We're back to Cardinals football, so that means we're back to ranting! This week we're going to talk about that exciting win from Monday night. I'm sorry it's been a few days, this article will be posted earlier in the week from now on. During the off season I moved to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a one year assignment, so I'll be watching the games the day afterward and getting fired up on the other side of the world from most of you.
A reminder what this column is about. It's all my opinion and does not necessarily represent the fine staff here at Revenge of the Birds. If you want to rant right back, I'd love to see it in your comments. I rant about two rant worthy topics from the previous weeks game and one "Come on, man!" moment that is just frustrating and deserves some head shaking. The goal of this article is to give you some extra ranting each week. So let's get started!
Carson Palmer scrambling for first downs? Did that just happen? Carson Palmer ran for 30 yards for the first time in his 12-year NFL career. Some key runs from the old man helped keep the Cardinals in the game during some good coverage from the San Diego Chargers, and showing the hole in their game planning they never planned for a "mobile" QB. Well ... our old man put 30 yards on the Chargers, and they've got the Seahawk's next week.
Russell Wilson fantasy owners have got to be ecstatic about this week's match up. I just read that Palmer is on the injury list for this week with a shoulder injury, and it wasn't caused by any of the Charger's hits, it came from the University of Phoenix Stadium. Palmer slipped after the game on his way back to the locker room. Hopefully he's feeling better before the game, but I found some irony in the old man scrambling on the field making plays and then falling down after the game.
Does it smell like Foote in here? Larry Foote answered the question of whether he had anything left in the tank. The answer was on display as the veteran player made play after play. If you're an aging linebacker in the NFL you need to ask your agent to call Mr. Keim about setting up one of those one-year contracts.
Continuing the recent tradition Foote has found his first sips of the fountain of youth and is excelling in Todd Bowles defensive scheme. From the first play of the match until the last Foote was flying around and was key to the final stop on the fourth down play which sealed the Cardinals victory.
I know many of us have been irked by the old mantra in Arizona to sign Pittsburgh cast-offs, but I've been high on Larry Foote for years, and wanted him to come Arizona the last three years when he was coveted in the off season. Now we wait and watch, and hope that he can continue to sip that fountain of youth and have a strong year in Cardinal Red.
"Come on, man!":
There is no controversy with the targets for Larry Fitzgerald, it's called playing better NFL football. I listened to the broadcast, read all of the articles, and read the tweets about the controversy of Larry not getting many targets in the game. If you believe everything that was being pushed into the media you would think the Cardinals suddenly dislike the future Hall of Famer and were purposely not giving him the ball.
The good news is, I'm perpetually speculative. There's always more to a story than is being shown, and luckily in this case I watched every snap of the game and some of the coaches film. With my own eyes I saw great coverage by the Chargers on Larry Fitzgerald which helped set up Michael Floyd's big day.
In the fourth quarter the broadcast announcers made a big deal of the twin sprint routes by Floyd and Fitz and Palmer threw to Floyd. What they didn't show was the coverage of the safety flying in on Fitz. Floyd had single coverage on the play, if it goes a little differently that could have been an even bigger play.
Palmer did need to make better throws because a few of the five targets to Larry were pretty poor, but why would he not use one of his best weapons? The very idea that there is any controversy is ridiculous. Why would Palmer not use the guy who made that eye popping one handed circus catch in the end zone? Why would the Cardinals pay around $8M for a guy to not use him?
Head coach Bruce Arians discussed the topic after the game, and I'll paraphrase: he doesn't want to force feed anyone, he wants "W's". Palmer learned from last season where he admitted he was force feeding Fitz and that lead to some of the interceptions. So if Fitz gets less targets and it results in the Cardinals having less interceptions and more wins, we should all be happy. That's called playing better football and is a recipe for success.