SB Nation Arizona
Stay connected for news and updates Follow @sbnarizona
Like us to subscribe
Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely was fined $7,875 for a late hit against the Miami Dolphins.
There is a high likelihood that the Arizona Cardinals will get both Todd Heap and Darnell Dockett back in the lineup after missing Sunday's game against Miami.
The Arizona Cardinals are 4-0 and have found a way to win the close games so far in 2012.
Kevin Kolb had his share of 'what in the world' and 'this guy is amazing' against the Miami Dolphins
SB Nation's Cardinal site Revenge of the Birds was ecstatic to get a win any way possible, but they still found some negatives in their team's performance. Contributor Tyler Nickel was not satisfied with the cornerback play and Kevin Kolb's interceptions, but he made it a point to single out the offensive line's poor showing:
To me, this was the biggest downfall for the Cardinals against the Dolphins. Miami has a very good defensive line, but Arizona made them look like a mixture of Pro Bowl players. They couldn't get a push in the run game and Kolb was running for his life all day. Bobby Massie, although a rookie, was eaten alive by Cameron Wake, allowing four sacks from his side.
On the bright side of things, ROTB was quite happy with the contribution punter Dave Zastudil turned in along with the performances of linebackers Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield. Mostly though, they just loved that their team yet again found a way to pull off another scrappy victory:
After Kolb was intercepted (on what maybe should have been called DPI on Sean Smith pushing Larry Fitzgerald), the Cardinals proceeded to blow the coverage on Hartline the very next play for a long Hartline touchdown. Quite deflating to say the least. But somehow, Daryl Washington managed to cause a fumble, and then somehow on fourth down, with the game on the line Kolb found Andre Roberts for a game tying 15-yard touchdown. Despite incredibly sloppy and sleepy play, the Cardinals found a way to keep it close and pull out a win.
A look back at Sunday on Monday morning.
But while the team had no new injuries to report Monday morning from Week 4, it is still hoping to be have some key pieces back this week. Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (hamstring), tight end Todd Heap (knee) and reserve running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (hip) were all inactive Sunday but there's a strong possibility that some, if not all, of this trio will be back for Thursday's game against the St. Louis Rams.
Quarterback John Skelton (ankle) also sat after turning in some limited participation practice performances earlier this week. Skelton could be healthy enough to give Kevin Kolb a real challenge for the starting job in Week 5, but it's unlikely head coach Ken Whisenhunt decides to drastically change anything up with the Cardinals sitting at 4-0.
Postgame notes and comments from the coach and players.
After throwing a crucial interception in the end zone earlier in the fourth quarter, Kevin Kolb led the Cardinals on scoring drives both at the end of regulation to tie the game and on Arizona's second overtime possession. With the win, Arizona moved to 4-0, one of three remaining unbeaten teams.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Dolphins scored 13 points in the second quarter to take a 13-0 halftime lead. Arizona got on the board early in the third quarter to cut the lead to 13-7, then took a 14-13 lead in the fourth quarter on Kolb's second touchdown pass. Arizona had a chance to extend its lead later in the quarter, but Kolb threw an interception in the end zone. On the next play, Ryan Tannehill hit Brian Hartline for an 80-yard touchdown and Miami converted the two-point conversion for a 21-14 lead.
Arizona took over with 2:51 left in the fourth quarter and Kolb led them on a 10-play, 51-yard drive that ended in his third touchdown pass of the game. Jay Feely kicked the extra point to tie the game and force overtime. Arizona received the ball to start overtime, but the offense went three-and-out and the Cardinals were forced to punt.
Miami moved the ball during its overtime possession, but Tannehill was intercepted by Kerry Rhodes and the Arizona offense took over in Dolphin territory. The Cardinals were able to move the ball close enough to set up Feely's game-winning 46-yard field goal.
Harline's 253 receiving yards were a Dolphins team record.
Fantasy studs and duds
Brian Hartline caught 12 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown, capping a monster day. Ryan Tannehill also had a big game, throwing for 431 yards and a touchdown.
Larry Fitzgerald didn't have a huge game, with eight catches for 64 yards, but he caught a touchdown to salvage a decent fantasy day. Andre Roberts caught six passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Ryan Williams gained just 26 yards on 13 carries with one catch for zero yards.
Both teams managed to get through the game without any apparent major injuries.
Did they cover?
The Cardinals opened as 4.5-point favorites, a spread they failed to cover with their three-point victory.
10/4 8:20 p.m. ET: Arizona at St. Louis
10/7 1 p.m. ET: Miami at Cincinnati
The Miami Dolphins have been using their physical play and also some mismatches to surprise the Arizona Cardinals and head into halftime with a 13-0 lead. The Arizona offense was not moving the ball and Ryan Tannehill picked on William Gay the entire half to outgain the Cardinals 250 yards to 68 for Arizona.
When the first quarter ended, Miami was driving down the field. They ended that drive with a 32-yard Dan carpenter field goal to give Miami a 3-0 lead. The drive was 14 plays for 64 yards.
After forcing Arizona to punt twice, Miami started at their own five-yard line. The drive started with a 21-yard run by Reggie Bush and then, seven plays later, Miami found the end zone. They went for it on fourth-and-goal at the one and Jovorskie Lane punched it in for the score with just under two minutes left in the half.
The Cardinals hoped to use their two-minute offense to generate some points and got to midfield, but on a miscommunication between Larry Fitzgerald and Kevin Kolb, Kolb threw an interception and Sean Smith took the interception down to the Arizona 34. After two plays, Miami kicked a 27-yard field goal to cap the scoring of the half for a 13-0 lead.
For Arizona, Kevin Kolb was 11/14 for 71 yards and a pick. he was sacked three times. Ryan Williams had 18 yartds rushing on four carries.
Neither the Arizona Cardinals nor the Miami Dolphins have been able to do a whole lot offensively; however, Ryan Tannehill is not looking like the rookie quarterback he is in the first quarter. after one quarter, the teams are scoreless, but Tannehill has led Miami into Arizona territory.
Tannehill has been picking on cornerback William Gay to find Davone Bess, who has three catches for 51 yards. The running game has not been as successful, though. Reggie Bush has only gained nine yards on four carries. Tannehill, however, was 8/10 for 86 yards and helped the team convert on three of four third down attempts.
The game looks as of now like it will be a physical game that goes down to the wire.
The Cardinals will be down three major contributors as they attempt to start the season 4-0
Here's what matchups the Cardinals will need to exploit in order to carry their undefeated record into Week 5:
The Cardinals may be playing arguably their easiest opponent so far this season. Still, this will be no walk in the park. What must they do to reach the 4-0 plateau?
All you want to know about their team stats and connections between the teams.
Injuries and a surprise retirement bring back a familiar face.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Friday that defensive end Darnell Dockett (hamstring), tight end Todd Heap (knee) and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (hip) will all be game-time decisions, according to the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers.
Somers also elaborated that he doesn't expect any of the trio to be on the field Sunday when the Cardinals take on the Miami Dolphins in Week 4 action at home.
If Arizona is without these three player's services, the Cardinals would be taking a serious hit in all aspects of the game; Dockett is a key cog in both the pass-rush and run-clogging departments, Heap is a reliable safety valve for quarterback Kevin Kolb, and Stephens-Howling is a game-changer when it comes to special teams.
Stephens-Howling also plays the change-of-pace role as a ball-carrier, so Ryan Williams could operate as a three-down back with running back Beanie Wells being placed on the IR earlier this week. Undrafted rookie running back William Powell is expected to be active for the first time this season and could be thrust into action in his first career NFL game thanks to the injuries piling up.
The Arizona Cardinals might be 3-0, but there appears to always be room for improvement. Safety Kerry Rhodes indicated as much after practice on Thursday. Jose Youngs of Arizona Sports files this report.
"We know we're not great and we know we're not where we want to be yet," Rhodes said after practice on Thursday. "We've got work to do and we've come out these first two practices and have gotten after it. So, nobody is slacking off. We'll be ready to go."
"Coming into the year we knew we had the potential to be one of the better defenses and we came into camp and had a lot of swagger and had a lot of confidence," said Rhodes. "But I think the best thing for us was the preseason when we went out and didn't play that well. It let us know we had to come out and be prepared every game and be ready to go every game. I think that helped us out a lot."
The Cardinals have indeed responded very well to the early calls to playing better defensively after a horrid start to the preseason, where Arizona gave up the most points in the league. The Cardinals have only allowed 13.3 points per game, second-fewest in the league. The defense is allowing 33% on third downs and has 12 sacks on the season from seven different players. And it isn't just shrimp offenses they've been cutting down on; Arizona has put down New England and Philadelphia, two of the most highly regarded offenses in the country.
Against Miami, there will be different threats. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is one of them, but the Dolphins offensive line has proven to be effective at minimizing the pass rush, allowing only two sacks and giving Tannehill the chance to throw the football.
Kolb is not expected to miss any practices after being able to be there when his daughter, Saylor Kolb, made her big debut, according to the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers.
Kolb had recently said that he would miss a game if his daughter's birth conflicted with the NFL schedule so Cardinal fans should be happy on multiple levels about this good news. Arizona is taking on the Dolphins at home this Sunday before traveling to St. Louis to play the Rams on Thursday (which was Saylor's predicted due date).
We at SB Nation Arizona would like to give a big congratulations to the new father. It's not every week that you're the leader of a 3-0 football team and get the privilege of extending your family.
The Arizona Cardinals are the biggest surprise in the NFL with a 3-0 record. Larry Fitzgerald talks with SB Nation about Arizona's success and the rebirth of the NFC West.
Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush was limited in Thursday practices but looks strong, according to Ben Volin of The Palm Beach Post. Volin said he had little doubt Bush will be able to play Sunday against Arizona.
Bush was seen at Thursday's practice on a bike before joining his teammates for non-contact drills.
Reggie worked with the team in non-contact drills. The way he's running, you'd have no idea he hurt himself Sunday— Ben Volin (@BenVolinPBP) September 27, 2012
Bush has 50 attempts for 302 yards on the season, giving him a 6.0 rushing average. He injured his knee against the Houston Texans in Week 3, but an MRI showed no damage.
Volin also reported that Miami cornerback Richard Marshall was not at Thursday's practice. The Dolphins starter had played in all three games but was limited in practice on Wednesday because of a back injury that occurred two weeks ago.
Marshall was the Cardinals' starting cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson last year. The seven-year veteran has played in at least 16 games in every season leading into 2012.
Skelton was able to go through team drills and get in some 11-on-11 work, but is still experiencing pain when moving laterally. "The straight drop is fine," he said. "But that's not football." It is unclear at this point whether Skelton will regain his position as starter once he returns from injury due to the stellar play of Kevin Kolb.
Darnell Dockett is dealing with a hamstring injury and missed the entirety of the practice session. Running back LaRod Stephens-Howling (hip) and fullback Anthony Sherman (hamstring) were also absent.
The extended loss of Beanie Wells, who went to I.R. on Wednesday due to a turf toe injury is going to spread the Cardinals thin in the backfield and leave Ryan Williams with more responsibility moving forward. Williams will practice fully all week barring any setbacks.
Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells was placed on the injured reserve on Wednesday, but is the team's player designated to return, according to NFL reporter Adam Caplan. That means Wells, who has been limited with turf toe, will be out until at least late November.
Beanie Wells eligible to play again 11/25 vs Rams. Misses MIA, STL, BUF, MIN, SF, GB and ATL games. Plus bye.— Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@espn_nfcwest) September 26, 2012
Wells has 29 rushing attempts for 76 yards this season.
The decision places the running back duties heavily on backup Ryan Williams, who is playing in his first season out of Virginia Tech after missing his true rookie season because of a knee injury. Williams had a breakout game in Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles, taking 13 carries for 83 yards. It was a fine recovery from a late-game fumble one week prior that almost cost Arizona a victory at New England.
Williams has 31 carries for 105 yards this season.
Yesterday's roster moves alluded to Wells's status. Despite having LaRod Stephens-Howling and William Powell behind Williams on the depth chart, Arizona signed running back Alfonso Smith and fullback Korey Hall.
Miami Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby had some interesting comments on Wednesday, when talking about his former team. The Dolphins take on the Cardinals this week, a team that Dansby went to the Super Bowl with in the 2008-09 season. Dansby then bolted in free agent to take a huge contract with Miami, but his teams there have never experienced that much success, as Miami has gone 14-21 in Dansby's three years with the organization.
That being said, Dansby definitely feels pretty confident facing his old teammates in Arizona on Sunday, despite the Cardinals being 3-0 and the Dolphins being 1-2. Vince Marotta of Arizona Sports files this report:
"I tell them every day, we've got what it takes -- we've got more than what it takes. We're more talented there than I was ever in Arizona, if you look at the stats, or you look at the players and the potential," Dansby said during a media conference call Wednesday. "We've just got to put it together as a team. That's what I told them, when we were there, we were a team, it didn't matter, we were all in."
Indeed, Miami should feel pretty confident with their run defense, which has generally made life miserable for opposing running backs. The issue is their pass defense, which is one of the worst in the country, allowing over 300 yards a game. If Arizona can move the ball through the air, it'll make life very difficult for Dansby and the Dolphins, and they'll have to rely more on young quarterback Ryan Tannehill to make plays.
Bryan Gibberman breaks down how the Cardinals have used Patrick Peterson on offense over the past two seasons.
As the Arizona Cardinals continue their preparation for the Miami Dolphins this Sunday, there is a roster move that reportedly has happened that the team has yet to announce. According to his own Twitter feed, running back Alfonso Smith has been brought back to the team.
#Birdgang still in me!— Alfonso Smith (@FonzoAZ46) September 26, 2012
I will be wearing #29 #ChangeUp— Alfonso Smith (@FonzoAZ46) September 26, 2012
Neither his signing nor the corresponding roster move that would have to take place has been announced.
This signing makes the second this week of someone to play in the backfield. Fullback Korey Hall was added officially on Tuesday.
What has not been said either is why the changes in the backfield. Beanie Wells has a toe injury, so perhaps he is going to be sidelined for a while. Perhaps the team has cut ties with preseason stud William Powell. As for the signing of Hall, it means something is up with fullback Anthony Sherman.
Perhaps there is an injury that will be made known after injury reports come out on Wednesday, or perhaps there is a suspension coming for Sherman as a result of his unnecessary roughness penalty last Sunday.
The Arizona Cardinals will be going for their fourth-straight win to start the season when they face the Miami Dolphins in Week 4 of the 2012 NFL schedule. The Cardinals are one of the biggest surprises of the year so far, and hosting the 1-2 Dolphins provides a great opportunity to keep it rolling. Arizona faces Miami at 1:05 p.m. PT, Sunday on CBS.
The two teams directly behind the Cardinals in the division standings will have a tougher time on Sunday, as they both hit the road and play in the dreaded early time slot at 10 a.m. The San Francisco 49ers head cross-country to take on the New York Jets, while the Seattle Seahawks visit the St. Louis Rams in an NFC West Battle.
The nationally-televised games this week include the Browns and Ravens, Thursday at 5:20 p.m. on NFL Network. The Giants and Eagles battle in Philadelphia at 5:20 p.m., Sunday on NBC. The Monday night game features the Cowboys and Bears at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN.
For a complete listing of all the games, be sure to visit S.I.'s NFL schedule page.
It looks like their hopes are being met, as the former LSU Tigers star isn't putting up the most gaudy numbers like other big name defensive players, but one specific stat sticks out quite a bit.
Patrick Peterson stat: Has given up just 0.38 yards per snap in coverage, the lowest # of any CB with 100 coverage snaps— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) September 25, 2012
Peterson only has six tackles through the Cardinals three games this season. He already has an interception, and with one more would equal the total number of interceptions his rookie season.
Peterson earned the Thorpe Award while at LSU, an award for college football's best defensive player. But he made his initial impact with the Cardinals as a punt returner last season by tying a league record four punt-return touchdowns. This year, he is making a name for himself again on defense.
Larry Fitzgerald told USA Today that, "Patrick has a chance to be a great corner, just like Darrelle [Revis].'' Perhaps with Revis out for the season, Peterson can fill his shoes as the best cornerback in the game.
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald weighed in on the debate over replacement officials in an interview with SB Nation the day after a controversial call changed the outcome of a Monday Night Football game between the Seahawks and Packers.
Injured Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush could play Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. The team told reporters on Monday that there was no serious damage to Bush's knee, and Bush's teammates certainly think he'll be ready to play, according to their comments via ESPN:
"He's healthy and he'll be able to contribute," offensive lineman Richie Incognito said.
Backup running back Lamar Miller said Bush told him that he'd "be back soon." Bush has been doing rehab workouts in the team's training facility the past few days.
Miller a 5'10, 218-pound rookie and a 6'1, 233-pound second-year pro Daniel Thomas will likely get the carries in place of Bush if the starter is out or limited against the Cardinals. Bush has accounted for 302 rushing yards on 50 carries for a 6.0 average this season. He also has two touchdown receptions through three games.
The Arizona Cardinals have signed fullback Korey Hall and cut offensive tackle Pat McQuistan, according to an announcement made by the team on Tuesday afternoon.
Hall, a sixth-year player out of Boise State, spent last season with the New Orleans Saints and played in 13 games after spending his first four seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Fullback Anthony Sherman's status has been in question of late, and the Cardinals used reserve guard Rich Ohrnberger for a snap in Sunday's 27-6 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, so Hall is a much-needed addition to the team's thin fullback position.
The Cardinals also announced that they re-signed linebacker Zack Nash and added him to the practice squad. In a corresponding move, the team released linebacker Ricky Elmore from the practice squad. Nash spent training camp with the team, after signing as an undrafted free agent.
The growing process continues for the young running back.
Kevin Kolb remains the Arizona Cardinals starting quarterback, and coach Ken Whisenhunt said former starter John Skelton is moving closer to being ready. Asked what he thinks will happen once Skelton is ready, Whisenhunt said nothing beyond the following:
Whiz on QB choice: "I don't want to sound like a broken record, but we'll see when John is healthy enough to play."— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) September 24, 2012
So the coach won't say how he thinks the seemingly endless quarterback saga will play out between Kolb and Skelton, but the facts are these: The Cardinals are 3-0, their defense is imposing, Kolb is managing the games well and Skelton isn't needed to revive a stagnant offense right now.
Other news from Monday out at Cards headquarters, via Darren Urban of azcardinals.com:
Nothing new on the status of running back Beanie Wells (toe injury) or defensive tackle Darnell Dockett (hamstring). Whisenhunt did say he hopes that tight end Todd Heap (knee) and safety Adrian Wilson (groin) can play Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
For more coverage of the Cardinals, visit Revenge Of The Birds.