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22.11.14 1059
The W - Football - NFC WILD CARD: Arizona Cardianls 30, Atlanta Falcons 24
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CRZ
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Since: 9.12.01
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.83
I found myself not paying a lot of attention to this game, so either it wasn't as close at that score suggests for most of the game, or...maybe I got tired of watching Atlanta repeatedly blowing it? I dunno.

Anyway, it's nice to see Arizona could stop tanking it once the Playoffs started. ;-)



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Super Shane Spear
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Sector 7 Slums

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.69
Little things that won't make the highlights but were huge in the end:

- I think the Cards had one false start, which is their trademark weakness.

- The Falcons were consistently starting within their twenty line yard line. Neil Rackers had some sort of light lit under him, as a man who was once known for his ability to kick out of the endzone once again returned.

- Rookie Dominque Rodgers-Cromarte did a wonderful job shadowing Roddy White. While White did have his share of eight to ten yard catches, he never had a chance to burn anybody.

An all-around effort to be proud of, and I'm officially pulling for the Eagles so we can get a second crack at Delhomme and the Panthers following a short loss in the regular season. Also can't wait for the back-petaling to begin amongst the talking heads.

(edited by Super Shane Spear on 3.1.09 1703)
TwisterF5
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Since: 18.2.04
From: The Houston 'burbs

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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.12
Arizona's O-Line shut down John Abraham and didn't allow a sack. Now if they would just stay out their own RB's way,....



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StingArmy
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Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.06
Arizona's DEs were offsides like 7 out of 10 snaps but I'm not sure they were called for more than 1 or 2. Of course, when Atlanta's offensive line forgets how to block for Turner so there's no way to blame the loss on the refs.

I *AM* a little disappointed in the safety call, though. It looked like Turner would have turned that into a 99-yard touchdown reception, and that certainly would have been the difference in the game.

All in all, extremely disappointing game, and that final play with Keith Brooking blowing his coverage assignment was the worst possible way to end such a great season.

- StingArmy
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Since: 20.6.02
From: I am the Tag Team Champions!

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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.31
Gotta love Colinsworth for pointing out in the first quarter that Edge's sudden burst wasn't so much him being excited about being in the playoffs again, but more him trying out for another team next season. That flea flicker play to Fitzgerald in that same quarter was just sick. The rest of the game didn't have that same excitement, but the Cardinals did put on a nice show. They won't make it past the Panthers, but I liked what they did this week.




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JALman
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Since: 7.7.02
From: Almost there

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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.94
I'm still reeling from the loss.

The season the Falcons is the textbook definition of overachieving. The Falcons also were playing flat the past several weeks and it came back to bite them. A win against the Broncos or the even the second game against the Saints would have made a different playoff scenario.

I hope Dimitroff strengthens the offensive and defensive lines this off-season. Also, I'm worried that with the Falcons facing the NFC and AFC East next season that the usual Falcons after-playoffs disappointment year occurs.

Also, a "leader" like Keith Brooking should know better than to bite on a play fake on 3rd and 16 to let the tight end run free and open. This should be enough to at least demote him to backup. Now I'm having nightmares at the occasion where Brooking tackles his own man to let Reggie Bush get in the end zone.



EddieBurkett
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Since: 3.1.02
From: GA in person, NJ in heart

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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
    Originally posted by JALman
    The season the Falcons is the textbook definition of overachieving.


Isn't that what Jim Mora Jr. called "playing with house money?" It'll be interesting to see how Mike Smith and Matt Ryan fare next year. Didn't Mangini and Peyton both miss the playoffs after their impressive rookie seasons?



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Since: 13.2.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.60

I sort of expected Arizona to win, but I was pulling for Atlanta; they were a tonne of fun to watch this year.

Collinsworth showed again why he's probably the best analyst calling games today. I thought Madden was at his best in terms of insight and detail last night in the AFC game, but he and Al Michaels are so collectively stale that it's painful.

The 3rd-and-16 play was ugly, but I'm not sure whether it was player error or scheme error. It looked to me like the kind of thing that an offensive coordinator would have noticed either on film in preparation or during the game and made that call specifically to take advantage of it. Suffice to say, it was the right call at the right time for the Cards.

I just hope that Atlanta doesn't hit a wall next year like a few teams did this year. Detroit and Cleveland and Jacksonville come immediately to mind.
hansen9j
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.37
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett
      Originally posted by JALman
      The season the Falcons is the textbook definition of overachieving.


    Isn't that what Jim Mora Jr. called "playing with house money?" It'll be interesting to see how Mike Smith and Matt Ryan fare next year. Didn't Mangini and Peyton both miss the playoffs after their impressive rookie seasons?


Peyton went 3-13 in his rookie year, and 13-3 in his second year, so no.



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JALman
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Since: 7.7.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.94
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett

    Isn't that what Jim Mora Jr. called "playing with house money?" It'll be interesting to see how Mike Smith and Matt Ryan fare next year. Didn't Mangini and Peyton both miss the playoffs after their impressive rookie seasons?

That same garbage "house money" mentality allowed Mora to go from 8-5 in his second season to 8-8 then mouthing off about going to the University of Washington in the next. Mike Smith, with the help of Tom Dimitroff, seems far more intent on building a good team instead of riding the coattails of the Atlanta [insert star player]s.



    The 3rd-and-16 play was ugly, but I'm not sure whether it was player error or scheme error. It looked to me like the kind of thing that an offensive coordinator would have noticed either on film in preparation or during the game and made that call specifically to take advantage of it. Suffice to say, it was the right call at the right time for the Cards.


Yes, the Rams also exploited Brooking-in-nickel-formation last week. The Cards are far from the first team to notice Brooking as a liability.



EddieBurkett
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Since: 3.1.02
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.91
    Originally posted by hansen9j
    Peyton went 3-13 in his rookie year, and 13-3 in his second year, so no.


My bad. I meant Saints coach Sean Payton, who went 10-6 and to the NFC Championship game, and then followed that up with 7-9 and this year's 8-8 season.



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Since: 24.6.07
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.32
I'm willing to bet all the rookie coaches that made the playoffs this season (Harbaugh, Smith, Sparano) won't make it next year.

I am glad Arizona won. I was sick of hearing about how they didn't belong there. They had some decent wins and are capable of playing well when they want to.

Atlanta will be fine. Michael Turner is a beast.



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Rush4Life
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Since: 2.1.02
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.49
I agree, Atlanta will be just fine next year. I was surprised that Arizona won. Let's just see how well they do next week. Either way, changes are afoot in the crappy NFC West.



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Since: 24.6.07
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 0.32
49ers will be better, Rams will be better, Seattle has to be better. Depends who plays QB for Arizona, and what they can do with the running game. James is probably out, and Hightower isn't the answer, so drafting one might not be a bad idea.



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StingArmy
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Since: 3.5.03
From: Georgia bred, you can tell by my Hawk jersey

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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.06
In the Falcons' 40+ year history, they have yet to have back-to-back winning seasons. EVER. I'm as hopeful as the next guy, but sometimes it hurts to be an Atlanta sports fan.

- StingArmy
hansen9j
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Riderville, SK

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.37
    Originally posted by EddieBurkett
      Originally posted by hansen9j
      Peyton went 3-13 in his rookie year, and 13-3 in his second year, so no.


    My bad. I meant Saints coach Sean Payton, who went 10-6 and to the NFC Championship game, and then followed that up with 7-9 and this year's 8-8 season.


No, that's MY bad. I got confused with the rookie qb/rookie coach talk. Mangini should have been a dead giveaway.



It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects.

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MUTigermask
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Since: 8.10.03
From: Columbia MO

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.96
    Originally posted by Psycho Penguin
    49ers will be better, Rams will be better, Seattle has to be better. Depends who plays QB for Arizona, and what they can do with the running game. James is probably out, and Hightower isn't the answer, so drafting one might not be a bad idea.


I don't know, I do think the Niners will be better and the Rams and Seahawks can't be much worse, but then the Niners were supposed to be better quite a few years now, and better for the other two might be 5 or 6 wins. I'd still pick the Cardinals next year, but there is definitly room for improvement in the run game and defense. Congrats to them on finally winning another playoff game.
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