11-9-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Peterson's Praise

Time for todays links, including a look at the praise Peterson has gotten as a returner, and a look at last weekends game from PFF where Daryl Washington and Calais Campbell get a lot of praise.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Peterson Earns Special Award
Punt return fetches rookie weekly honor

Kolb's Philadelphia Education
Quarterback "stronger" for having played back East

Word From the Birds Blog - Kolb says he’s "touch-and-go" for practice
Quarterback Kevin Kolb said during his weekly interview Tuesday on XTRA 910 that he is "touch-and-go" to practice tomorrow, but that he thinks he made a lot of progress this morning. He also has a bone bruise that "has shown its face" the last couple of days, which has complicated things. Regardless — and not surprisingly — Kolb really wants to play in Philadelphia and against his former team. Not only does he want to play the Eagles, but last week was the first time he wasn’t able to suit up, he said.

Special teams, running game provide hope, but Arizona Cardinals must improve at quarterback, offensive line
If those anarchists in the Bay Area had abided by NFC West bylaws designed to limit achievement, the Cardinals would be in a playoff race, even with a 2-6 record at the season's midway point. Instead, the Cardinals make the turn five games behind the San Francisco 49ers (7-1) and three behind the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons (5-3) for a wild-card spot. So with eight games remaining, the 2011 season becomes a salvage job for the Cardinals. They need to find out what's working, what can be repaired and improved, and what needs to be replaced. Here's one opinion.

NFC West Stock Watch - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Rising: Arizona Cardinals special teams. Patrick Peterson's winning 99-yard punt return followed Calais Campbell's game-saving blocked field goal during a 19-13 victory over the Rams. Cornerback Richard Marshall made a key block during Peterson's return. Peterson gets most of the credit, though. The Cardinals could very well be 0-8 instead of 2-6 without his touchdown returns against Carolina and St. Louis. Meanwhile, Campbell credited teammates Darnell Dockett, Clark Haggans and David Carter for helping him break through to block the field goal try. The Cardinals had to have those plays to break their six-game losing streak.

Cardinals, Eagles share some history - ArizonaSports.com
When the Arizona Cardinals take the field Sunday in Philadelphia they will be taking on the Eagles for the 33rd time since the team moved to Arizona. While you may best remember the 2008 NFC Championship game, which the Cards won in Glendale, the former NFC East rivals are as familiar with each other as any team could be.

Patrick Peterson wins NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award - ArizonaSports.com
Patrick Peterson's 99-yard punt return in overtime against the St. Louis Rams won the game for the Cardinals, and Tuesday it won the rookie an award.

Re-Focused - Rams @ Cardinals, Week 9 | ProFootballFocus.com
Arizona Cardinals – Three Performances of Note

The Cardinals are bad, but are they the worst? - ArizonaSports.com
You'll be hard pressed to find anyone who argues that the Arizona Cardinals are a good football team, but at 2-6 are they really the worst the NFC has to offer? NBCSports.com's Evan Silva thinks so, and he predicts the team to win just one more time this season. On the bright side, Silva notes, Beanie Wells has been good for the Cardinals, picking up seven touchdowns and 506 yards on 113 carries. He also says Patrick Peterson has sparked the Cardinals' special teams. However, that's where the good stuff stops.

Cardinals still hampered by injuries - ArizonaSports.com
Even though the Cardinals won Sunday, the team shouldn't celebrate for long. Moving forward the team has to deal with a number of key injuries to important players. Kevin Kolb is battling turf toe and his status for this Sunday is still up in the air.

Kolb for DRC: It's a wash - ArizonaSports.com
Sunday's game between the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field will mark the first time the two teams have met since the NFC Championship Game following the 2008 season. It will also be the first time Cardinals' quarterback Kevin Kolb and Eagles' defensive back Dominique Rodgers- Cromartie will line up against their former teams after being traded for each other back in July. Although it's doubtful Kolb will get a chance to play in front of the fans that once cheered (and booed) him as he is still recovering from a turf toe injury suffered against Baltimore. Both teams have played half of their schedule, and it's fair to say that the trade hasn't benefited one team more than the other.

Patrick Peterson is the league's best returner - ArizonaSports.com
Patrick Peterson has returned 19 punts this season, picking up 414 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns have won games for the Cardinals, and his average of 21.8 yards per return easily leads the league. So maybe it should be no surprise that the Cardinals rookie is garnering recognition, including being named as the best kick returner by Chris Wesseling of NBCSports.com.

NFL News:

Albert Haynesworth Released By New England Patriots - SBNation.com
The Patriots released veteran defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth just two days after he was apparently benched and had a sideline confrontation with an assistant coach.

Where NFC West teams rank: Week 9 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Arizona Cardinals (won vs. Rams): dropped five spots in yards per game and four spots in yards per pass attempt; improved seven spots in third-down defense and six spots in point per game allowed.

NFL flexes Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots off prime time in Week 13 - ESPN
That Colts-Patriots matchup that looked so attractive in the preseason is losing its prime-time slot.

NFL power rankings - Week 10
Here is an updated version of my NFL Power Rankings as we get ready for Week 10. I'll update them every Tuesday throughout the season. Previous rankings in parenthesis:

Warren Sapp Calls Albert Haynesworth A 'Turd' - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
The New England Patriots released defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth today, meaning the attempted revival of his once dominant career (once, being quite literal) ended with a puff of smoke in New England.

The Shutdown Corner Halfway Point All-Overrated Team: Offense - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
You know them. The guys who who get all the press, the ones who your friends talk about, the ones who have a home on every fantasy team even though they just don't perform. The players who constantly make time for an interview, even when they don't make a play.

The Shutdown Corner Halfway Point All-Underrated Team: Offense - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
As we continue through out halfway-point landmark columns, we thought it would be a good idea to point out some of the great players in the NFL who don't get the recognition they deserve for whatever reason — they are eclipsed by more famous players, they don't get a lot of national TV time, they play in Buffalo, whatever. Here's our team of guys who deserve a bit more of your critical eye — we think you'll be impressed. Offense here; defense coming very soon!

The Shutdown Corner Halfway Point All-Overrated Team: Defense - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
We already looked at the overrated offensive players. Now, let's look at the ones on defense whose play doesn't live up their billing.

The Shutdown Corner Halfway Point All-Underrated Team: Defense - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
As we continue through our halfway-point landmark columns, we thought it would be a good idea to point out some of the great players in the NFL who don't get the recognition they deserve for whatever reason — they are eclipsed by more famous players, they don't get a lot of national TV time, they play in Buffalo, whatever. Here's our team of guys who deserve a bit more of your critical eye — we think you'll be impressed

Paterno News:

Joe Paterno Announces Retirement: 'I Wish I Had Done More' - SBNation.com
Penn St. Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno announced the end of his 61-year career in Happy Valley in a statement released Wednesday. After the news was reported by the Associated Press and confirmed by son Scott Paterno, the coach himself said a few words.

VIDEO: Penn State Scandal Gets Matt Millen Emotional On ESPN - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
ESPN brought Matt Millen on Sportscenter shortly after the New York Times reported that Joe Paterno was being forced out as head football coach at Penn State. Chris McKendry set him up with the news, let him go, and then Millen did what few other people have ever done on live television: he behaved like a human being thinking and acting in real time.

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