Let’s be honest here, we all expected the Cardinals to come out and dominate the St. Louis Rams this last week. While we wanted to be cautious and not look past them, thinking they may be hungry for an upset, it wasn’t as though anybody seriously thought the Rams would feed that hunger. In fact, you could tell by the emptiness of the stadium and by the lack of energy from the few fans in attendance that nobody expected much from the Rams this game. Like everyone else, I expected the Cardinals to come out and dominate. They did just that. So, while there weren’t really any surprises, I do have a few topics to cover in this segment.
Ifs: After the Detroit game and the St. Louis game, there is a question nagging me that I’d like to discuss.
If Neil Rackers is not healthy enough to return for the playoffs, how will the Cardinals defense perform against constant good field position?
Nugent has done what we’ve needed him to thus far. He has put the ball through the uprights on every extra point and field goal attempt. However, he has also provided our opponents with terrific starting field position on nearly every drive. Nugent simply does not have the power to kick the ball into the end zone. In fact, it appears as though it’s a struggle kicking the ball to even the 5 yard line. Luckily for the Cardinals, neither the Rams nor the Lions field an above average special teams unit or the outcomes may have been drastically different. Also, as I believe has been pointed out a few times on ROTB, Nugent is kicking off in domes and having this difficult. What will be the outcome should he be forced to kick when wind becomes a factor? Frankly, I expect to have Rackers back by the time we would have to play at an outdoor stadium (if that happens at all since nearly all of our opponents in the playoffs play in domes) but, even still, can we afford to give any playoff team the ball at the 35 yard line each kickoff?
Buts: But what would you want for Boldin?
Obviously there are rumors going around that the Cardinals are looking to shop WR Anquan Boldin for a trade during the off-season. Although ‘Q’ brings a certain level of toughness and a fighting attitude to the offense, trading him is certainly the best move for the Cardinals. Currently, Boldin has one year remaining on his contract with the Cardinals. However, with such a weak free agency market and the Cardinals looking to pick late in the draft, they could be primed to get one hell of a deal. There is a variety of potential winning situations should the Cards choose to trade Boldin. We could wind up with a few more draft picks allowing us to shore up some weaknesses while not spending too much money. We could trade for a big name player or an up-and-comer with great potential. Realistically, there are plenty of teams in the NFL that would love to get their hands on Boldin, so what would you like to see the Cardinals trade for?
Candies: As I mentioned, the Cardinals played as expected so I really didn’t see too many plays that shocked me into wanting to provide a candy (or nut) award. However, I can’t overlook the impact Adrian Wilson makes for the Cardinals week in and week out. Wilson finished the game against the Rams with both an interception and a sack, placing him in the elusive 20/20 Club. Wilson currently has 23 interceptions and 20 ½ sacks, making him the 1oth player in NFL History to join this exclusive club. So, for such a phenomenal career with the Cardinals, I congratulate Adrian Wilson for being my Week 16 Candies Player of the Week.
Nuts: I’m not normally a repeat offender, but Breaston earns my nuts again. North seems to be the only direction that Breaston is unable to run. He can run east and west quite easily and he usually ends up running South, losing yardage, while trying to run East/West. Simply put, I want to see Steve Breaston catch a punt and gain solid yardage. So, once again, Breaston is my Nuts Player of the Week.
*Side note: I’d like to give a shout out to the cinnamon roasted almonds located at the 400-level right around section 423. Has anybody else tried these nuts? They’re delicious! I’m going to mix it up this week and go with the combo pack, cinnamon roasted almost and pecans. That sounds like a win-win to me!