Cardinals coach Arians won’t point finger at Palmer
January 26, 2016 3:01 AM
by Dennis Ball
“There’s nothing wrong with his damn finger!”
And with that Bruce Arians statement from the podium my biggest question of the weekend was answered.
“Carson didn’t lose the damn game. Our best players didn’t play well enough,” Arians also said.
I believe those particular statements. However, I don’t believe for a second there was nothing wrong with Carson Palmer’s finger in the blow-out loss to the Panthers. Before Palmer dislocated his finger the Cards’ QB had a 106.8 passer rating, a 64.7 completion percentage and a 34 TD to 10 interception ratio. Since the finger injury, Carson dropped to a 65.5 passer rating, a 56.7 completion percentage and a 5 TD to 7 interception ratio.
Hey, Bruce, do you think there’s a slight chance there might be something wrong with his damn finger! If not, it’s time for Arians to draft and develop a new, younger QB. I’m quite sure it will be difficult to find any reasonable minded people who still support Carson Palmer for MVP. And, yes, there were some people out there touting him for that award. It was total humiliation for the Arizona Cardinals.
The Panthers paraded up and down the field like they were playing a JV football team. The Cards worked too hard all season long to take the abuse they endured at the hands of a nasty Panther defense. What an embarrassment to the Arizona Cardinals organization. Do you think Cam Newton may have sealed the MVP deal with his magnificent performance? That might be the understatement of the year!
Someone who didn’t have a fantastic performance last weekend was Peyton Manning. But good for Peyton. He’s on his way to Super Bowl 50. And he probably could not care less that he wasn’t a huge part of why the Broncos are moving on to Santa Clara. The 39-year-old QB had very little to do with the win over New England. But I’m still happy for him. He’s always been a classy guy. When Brady’s taken him down (over their 17 matchups), he’s always the same type of stand-up individual.
Peyton came out on top last Sunday, but was nowhere near the MVP of the game. The MVP for the AFC championship goes to Von Miller and the fanatical, stifling defense of Denver. I’ve never seen a QB under as much pressure as Tom Brady was during the AFC championship game. Truth be told, the real MVP of the game wasn’t even a player.
The MVP was a coach and it wasn’t Gary Kubiak. The MVC (Most Valuable Coach) of the game was Wade Phillips. His defensive scheme had the offensive line and Brady confused the entire game. There was constant pressure on Brady, whether the Broncos rushed 3, 4 or 5 players. Denver only rushed four guys most of the time and sometimes only sent three after Brady. No matter how many, Phillips went after him, it didn’t matter, the consequences were the same – constant pressure.
Brady came out of the tunnel in Denver running and really never stopped running the entire day! When Brady did have a few seconds to find a receiver, and that wasn’t often, he was generally staring at covered receivers. A big tip of the hat to Wade, the absolute MVC for Denver last Sunday.
The Patriots would be well served to draft a couple of offensive linemen who can pass block. Brady is a great QB who can release the ball within 2 seconds of the snap. Last Sunday the Patriots’ offensive line couldn’t give him the 2 seconds he needed to deliver. If you would have told me before the game Denver was only going to score 20 points, I would have lost whatever you wanted to wager that New England would be headed to the Super Bowl.
I guess it would have helped the Patriots’ cause if Gostkowski wouldn’t have shanked the extra point. Then, instead of having to go for the 2-point conversion to send the game to overtime, the Patriots would have only needed the damn extra point.
I’m sure there were chuckles everywhere but Patriot nation when the Microsoft tablets went down on New England’s sideline. It was almost as if the Broncos had stolen a page out of the Bill “Belicheat” playbook. Usually the power only goes out on the visitor’s sideline at Foxboro. This time the tables were reversed and for a short time the Broncos had the advantage with the Patriots coaches unable to view the tablets. I’m quite sure absolutely no one felt sorry for them, unless you happened to be a Patriots’ fan.
Initially, I thought the Panthers would be a 4 or 5 point favorite prior to checking the early line on Sunday night. But after the full effect of the Panthers’ crushing victory over Arizona started to sink in, I actually thought I might see a number as high as 6. But it looks like the number is starting out at 4 and 4.5. I think 4 is probably the right number. The 5 or 6 would be probably be an over-reaction to the whuppin’ the Panthers put on the Cardinals.
If you throw in a couple of dabs and end zone somersaults you begin to see the type of possible hype that might eventually generate a higher number. Let’s see what happens with the number during the course of this week and in next week’s Super Bowl issue we’ll see who receives Denny The Dog’s wager for Super Bowl 50.
Last week: 0-2
Dennis is a retired IGT executive and longtime NFL contributor to GamingToday with 11 straight winners in the Super Bowl against the spread. Email: DennisBall@GamingToday.com.