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12-20-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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Watching this team play makes me sad. These links will make you sad too.

Unlucky Day In Carolina
Cards' offense can't find footing in 19-12 loss to Panthers

Jimmy Clausen, Carolina Panthers shut down Arizona Cardinals
In a Saturday night speech to his players, Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt emphasized that one big play could act as a defibrillator for a whole team, shocking it into rhythm. On Sunday, however, the Cardinals showed again they prefer to keep sticking their fingers in light sockets.

Arizona Cardinals hitting a new low with loss to lowly Carolina Panthers
The Cardinals aren't in a funk, they're in a quagmire. If the club learned anything from their humiliating loss to the NFL's worst team, it's that their problems are deeper and more severe than previous games suggested. How's that for a little ray of sunshine?

Milestones, Mixed Emotions For Fitz
The records keep coming for Larry Fitzgerald, yet it doesn’t bring a smile to his face. Not in the situation the Cardinals are in.

Cardinals vs. Panthers - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Over nine seasons as coach of the Carolina Panthers , John Fox has made it a point to hide his emotions behind an avalanche of cliches, guarded answers and a tough guy persona. Sunday was different.

Wrap-up: Panthers 19, Cardinals 12 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
What it means: This defeat extinguished the Cardinals' already slim playoff chances. Arizona can finish no better than 6-10. The Seattle Seahawks or St. Louis Rams will finish 6-9-1 or better because they play one another in Week 17. Arizona will suffer double-digit defeats in a season for the first time since the 2002 through 2006 teams made it five in a row. NFC West teams have now provided Carolina with its only two victories of the season.

Panthers 19, Cardinals 12: Lots Of Mistakes, Postgame Thoughts - SB Nation Arizona
The Cardinals did most everything wrong they could, losing to the woeful Panthers 19-12

Cardinals Can't Top Woeful Panthers, Handed 19-12 Loss - SB Nation Arizona
Jimmy Clausen won his first game and John Kasay kicked four field goals as the Carolina Panthers took a 19-12 win over the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium.

Silver linings: Cardinals at Panthers - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The facts: The Cardinals fell to 4-10 with a 19-12 road defeat to the Carolina Panthers in Week 15. - Cardinals, 49ers eyeing QBs of the future
While Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt recently made a point of saying that he's still much more concerned about winning games the remainder of the season than what his team's position in the draft order is going to end up being, our sources in the desert tell us that draft speculation on the likes of QBs Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett as first-round possibilities for the Cardinals couldn't be hotter at present. "The fans turned most of their attention to the draft weeks ago," said one team insider.

Arizona Cardinals rewind: What we learned in 19-12 loss to Carolina Panthers
Arizona Cardinals rewind: What we learned in 19-12 loss to Carolina Panthers, A lot of mistakes and missed opportunities yet again plagued the Cardinals in their 10th loss of the season.

Video Gallery
Cards talk about 19-12 loss to Panthers

In the Red Zone with Ken Whisenhunt - CAR Review
Coach Whisenhunt reviews the Cardinals loss to the Panthers with Doug and Wolf on Sports 620 KTAR

NFL Videos: GameDay: Cardinals vs. Panthers highlights
Highlights of the Panthers 19-12 victory over the Cardinals. Watch NFL GameDay Final Sundays at midnight ET on NFL Network.

NFL Videos: Cardinals postgame press conference
Cardinals react following game with Panthers

Video Gallery
Larry Fitzgerald’s milestones

NFL Videos: Milestone: Fitzgerald 600th reception and 8,000 career yards
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald got his 600th reception and his 8,000th career receiving yard Sunday versus Carolina.

Short-handed Phoenix Suns earn boost from Grant Hill in 113-110 win vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Suns made a six-player trade Saturday to improve their defense while believing they would survive offensively just fine. So far, so good and the trio of new arrivals has not even joined the party.

Arizona Cardinals play of the game
Arizona Cardinals play of the game, The setup, situation, call, impact and quote.

Panthers aftermath
That high the Cardinals were on last week after beating up the Broncos? Gone today. In a season that has already been disappointing, to lose to a team with just one win hurts a lot. Plus, the Cards head into a short week and have to play a team Christmas night that has found its groove in the Dallas Cowboys. It was tough not to notice the growing pains of quarterback John Skelton Sunday. The offense simply doesn’t have consistency – which was brought up time and again – and struggles to score touchdowns. "It’s just getting old," Larry Fitzgerald said.

Emotional Carolina Panthers locker room after 2nd win
It was an emotional Panthers locker room Sunday and not just because the team posted its second victory of the season.

Quick look at NFC West playoff scenarios - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Let's take a look at various NFC West playoff scenarios heading into Week 16.

Chiefs' victory exposes Rams' limitations - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The first 13 weeks of this St. Louis Rams season drew our eyes to the horizon. They were all about the expanding long-term possibilities.

2011 NFL draft order update: Top six - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals are in line for the fourth overall choice in the 2011 NFL draft as they head into the final two regular-season games. - Burns: Don't root for a Cardinals loss
Some times in life things come exactly as advertised. When you go see TRON, you'll get exactly what you expect. Loud. Bright. Action. No plot. Sunday's game between two teams with rookie quarterbacks, the 4-9 Arizona Cardinals and 1-12 Carolina Panthers, came exactly as advertised. As an entertainment product, it was….uh…..lacking. A 19-12 loss that swung the Cardinals from a double-digit win team to a double-digit loss team in the span of a year.

Power Rankings revisited: Week 15 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A weekly review of how teams performed in relation to last week’s Power Rankings (with new rankings scheduled for Tuesday):

Post headline shows Vick being chased by Giants with dog heads - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
At some point, dogs won't be the first thing that headline writers think about when titling an article about Michael Vick(notes). Thankfully, that day has yet to come. This is the front page from Monday's edition of The New York Post:

Lukewarm starting debut for Tebow - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
On to this week’s other winners and losers …

Week 15 early game quick slants | ProFootballTalk

Tebow expected to keep starting job | ProFootballTalk
Kyle Orton told the Denver Post after Sunday’s loss in Oakland that he expected to be ready to play this week after sitting with injured ribs against the Raiders. Orton will likely be watching from the sidelines regardless.

Week 15 Monday 10-pack | ProFootballTalk
Now we know why Commissioner Roger Goodell was so frustrated last year when the Colts decided to stop trying to win games. December football, even without playoff implications, can be compelling and memorable. Week 15 of the 2010 was one of the most memorable weekends of all time. So here are 10 takes from a weekend that could have generated 10 times that many.

Video: Pats' 315-pound lineman sets NFL kick return record - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
Dan Connolly(notes) is a 6-foot-4, 315 pound offensive lineman with the New England Patriots whose previous career highlight, according to the team's website, was throwing a key block on a 17-yard run by BenJarvus Ellis-Green earlier this year against the Pittsburgh Steelers. On Sunday night though, the fifth-year veteran became one of the unlikeliest members of the NFL record book when he fielded a short kickoff and somehow rumbled 71 yards down the field before getting tackled at the four-yard line. It was the longest kick return by an offensive lineman in NFL history.

Video: NFL's roughing the passer rule is officially out of control - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
This season, Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid has been fond of saying that NFL refs don't protect Michael Vick(notes) like they do Peyton Manning(notes) or Tom Brady(notes). If he ever sees this clip from Sunday's Washington Redskins-Dallas Cowboys game, Reid may have to add another quarterbacking luminary, Jon Kitna(notes), to the list:

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's recovery taking longer than expected, not likely to return this season - ESPN Dallas
Cowboys QB Tony Romo's recovery is taking longer than expected, and he's not likely to return this season.

Jags fail to deliver, Ravens on the Rice diet, more Snaps - Don Banks -
Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we review a captivating Week 15 of playoff-implication football

Miracle at the New Meadowlands sinks Giants | ProFootballTalk
A game full of exciting plays and just as many questionable coaching decisions (including one major officiating blunder) ended with a stirring, stunning, and thoroughly exhilarating punt return for a touchdown from receiver DeSean Jackson. Somehow, the Eagles have beaten the Giants, 38-31.

Andy Reid’s pleas pay off with flag for late hit on Vick | ProFootballTalk
Andy Reid has been accusing referees of treating Michael Vick differently than the league’s other quarterbacks for some time now.

Snyder "unhappy" with McNabb benching | ProFootballTalk
Jay Glazer of FOX is bringing the heat. On a Sunday morning that’s light on heavy-duty scoop (then again, they’d all be reporting that Jenn Sterger met with Roger Goodell on Thursday is that particular cat hadn’t shimmied out of the bag on Saturday), Glazer started with the Tyler Brayton sideline video, and he chased it with a report that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is "unhappy" with the benching of quarterback Donovan McNabb.

An 'unplayable' field at TCF Bank Stadium - NFC North Blog - ESPN
From the start, it has been difficult to accept official claims that the field at TCF Bank Stadium would be properly thawed and maintained for Monday night's game between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. University of Minnesota officials had outlined a vague plan to make it playable, suggesting they would use a chemical to melt a sheet of ice and then heaters and tarps to keep it warm. NFL and Vikings officials had expressed confidence that the field would be playable, but in reality we wouldn't know if the plan worked until some relatively independent observers got a look at it.

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe sounds off on stadium - ESPN
The playing surface at TCF Bank Stadium is "as hard as concrete" and "unplayable," Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe tweeted Sunday afternoon after a brief practice there.

Chiefs vs. Rams - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Matt Cassel was supposed to be a game-day decision. The quarterback had no doubt he'd be in the lineup.

Falcons vs. Seahawks - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
After nearly a month away, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons are finally coming back home. They've already clinched a playoff spot, and won't need to book another road trip until the Super Bowl with one more win.

Eagles vs. Giants - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
With 13 seconds left, DeSean Jackson never thought he'd get a chance to win the game. Matt Dodge was ordered by Giants coach Tom Coughlin to punt away from the Eagles' elusive return man. The rookie punted all right, straight to Jackson, who fumbled the ball before taking off on one of the greatest plays in NFL history - a breathtaking 65-yard punt return for the winning touchdown on the final play of the game.

Lions vs. Buccaneers - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
The Detroit Lions erased some painful memories by ending the longest road losing streak in NFL history.

Browns vs. Bengals - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Cedric Benson blinked back tears as he stood in front of his locker, still wearing his black No. 32 jersey. He couldn't stop them all. A lone teardrop slid down his right cheek, getting wiped away before it reached his tell-all smile.

Bills vs. Dolphins - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Buffalo Bills defenders heard boos nearly every time they headed to the bench - a soundtrack for success, because the jeers were directed at the home team.

Redskins vs. Cowboys - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
With his team up by 20 points in the third quarter and Rex Grossman doing a lousy job as Washington's new starting quarterback, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones let out a sigh of relief. He figured the game was "tucked away ... a cakewalk." Apparently, he forgot how lousy his defense is.

Jaguars vs. Colts - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Peyton Manning and the Colts have started their playoff run a few weeks early. They really had no choice.

Saints vs. Ravens - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Ray Rice won't soon forget the outstanding game he had against the defending Super Bowl champions.

Texans vs. Titans - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
he Tennessee Titans are breathing a very big sigh of relief, and not because their very slim playoff hopes remain alive for another week. They finally won again.

Jets vs. Steelers - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Mark Sanchez promised his Jets teammates he wasn't losing this one. Not to a team the Jets had never beaten on the road. Not even after successive demoralizing losses led to speculation they were collapsing. Sanchez didn't lose it. But before he could celebrate, he waited out two agonizing minutes as one of the NFL's best last-gasp quarterbacks nearly stole a victory the Jets desperately needed.

Broncos vs. Raiders - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
After watching his team commit three turnovers, allow two big play touchdowns to Tim Tebow and commit a penalty that wiped out a score in the first half, coach Tom Cable didn't hold back at halftime. "There's no reason to be calm or rational at that point," Cable said.

Packers vs. Patriots - Recap - December 19, 2010 - NFL - Football -
The New England Patriots ' string of routs is over. Their victory streak remains alive with help from a stunning kickoff return by 313-pound guard Dan Connolly .