On-Line NFL Pool
NFL Fight Songs
"The Cardinal" Bio
The Playoff Race
SHOCK, AND AWE
- - - - - "Hail Larry!" A sluggish first-half offensive performance gave way to another incredible playoff effort by the incomparable Fitzgerald, saving the day and allowing the Cardinals to advance to the Conference Championship game. The defense certainly did its part by holding the Packers to two field goals and 13 total points going into the game's final seconds. Meanwhile, Carson Palmer steadied himself after a shaky first half to lead three consecutive long drives with the game on the line, the final one consuming nearly seven minutes of gametime to reclaim the advantage 17-13.
- - - - - Of course, it might have seemed that the outcome was secure when the Cardinals stopped Green Bay on fourth down with just over two minutes remaining. At least it would have seemed so to fans of teams other than the Arizona Cardinals. By reaching the line-of-gain on second or third down, Arizona would seal the victory, and I can't fault Coach Arians for attempting a pass on second down despite the obvious risk of stopping the clock on an incompletion. What I didn't like was the location of the throw, towards the sideline which would have essentially defeated its purpose even if complete, as the play would have gone out of bounds and not fully clinched the win yet.
- - - - - Instead, we all saw what came next. An improbable 4th-and-20 conversion was subsequently followed by a touchdown heave on the final play of regulation to tie the contest at twenty. However, this would only serve to make my prediction even more freakishly accurate (I predicted 27-21), as Larry Fitzgerald would dash off 75 yards on the first play of overtime and score the winning points two plays later, 26-20.
NEXT WEEK, @ CAROLINA PANTHERS: The dramatic win sends the Cardinals to Charlotte for the Conference Championship game, the winner of which will represent the NFC in Super Bowl 50. The Cardinals will also have an opportunity to avenge last season's playoff loss, and my heroic 13-hour drive to the Queen City in the midst of a frightening winter storm will offer me a chance to exorcise those demons of my voyage a year ago. I have seen the Cardinals lose in-person in all other rounds of the playoffs (Wild Card, Divisional, Super Bowl) and would be going for the perfect 0-4 on Sunday. However, should we keep Cam Newton in the pocket (containment, not necessarily sacks) and Palmer avoid throwing costly interceptions to the very capable Carolina linebacking corps, I foresee a different outcome. My prediction, Cards win, 27-16.
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 email@example.com;
I always enjoy hearing from Cardinals fans around the country and the world.