On-Line NFL Pool
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The Playoff Race
UPDATE (8/31/15): After a quick review of the game at Oakland, my battle for 53 is listed below. MASSIE is not included due to his possible suspension.
IN (42): PALMER, STANTON, ELLINGTON, D.TAYLOR, C.TAYLOR, HUGHES, GRESHAM, FELLS, MOMAH, FITZGERALD, FLOYD, JO.BROWN, NELSON, A.Q.SHIPLEY, LARSON, SENDLEIN, IUPATI, COOPER, VELDHEER, HUMPHRIES, CAMPBELL, RUCKER, REDDING, GUNTER, SHAUGHNESSY, OKAFOR, ALEXANDER, GOLDEN, WOODLEY, RIDDICK, MINTER, WEATHERSPOON, DEMENS, PETERSON, POWERS, BETHEL, BUCANNON, MATHIEU, JOHNSON, JEFFERSON, LEACH, CATANZARO.
BUBBLE (11 in, 12 out): SIMS, Thomas, K.WILLIAMS, S.Taylor, CHRISTIAN, Niklas, GOLDEN, Ja.Brown, WATFORD, Sowell, TA'AMU, X.Williams, Mauro, Stinson, K.MARTIN, FUA, G.Martin, BROOKS, Roberts, JONES-QUARTEY, Clemons, ZASTUDIL, Butler.
OUT (21): Grice, Lasike, Sinclair, J.Shipley, Spadola, Harvey, Harmon, Steen, Halapio, McClain, Isles, Bradfield, Crisp, Kirk, Carson, Jackson, Woodard, Richardson, Legree, Green, Walters. The required cuts will come from this group. More on this later this week in the full write-up.
BACK-ED INTO A TIGHT SPOT
- - - - - Another week, another shutout by the starting defense, another second-half loss. The Chargers won the game on the final play, 22-19, but the contest did help clear up a few things on the Cardinals' roster. First, D.J. Humphries is not ready for the big stage. His struggles, and the looming suspension for Bobby Massie, means that Bradley Sowell is likely to claim one of the 53 roster spots, at least for a few weeks. Meanwhile, the ILB will have to be shored up by Deone Bucannon, once again having to play out of position to field a competitive unit at that spot.
- - - - - Other spots remain unsettled. At the running back position, David Johnson's impressive debut along with the signing of Chris Johnson would suggest that three of the four projected slots are taken. Does that put FB Robert Hughes, who has been a solid contributor on the bubble should Arizona elect to keep a change-of-pace back in Stepfan Taylor? Or do the Cardinals use five spots, shifting a roster position away from ILB (thanks to Bucannon stepping in)? Of course, the Cardinals could just as easily release Taylor, and judging by the little playing time he has seen thus far, this remains a distinct possibility. So, Arizona goes from having one serviceable back into having more than we know what to do with. . .
QB (3): PALMER, STANTON. Thomas still leads over Sims. Both may be released, though I would still favor three QBs going into the season.
RB (4): ELLINGTON, D. TAYLOR, C. TAYLOR, HUGHES. Could a fifth spot go to Taylor? I think he could rob a spot from ILB.
TE (4): GRESHAM, FELLS. Once again, Momah disappointed more than he held his block. Niklas was just plain awful on a few occasions. Please, let us see more of Christian and Sinclair. . . I wouldn't want to see Momah and Niklas get in by default.
WR (5): FITZGERALD, FLOYD, JOHN BROWN, NELSON. One spot: Golden versus Jaron Brown. I give the edge to Golden, but could very easily flip.
OL (9): SHIPLEY, IUPATI, COOPER, VELDHEER, MASSIE, HUMPHRIES, LARSON, SOWELL. One spot remains. Sendlein would be my pick. Watford has been playing poorly, and single-handedly have up a big loss that ultimately lead to missed field goal. If Massie (due to suspension) doesn't count towards a roster spot, I would just keep eight, and use the remaining spot on RB or DL. When Massie returns, Sowell is released.
DL (6): CAMPBELL, RUCKER, REDDING, GUNTER, SHAUGHNESSY. That leaves Ta'amu versus Williams at NT. I favor Ta'amu with his experience, for now. Even Mauro and Stinson could remain on the roster, especially since Mauro has been the most impressive with his limited opportunities last week, and much improved. I don't see him displacing Shaughnessy, though, and so his best chance would be if the Cardinals keep seven (from ILB or OL slot).
OLB (5): OKAFOR, ALEXANDER, GOLDEN. Woodley was better in his second performance with the Cardinals. Martin was ineffective in extended action, and rookie draft choice Riddick may get in ahead of him if healthy.
ILB (5): MINTER, WEATHERSPOON, DEMENS. Weatherspoon hasn't played yet, so he is just in on reputation alone. Of the remaining group, only Fua looks like he is worth keeping, once again being the most disruptive of the bunch. That still only gives four players. Washington's status is a mystery. So, with Deone Bucannon having to fill in, I would cap this spot with just four, and shift a roster slot to RB or DL.
DB (9): PETERSON, BUCANNON, MATHIEU, JOHNSON, JEFFERSON, BETHEL, POWERS. Two spots remain. I'm leaning towards Jones-Quartey who could contribute on special teams. Other than that, perhaps Brooks versus Roberts but I'm not impressed by either.
ST (3): LEACH, CATANZARO. Butler was not very impressive with his opportunity, so advantage Zastudil, barely.
NEXT WEEK, @ OAKLAND RAIDERS: The Cardinals' tour of the AFC West continues on national TV. My positions to watch: Momah/Niklas versus Christian/Sinclair at TE, Golden versus Jaron Brown at WR, Ta'amu versus Williams at NT, and Brooks versus Roberts at CB. Of course, let's see what Riddick has at OLB, if he plays.
TWENTIENTH SEASON UNDERWAY
- - - - - As you've probably already noticed, "The Cardinal's" Nest, the Internet's longest-running website dedicated to the Arizona Cardinals, has
undergone a few changes over the years as we embark on our 20th season. This newer setup will hopefully make it easier for you, the fans, to navigate
these pages. After all, isn't life already hard enough being a Cardinals fan?
- - - - - The bar at the left will contain the links to the other pages on this site, including icons for some of the larger features.
Meanwhile, play in my Nineteenth-annual On-Line NFL Pool has begun and the Chicago Cardinals Photo
Album, featuring photos and other game memorabilia from the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s has opened. Also, check out the
"Arizona Sports Fans" Message Board. As always, if you have any
suggestions, comments, or questions, please feel free to send me E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org;
I always enjoy hearing from Cardinals fans around the country and the world.