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11-28-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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Some links for this Cardinal-less Sunday, and a video of an awesome Interception from the College games last night.

Needing To Sustain Starts
For two straight games, the Cardinals have taken the opening kickoff down for a score. Against the Seahawks, it was a touchdown. Against the Chiefs, it was a field goal. In both cases, it looked like the offense turned a corner. In both cases, points were difficult to get the rest of the game.

Toler, Campbell game-day decisions
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said both cornerback Greg Toler (foot) and defensive end Calais Campbell (ankle) will be game-day decisions to play Monday against the 49ers, and they were among six players listed as questionable for the game. The others: WR Steve Breaston (knee), RB LaRod Stephens-Howling (hamstring), LB Clark Haggans (groin) and NT Dan Williams (toe). DT Darnell Dockett (shoulder), WR Early Doucet (head), CB Michael Adams (ribs), LB Reggie Walker (hamstrring) and S Kerry Rhodes (hand/back) are all probable. For the 49ers, kicker Joe Nedney (knee) is doubtful, as is cornerback Williams James, who apparently suffered a concussion at practice. Safety Dashon Goldson (ankle) is questionable. Tackle Joe Staley (fibula) is out.

Arizona Cardinals' lack of planning has doomed this season's team - ESPN
When teams lose key players, downturns are expected. After the 2009 Arizona Cardinals finished their season with a third straight non-losing season and second straight NFC West championship, players started heading out the door.

(ESPN Insider account required to read the link)

Saturday before the 49ers
Whiz was asked if, around the holidays right now, he was finding any chance of relaxing away from the game. He had already mentioned to us previously that night time – when there wasn’t any work left to be done and he was alone in his thoughts to mull what was going on – was the hardest. Not surprisingly, Whiz said no. "It’s hard," Whisenhunt said. "I am disappointed. I want to win. It doesn’t sit in your gut right. You think about a million things that could have gone differently or been done differently. It’s not easy. That’s the way it is." Whiz hasn’t been through this as a head coach, although he mentioned a similar season he dealt with in Pittsburgh (which I noted earlier this week). There, however, Whiz was an assistant. And that doesn’t compare to living with it as a head coach. "I feel like, ‘You let everybody down,’ " Whisenhunt said. "You’re working hard, you’re trying to do it right, you want to have success. But you’re not. And it’s hard."

Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers - scouting report, prediction
Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers - scouting report, prediction, Kent Somers takes a look at Monday night's game between the heated NFC West rivals.

Turning over a new card
The phrase ‘what have you done for me lately’ goes hand in hand with the NFL. Win now or we’ll find someone else that can has become a familiar motto. Coach Ken Whisenhunt turned around a laughable franchise since coming to the desert in 2007. It’s been an admirable turn of events, but the drop in play this season has been equally as disappointing.

Anchor in training is built for the job
Dan Williams’ biggest physical attribute is also his biggest on-field attribute. "He has an anchor," defensive lineman Bryan Robinson said of Williams’ rear end. "He’s built to play nose."

Arizona Cardinals' 5-game skid difficult for Ken Whisenhunt
The days pass quickly for Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt. They are filled with meetings, practices, more meetings and hours of watching videotape. Dealing with a five-game losing streak is harder for Whisenhunt when he is away from work, when there is time to contemplate just how the Cardinals ended up at 3-7.

49ers-Cardinals Monday night six-pack - NFC West Blog - ESPN
"Monday Night Football" showcases NFL royalty when the New England Patriots and New York Jets put their 9-2 records on the line in Week 13. The Week 12 undercard between the San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals looks more like an unsanctioned alley fight. Both teams are 3-7 and suitably desperate. The loser of this matchup between one-time NFC West favorites could be finished. Alas, viewers might need a six-pack to get them through this motley Monday night matchup at University of Phoenix Stadium. Six potential points of interest:

The Arizona Cardinals need a new quarterback and a plan of action
Quarterbacks don't come cheap. Contrary to what Dennis Green told us, they don't fall from heaven, either. They require sacrifice. They require a game plan. And with the Cardinals struggling to define their future, here's mine: Give the ball to Derek Anderson one more time. Pray skittish receivers land on their feet and not their heads. If the Cardinals beat the 49ers on Monday night, continue the quixotic quest for a division championship.

NFL Preview - San Francisco (3-7) at Arizona (3-7)
When the NFL's schedule-makers designated this week's game between the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers as a stand-alone Monday night showdown, they probably were hoping for a scenario in which the two divisional foes were tied in the NFC West standings. While that will be the case when the teams lock horns at University of Phoenix Stadium for this late-November matchup, neither the Cardinals nor the 49ers enter this portion of the season in a position that has been customary for one of the combatants and expected for the other.

Video Gallery
Wolf's Building The Game Plan - Week 12

Phoenix Coyotes' winning streak snapped against Anaheim Ducks

On paper: It looks good, the hottest team in the NHL against a last-place team with a six-game losing streak. On the ice: That doesn't always go according to form. - Monday night: worst teams in worst division
A few months ago, pairing Arizona and San Francisco on Monday night seemed like a good idea: the two-time NFC West champion Cardinals against the 49ers team that was supposed to win it this year. Instead, a nationwide audience can tune in, or tune out, a game between the worst teams in the NFL's worst division. - Cardinals vs. 49ers - Quick Facts
The Arizona Cardinals take on the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football hoping to end their five game losing streak, and increase their chances of making the playoffs. Here are some quick facts about Monday's game.

NFL Fantasy Football Week 12 Predictions: Larry Fitzgerald And Frank Gore Lead Teams Into Monday Night Showdown - SB Nation Arizona
Welcome to Week 12 of the NFL schedule. SB Nation Arizona is your source for all Arizona Cardinals-related fantasy football analysis. Need some last minute predictions, help setting lineups, or info on who to sit and who to start? We're here for you. This week we highlight Derek Anderson, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Breaston, Beanie Wells, and Tim Hightower. We'll also look across the division, at the San Francisco 49ers' Troy Smith and Frank Gore.

Mailbag: Perspective on video scandal - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Brett from Laveen, Ariz., writes: Mike, how do you feel about the job Billy Davis is doing as the Cardinals' defensive coordinator. I personally feel like the play-calling is uninspired and the players are tuning out whatever he has to say. How else do you explain the sloppiness that has plagued them all season? I understand that the linebackers are a weak spot, but come on, I expected a lot better out of this defense. Also, if they did fire him, do you think a Wade Phillips or even a Mike Singletary would be a possibility?

49ers, Rams have right to feel cheated - NFC West Blog - ESPN
So, the San Francisco 49ers were unwitting victims of a Spygate-style taping scheme before their recent London game against the Denver Broncos. My thoughts:

Cardinals report (11.26): 49ers game far from meaningless
Although Monday night’s matchup in front of a national audience features the NFC West’s two worst teams, it could end up being more significant than expected. The winner will still have an outside chance to contend for the division title, while the loser’s fate will essentially be sealed.

Buffalo Bills put Shawne Merriman on IR - ESPN
Shawne Merriman's first season with the Buffalo Bills ended before it even began. Merriman was placed on injured reserve Saturday because of a nagging Achilles tendon injury, culminating a tumultuous year for the once-feared pass rusher.

Filming San Francisco 49ers cost Denver Broncos, coach Josh McDaniels $100,000 - ESPN
The NFL fined the Denver Broncos and coach Josh McDaniels $50,000 each because the team's video operations director broke league rules by filming a San Francisco 49ers practice in London last month. The NFL investigation determined Steve Scarnecchia took the six-minute video of the walkthrough and presented it that day to McDaniels. The coach declined to view it. But the NFL fined both the coach and team because the matter was not promptly reported, as required by the league.

Will Smith of New Orleans Saints charged with domestic abuse - ESPN
New Orleans Saints defensive end Will Smith was arrested Saturday in Louisiana after he was accused of grabbing his wife's hair and pulling her down the street.

Oakland Raiders to start Bruce Gradkowski at quarterback, source says - ESPN
The Oakland Raiders plan to start Bruce Gradkowski over Jason Campbell at quarterback Sunday against the visiting Miami Dolphins, a source close to the situation told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Campbell had insisted he wasn't concerned about being benched in the middle of games after it had happened twice this season.

Philadelphia Eagles' Asante Samuel out vs. Chicago Bears - ESPN
Eagles Pro Bowl cornerback Asante Samuel won't play Sunday against the Chicago Bears because of a knee injury.

McDaniels needs to straighten out his act - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN
The news that Denver’s video director, Steve Scarnecchia, filmed a San Francisco walkthough practice in London before the 49ers beat Denver on Oct. 31 will stain Denver's reputation for a long time.

Biggest NFL games of Week 12 by's John Clayton - ESPN
The true playoff race started to take shape in Week 11. Contenders stepped forward. Pretenders stepped backward. Week 12 should follow the same pattern. So far, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's plan of saving a key divisional game until the final five weeks is working, but many of the top divisions are turning into two-way races, and if that is the case, the final five weeks will be spent figuring out seeds.

Brett Favre will start for Minnesota Vikings despite possibly having pneumonia - ESPN
In a season full of challenges, Brett Favre has yet another. The 41-year-old Minnesota Vikings quarterback intends to start Sunday even though he's been sick most the week with what he said Saturday night might be pneumonia. Favre took a steroid pack, had an injection Saturday and missed the first hour of meetings because he couldn't get out of bed.

Crazy Oklahoma State Interception vs. Oklahoma - November 27, 2010 (via thesportsgeeks)