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9-27-10: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings

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That was another ugly game, and I don't know how the hell Janikowski missed that 32 yard kick, but he did, and the Cardinals are now 2-1. But now we have the Chargers in San Diego and the Saints are coming to Glendale (both of them lost this weekend, and the Chargers' Special Teams look very vulnerable). The 49ers also dropped to 0-3 after losing to Todd Haley and his Chiefs who are now surprisingly 3-0 (they also fired offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye), and Anquan Boldin had a huge game for the Ravens against the Browns where he caught 3 touchdowns and he now has 600 catches faster than any other receiver has ever done.

One positive that we can take is that the defense preformed better. Even though they gave up a lot of yards, they stiffened in the red zone. Sounds like Joey Porter got their attention. And you better listen to him, they shot him in Denver and it didn't slow him down. Do you really want to make that man angry?

So, on to the links, featuring some stuff from the Cardinals, and some from the rest of the NFL. Be warned, this is an extra long Monday edition.

NFL Videos: Janikowski, 32-yd missed FG
The call by Pasch and Wolf.

Cardinals salvage win in home opener vs. Raiders
The Cardinals goal this week was to show their fans they are a good team. It remains a goal. It's debatable if they accomplished that Sunday in the home opener, but the Cardinals at least showed are a resilient one.

Raiders vs. Cardinals - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Sebastian Janikowski missed a 32-yard field goal as the game ended to allow Arizona to escape with a 24-23 victory over the Oakland Raiders Sunday in the Cardinals' home opener, a game littered with mistakes on both sides from start to finish.

Raiders vs. Cardinals highlights

Roller Coaster Of A Win
Cardinals escape with 24-23 win over Raiders after last-second field goal miss

Cardinals postgame press conference

Seabass pushes the Raiders from victory to defeat |
The Cardinals did everything they could to lose on Sunday, but Sebastian Janiksowski wouldn't let them.

Defending The Red Zone
Cards don't let Raiders get touchdowns; Beanie has successful return

Oakland Raiders' Sebastian Janikowski's missed field goal vs. Arizona Cardinals 'shocking'
Darren McFadden thought it was good. So did Bruce Gradkowski, from where he was standing.

Arizona Cardinals' kickoff return for TD wins Valley man a home
Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable probably needs a cheery thought about now. How about this: His decision to defer after winning the coin toss Sunday helped Dave Johnson of Surprise win a home from Lennar.

Arizona Cardinals vs. Oakland Raiders play of the game
he call: It was Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski's game to win. All he needed to do was connect on a 32-yard field goal. He made a 54-yard try earlier in the game. He missed, with the kick hooking slightly to the left.

Arizona Cardinals' chances hinge on fixing the offense
Kurt Warner used to arrive at the Cardinals' postgame podium with a Bible in tow. Derek Anderson showed up Sunday clutching an abundance of remorse for not delivering a better performance against Oakland. He sighed. He coughed. He confessed.

Cardinals Talk About 24-23 win over Raiders

In the Red Zone with Ken Whisenhunt - OAK Review
Coach Whisenhunt reviews the Cardinals big win vs OAK with Doug and Wolf on Sports 620 KTAR blogs - Kent Somers - KentSomers - Post-game spread
A few thoughts and notes while wondering who came up with the idea for a punt returner to yell "Peter!" to warn teammates to stay away from a bouncing ball: - Wells gives Cardinals different tempo in season debut
After missing the first two weeks of the season Beanie Wells made his presence known in the Arizona Cardinals offense with his first carry of the season - a 24-yard run off the left tackle.

Wrap-up: Cardinals 24, Raiders 23 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
What it means: The Cardinals are going to have to grind, even against weak teams. That was the case for them against St. Louis in the regular-season opener. It was the case for them against Oakland in the Cardinals' home opener. But the Cardinals are 2-1 and the other teams in the division have issues. Arizona might be able to grind its way to a division title at this rate.

Despite Poor Performance, Cards Get Lucky 24-23 Win Over Raiders - SB Nation Arizona
Sebastian Janikowski pulled a 32-yard field goal wide left as time expired and Arizona escaped with a 24-23 victory over Oakland in a cross-conference matchup. - Stephens-Howlings kick starts Cardinals with return for TD
In the first play at University of Phoenix Stadium this season Arizona Cardinals kickoff returner LaRod Stephens-Howling returned the kick 102 yards for a score and a 7-0 Cardinals lead 15 seconds into the game.

The Cards' Special Game
Stephens-Howling's return, muffed punts, field-goal miss make for interesting win

The Good And The Bad From Week 3 - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
1. First and foremost, it's the horrific play of Sebastian Janikowski. His three missed field goals (including the potential game-winner in the final seconds) definitely helped the Cardinals pull out the win.

NFL Videos: Week 3: Anquan Boldin highlights
Anquan Boldin hauls in 8 catches for 142 yards and 3 TD vs. the Browns in Week 3. - E: Still trying to solve the Big Red puzzle
Scratching my head searching for answers while heading downstairs for the post-game press conferences at University of Phoenix Stadium, I could only draw one parallel to sum up the Cards some how, some way 24-23 win over the Raiders. - Burns: Cardinals win ends up being 'Compass Game'
In an effort to give everything a conveniently catchy label, we in the media will often attach nicknames to certain games or moments. - Doug: Notes from Cardinals close win over Raiders
GAME NOTES V OAK - Whisenhunt says puzzle is coming together
Cardinals Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt said that even though the team has things they need to improve on, the most important thing to take away from Sunday's game is that they are finding ways to win.

Anquan Boldin Is Catching On In Baltimore - From Our Editors -
This is why the Ravens made a huge investment into Anquan Boldin. The Pro Bowl receiver had his best game in a Baltimore uniform Sunday and at the same time cemented his place into NFL history.

NFC West: Is It the Worst Division in NFL History? | Bleacher Report
I love football, don't you? And it's not just because I am a Jets fan (OK, maybe it is) but it is also because it is the most competitive and most active sport in America.

Arizona Cardinals Squeak By The Oakland Raiders, 24-23 | Bleacher Report
I’m not sure which is sadder. The way the Raiders lost or the way the Cardinals won. That’s a debatable answer but somehow the Arizona Cardinals pulled out a miracle today and won their home opener 24-23 over a pesky Oakland Raiders team.

Arizona Cardinals Gets the Better of the Oakland Raiders | Bleacher Report
The Arizona Cardinals were extremely lucky to escape a poorly executed game Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals started off with an exciting kickoff return for a touchdown. From there, the game went on a roller coaster ride.

Raiders aftermath
I think we all knew it wasn’t going to be easy watching this team this season. But after three games, it is turning out to be very, very hard.

Arizona Cardinals rewind: What we learned from win over Oakland Raiders
Kent Somers takes a look back at the Cardinals 24-23 win over the Raiders on Sunday.

Cardinals' coach Ken Whisenhunt sees improvement
The Cardinals have plenty to work on this week as they prepare for the Chargers, but the job is easier coming off a victory over Raiders, coach Ken Whisenhunt said on Monday.

Whiz talks D.A. and other stuff Monday
Coach Ken Whisenhunt was asked point-blank if he could stick with QB Derek Anderson the way he is playing or if he needs to improve. blogs - Kent Somers - KentSomers - Punt breakdowns
The Cardinals likely will be pursuing another option at punt returner after rookie Andre Roberts' poor performance on Sunday against the Raiders. The difficult thing for coaches, however, is that they don't have many other options.

Cardinals Escape With 24-23 Win, Janikowski Misses Game-Winning Field Goal - SB Nation Arizona
Sebastian Janikowski sliced the game-winning field goal just right of the goal post, and the Arizona Cardinals, despite a terrible effort, improve to 2-1 on the season.

NFC West QB rankings through Week 3 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
My weekly look at where NFC West quarterbacks stand (trending arrows indicate general direction, not necessarily a change in ranking from the previous week):

The Designed Rush, Week 3: A Handy Guide To Patriots' Grittiness -
A closer examination of the Patriots grit-filled roster, which consists of the scrappiest bunch of white guys you'd ever wanna meet. Also: A delicious premature celebration in New Orleans, Troy Polamalu's in-game tweet, and much more.

Michael Vick, Leon Washington, Kansas City Chiefs surprise in busy Week 3 in NFL - Peter King -
Week 3 storylines from NFL cities across the country:

The Vikings and Cowboys save face, more Snap Judgments - Don Banks -
Musings, observations and the occasional insight from a Week 3 that was quite friendly to the road teams on this NFL Sunday ...

Cardinals-Raiders one-liners |
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt after surviving 24-23 against the Raiders: "I've been in a lot of games in this league, a lot of years. This game probably had as many twists and turns as any I've been involved with."

Valley Man Wins New Home, Courtesy Of The Hyphen - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
One of the best things about an otherwise gut-churning skin-of-the-teeth win was LaRod Stephens-Howling's 102-yard opening kickoff return for a touchdown. It seemed like an omen of good things to come. Well, not exactly. But for Dave Johnson, a resident of Surprise, it was pretty fantastic.

Video: Raiders Missed Field Goals Saves Cardinals Feathers - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Talk about getting lucky...Cardinals have their feathers all but plucked but somehow escaped the frying pan on this one.

Fanvision option at stadium
The Cardinals are one of 12 NFL teams offering a Fanvision these days — a small portable video device that allows a person to have multiple benefits, including watching live out-of-market games, listening to the Cards’ radio broadcast while watching the game, the NFL Red Zone channel, multiple replay angles (including some not available elsewhere), on-demand Cardinals content (like "Maximum Cardinals" and "The Ken Whisenhunt Show") and real-time stats. You can even plug your fantasy team into the device and have a channel dedicated to your team’s real-time stats.

Bills cut Trent Edwards, can't stick to a plan once again |
The Bills held a quarterback competition throughout the offseason. Trent Edwards got the most first-team reps throughout, especially in training camp. At the end of a five-month process, the Bills decided Edwards was their best quarterback. Three weeks later, he's not even on the team.

Jimmy Raye gets run away from Niners |
Earlier this morning, Rosenthal posted that 49ers coach Mike Singletary gave offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye the dreaded vote of confidence. Singletary specifically said that Raye will remain in the job for the rest of the season. Apparently, the 49ers' season is over. (As a practical matter, it possibly is.) Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network reports that Raye has been fired.

Coordinator comparison: Martz vs. Raye - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The San Francisco 49ers' decision to change coordinators -- voluntarily, this time -- sent me back through the game-by-game stats for the sake of comparison. The chart shows how the 49ers produced on average when Mike Martz was coordinator in 2008 and after Raye took over last season. Stats were down slightly with Raye, as was the winning percentage.

Raye's ouster shows 49ers' desperation - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Jimmy Raye lasted one season and three games as the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator.

Power Rankings revisited: Week 3 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The reckoning: Four games featured lower-ranked teams beating higher-ranked teams:

Silver linings: 49ers at Chiefs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The facts: The 49ers fell to 0-3 with a 31-10 road defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 3.

Seahawks dangerous again at Qwest - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Leon Washington is back. So is the "12th Man" at Qwest Field.

Saints will bring in kickers |
Saints kicker Garrett Hartley missed a 29-yard field goal in overtime today, setting up the Falcons on their game-winning drive. It could have been his last kick as a Saint.

Antrell Rolle demonstrates the wisdom of helmet-punching - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
When really mad at a person, I guess the instinct in some is to immediately punch that person in the face. For Antrell Rolle, that's even true when that face punch could get him thrown out of a game, will certainly be penalized, and, because the other guy is wearing a helmet, will do him no harm whatsoever. There is no potential positive outcome for Rolle here. Zero upside. (It's ANTREL Rolle, not Antrell)

Video: Eli Manning unsuccessfully attempts left-handed pass - Shutdown Corner - NFL  - Yahoo! Sports
Eli Manning was blessed with many gifts. Ambidexterity is not one of them. With the New York Giants looking to take an early lead on the visiting Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon, Manning threw an ill-advised ball into the end zone with his left hand. Normally that wouldn't be a problem, except that Manning is right-handed.

Rapid Reaction: Seahawks 27, Chargers 20 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
What it means: The Seattle Seahawks look like they'll be tough at home this season. That makes them a threat to win the NFC West title given how unsettled the division appears heading into Week 4. Winning six or seven games at home seems plausible after victories over the San Francisco 49ers and, now, the Chargers (even though San Diego had 500-plus yards). If Seattle wins that many at home, why can't the team win a couple road games to get into that .500 range? Week 4 could tell us whether that might happen (Seattle visits St. Louis).

Wrap-up: Rams 30, Redskins 16 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
What it means: The St. Louis Rams aren't the last-place team in the NFC West -- a first since they were 2-4 and the Seattle Seahawks were 1-5 during the 2008 season. Losing Steven Jackson to a groin injury hurts, but this victory is bigger than one player (as long as Sam Bradford wasn't the one injured). The Rams now have tangible evidence that they can win a game against someone other than the Detroit Lions. They have reason to live, not just try to survive. This was big for the organization.

Six quick slants after early games |
4. 49ers coach Mike Singletary faces a coaching crisis. He preaches toughness, but his 49ers team has crumbled twice on the road this year when things didn't go well for them early. Their offensive gameplan was not able to adjust to what the Chiefs defense were doing Sunday. They have no answers. Alex Smith continues to throw five-yard passes on third-and-14. During the rare times Smith took a deep drop, the 49ers offensive line couldn't protect him. It wouldn't be a shocker if offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye was replaced during the season if this doesn't turn around quickly.

Wrap-up: Chiefs 31, 49ers 10 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
What it means: The 49ers will take an 0-3 record into Atlanta and their strength will be tested. Having three of the first four games on the road put the 49ers at risk for a slow start, although winning at least one of the first three seemed like a reasonable expectation. Allowing more than 450 yards to the Chiefs did not. The schedule eases some after Week 4 and the other teams in the division aren't exactly perfect (Seattle and Arizona were outscored 72-21 in Week 3, after all). This division race is still only beginning. The key for San Francisco will be weathering the rough start emotionally and psychologically. Coach Mike Singletary's leadership style will be tested. Singletary talked last week about having more than one gear as a coach. Can he really mix it up? Or will his reaction to the disappointing start consist of backing up a few steps and ramming into the wall even harder?

Mount Stevemore: Rank Your Favorite Phoenix Steve - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Welcome to the SB Nation Arizona bi-annual Steve-a-thon. While sitting in the press box with Jose Romero during the Oregon/ASU game, we ran into an urgent, life-altering question: who is Phoenix's favorite Steve? - Cardinals squeak out win in home opener against Raiders
The Arizona Cardinals squeaked out a win in their home opener by just a few feet - maybe even inches - as Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski missed a 32-yard field goal as time expired. - Janikowski misses final FG, Arizona escapes
Fittingly, Arizona's 24-23 victory over Oakland on Sunday ended with a big mistake.

Shaun Smith faces another accusation of junk-grabbing |
Last week, Browns center Alex Mack accused Chiefs defensive tackle Shaun Smith of grabbing Mack's genitals. This week, 49es tackle Anthony Davis is making the same allegation.

Jimmy Raye out as 49ers offensive coordinator - Niners Nation
The NFL Network is reporting that Jimmy Raye is out as the 49ers offensive coordinator. Quarterbacks coach Mike Johnson is going to handle the OC duties in the mean time. It's unclear right now as to whether or not he'll have the "interim," tag on his name. Johnson will handle the day-to-day gameplanning and preparation for the week's games.

Antrel Rolle's mom says he's not having fun on the Giants |
Antrel Rolle said last week that in his first road game as a New York Giant, the team's travel schedule drove him crazy. Giants coach Tom Coughlin later said that he and Rolle had a productive chat about it, but Rolle's mom says her son isn't having any fun on his new team.

Mort: Favre is having second thoughts |
Win or lose, quarterback Brett Favre already is having second thoughts about his decision to return for one more season, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Bengals vs. Panthers - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Jimmy Clausen took a hard shot to the ribs and crumpled to the turf just after releasing his final pass Sunday, a fourth-down heave into the end zone that fell incomplete.

Bills vs. Patriots - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Tom Brady regained his touch against his personal pushovers.

49ers vs. Chiefs - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
After taking grief for "winning ugly" in their first two games, the Kansas City Chiefs went out and etched a beauty.

Titans vs. Giants - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
The Tennessee Titans wanted a bounce back game and the New York Giants helped them get it.

Browns vs. Ravens - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
On an afternoon in which the esteemed Baltimore defense was rather ordinary, Joe Flacco and his retooled receiving corps carried the Ravens to a surprisingly difficult victory.

Steelers vs. Buccaneers - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Charlie Batch doesn't pretend to be a savior. His job is to help Pittsburgh continue winning while Ben Roethlisberger is on suspension, and the 35-year-old quarterback just wants to do his part.

Cowboys vs. Texans - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
The Dallas Cowboys can breathe a little easier - and even smile again. At least for now.

Lions vs. Vikings - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Brett Favre and the high-flying Minnesota Vikings offense has been grounded early this season. That's exactly where Adrian Peterson likes it.

Falcons vs. Saints - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
It should have been a routine chip shot for Saints playoff hero Garrett Hartley , a 29-yard field goal in overtime to keep New Orleans unbeaten.

Eagles vs. Jaguars - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Michael Vick made Andy Reid's quarterback decision look like the right one.

Redskins vs. Rams - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Steven Jackson watched from the sideline as the St. Louis Rams ended a 14-game home losing streak. Somehow they did not seem to miss their offensive star.

Colts vs. Broncos - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
There was no slowing down Peyton Manning , even without two of his favorite receivers.

Chargers vs. Seahawks - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Leon Washington returned two second-half kickoffs for touchdowns of 101 and 99 yards, making up for a long list of Seattle mistakes, and the Seahawks held off Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers 27-20 on Sunday.

Jets vs. Dolphins - Recap - September 26, 2010 - NFL - Football -
Braylon Edwards spent the first quarter on the sideline. Soon enough, he was dancing in the end zone for the New York Jets .

Cowboys texans ref blunder (via njnetsownvc)