to survey the coverage, it was hardly shocking that he took it to the house. That indicates to me that either the special teams players have no heart or the special teams coach didn't do his job. Or both.
So let me get this straight. The Cards play lights out...far better then anyone ever thought they could have (I do believe leinert was asked if he was afraid of getting hurt earlier in the week)and choking is Dennis Grene's fault? Everyone knew they were going to fold, but Dennis Green finally has a QB, give him a chance to succeed. Green's biggest mistake was thinking Warner could get the job done. Sure he puts up good numbers against the 49ers (see Phillip Rivers), but he is a shell of his former self. I think the Cards certainly ened to focus on their o line, but they are headed in the right direction. Might be one of the few times in history that drafting a guard in the first round might be a good idea.
For those that say you can't lay the blame at the feat of the coach as he didn't fumble, etc., I say wrong...you most certainly can. With the exception of one run (in the 4th quarter) for 12 yards and the opening scoring drive where he ran 5 times for 26 yards, James' running was pathetic. Take those six runs out and their yardage and you have a running back with the following stats: 30 rushes for 17 yards. That is not ball control offense.
Yes, you can blame James for running straight into the pile every time, but you must lay the blame squarely on the coach for that ridiculous play calling. Hey coach, we are averaging about 1 yard per rush. Let's try something different. I don't care that James demands the ball. Give the ball to the only productive player there (Leinart) and let him throw it. Even if he completes a pass for 3 yards, it's better than that pitiful running game. This is completely the coaches fault. Dennis Greene should never have been labeled a savior, as too many have called him.
EJ seems to be running very sluggishly. There were some holes out there last night and wasn't able to hit them quickly enough. He didn't seem to have any stomach for delivering blows to the defense either. The line pass protected pretty well last night, the defense looked ok, the play calling was abysmal!
Why did Green go with James to secure victory?! He should have let Leinart throw short passes. That way Matt doesn't get killed from the backside AND it moves the ball for needed first downs AND it runs out the clock! Leinart looked AWESOME vs. perhaps the BEST D in the NFL in 2006-07!
The Choke job was truly Historic! The only worse one was the Houston Oilers in Buffalo vs. the Bills!
I don’t think a change is coming just yet.I believe the switch at QB was the big change for them at this point. A lot of people forget the Bears are a top notch team this year with a league best defense. Against any other team I think that would have been a W. In all honesty even though it came down to missed Field Goal, the Cards shouldn't have even been in that situation in the first place. And no team should win with 4 InT's. But I tell you what I see some major changes this off season, in the front office, coaching and personnel on the field.
You can't blame Rackers for all the gifts the Cardinals received deep in Bears territory that ended in ZERO points. Good teams with experience know that these are far and few in between and that they need to convert. Card's take heart - in only two games Matt has become a leader and has shown that the Cards have to be taken seriously - it takes more than two games to make a team a contender.
Let's make this interesting. Forget the idea of Parcells... get Jimmy Johnson to come out of retirement to help wake up this sleeping giant of a team. I can see a Cardinals/Cowboys Monday Night game in the near future.
Part of being a good running back is knowing how to create yardage when your O-line is subpar. The Edge hasn't done this at all this season, and it only goes to prove the point that he may not be all people thought he was cracked up to be in Indy. I'd say that much of Arizona's reconstruction process should center around what to do with Edgerrin James.
I am not a Cardinal fan, but I like a team with potential when I see one. Matt Leinart is a player you can build a team around I just don't see Dennis Green as a coach that can bring you a championship, as he proved it last night. The Cardinals should have put the Bears away in the third quarter or at least made an effort to do so, not hand the ball to the RB for zero or negative yards as it happened all night. Even in the final drive Green got scared ans played it conservatively once he felt he had the FG.
There was at least three situations that the Cardinals should have gone for the touchdown, instead they kicked. They should have had at least 18 more points on the board last night but they don't have the confidence to go for it. Reap what you sow!
Ok, I'm sick and tired of reading how the Bears are so overrated. They had a bad game, but this proves that every team that could be considered the BEST team has flaws; even the Bears. That's what PARITY will do for you, and that's why you play the games. Even Oakland is going to sneak up on somebody eventually. You really didn't think the Bears were going to run the table and blow everybody out by 25 points, did you?? Everyone had been talking about how the Bears were going to mop the floor with the Cardinals all week, so OF COURSE Arizona came out fired up. Grossman is going to be a good QB; but he's essentially in the same boat as Lienart is because he's only started 12 NFL games. He's going to have games like this. Stop hating. Arizona has some hope with Leinart; yeah, they deserved to win the game but they didn't. They have too much of a culture of losing that needs to be overcome before they get that killer instinct to put teams away.
Edge was awful. I have never seen a running back take two steps and jump stop every time he receives the ball regardless if there is a impending tackler or not. Why doesn't he just hit the hole hard and dive for 3 or 4 tough yards? That kind of production is all Arizona needed to set up the short passing game with Leinhart and get first downs. The Card's offensive line was blocking fine, but those guys are never going to create huge running lanes against a team like the Bears. Bottom line, Edge stinks and Green is completely at fault for continually calling his number last night when Leinhart clearly showed he was capable of protecting the football.
I thought Edge did well considering what he was given. The O-Line did a great job with pass protection (except for one costly play) but didn't open up any holes for him to run through. The offensive coordinator didn't help. It was painfully obvious when he was going to run. They brought in a fullback everytime. They brought out the 3 wide set on nearly every passing play. Edge is best when he is in a singleback formation and can have a little time to set up his blocks and make a cut. He isn't a tough inside runner, but he's good in the open field and can make a guy miss. Trust me, as an Colts fan its not the running back, its the system.
1. Bears "D" let them down? They were on the field for 40 MINUTES because Grossman was either going 3-and-out, getting the ball slapped out of his hands, or throwing it to guys wearing red jerseys. The fact that the Bears D ONLY gave up 23 points considering how many times the Cards got the ball in Chicago territory is miraculous, and they scored 14 points of their own!
2. The Bears looked like they showed up to play long-ball scrimmage, not win a football game. Their 1st down play calling was completely predictable: Throw deep. It wasn't working, and the offense never adjusted. They need to work on the running and short passing game.
3. Denny Green got timid with the lead and with his predictable 4th-quarter playcalling gave the Bears the chance to win that they didn't earn for themselves. He should be fired. Now.
4. Matt Leinart is a first-order stud. What an incredible game he played.
somebody said, "I'm a Chicago fan, but Lovie and company morally lost that game! Lovie should be on a hot seat more than Green." ******************************* WHAT??? Green is one of the worst coaches I have ever seen and that includes Dick Jauron. He stinks and he's proven it year in and year out since he's been in the league -- he is a product of the buddy system. Lovie on the other hand is the brains behind the Chicago D that took the game right out of the hands of the Cardinals. Lovie has done everything right since taking over the head coaching duties in Chicago.
I just can't wait unitl my Packers play this joke of a football team. I thought that beating the Lions - the team I once regarded as THE WORST in all of football - would be thier only achievement. Then I saw this club of buffoons walk on the field, and it gave me more than a ray of hope becuase here is one team with a downright PATHETIC defense! Whoo-hoo! Two weeks can't come fast enough!
I can't believe most of what I'm reading here... if you want a scapegoat, I guess Dennis Green, or the offensive coordinator, or the offensive line are convenient, but...
A one and four offense with a swiss cheese line protected a rookie quarterback to the tune of one sack and zero interceptions against the best defense in the league. On the other side of the ball, the Cardinal's one-and-four defense forced the league's most potent offense into 4 interceptions, two fumbles, and a margin of nearly 2:1 on time-of-possession and first downs, not to mention a ZERO PERCENT red zone efficiency. Leinart, scmeinart - this happened because of a brilliant game plan and OUTSTANDING coaching, plain and simple.
This wasn't the meltdown that everyone is making it out to be. This was the best team in football showing why they are champions. Don't believe the Bears are the best after last night? When their offense went missing in action, they found a way to win with defense and special teams. How many teams in NFL history can say that? (Only the best of the best. Only the champions.)
Arizona was defeated by raw talent, pride, and a relentless will to win; statistics aside, they were simply outmatched. That they came as close as they did is astonishing. Aside from (and perhapes even including) Devin Hester's stunning punt return, how can anyone possibly blame Dennis Green or his coaching staff for this loss? Could better coaching have prevented Leinart's fumble on a brutal, blind-side hit? Or helped James hold on to the ball with Brian Urlacher ferociously separating his arm from the ball? And how can poor coaching be responsible for Pro-Bowler Rackers' game-losing miss?
As a lifelong Bears fan, I say this to Dennis Green and the entire Cardinals team (Neil Rackers excepted): Hold your head high. You went up against the very best and did far, far better than anyone expected. You played an exceptional game and came within a fraction of winning where no one gave you a chance of even making it competitive. I, for one, am very impressed.
I'm sorry but I'm still optimistic for the Cards. Calm down, people. The franchise isn't going to be contracted. They still have a great young quarterback. They came out last night and absolutely bullied, humiliated, and destroyed the best team in football for a half. yes, it was a horrific loss, but look up - the sky hasn't fallen yet. i have a lot of faith in Matt Leinart. he's calm and poised, not frantic like people in the media. plus, they are going to be sitting around all week listening to people say they're never, ever going to recover, and they're going to be motivated even more. they're going to come out next week furious, knowing they have nothing to lose, looking to hurt people. Some day we will look back on this game and say "that's the game where the cardinals grew up." mark my words people. don't listen to the media bobbleheads. when are they ever right about anything anyway?
The Cardinals need to fire their offensive coordinator. How many times do you have to try and fail to run it up the middle against the Bears defense to realize "Hmm.. that's not working, maybe I should try something else?"
Let's face it...Dennis Green needs to go after that performance and he should stick his offensive coordinator under his arm on the way out of town. They need to find ways to use James like the Saints are using Reggie Bush. How does a RB go 36 carries for 55 yards!? Totally absurd!! And then to just stop dead around the 20 yard line when Leinart was moving the offense quite well. Rackers hasn't been quite himself this year and it showed last week vs. KC...why put that pressure on him again? Go for the touchdown and get the fans behind you by showing some guts Denny!! At the very least, utilize the entire time and if worse comes to worse, kick the FG when time is almost gone. Just bad decision making at the end of the game.
I just know that watching the game as a huge Bears fan, I couldn't have been happier with the Cardinals playcalling in the 4th quarter. I was scared every down that they were gonna throw the ball to Boldin, and they hardly did. Instead they had Edge take a handoff and fall down behind the line of scrimmage. Thanks guys, couldn't have done it without you.
Boo hoo hoo, cardinal fans...you just witnessed what the bears are all about. They are a complete team. I know their offense sputtered last night, but all teams go through ups and downs. The Bears defense and special teams were huge. I'm sick and tired of hearing everyone say that the Cardinals gave the game away. Hey, last I heard, a team needs to play defense and have decent special teams. Just because the bears won it with their defense does not mean it's a win with an asterisks. A win is a win is a win. But anyway, the great teams find a way to win and the bad teams find a way to lose. Way to lose Cardinals. Go Bears!
Maybe the Cards should try using a fullback. There was nobody out the to block Urlacher all night. The way I see it, we need all the help we can get. Against the Falcons 2 weeks, I saw Matt Leinart get sacked on a running play before he could even hand the ball off. BILL BIDWELL PLEASE SELL THIS TEAM TO JERRY COLANGELO!!!
A missed field goal didn't cost Arizona the game, Dennis Green didn't cost Arizona the game, a losers mentality cost Arizona the game! Poor offensive line play cost them the game! Poor special teams coverage cost them the game! The inablilty to capitalize on 6 turnovers forced cost them the game! Edge is a good running back behind a suspect line. Fumbles happen to the best of backs, bar none. Leinhart is a good rookie behind the same line. I fault the organization for not fixing the O-line during the offseason. And Parcells isn't a miracle worker, bringing him in won't fix the problem.
Agreed...only a change in ownership (and uniforms) will make the Cardinals franchise a winner. I am a native of Arizona and refuse to ever be a Cardinals fan until Bidwell sells the team. The only reason he brought Leinart in was to sell tickets...bottom line! I choose to root for a winning franchise! Go Broncos!
What I don't understand is why, with a 20-point lead:
1. A rookie QB is audibling at the line deep in his own territory. Run the ball, milk the clock.
2. After having such great success most of the game in shotgun formation, the rookie QB is now at the line, but being asked to complete the same mid-range passes. You have a 20-point lead, run the ball or run high percentage passing plays. At the very least, stick with what you're having success with.
Arizona had plenty of opportunities to run the clock and failed to do so. Leinart's fumble should never have happened and the Bears offense couldn't score. THAT is why this loss is on Dennis Green's head.
As a Cubs fan I know exactly what the cardinal fans are feeling this morning. Fortunately or unfortunately the reality is that the best team won the game, period. That is what great teams do. If one facet of the game is down, the others step up. There was never a doubt in my mind that this outcome would or could happen.
Dennis Green got too conservative as Charles Barkley mentioned in the 1st half....How do you explain Edge running 36 times for 51 yards...He was content on running to set up field goals instead of using a dominant WR like Boldin or Edge in the flats on a pass to pick up those crucial firstdowns.
Get rid of Green, James and Rackers, and not necessarily in that order. Arizona has a good football team, one I would like to become a fan of if ownership shows a comitment to winning. By the way, to say the Bears are overrated is an understatement, thay have been playing confidently but that will change after monday's game.
Granted the Cards O-Line had a problem. But it the Coach's job to make the adjustment. I was at the game and it was so obvious to me that if the passing game was working so well, why wasn't Leinart throwing the ball. I also observed bad clock management in the 4th quarter by Leinart. Granted he is a rookie and was taking the snaps with 15-20 left on the clock. But again the coach should have said something. However, it was a very entertaining game.
I'm not a Cards fan, but if I was, I would be very optimistic about the future. As a Broncos fan, I shuddered as I observed the determination to win that Matt Leinart showed last night. It was reminiscent of John Elway, who pretty much carried an undertalented team to three Superbowls early in his career. The future is very bright for the Cards.
As for the present, the O-Line was pretty terrible. However, the coaching staff gets paid to figure out that they can't run behind them. The pass protection was decent, so PASS THE BALL!!! The loss is on the coaches for being too afraid to let young Leinart win the game. As for Edge, get one of the best pass-catching RB's his touches through the air.
For those who deflect the blame from the coaches because they can only utilize what talent they have, it should be noted that the coaching staff continually refused to go with what they have (Leinart and Boldin) in favor of what they don't have (a run game). Greene put Leinart in to win. He should have let him.