1-1-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Cards/Seahawks Gameday

Strike the pose (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Happy New Year everyone.

Lets start your morning with some links, as we close out the year for the Cardinals. Hopefully with a win.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Similarities abound between Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks
About the only thing that separates the Cardinals from the Seahawks these days is that one of them practiced in sunny, 70-degree weather to prepare for Sunday's season finale. Both are not only 7-8, they took similar paths to get there. Both teams were 2-6 at the halfway point of the season. Both pulled themselves up to ground level and took a peek at the playoffs before losing last week. Both have defenses featuring young, dynamic players and offenses that are works in progress, often minus the progress part. "We both have done things that we are excited about," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "We have won some games against good opponents. We've done a good job at home. They've done a good job at home. There is a little bit of a difference as far as they've had success running the ball lately. We've had a little bit more success throwing the football lately, especially in the fourth quarter. "It's a good matchup of two teams in a division that have played good football over the back half of the season." Both teams have a chance to finish .500 Sunday. The one that does will claim second place in the NFC West, a small consolation for teams out of the playoffs. But you find motivation wherever you can.

Word From the Birds Blog - Keith to IR; Green up as Peterson insurance
With the status of cornerback Patrick Peterson uncertain — Peterson will be a game day decision — the Cardinals covered their bases Saturday by promoting cornerback Marshay Green from the practice squad. To make room for Green, the Cards officially put tackle Brandon Keith on injured reserve. Keith had already been declared out of Sunday’s game.

Can Cards keep Lynch out of Beast Mode? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Marshawn Lynch has reached 100 yards rushing in six of the Seattle Seahawks' last eight games. The Arizona Cardinals' ability to slow him will be a leading storyline when the teams play one another Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. Lynch carried 19 times for 73 yards during a 13-10 victory over the Cardinals in Week 3. That 3.8-yard average benefited from a 23-yard run during a drive that otherwise went nowhere. The Cardinals prevented Lynch from controlling the game.

Passing league? NFC West runs strong - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Four of the 13 players with at least 1,000 yards rushing this season call the NFC West home. All four run with power. Two in particular -- Arizona's Beanie Wells and Seattle's Marshawn Lynch -- have racked up yardage after contact. Both rank among the NFL's top four in total yards after contact. And among those players with at least 1,000 yards, Wells and Lynch rank high in percentage of yards gained after contact (see chart, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information).

XTRA910 audio: NFC West Week 17 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
John Skelton's slow starts and fast finishes for the Arizona Cardinals came up Friday during my weekly conversation with Dan Bickley and Mike Jurecki on XTRA Sports 910 AM in Phoenix. How to explain them?

Arizona Sports News:

Radim Vrbata helps Coyotes snap losing skid
Because the Phoenix Coyotes lack a true superstar, they have had to win games by committee. Radim Vrbata scored a pair of goals two minutes apart early in the third period, Curtis McElhinney stopped 28 shots in his first start of the season and the Phoenix Coyotes hung on to beat the Minnesota Wild 4-2 Saturday night. Daymond Langkow and Ray Whitney also scored for Phoenix, which ended a four-game skid.

Balanced effort leads unbeaten Thunder past Suns
The Suns dropped the ball long before Times Square did Saturday night. Facing the unenviable task of playing Oklahoma City for a second road game in two nights, the Suns predictably and fittingly finished off 2011 with a performance as disappointing as the rest of the year. It is time to be out with the old and in with the new year after 2011 saw the Suns miss the playoffs last season and fall to 1-3 this season after Saturday night's 107-97 loss at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Arizona basketball blasts rival ASU in Pac-12 opener
Herb Sendek glanced up at the crowd as he walked off the court at McKale Center on Saturday. It was hard to tell what was going through the Arizona State coach's mind. ASU had just dropped its fourth in a row, this one to rival Arizona. The final was 68-51, but it wasn't that close. The Sun Devils were overmatched from start to finish. They had no offensive rhythm and little defensive presence, leading just once, in the game's first 90 seconds. "We need to be better on both ends of the floor, but right now our offense doesn't put us in position to have any room for error," Sendek said after meeting with his team.

NFL News:

Broncos quarterbacks fined Tebow over billboard incident | ProFootballTalk
By all accounts, Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow behaves like a perfect gentleman, and the ideal teammate. But before he became the starting quarterback in Denver, his reaction — or, more accurately, his lack thereof — to the placement of a billboard lobbying for him to become the starting quarterback prompted a definite response from the other quarterbacks on the team.

Tony Romo Practices Again; Expected To Start For Cowboys Vs. Giants - SBNation.com
All signs are pointing toward Tony Romo starting for the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night against the New York Giants with the NFC East title at stake. Romo practiced for a second consecutive day on Thursday and appears on track to start in the regular season finale. Romo bruised his hand in Week 16 but has been practicing with a wrap on his hand, which isn't affecting his throws.

Ben Roethlisberger Expected To Start Week 17 Despite Injury - SBNation.com
The Pittsburgh Steelers are playing the Cleveland Browns in Week 17 and they should have Ben Roethlisberger available. The Steelers QB missed Week 16 with a high ankle sprain but the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that he was a full participant in Friday's practice and is expected to start against Cleveland.

Tom Brady's Injury Has Him Probable For Bills-Patriots Game - SBNation.com
The final injury report lists Tom Brady as probable for the New England Patriots this weekend against the Buffalo Bills. The Patriots QB missed Wednesday's practice for non-injury related reasons, was listed as limited in Thursday's practice and now comes in at probable for the game.

Reggie Bush Injury: Dolphins RB Ruled Out In Week 17 - SBNation.com
Dolphins running back Reggie Bush has had a career year but his season will be cut short with a knee injury. He has been ruled out for Week 17.

Calvin Johnson Has Achilles Injury, Misses Lions Practice - SBNation.com
Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson missed a second consecutive day of practice with an Achilles injury.

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