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Okay, so that one was kind of a heartbreaker. The Arizona Cardinals were all set to pull off a big upset after leading for almost the entire game against the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens came all the way back and won it with a field goal at the last second. The last thing you want to do is thing about that game any more than you have to, am I right? Here are the key numbers from Sunday's 30-27 loss.
Surprisingly, although the Cardinals dominated the first half of the game, they had fewer total yards, passing yards, total plays, and nearly half as many first downs as did the Ravens (17 first down as opposed to 30). In spite of all that, the Cardinals had more time of possession (by 0:30 or so, but still, surprising).
The Cardinals only had one turnover compared to Baltimore's two, and only the Cardinals contributed a defensive or special teams touchdown (Patrick Peterson's 82 yard punt return).
Although in the early going it certainly looked like Ravens QB Joe Flacco was gearing up for one of the worst performances in a long while, he ended up with much gaudier numbers than Kevin Kolb. Kolb was 10-for-21 on the day with 98 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception. He finished with a 68.2 passer rating. Although Flacco threw an interception and no touchdowns, he ended up 31-for-51 with 298 passing yards.
If you feel like dwelling on the game further, your fellow Cardinals fans can be reached at Revenge Of The Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals have had a rough Sunday. Not only did they lose in disastrous fashion to the Baltimore Ravens by blowing a multiple touchdown lead, they might have injured starters at the two most critical position.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic tweets a report from Beanie Wells that indicates that his knee injury isn't going to be healing anytime soon. Wells could be struggling with these pains all season, meaning that the Cardinals (and fantasy owners) can't really count on their projected starting tailback to churn out the yards on a consistent basis.
Somers also tweeted that Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb could be suffering from turf toe (he was wearing a walking boot after the game), which if true could very well sideline him if the pain is too great. That could mean John Skelton is in the mix to start if things don't turn out okay. It's certainly a development to keep your eye on in the upcoming week.
For more on the Cardinals, head to Revenge of the Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals jumped all over the Baltimore Ravens in the second quarter with a series of forced turnovers, a punt return touchdown and a couple of nice throws from Kevin Kolb. The defense got pressure on Joe Flacco and with a 24-3 lead found themselves in control of the ball game.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, a 21-point road lead isn't enough as they get outscored 24-3 in the second half and lose their sixth-straight game on a last second field goal. The final score for the Ravens win, 30-27.
The tide of a game that started so well for Arizona turned late in the 2nd quarter when the Ravens put the ball in Flacco's hands. That typically not been a good recipe for the Ravens but against the Cardinals defense it worked. Instead of the inaccurate passes he made early in the game, Flacco found a rhythm and marched his team down the field and into the red zone. A Cardinals sack forced a field goal, but momentum had shifted.
That momentum carried over to the second half with the Ravens offense scoring touchdowns after 80 and 88 yard drives thanks to an incredible performance by former Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin who easily abused young cornerbacks A.J. Jefferson and Patrick Peterson in single coverage.
When the Cardinals adjusted coverage to take away Boldin, they stopped getting pressure on Flacco and he was able to find his other guys to move the ball.
The Arizona offensive line couldn't keep Kolb on his feet (six sacks allowed) and it eventually led to a turnover as former ASU Sun Devil Terrell Suggs hit Kolb as he was throwing the ball. The ball fluttered out and landed in a defender's hands. With a short field, the Ravens scored again in part thanks to a third pass interference penalty drawn by Boldin in the end zone.
Baltimore took a 27-24 lead off the ensuing Ray Rice touchdown to complete the comeback heading into the fourth quarter.
Cardinals fans can't complain about the officiating as they had an interception reversed by a questionable pass interference call along with a few other fortunate flags. That call, along with some other turns of fortune, allowed the Cardinals to tie the game with a 45-yard Jay Feely field goal.
Kolb had the ball in his hands with about three minutes left and tie game but predictably the offense couldn't generate any movement and the defense couldn't hold. Flacco found Torrey Smith for a 36-yard completion to put the Ravens in easy range for a game-winning field goal.
After putting up 151 yards in the first half, the Cardinals offense only generated 56 yards in the second half against the NFL's best defense. On the flip side, the Arizona secondary was torched by Flacco who threw for 336 yards on the day (31-51) with two-thirds of that coming in the second half.
It was an epic collapse by a bad football team who found yet another way to lose a game.
For more on this game, visit Revenge of the Birds blog.
The Arizona Cardinals are stunning the NFL world by making huge plays on defense and special teams against the highly-favored Baltimore Ravens. With more confidence, even Kevin Kolb is playing at another level. The Cardinals forced a fumble and scored. Returned a punt for a touchdown. And picked off Flacco and scored another seven points to take an incredible 24-3 lead.
On the first great play, O'Brien Schofield, one of two young linebackers getting playing time, beat his man around the edge with his speed and forced a fumble giving the Cardinals the ball at the two yard line. Two plays later and Beanie Wells was diving over the line for a touchdown to give Arizona a 10-3 lead.
On their next series, the Cardinals defense took advantage of the Ravens decision to throw the ball and got pressure on Flacco. The Ravens went three and out.
Following the defensive hold, dynamic rookie Patrick Peterson broke multiple tackles to return the punt for a touchdown. It was an incredible play by the young play maker and put Arizona up 17-3 and started the boos from the Baltimore crowd.
Making this crazy game even crazier, the Cardinals picked off Flacco on his next snap, giving the Cardinals the ball at the Raven 25 yard line. Kolb found Larry Fitzgerald for 13 yards and then made a fantastic back-shoulder throw to Early Doucet for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
The Ravens did a good job moving the ball down the field late in the half but Arizona got a big third down sack to force a field goal. Arizona takes a 24-6 lead into the half.
Defensive coordinator Ray Horton said that he would re-install big portions of the complex defensive scheme he was forced to remove after the first two weeks. The increased pressure and different looks are doing their job as the Cardinals are finally getting pressure on the opposing QB. It helps, of course, when you know the other team has to throw the ball.
It's young players for Arizona stepping up with OLBs Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield playing well along with a tipped pass from rookie David Carter and of course the great TD from Peterson.
Baltimore had a 156-151 edge in total yards but the two turnovers and the Peterson TD have changed the game. Kolb is 6-12 for 126 yards with one touchdown and has been sacked three times. Flacco is 12-23 for 98 yards with an INT and two sacks. Beanie Wells has 38 yards on 10 carries while Ray Rice has 47 yards on 11 rushes.
The Arizona Cardinals found themselves in early holes in their last two games and weren't good enough to climb out. On the road against the Baltimore Ravens they were able to reverse that trend and score first to take an early 3-0 lead. At the end of the first quarter, the Ravens got their offense moving on the ground and tied the game early in the second quarter.
The Arizona Cardinals offense at least showed some signs of life on their first possession. They recorded three first downs and stayed on the field for nine plays and over five minutes which was good to see. On the down side, Kolb was sacked twice and hit hard at least three times.
Beanie Wells started the game and had a few nice runs which was good to see. Perhaps even better, Ken Whisenhunt used all of his backs and gave to ball to both Chester Taylor and Alfonso Smith. Wells can't be asked to play every down and Taylor and Smith, along wit the speedy LaRod Stephens-Howling, give a different look in protection and the passing game.
On their second possession, the Cardinals did a great job running the ball to set up a quick slant from Kolb to Larry Fitzgerald that went for 66 yards. That was the longest play allowed this season by the Raven defense.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals were stuffed in the red zone with a rush that went nowhere, a high pass that maybe could have been caught be Early Doucet and sack. On third down, LT Levi Brown got completely abused by Terrell Suggs who got to Kolb in a flash. The Cardinals had to settle for three points to get on the board first.
In a game where Ravens QB Joe Flacco looks completely inaccurate (3-8), the Cardinals defense hasn't been able to contain the run. They gave up 70 yards on the ground already but were at least able to hold Baltimore to a game-tying field goal in the red zone.
The Cardinals defense hasn't got pressure on Flacco on the few times he dropped back and more importantly have been burned with back side cuts by Ray Rice who has 46 yards on 10 carries. Adrian Wilson dropped an interception that could have gone 100 yards for a TD. Plays have to be made.
Overall though, a positive start for Arizona.
The Arizona Cardinals got some good news headed into their road game against the Baltimore Ravens. Feature back Beanie Wells is active and should play. Wells hurt his knee in the second quarter of last week's game and was questionable headed into this Sunday. The Cardinals desperately need Wells running game to take pressure off Kevin Kolb.
Not active for the Cardinals is TE Todd Heap who will miss his second game due to a hamstring issue. Look for Kolb to finally connect with rookie TE Rob Housler after missing him for wide open touchdowns in the last two games.
Veteran OLB Joey Porter (knee) is also inactive which moves rookie Sam Acho into the starting spot. Porter has been ineffective more of the season and with the Cardinals at 1-5 on the season, it's time to start seeing what Acho can do and giving him more opportunities to play. We would also expect to see the other OLB, O'Brien Schofield getting more reps behind Clark Haggans and don't be surprised to see ILB Stewart Bradley play more in place of Paris Lenon.
For more on this game, visit Revenge of the Birds blog.
The Baltimore Ravens are still trying to figure out what happened in their huge upset loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night. The Arizona Cardinals are hoping that the Ravens are reeling enough that they'll be able to give up two big upsets in a row.
Wondering how you can follow along with the game other than having to sit next to strangers at your local Buffalo Wild Wings? We've got you covered!
Kickoff: 1:05 PM ET / 10:05 AM MST
Television: FOX; Sam Rosen and Brian Billick will be soothing your jangled nerves with their steady, dulcet tones.
Radio: KTAR 620AM
Betting Line: Monday's upset hasn't hurt the odds of the Ravens all that much. They're favored by a whopping 13 points.
Online Coverage: Revenge of the Birds is the SB Nation blog to follow for coverage, as you should all know by now. Feel free to head over there and discuss the game as it happens with your fellow Cardinals fans.
The 2011 Arizona Cardinals season hasn't exactly been a barrel of laughs so far, but I bet it won't be too depressing to check on the betting line as they head to Baltimore in search of their second win, right? Right?
Okay, so I guess technically, things could be better. According to our friends over at OddsShark, the home town Baltimore Ravens are favored a bit. Most sites have the Ravens as 12.5 point favorites, although Bodog and Bet Online put them at 13 points, and 5Dimes has the Cardinals pegged at 14 point underdogs.
The over/under is at right around 43.5 across the board, so that might be the less painful option. Look at it this way: no matter the outcome of the game, the Cardinals could potentially help contribute to your own personal success. Isn't that more exciting than a "2" in the win column? Hey, I tried.
If you want to talk about these odds, or anything else Cardinals, head over to Revenge of the Birds.
Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt spoke with some media members at Friday's practice at team headquarters, and gave some insight into the status of some of the Cards injured players.
Running back Beanie Wells made progress in practice Friday after he took on larger work load on his sore knee, but will still be considered a game time decision. As for tight end Todd Heap's hamstring, he is progressing as well and will join the litany of players considered as game time decisions on Sunday.
Linebacker Joey Porter, who has been dealing with a knee problem the majority of the season, is also a game time decision, though Coach Wiz elaborated on how his situation mirrors many aging players in the NFL:
"We've been giving him time off at practice. It depends on whether he takes a shot in the game or what happens game days. It's indicative of a lot of older players around the league."
Wide receivers Early Doucet (quadricep) and DeMarco Sampson (hamstring), as well as tight end Jim Dray (pectoral) are officially questionable for Sunday's game as well in the Charm City. Safety Kerry Rhodes (foot) is out while cornerback Michael Adams (hand) is probable.
For more on the Arizona Cardinals, head on over to Revenge of the Birds to get in on the action.
Wells sat on Wednesday nursing his sore knee, but came out on Thursday and was limited in practice, but is hoping to be a go this Sunday. Early Doucet and DeMarco Sampson both returned to action today as well, dealing with quadricep and hamstring injuries respectfully. Though one player the defense needs back in a big way is Joey Porter, who sat out of practice once more on Thursday with a knee injury. Kerry Rhodes was also sidelined dealing with his broken foot, but the loss of Porter could make a big difference this week.
Being without their leading rusher could be a particular problem this week as the Ravens likely will be coming in with a chip on their shoulder after being held in check the majority of the night last Monday, getting stunned by the Jaguars 12-7 on National television.
For more on the Cardinals, head over to Revenge of the Birds.
The Arizona Cardinals are struggling right now and look for their second win of the season against the Baltimore Ravens this weekend. Unfortunately for Arizona, the team could be without two big offensive cogs on Sunday.
Running back Beanie Wells (knee) did not participate during Wednesday's team practice, along with wide receiver Early Doucet (quadricep), linebacker Joey Porter (knee), safety Kerry Rhodes (foot) and wide receiver DeMarco Sampson (hamstring).
Wells stated on Monday that he hopes to play on Sunday, but his lack of practice on Wednesday is a discouraging sign. The Cardinals feared that Wells may have suffered a season-ending injury when he got hit on his knee last week against he Pittsburgh Steelers, and it would make sense for the team to proceed with caution and let Wells sit for a week. If he does show progress over the next few days, though, Wells could be on the field in Baltimore.
Meanwhile, cornerback Michael Adams (hand), tight end Jim Dray (pectoral) and tight end Todd Heap (hamstring) were all limited participants on Wednesday. Heap has been dealing with a nagging hamstring issue and could miss Sunday's game against his former Ravens team if the issues continue.
The Cardinals will hope to have both Wells and Heap in the line-up on Sunday as they look to collect their first road win of the season. Things don't look too good for Wells right now, but the exact playing situation of both players will be known more definitively in the coming days.
Week 8 of the NFL season is upon us and while the overall quality of teams is disappointing, that won't stop us from providing our expert picks against the spread. We are coming off our best week of the season where we went 9-3-1 against the spread which puts our season record at 53-44 ATS. You can pick against us in our weekly contest which you can join here (ID: 55411, PW: arizona).
Last week we recorded a push when we picked Cleveland -3 and they managed to beat Seattle by the impressive score of 6-3. We lost with the Lions who seem to be in a free fall, the Raiders who we figured would find some way to beat the Chiefs by a touchdown and like the vast majority of the free world, we picked the Ravens to handle business against the Jaguars.
We will have the rest of the NFL Week 8 picks later in the week, for now we start with the pathetic 1-5 Arizona Cardinals.
Arizona Cardinals at Baltimore Ravens (-13): No one in their right mind would pick the struggling Cardinals to go on the road and beat the Ravens. Baltimore is going to be pissed about their embarrassing performance on Monday night against the Jaguars and their defense is going to pin their ears back and attack poor Kevin Kolb who compared running the offense to trying to drive a car with his left foot.
Making matters worse for Arizona is the knee status of Beanie Wells. The team isn't going to say if he can go and will continue to obfuscate all week, but given how they've handled Wells in the past our guess is that he doesn't play.
The big question for picking this game is if the Ravens offense can score enough points to cover a spread this large. Joe Flacco was horrible in his last game and hasn't exactly been great all season long. The Cardinals young cornerbacks are getting better and we expect to see more Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield at outside linebacker in place of ineffective veterans Joey Porter and Clark Haggans. The rest of the defense has played pretty well.
As difficult as it is to pick the Cardinals, we've not seen enough from the Ravens offense to think they can put up enough points to cover. Pick: Cardinals (in a low scoring game)
The announcers for week eight's matchup between the Arizona Cardinals and Baltimore Ravens have been set. According to The506.com, FOX's Sam Rosen will handle the play-by-play duties and Brian Billick -- yes, the same guy who was the head coach of the Ravens just a few years ago -- will serve as the analyst for the game.
Kickoff is set in Baltimore at 1:05 EDT. The game will be seen in Arizona at 10:05. Get your coffee ready!
As for the game itself, both teams are coming off a letdown loss last Sunday and will be looking to get back on track. The Ravens somehow lost to the Jaguars by the score of 12-7, which the Cardinals fell to the Steelers 32-20 at home. Each team has talent, but one has to give the Ravens the advantage, especially with Beanie Wells potentially missing the game with a knee injury.
Cardinals fans should check out Revenge Of The Birds for further coverage.
Arizona Cardinals running back Beanie Wells injured his knee on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers and left the game with only 42 receiving yards on 12 carries. The extent of Wells' injury is not known with any certainty at this point, but Wells himself thinks that he will play against the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday.
According to John Boes of Arizona Sports, Wells had this to say about his injury on Tuesday: "It's just a matter of controlling the swelling. It's just a day by day thing. Hopefully I'm out there on Sunday and I personally think I will be."
Wells' optimism is positive news for Cardinals fans and fantasy football owners alike, but Wells has said in similar situations in the past that he would play despite injuries and has instead been forced to sit on Sundays.
The Cardinals will proceed cautiously with Wells since the team is already thin at running back and doesn't want to jeopardize their featured runner. Alfonso Smith and LaRod Stephens-Howling both saw action on Sunday against the Steelers after Wells went out, but the Cardinals would like to use the duo on a limited, as-needed basis only.
More news will trickle in about Wells as the week goes on. The amount of practice that Wells manages on Wednesday and his status on the team's injury report could go a long way in determining his availability for this weekend.
We heard it after the game on Sunday and Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt repeated it Monday: He's looking for guys that can make plays and every position is under scrutiny. Many feel that Kevin Kolb would be excluded from that but Whisenhunt didn't rule out a change when asked specifically about the quarterback position.
"The quarterback is obviously the focal point of a lot of things when you don't win games -- when you lose five games in a row. Like I said, every position is going to be looked at from that standpoint," he said.
Most likely, that's just a message being sent and not indication that Kolb is going to get benched. At the same time, Whisenhunt is certainly ratcheting up the pressure on Kolb and making it clear that missing plays is not acceptable.
Whisenhunt repeatedly mentioned the missed throw to TE Rob Housler that should have gone for a touchdown. It was very similar to a play Kolb missed against Minnesota.
"Looking at our football team, we're looking for guys that can make plays and if we have to make changes across the board at different positions in order to do that, that's what we're going to do."
As has been much discussed, Kolb's got to get better at his footwork to allow him to stand in the pocket and make some of the throws. Whisenhunt stressed that he has made some big plays but the missed throw to Housler was purely footwork.
In case you are wondering what a change would look like, John Skelton has regained the number two quarterback job over Rich Bartel but Whiz says he's comfortable with either guy.
Barring injury, however, we still think it is highly unlikely that a move would be made any time soon.
The public pressure on Kolb is interesting, however, given how much pressure Kevin already puts on himself. Perhaps this is all more about deflecting attention or giving fans the impression that the coaching staff is "doing" something.
More likely candidates for change are outside linebackers Sam Acho and O'Brien Schofield who both played well on Sunday according to their coach, "Those guys are getting a better feel for our defense and we're going to integrate them more."
For more on the Cardinals, visit Revenge of the Birds blog.
The Arizona Cardinals have had their fair share of bad news this season and with the way this team is playing, they can't afford to lose any more important pieces. Running back Beanie Wells left Sunday's game in the second quarter with what was described at the time as a right knee sprain. The team, however, initially thought it could be season-ending but the report on Monday is much more favorable.
Head coach Ken Whisenhunt announced that Wells suffered swelling in the knee and that it "locked up" after he took a hit in the game. The examination revealed no structural damage and surgery is not required.
The injury was reported as a bone bruise with 1-2 week prognosis by the NFL Network. Whisenhunt wouldn't comment on the specifics or timetable.
"I don't know if bone bruise is accurate. I don't want to get into specifics of what it is. I don't want to put a time frame on it because I don't want to set the young man up for failure," Whisenhunt said.
The Arizona Cardinals lost another game thanks to mistakes that cost the team. There were positive signs, however, including a better performance from Kevin Kolb and three young players who stood out.
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