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10-12-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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After the win against the Saints, it is time to let the bye week go by so Hall can prepare himself for his first road game as a starter where he will travel to Seattle to play the Seahawks.

Also, I will get the gamethread highlights thing up today. When will I do it? Whenever I feel like doing it.

On to todays links.

Arizona Cardinals, at 3-2, sitting pretty at the moment
As bad as things looked a week ago, after they had been beaten down by the San Diego Chargers and much of the national media, the Cardinals now must feel like a heavyweight boxer who caught his second wind.

First-place Arizona Cardinals eliminating mistakes
Ken Whisenhunt has said it every week: If the Cardinals could just cut down their mistakes, they could end up being a pretty good team. Well, the Cardinals made plenty of mistakes in the first half Sunday against the visiting New Orleans Saints. But they managed to eliminate most of them the rest of the way en route to a stunning 30-20 victory that improved them to 3-2.

At The Bye, Arrow Pointing Up
With a 3-2 record and rookie QB, easier for Cards to have optimism - Green: Warner is gone, but does Whiz realize it?
All throughout the offseason Ken Whisenhunt, when asked if the offense would change with Kurt Warner retired, responded by saying it wouldn't. He felt that Matt Leinart, at least during OTAs, could effectively run the system.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Max Hall could surpass Jake Plummer for golden boy status
Ken Whisenhunt was just a boy playing in a YMCA league when he learned the first rule of football: You don't have to be strong. But you have to be tough.

Cardinals report (10.11): Hall's first start a mixed bag
The Max Hall era is off to a good start. Although Hall’s contributions weren’t exactly the deciding factor in the game, the Cardinals rallied around their rookie quarterback and knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

Arizona Cardinals: The Good And The Bad From Week 5 - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Hello, Cardinals defense. Welcome back. Greg Toler, Paris Lenon and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie all picked off Drew Brees. The defense scored two touchdowns, one off of a Kerry Rhodes fumble return (that Darnell Dockett forced) and another off a pick-six from DRC near the end of the game to seal the deal. New Orleans' red zone ineffectiveness continued, thanks to the Red Birds.

Doug and Wolf: Interview with Former Cardinals QB Kurt Warner

In the Red Zone with Ken Whisenhunt - NO Review
Coach Whisenhunt reviews the Cardinals win vs NO with Doug and Wolf on Sports 620 KTAR

Whisenhunt's Monday Presser

Madden 11 Week Five Ratings Change Suggestions |
Week five of the NFL season is in the books and not a single team remains undefeated. Parody rules this year. In some ways that could make Madden 11 more enjoyable as no team can claim to be unbeatable and every team (except maybe Buffalo) seems good enough to at least compete even against the stronger teams.

Personnel report: Cardinals' spread offense - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The New Orleans Saints intercepted Cardinals quarterback Max Hall the first time Arizona's rookie starter faced third-and-long Sunday. Perhaps a more conservative approach would be justified the next time. That seemed reasonable under the circumstances, but the Cardinals viewed things differently.

Cardinals get passing grade at quarterback - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Nine of his Arizona Cardinals teammates were celebrating in the end zone, and 62,621 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium were roaring their approval, but Larry Fitzgerald paid no attention to the pandemonium in his midst. The All-Pro wideout had a more important job to do. Instead of giving high fives, Fitzgerald was cradling his dazed quarterback in his long arms, providing a pick-me-up of the literal variety with 2:19 to go in the first half of Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. Max Hall, an undrafted rookie making his first NFL start, lay there limp at the 2-yard line, his head facing the opposite end zone, his dislodged helmet at his side. Hall had also parted company with the football, which had been fortuitously recovered by tackle Levi Brown and advanced into the end zone for a game-tying score. The points, however, were not Fitzgerald’s primary concern.

If You're The Arizona Cardinals, It's Good To Be Lucky - SB Nation Arizona
If you're the Arizona Cardinals, you take the breaks you've been given right to the bank.

The Shutdown Five: The league's most befuddling teams - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
The Cardinals are here mostly because of their bizarre win this week over the Saints. Where the hell did that come from? Everything else seems pretty much in line for the Cards: beaten down by the Chargers and Falcons, and closely-contested pillow fights against the Rams and Raiders. Then, all the sudden, they can take down the Saints? How does a team with a combined quarterback rating of 59.0 have a winning record? "Befuddling" is the kind adjective. "Fluky" might be the more accurate one. - Cards' unusual win has them alone atop NFC West
The Arizona Cardinals are back alone on top of the NFC West. Go figure. - Young Cardinals step up in victory
The Cardinals went into the season knowing they were going to rely on some younger players to fill roles left by departed veterans, but they likely never imagined just how much playing time their youth would receive. In Sunday's win over the Saints the Cardinals started rookies Max Hall, Stephen Williams and Daryl Washington - with Andre Roberts making some catches - while second year players Beanie Wells, Greg Toler and Rashad Johnson all made contributions.

Where NFC West teams rank: Week 5 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few highlights in looking at where NFC West teams rank in various statistical categories through Week 5:

NFC West Report: Week 5 - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
For the first time this season, the Cardinals are in sole possession of first place in the NFC West. As I'm sure everyone predicted, they beat the Saints to get there. Obviously.

It's Hall Good: Cardinals' Hall Wins Over Super Bowl Champ Saints | Bleacher Report
There’s good and bad coming from the Cardinals’ 10 point win over the defending Super Bowl Champs Sunday afternoon with rookie Max Hall at the helm. The good is the team won. The bad is Hall’s stats. Most fans would agree football, like all sports, is about more than stats, but Hall’s stats weren’t anything to write home about.

QB Max Hall of Arizona Cardinals and Eleven Other Mormons Making Impact in NFL | Bleacher Report
Everyone has heard a bunch of different stuff about Mormons. Some of it's true, but a lot of it is false. What a lot of people may not know about them is that they love 'em some football.

Max Hall: Arizona Cardinals Quarterback of the Future or Temporary Fill-In? | Bleacher Report
Prior to the start of this season, the question in Arizona was who would win the starting quarterback job, Derek Anderson or Matt Leinart? Oh, how quickly things change.

NFL Power Rankings: Saints aren't looking so hot now - NFL - Football
They insisted all offseason that they wouldn't let the Super Bowl hangover affect them. They would be different. Sure, the New Orleans Saints partied deep into March to celebrate their first Super Bowl victory, but Saints players and coaches continually maintained that it wasn't too much They said all the book signings, all the parades and ring ceremonies and big-ticket dinners and late night show appearances wouldn't impact what they would do on the field in 2010. They lied.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 6: Jets, Ravens Surge Ahead -
Week 5 was upset week in the NFL and that will be reflected in this week's NFL power rankings.

Week Five Power Rankings |
Every Monday night, I compile the PFT Power Rankings, a more-cumbersome-than-it-seems process. (Please, pity me.)

Tim Hasselbeck: QBs say breast cancer awareness footballs "a disaster" |
A former NFL quarterback says he's been told by current NFL quarterbacks that the balls featuring a breast cancer awareness logo that the NFL is using this month are slippery and difficult to grip. But the NFL says the balls are the same as the ones used the rest of the year.

Bears scale back Devin Hester's role |
Perhaps looking for a boost in Devin Hester's return game, the Bears limited the wide receivers snaps last Sunday against the Panthers. Hester played only 19 snaps on offense against the Panthers, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Hester was playing nearly every down the rest of the season.

Brett Favre made huge mistake in coming back to Minnesota Vikings - ESPN New York
Down in Mississippi, Brett Favre never should have opened the front door to his backwater estate. He never should have allowed those three not-so-wise men from the Minnesota Vikings back into his life.

Payton: Saints offense inconsistent, not broken - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
The Saints’ once-prolific offense is lacking its usual punch and coach Sean Payton sees a troubling pattern of fundamental breakdowns as the main cause.

The Designed Rush Redux: Favre's Elbow, Favre's Collapse And ESPN's Unwavering Stance -
The Designed Rush Redux examines Monday Night Football, in which the New York Jets knocked off the Minnesota Vikings, and the ESPN announcers rushed to Brett Favre's defense, repeatedly.

ESPN treats Favre's 500th touchdown pass like the moon landing - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
Despite the fact that nobody cared or even knew it was coming, Brett Favre's 500th touchdown pass was celebrated by ESPN with graphical vigor usually not seen outside moon landings or presidential elections.

Once-endearing Favre no longer charming - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Over the years, regardless of how great or devastating the games had been on the field, Brett Favre could always charm. He stood at lecterns beneath stadiums all around the NFL rambling on, revealing every emotion that bubbled up as he spoke. These were endearing moments, almost as if he was bearing whatever torment broiled inside while still sorting out those thoughts himself. Then he sold them with a wink or a squint of his eyes and it made him impossible not to love. news: Imagine how the Week 5 upsets went down, it’s easy if you try
Unpredictable, stunning, confusing and at times just strange is the best way to describe the events of Week 5. But this time of the year, there are always games that leave us asking how could this happen. How could the Raiders beat the Chargers? What about the Bengals blowing a lead at home to the Buccaneers? Better yet, how did the Cardinals take down the defending Super Bowl champion Saints with an undrafted rookie quarterback? When you look closely, it is not hard to figure out.

NFL Videos: Are Cowboys overrated?
Marshall Faulk, Warren Sapp and the "NFL Total Access" crew discuss where the blame lies for the Cowboys' 1-3 start.

(Yes they are)

Banged-up Browns could start rookie QB Colt McCoy - NFL -
Coach Eric Mangini said Delhomme and Wallace are both "hurting" and it's possible rookie Colt McCoy could make his first NFL start against Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Seahawks trade ex-Pats WR Deion Branch back to New England - NFL -
Deion Branch is headed back to New England and a reunion with Tom Brady.

Bears coach Lovie Smith hopes Jay Cutler plays against Seattle - NFL -
Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith is hoping that Jay Cutler will return from his concussion this weekend against the Seattle Seahawks.

Saints should be concerned, Carson Palmer's struggles and more - Jerome Bettis -
It's hard to say who the best team in the NFL is, but it's not coming from the NFC

Vikings vs. Jets - Recap - October 11, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Brett Favre was at his dazzling best after a miserable start that put the Minnesota Vikings in a hole. There would be no classic comeback this time, though, for the record-breaking quarterback.