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11-8-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Peterson Making Plays

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Time for todays links, including a lot of them looking at the incredible punt return ability Patrick Peterson has shown so far this season, and a video from Urban's blog of the only punt return that was longer than the one Peterson had on Sunday. There is also a look at the record for all of the starting QBs under Whisenhunt, and a sideline argument DRC had in the Eagles game last night.

Also, RIP Smokin' Joe Frazier.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Hitting Halfway With Victory In Mind
Cards hope to use win as building block for second half

Closer look at Peterson's 99-yard return - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Patrick Peterson's 99-yard punt return for a touchdown Sunday stands as the second-longest in NFL history. It should stand as the longest, but back in 1994, officials erred in allowing Robert Bailey's 103-yard return for the Los Angeles Rams against New Orleans. Everyone but Bailey appeared to think Tommy Barnhardt's punt had gone out of the end zone for a touchback. So, while the Rams' offensive players and Saints' defensive players walked onto the field, Bailey returned the ball uncontested. League officials later admitted their error, noting that offsetting penalties should have returned the ball to where the infractions occurred, right around the Rams' 15-yard line. There was nothing cheap about Peterson's 99-yarder to beat the St. Louis Rams in overtime. A look back at how it came together:

Arizona Cardinals remaining focused on getting back to work
As euphoric as the Cardinals' locker room was Sunday after the team's thrilling 19-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams in overtime, there were more than a few players who talked about staying humble. After all, the Cardinals had just recorded only their second victory of the season. And it's not like they beat the Green Bay Packers, who are 8-0. They beat the 1-7 Rams.

Surprise: Cardinals' record by starting QBs - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals aren't going to win many games playing offense the way they played it Sunday. They managed only 58 yards by halftime and needed the second-longest punt return in NFL history to beat the previously 1-6 St. Louis Rams in overtime. But if you're interested in bottom-line results without regard for sustainability, prepare to arch an eyebrow upon reviewing won-lost records for the Cardinals' starting quarterbacks under coach Ken Whisenhunt.

Word From the Birds Blog - The play that beats Peterson’s 99
The Patrick Peterson punt return was amazing. He has two game-winning punt returns this season, when the Cards’ last game-winning punt return was back in 1980 by Roy Green (against the Lions 12/7/80). Now he has three punt returns for touchdowns. Heck, before this season, the Cardinals had just two punt returns for touchdowns the entire time they had been in Arizona. Steve Breaston against the Steelers in 2007, and Johnny Bailey against the Redskins in 1993. What would have been nice is if Peterson had set the record for longest punt return in NFL history. When I heard it was 99 yards, I immediately thought he had — after all, if a punt goes in the end zone, the play is dead right?

Arizona Cardinals' Kevin Kolb making progress, too early to know if he'll play vs. Philadelphia Eagles
Here are a few highlights from Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt's Monday news conference with reporters from the team's Tempe training facility. news: Peterson prepared for NFL career by catching water balloons
Don't kick the ball to Patrick Peterson. We're serious about this. Just don't do it. The consequences are grave. The Rams learned this Sunday in overtime, when Peterson returned a punt 99 yards for the winning touchdown. It also made the dynamic Cardinals rookie the first player in NFL history with three punt returns for TDs in his first eight games. Peterson's rate of success is outrageous, but at least somewhat understandable when you learn he has been trained to inflict this type of damage his whole life. blogs - Kent Somers - Morning after a victory
A few notes from Ken Whisenhunt's morning media session:

Word From the Birds Blog - A few words with Whiz
The players were officially given today off after their win Monday, although all that really means is no media access; many are downstairs in the locker room getting treatment or lifting weights or, as I just glimpsed walking to my desk, meeting with coaches like Adrian Wilson is doing with defensive backs coach Louie Cioffi. So that leaves us with coach Ken Whisenhunt’s press conference. Some of the tid and bits from the 20 minutes just now:

Word From the Birds Blog - Peterson up for multiple awards
As so happens when a team wins and a player makes some huge contributions, Patrick Peterson is up for a pair of fan-voted awards this week, after his 99-yard punt return beat the Rams and he chipped in an interception and three tackles on defense. Peterson is up for the Pepsi Rookie of the Week award, which can be voted on right here. Peterson’s competition include Bengals QB Andy Dalton, Falcons receiver Julio Jones, Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray and Redskins running back Roy Helu.

Arizona Cardinals can't afford quarterback controversy between Kevin Kolb, John Skelton yet
As a member of the Cardinals, John Skelton has three times as many wins as Kevin Kolb. For all the rough spots, the backup quarterback has shown great poise under duress, producing big plays late in his last two starts at University of Phoenix Stadium. He has an obvious connection with Andre Roberts, who had more receptions on Sunday (five) than he did in the month of October (four). He is now 3-2 as a starting quarterback in the NFL, while Kolb is 4-10. The numbers scream for a debate. Alas, the Cardinals can't afford a quarterback controversy just yet.

Arizona Cardinals need to draft quarterback Andrew Luck
Usually, I tend to agree with most of what my colleague, Republic sports columnist Dan Bickley, writes. I tell him that all the time. Not this time, Danny boy. Bickley wrote after the Cardinals' 19-13 overtime victory Sunday against the Rams that "now we can all focus on the positive," and that a one-game winning streak suddenly gives a 2-6 team "some currency and some credibility." He also suggested that quarterback John Skelton was good enough, but still "raw enough to keep people from screaming" about the injured starter he replaced, Kevin Kolb. Sorry, but I just don't see it that way, Dan.

Arizona Cardinals-St. Louis Rams readers' reaction: QB controversy, Patrick Peterson, what we learned
Some reaction from our readers' on the Arizona Cardinals' 19-13 win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday:

Podcast: Patrick Peterson on Van Pelt Show - NFC West Blog - ESPN
One thing Patrick Peterson learned from his father: "You never want to let one guy bring you down because that is a sign of weakness." Especially if the punter or snapper is one of those guys. Peterson discussed his winning 99-yard return and other subjects, including all the penalties he's drawing as a cornerback, during an appearance on the Scott Van Pelt Show. Audio here.

2011 Week 9: NFC West game changers - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Arizona Cardinals have not been hurting for drama. Despite a 2-6 record, they've been tied or close in the fourth quarter against six of eight opponents so far. No Cardinals finish this season could match the one Patrick Peterson provided with his 99-yard punt return for a touchdown in overtime Sunday.

QBR ranks: On the 7-1 Alex Smith - NFC West Blog - ESPN
John Skelton, Cardinals (53.9 QBR, 85.7 NFL rating): Skelton completed 20 of 35 passes for 222 yards with one touchdown, no interceptions, three sacks and one fumble (recovered by Arizona) during the Cardinals' 19-13 overtime victory against St. Louis. He became the first quarterback since Rodgers in 2008 to take two safeties in one game, but he also threw the tying touchdown pass in the final five minutes of regulation. He also received some credit for yardage gained through an illegal contact penalty against the Rams during the tying drive.

Cards' hard work and preparation pays off -
During a six game losing streak it can be easy to lose faith in a team philosophy, but Sunday's 19-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams showed that Cardinals players have not abandoned hope on the the season. "We've got so many young guys that are trying to do it the right way and when you have a win like that is validates all the hard work you've put in," head coach Ken Whisenhunt told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf.

Special teams very special in Cards' win -
I defy you to listen to any football coach following a game at any level, in victory or defeat, not mention the three phases of a football game. Offense, defense and special teams. If you fail in one of those three phases, your chances of winning are reduced considerably. However, if you excel in any one of the three, that can be the difference in the ballgame.

John Skelton gives Cardinals small glimpse of what could be -
John Skelton, winner. The Cardinals' fifth round pick out of Fordham last year, Skelton has started five games for the Cardinals, winning three. As ESPN's Mike Sando notes, that gives the QB the highest win percentage among Cardinals QBs in the Ken Whisenhunt era.

Things don't get any easier as Cardinals prepare for Eagles -
Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Sunday's 19-13 win over the Rams will do a lot to lift the team's spirits and get them to believe in what they're doing. It's a good thing they feel better about themselves, because next week's opponent is just a little better than the one the team just beat.

Cardinals get the win but have much to work on -
After six long weeks -- seven if you include the bye week -- the Cardinals finally picked up their second win Sunday against the Rams. The team did it in dramatic fashion no less, thanks to a Patrick Peterson 99-yard punt return for a touchdown in overtime to seal the 19-13 victory. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt believes the win will go a long way for his team.

Peterson a rare weapon indeed -
Patrick Peterson's 99-yard punt return in overtime that lifted the Cardinals to a 19-13 win took the football world by storm. It was the 2nd-longest punt return in league history, the 2nd overtime punt return for a touchdown in NFL annals, and Peterson became the first player in team history with three punt return scores in a single season. It's obvious that Peterson is a very rare weapon; one that is drawing comparisons to Devin Hester and Deion Sanders just eight games into his pro career. In terms of Phoenix/Arizona Cardinal history, you have no idea just how rare Peterson's prowess is.

Cam Newton highlights midseason all-rookie team - Mocking The Draft
CB: Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals Peterson is still coming along in pass coverage, but he's rapidly becoming the best punt return man in the NFL.

In the Red Zone with Ken Whisenhunt - STL Review
Coach joined the Doug and Wolf Show on Arizona Sports 620 to review the thrilling win against the Rams.

Peterson visits with NFL Network
Hear what Cardinals rookie CB Patrick Peterson has to say about his game-winning punt return as he joins "Around the League" on NFL Network.

Peterson Game Winner Sounds Good In Any Language
Lickety Jingle! Listen to the radio calls of Patrick Peterson's game winning punt return by Cards Spanish voice Gabriel Trujillo and English color analyst Ron Wolfley.

Cards Daily - Winning a Close One
After suffering several heartbreaking losses, the Cardinals were able to find a way to win a tight game against the Rams.

Arizona Sports News:

Arizona Wildcats men's basketball team opens season with win
The University of Arizona basketball team appears to be a long way from another conference title. A 73-64 victory over Valparaiso showed that Monday night to the McKale Center crowd of 12,871, but it also showed the first steps toward that distant goal. There is much to figure out for No. 16 UA. The Wildcats won't win their first five games by at least 23 points like they did last season, but they won and learned.

ASU football coach Dennis Erickson takes blame for clock management
Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson on Monday took responsibility for not managing the clock well in the final minutes of Saturday's game, a mistake that played a factor in UCLA's 29-28 victory over the Sun Devils.

NFL News:

Rodgers-Cromartie melts down during loss to Bears | ProFootballTalk
Monday night’s loss to the Bears was another rough game in a season full of them by Eagles cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

NFL Power Rankings, Week 10: It's The Packers And Everyone Else -
In a familiar theme with SB Nation's power rankings, the Packers are No. 1 and the surprising 49ers continue their surge, which lands them at No. 2. The Colts? Well, you can guess where they're ranked.

NFL Week 9, Best And Worst: Patrick Peterson's Punt Return Is Great, The Chiefs Are Not -
From Patrick Peterson's walk-off punt return to the Chiefs' awful game against the former winless Dolphins, here are the top-five best and worst plays from Week 9 of the 2011 season. news: Ryan won't let Jets QB Sanchez live down flinch vs. Bills
You know all that talk about having to put skirts on NFL quarterbacks these days? Yeah, Mark Sanchez's flinch did nothing to stop it. And Jets coach Rex Ryan won't let him live it down anytime soon.

Frank Gore Injury: Sprained Ankle Is Cause For Concern For 49ers RB -
We break down the news that 49ers RB Frank Gore suffered an ankle sprain in Sunday's victory over the Washington Redskins.

Dallas Clark Injury: 'Significant' Leg Injury For Colts TE -
Dallas Clark exited the Colts Week 9 blowout loss to the Falcons with a leg injury and coach Jim Caldwell indicated on Monday that he would miss multiple weeks.

Chris Cook Reinstated By Vikings, But He Won't Play Soon, Says Leslie Frazier -
Chris Cook, suspended without pay after allegedly strangling his girlfriend and being charged with felony domestic assault, has been reinstated to the Minnesota Vikings' active roster. But even if Cook has resumed collecting a paycheck, he won't return to action on the field or even be present at the team's facilities until his legal situation is resolved, head coach Leslie Frazier said Monday during his weekly press conference.

Ordinary Chris Johnson And The NFL Life Cycle -
Chris Johnson has struggled all season, and even as the Titans feed him the ball and announcers hope for the best, the player that used to look special looks about as ordinary and irrelevant as anyone in the NFL. But there's good news, too.

Miles Austin Injury: Cowboys WR Reportedly Out 2-4 Weeks -
Miles Austin suffered re-aggravated a hamstring injury in Week 9 and it's been reported that he's expected to miss 2-4 weeks with the injury.

PHOTO: Tim Tebow Warms Up By Levitating - From Our Editors -
Oh come on, act like you didn't think Tim Tebow could hover effortlessly above the ground.

On the Rams' failed decision to go for it - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The St. Louis Rams faced fourth-and-1 against the Arizona Cardinals with 1:48 remaining and the score tied Sunday. They had failed three times in four chances when facing third- or fourth-and-1 earlier in the game, including on the previous play. They could have attempted a 51-yard field goal with a kicker, Josh Brown, who had made all three attempts in this game. Brown has also hit 15 of 19 field goals from 50-plus yards since signing with St. Louis. But if Steven Jackson could reach that first-down marker, the Rams would be in position to take time off the clock before attempting the winning field goal from a shorter distance. Coach Steve Spagnuolo's decision to go for it backfired when the Cardinals prevented Jackson from adding to his 104-yard rushing total to that point in the game. The Rams wound up getting a second chance as regulation expired, but the Cardinals' Calais Campbell blocked their 42-yard attempt, forcing overtime. And we all know what happened there.

Silver linings: Seahawks at Cowboys - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The facts: The Seattle Seahawks fell to 2-6 with a 23-13 road defeat to the Dallas Cowboys.

Silver linings: Rams at Cardinals - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The facts: The St. Louis Rams fell to 1-7 with a 19-13 overtime loss at Arizona in Week 9.