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10-3-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Giants Aftermath

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 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Another day, another frustrating loss in a close game. Here are some links on last nights game, including several of them on the fumble that wasn't a fumble....

Arizona Cardinals News:

Falling Short In A Giant Way
Cardinals suffer another painful close loss, 31-27, to New York

New York Giants add to Arizona Cardinals' woes
The officials' dressing area at University of Phoenix Stadium is on one side of the Cardinals' locker room. The visiting team's is on the other. The Cardinals pointed in neither direction in assessing blame for their 31-27 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday. "We beat ourselves," defensive end Darnell Dockett said. "It's one thing if you go into a game and don't have a clue, and you're just getting beat. That's not the case with this team." The Cardinals have clues about many things, just not how to close out a game. It cost them a third consecutive game, dropping their record to 1-3 through what was supposed to be the softest part of the schedule. Sunday's loss might have been the most painful. They led 27-17 after running back Beanie Wells scored his third touchdown of the game with 5:16 left, and it appeared the Cardinals had learned how to finish off an opponent. Then they blew it.

New York Giants vs. Arizona Cardinals - Recap - October 02, 2011 - ESPN
Eli Manning needed less than a minute, and some good fortune on a play that could have ruined it all, to turn a sad afternoon into a sweet victory. Manning, playing at the scene of his 2008 Super Bowl triumph, threw two touchdown passes in a 58-second span late in the game and the New York Giants rallied to stun the Arizona Cardinals 31-27 on Sunday.

New York Giants vs Arizona Cardinals Recap - October 02, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Hakeem Nicks' touchdown catch capped a three- score fourth quarter, boosting the New York Giants to a 31-27 comeback victory over the Cardinals. Nicks caught 10 balls for 162 yards, while Eli Manning completed 27-of-40 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns for the Giants (3-1), winners of three in a row.

Rapid Reaction: Giants 31, Cardinals 27 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts on the Arizona Cardinals' 31-27 home defeat against the New York Giants in Week 4:

Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald sets another record in loss
Another week, more franchise records for Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Maybe the Cardinals will win soon, and Fitzgerald actually will be able to enjoy his personal accomplishments. Fitzgerald became the Cardinals' all-time leader in receiving yardage Sunday. He had eight receptions for 102 yards, giving him 8,565 yards for his career and moving him past Roy Green into first place. It's the 28th time Fitzgerald has had at least 100 yards receiving in a game. He was tied for first with Anquan Boldin at 27.

Giants' Eli Manning has more success in Glendale vs. Cardinals
Eli Manning had been here before, in this same place, in a similar situation. Back then, the stakes were much higher. It was Super Bowl XLII, and he and the New York Giants were trailing the undefeated New England Patriots late in the fourth quarter. But just as he did then in 2008, Eli Manning engineered another thrilling comeback - this one with an usual twist, too - Sunday in leading the Giants to a stunning 31-27 victory against the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.

From Record-Breaking To Heartbreaking
Notebook: Fitzgerald, Wells set marks in loss; Carter's first sack a big one

Smith Bided His Time
Running back happy to finally get NFL shot blogs - Mark Faller's Blog - MarkFaller - Cardinals, who don't get a fumble call, fumble a game away
You don't see too many game-deciding blunders by NFL officials, but you can make the argument that we just witnessed one today in Glendale.

Waiting Game Familiar For Housler
Behind veterans, rookie tight end has been through this before

NFL statement on Victor Cruz non-fumble - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The NFL released the following explanation for referee Jerome Boger's ruling that New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz did not fumble against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4:

Word From the Birds Blog - Giants aftermath
Was it a fumble? Does it even matter? This is the reality – Giants receiver Victor Cruz did an amazing job keep his feet after an initial hit by cornerback Michael Adams. He made a couple of moves back and forth. Then he "gave himself up" and then dropped the ball. The Cards picked it up. "I thought it was a fumble," safety Kerry Rhodes said, and honestly, as I stood down on the sideline some 20 yards away, it looked that way to me. Giants quarterback Eli Manning admitted the Giants caught a break.

Arizona Cardinals-New York Giants play of the game
The setup: The Cardinals trailed 31-27. It was 2nd and 1 from the Giants 29-yard line with 1:21 left in the game.

Cardinals rewind: What we learned in loss vs. Giants
Kent Somers breaks down what we learned in the Cardinals' 31-27 loss to the Giants.

The heat is on for Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb
The pressure Kevin Kolb felt on the field Sunday extended to the postgame interview room, where a collection of media members delivered the journalistic version of stunts and blitzes. Why can't this team finish? Why so many sacks? Why are there red-zone issues? Why why why why why? "This is my first full season," he said. "I know there are a lot of challenges. This is one of them." news: Refs save Giants WR Cruz from potential embarrassment
It had all the makings of a bonehead play, but Victor Cruz is one lucky guy, much to the chagrin of the Arizona Cardinals and their fans.

The fumble that wasn't, Cardinals get tough break on call -
Kerry Rhodes called it "crazy." Giants QB Eli Manning said "We got a break on that one, I think." In question is a fourth quarter play where Giants receiver Victor Cruz made a catch, fell down, got back up and had the ball stripped. The Cardinals recovered the fumble, but the Giants maintained possession. The play was good for 19 yards. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt challenged the ruling but it didn't matter.

Cardinals let chances slip away against Giants -
Two weeks ago the Cardinals had a chance to put together a game-winning drive against the Redskins, only to fall short after Chansi Stuckey coughed up the football. One week ago the Cardinals had a chance to, at the very least, get a game-tying field goal attempt, only to see a Kevin Kolb interception end that drive and the team's chances of winning. Sunday, in the friendly confines of University of Phoenix Stadium, the Cardinals had a chance to rally for a win even after letting a two-score fourth quarter lead slip away, only to see the drive stall at the Giants' 30. Final score: Giants 31, Cardinals 27 - and thousands of groans along the way.

VIDEO: Victor Cruz Appears To Fumble; Did The Refs Miss The Call? - From Our Editors -
Did the refs blow the call when Victor Cruz appeared to fumble? Judge for yourself.

Bizarre ruling saves Giants in Arizona | ProFootballTalk
Your officiating controversy of the week just went down in Arizona.

The rest of the Giants win in Arizona | ProFootballTalk
The inexplicable call that wiped out Victor Cruz’s apparent fumble in the fourth quarter is the biggest headline from Sunday’s 31-27 Giants victory over the Cardinals, but there are other takeaways from a game that came down to the wire.

Seeking clarity on Victor Cruz non-fumble - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Referee Jerome Boger's ruling that New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz had declared himself down, and therefore had not fumbled, produced confusion Sunday. The Arizona Cardinals had not touched Cruz following his fourth-quarter reception during the Giants' go-ahead drive. Cruz went down, then flipped the ball forward as if the play had ended. A turnover in that situation might have proved pivotal to the outcome, but Boger ruled Cruz down and said the play could not be challenged. The 2011 NFL rulebook outlines several conditions for a dead ball, including:

Cards vs. Giants Highlights
Watch as "Big Blue" take on the Cardinals in this come from behind victory for the Giants.

The Non-Fumble
Victor Cruz goes to the ground as the Giants drive down the field, but a potential fumble could not be challenged due to a rarely-used rule.

Cards Daily - Postgame Reaction New York
The Cardinals suffer a gut wrenching loss to the Giants and were unable to close the game. Listen to sounds from postgame press conferences and inside the locker room to hear reaction from Coach Whisenhunt and players.

VIDEO: Victor Cruz Appears To Fumble; Did The Refs Miss The Call? - From Our Editors -
The New York Giants came back to beat the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday evening, thanks to a late Eli Manning touchdown pass to Hakeem Nicks. But it was what happened before the touchdown pass that ignited controversy, and perhaps changed the outcome of the game. As Victor Cruz made a catch over the middle, he stumbled to the ground, then dropped the ball before he was touched down. Arizona recovered, only to have the officials rule Cruz down, allowing the Giants to keep possession.

Arizona Sports News:

Brewers throttle Diamondbacks with big sixth inning
It had the feel of so many games before it, a Diamondbacks team unexpectedly seizing momentum with no plans of letting it go. During a pitching change in the sixth inning, Diamondbacks outfielders gathered as they usually do, and they talked about how it felt like a game they were going to win. But everything suddenly sped up, and Game 2 of the National League Division Series felt as if it were being played on a DVR at double-speed. The rapid-fire pace, catcher Miguel Montero said later, made him feel as if he were in a shooting range. If so, the Milwaukee Brewers hit the target - again and again and again - during a five-run sixth inning, seizing a 9-4 victory at Miller Park and sending the Diamondbacks home with their backs against the wall.

Diamondbacks, Cardinals leave fans disappointed
That both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Arizona Cardinals lost Sunday was painful enough. But for fans watching in Valley sports bars, the pain was magnified because the plays that turned the games bleak happened at the same time.

ASU football team up 3 spots to No. 22 in AP college football poll
The Arizona State football team jumped three spots in the The Associated Press college football poll released Sunday after their 35-20 win over Oregon State in Tempe on Saturday.

NFL News:

Tough NFC West lessons, except for 49ers - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Jim Harbaugh and Kevin Kolb arrived, Matt Hasselbeck departed, and the NFC West team with the highest hopes at quarterback largely stood pat at wide receiver. The moves that defined the NFC West offseason are defining the regular season, too. Early advantage, San Francisco 49ers.

Wrap-up: 49ers 24, Eagles 23 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts on the San Francisco 49ers' 24-23 road victory against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 4:

Wrap-up: Falcons 30, Seahawks 28 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks' 30-28 home defeat against the Atlanta Falcons:

Wrap-up: Redskins 17, Rams 10 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts on the St. Louis Rams' home loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 4:

NFL Week 4 Debrief: Preseason Favorites Become Regular Season Duds -
The fourth week of the NFL season brought us an amazing comeback by the Lions, another (yawn) win for the Packers and continued struggles for a few preseason favorites.

Exclusive: Madonna To Perform At Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show, Sources Tell -
Madonna will perform at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show in February, according to sources.

Andrew Luck Calls His Own Plays, NFL Team Tank Even Harder - From Our Editors -
As if NFL scouts could possibly adore Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck any more, now he's minoring in offensive coordination (in addition to playing a little wide receiver):

The yardage arrows are pointing the wrong way in Jacksonville - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Memo to Jacksonville Jaguars groundskeepers: The arrows on football fields are supposed to point toward the closest end zone.

NFL goes pink for breast cancer awareness -
From coaches' caps to players' cleats and officials' whistles, the NFL went pink on Sunday

Rob Ryan Thinks Calvin Johnson Is 'Almost' As Good As Dez Bryant, Miles Austin - From Our Editors -
Rob Ryan's breath probably smells like Nikes by now after jamming his foot knee-deep into his mouth. Earlier this week, the Cowboys' defensive coordinator said the following about Detroit's Calvin Johnson:

ANIMATED: Marion Barber Tries A Backflip, Fails Miserably - From Our Editors -
The backflip is one of my favorite celebrations. If done right, it can be an incredibly display of athleticism and skill. If done wrong, it's never not funny, and usually results in an awkward looking fall or face-plant.

VIDEO: Vince Wilfork With This Week's Fat Guy Interception - From Our Editors -
The New England Patriots are dominating the Oakland Raiders today. Not content to let Tom Brady and Wes Welker have all of the spotlight for their historic efforts today, New England defensive lineman Vince Wilfork got in on the fun with a fourth quarter interception on Raiders' quarterback Jason Campbell.

PHOTO: Matt Cassel, Todd Haley Have To Be Separated On The Sidelines - From Our Editors -
The Kansas City Chiefs are having a rough season. In today's game against the Minnesota Vikings, head coach Todd Haley and starting quarterback Matt Cassel got into a tussle. The engaged in a verbal sparring match, and had to be separated by La'Ron McClain before things got out of hand.

VIDEO: Ronnie Brown Inexplicably Tries To Throw Ball Away, Fumbles -
Memo to running backs: If you are in on a goal-line play and asked to run it up the gut, it's probably not very advisable to try to throw it away as you're being tackled. Hopefully, Ronnie Brown learned that lesson on Sunday, when he inexplicably tried to do that very thing against the San Francisco 49ers. Appropriately, the Philadelphia Eagles running back fumbled on the play.

ANIMATED: Devin Hester's Triple-Somersault TD Celebration - From Our Editors -
It's been awhile since Devin Hester scored on special teams, so excuse him if he made up for lost time with a downright silly TD celebration. Check out the GIF below the jump, and cross your fingers that he doesn't end up missing time in the second half with a sore neck.

Sunday’s five most valuable players, Week 4 - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Comprehensive National Football League news, scores, standings, fantasy games, rumors, and more

Sunday’s five least valuable players, Week 4 - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Comprehensive National Football League news, scores, standings, fantasy games, rumors, and more