SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2020
CARDINALS 30, WASHINGTON 15
THE BOTTOM LINE (POST-GAME): The Cardinals are 2-0 for the first time since 2015 after a dominant opening half and just enough after intermission not to put themselves in danger > CHECK OUT THE MONDAY SPORTS ZONE (9-11 AM) AND THE EXTRA POINT (11-NOON) FOR MORE ANALYSIS AND HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CARDINALS POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCES
PRE-GAME: The Cardinals are without three starters from Week One – Safety Jalen Thompson (high ankle sprain) was placed on IR while tight end Maxx Williams (ankle) and center Mason Cole (hamstring) were declared out on Friday. The Cardinals will likely miss Cole’s and Williams’ run blocking against the exceptionally talented Washington defensive front while Thompson’s strength is his tackling .., The Cardinals promoted strong run blocking tight end Jordan Thomas to the active roster from the practice squad … Also, inactive for Cardinals are running back, Eno Benjamin, defensive lineman Leki Fotu, offensive lineman Josh Miles and quarterback Brett Hundley which means Chris Streveler is the backup for a second straight week … Top cornerback Kendall Fuller (knee) it out – he fully practiced Wednesday and Thursday, but was downgraded to limited on Friday.
FIRST QUARTER: Cardinals win toss and defer > Wash penalty on return = drive starts at 8 yard line – 3+out Hicks pass defense on incomplete pass to Logan Thomas (13:48) … AZ drive starts at Wash 48 > Cardinals up-tempo on first possession and rare first possession td (Murray FD called run on third and short > Murray FD on pass to Hopkins > Murray TD run nullified on hold by Arnold = 3+3, 3 Murray easy TD to Hopkins against blown coverage by Washington) =AZ 7-0, 9:09 … AZ allows one first down before punt – not a good drive for Peterson who was called for hold and bailed out by Corey Peters sack on play when Peterson was beat deep by McLaurin (6:55) … Kirk in medical tent = Isabella returned second punt (Kirk returned first punt) … Cardinals drive starts at own 8 – awful Murray pick while being rushed = Wash 1+10, AZ 19 > Cardinals strip sack Phillips and Jones recovery (4:40) … Foster (quad) questionable to return … Third possession – Murray sacked on first play on deep pass call > but Cardinals force fumble on punt, Brewer recovery = AZ ball at WASH 40 – three turnovers in eight plays … Cardinals start at 40 after fumble recovery > Murray complete passes to Hopkins and Fitzgerald and Murray before Murray 14-yard td run on option type of play with great lead block by Edmonds = AZ 14-0, 0:00
SECOND QUARTER: Cardinals force another 3+out and are dominating in all three areas thus far – this should be a rare Cardinals easy win – Washington appears overmatched (13:34) … 1st play > Murray deep to Isabella for 54 to 23 yard line > Daniels chop block penalty (he had a penalty last week) ended drive = Gonzalez field goal attempt 49 yards barely inside right upright = AZ 17-0, 11:29 … Blackson, good last wek at SF, pressure causes sack on first play but Banjo misses tackle of McLaurin to continue drive > Reddick on field, Simmons five snaps thus far … Reddick cleans up on sack when Haskins seemed to leave pocket for no reason – Cardinals four sacks – Haskins taking that last sack took them out of field goal range (6:04) – not much analysis thus far – total butt kicking … Cardinals start at 10 – two passes for first downs to Fitzgerald, then Murray deep to Kirk (back in game after early trip to tent) for 45 yards (great catch) > 3+16, Wash 21 (after ilegal snap penalty by Gaillard), short screen to Drake = AZ 20-0, 1:49 … Cards defense chance to end great half – Wash 1+10, own 18 > three run plays for first down, then hurry up mode – OL Scherff bad looking leg injury – Campbell excellent first two games, especially pass coverage – Wash punt … AZ 36-31 yards, 11-6 FD, 244-93 yards, Murray 16-20, 189, 1/1 and 4-41, 1 TD rush, Drake 7-23, Kirk 2-57, Isabella 1-54, Fitz 5-34, Hopkins 5-26, Campbell 6 tackles with Phillips, Kennard, Reddick and Peters all one sack
THIRD QUARTER: How will Kingsbury approach this half … 3+2 – short pass to Edmonds for no gain (dislike play call) – 3+out and had ball for 1:03 (13:57) … Wash without best OL Scherff for rest of game > Wash one first down and punt after offensive PI on third down (11:07) … Isabella looks comfortable catching punt which has been assigned to after Kirk returned the first punt … 3+1, 28, Drake stopped short = 4+1, 28 and Kingsburg lines up to go for it with Strevler lining up at QB, then reverse to Kirk for +3 yards (really) > Murray bad grounding penalty = 2+23, 17 – OL not good day against excellent Washington front – delay of game = 3+28, 12 – awful first two drives second half (8:40) … Shefield great tackle punt coverage … Cardinals suddenly allows first downs on four straight plays (two passes and two runs) to AZ 5 > Blackson another good play drawing holding penalty on second and goal from three = 3+6, 6 – incomplete to TE Thomas who beat Banjo inside, Hicks might have altered Haskins thowing lane = AZ 20-3, 3:14 … Cardinals second half issues continue – Hopkins lined up on wrong side of formation – two plays later Hopkins +25 on third down – two consecutive deep Murray throws not close to Kirk and Arnold = 4+5, 37, +12 to Fitz – Murray awful mechanics and missed easy TD to Edmonds who is getting plenty of tme on this drive
FOURTH QUARTER: Sweezy hold inside 10 yard line, followed by Murray 21 yard touchdown scramble = AZ 27-3, 14:17 … Jordan Hicks, who played every down last season, injured (12:40) – Murphy PI to 24 – McLaurin beat Peterson inside and Baker terrible angle inside = 24 yard touchdown – Cardinals stop two point try when the not fast footed Haskins tackled short = AZ 27-9, 12:20 … Cardinals still hurry up when they could be taking their time – suddenly did slow it down some = one first down and punt (9:41) … Kirkpatrick PI on 3rd+two = 1+10, 50 – Cardinals 12 on field – Murphy beat bad +30 to 10 – Gibson 10 touchdown run – another two-point stop – Cardinals awful second half after great first half = AZ 27-15, 6:38 … Cardinals start at 17 – Kingsbury still not using clock but FD passes to Isabella, Hopkins and Arnold before inexplicable delay of game penalty @ Washington 39 with 4:04 – Drake +16 fd, finally huddle – Drake +10 fd at 18 – Gonzalez 28 yd = 30-15, 0:26
THE LATEST LINE: Cardinals 7 (46 1/2) … PREDICTION – Cardinals 23-17
NEXT BOTTOM LINE ON TUESDAY – NFL WEEK #2 HEROES AND ZEROES
IN THE TUESDAY SPORTS ZONE
(THIS PLAN IS TENTATIVE AND SOMEWHAT SUBJECT TO CHANGE)
*AT THE TOP OF THE SHOW, THE INTRODUCTION OF THE PIPELINE
*AT 9:15, THE LOCAL ROUNDUP – THE DAILY CARDINALS UPDATE: Kliff Kingsbury Meets The Press
*AT 9:30, AROUND THE NFL: Week Two analysis with Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk
*IN THE FINAL SEGMENT OF HOUR ONE, THE NATIONAL ROUNDUP: topped by The Latest Line, Personnel News and From The Scoreboard
*AT THE TOP OF THE 10:00 HOUR, LAST CALL + THE BOTTOM LINE
*AT 10:15, AROUND MLB: Are the Diamondbacks the most disappointing team in baseball plus an MLB final week of the regular season and preview with Jay Jaffe of Fangraphs
*AT 10:30, INTERACTIVE ACTION AND THE DAILY EDITION OF CAUGHT MY EYE
*AND IN THE FINAL SEGMENT, TODAY IN ROCK HISTORY
*FROM 11:00-NOON (MONDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY AND FRIDAY): THE EXTRA POINT, HOSTED BY KAYLA
BOTTOM LINE ACHIEVE
SPORTS ZONE PREDICTION FRIDAY
*NFL WEEK #2: Cardinals 23, Redskins 17
*WEEK TWO SPOTLIGHT GAMES: Indianapolis 27, Minnesota 26 … Philadelphia 23, LA Rams 20 … Seattle 23, New England 20
*WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS PREDICTION: Lakers in five games or fewer over the Nuggets
*EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS INFORMATION (Heat lead 2-0): updated series price – Miami -330 (Boston was -140 before Game One)
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2020
A SIX PACK OF KNOWLEDGE
*THE LEAD: Here are two more reasons for Arizona to legalize sports gambling – (1) The Cubs announced plans for a Sportsbook at Wrigley Field in partnership with Draft Kings, and (2) The University of Colorado signed a sponsorship deal with Points Bet.
*LOCAL ROUNDUP: The Cardinals today placed starting safety Jalen Thompson on injured reserve, meaning his must miss at least three games. Thompson, who excels in open-field tackling, went down with a high ankle sprain on the second play at San Francisco.
*HEARD THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE: The Suns are among several teams interested in free agent to be three-point shooting big man Davis Bertans … The Bucks are expected to trade former Sun Eric Bledsoe.
*AROUND MLB: Former Dback J.D. Martinez looks like an aging player (33) that has back issues … It would be strange if the top seeded Dodgers played a possible eighth seeded and rival Giants in the first round of the post-season.
*AROUND THE NFL: The AFC North is the first division with four Heisman Trophy winners simultaneously (Joe Burrow, Robert Griffin III, Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield).
*BY THE NUMBERS – 1-4: The record of the five new NFL head coaches in Week One (Ron Rivera was the lone winner while Joe Judge, Mike McCarthy, Matt Rhule and Kevin Stefanski lost) … 8: The number of TEAMS that were called for at least one holding penalty in Week One, further proof of our prediction last week that the league instructed the officiating crews not to go overboard with penalties.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2020
NFL WEEK #1 HEROES AND ZEROES
*HEROES (TEAM) – THE RAVENS: Not because they routed the Browns, but because rookies Patrick Queen (team most eight tackles, including one sack) and J.K. Dobbins (two touchdowns) were immediately contributors for one of the already deepest rosters in the league.
*HERO (PLAYER) – RUSSELL WILSON: He finished 31 of 35 for 322 yards and four touchdowns in the 38-25 (it wasn’t that close) win at Atlanta. The Seahawks have won seven straight Eastern time zone games and are 22-9 in the East during the Wilson era.
*HERO (COACH) – RON RIVERA: The Washington Football Team rallied from down 17-0 to beat the Eagles 27-17 in Rivera’s first game at his new job since finding out he is fighting cancer.
*ZEROES (TEAM) – THE COLTS: An eight-point road favorite, they outgained the Jaguars 445-241, averaged 6.4 yards per play and did not punt, yet lost 27-20 because of two killer Phillip Rivers interceptions and awful pass defense (Gardner Minshew completed 19 of 20 passes).
*ZERO (PLAYER) – ODELL BECKHAM JR.: Reinforcing our longtime claim that he is the league’s most overrated player with just three catches of 10 targets from Baker Mayfield and, more importantly, blowing a gasket on the sideline during the second quarter in the first game.
*ZERO (COACH) – MATT PATRICIA: Last season, the Lions blew a 24-6 second-half lead in the 27-27 Week One tie at Arizona. On Sunday, the Lions led 23-6 after three quarters before losing 27-23 to the Bears. The Lions are 9-23-1 under Patricia.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2020
CARDINALS 24 @ 49ERS 20
THE BOTTOM LINE (POST-GAME): Kyler Murray’s scrambling continually burned the 49ers defense, DeAndre Hopkins’ hamstring looked as healthy as his contract extension and Vance Joseph’s red zone scheme combined for a headline grabbing result > FOR MORE ANALYSIS AND POST-GAME ZOOM REACTION CHECK OUT MONDAY’S SPORTS ZONE AND EXTRA POINT ON MONDAY FROM 9-NOON
PRE-GAME: Cardinals inactives are RB Eno Benjamin, QB Brett Hundley, OL Josh Miles and Josh Jones, D Deionte Thompson … 49ers inactives are WR Brandon Aiyuk, QB C.J. Beathard, C Ben Garland, CB Jason Verrett, DL Kentavius Street, LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles – WR Deebo Samuel (foot) was placed on IR
FIRST QUARTER: Cardinals defer and 49ers drive for field goal > key play horse collar first play Simmons tackling Kittle > SImmons, Hicks and Campbell all on-field first drive with Kennard on sideline > SF 3-0, 11:50 … Cardinals one first down and one minute of possession – 49ers one play and 76 yard td pass and almost all run by Mostert untouched (Simmons easily burned in man coverage) = SF 10-0, 9:53 … Jalen Thompson = Banjo in at safety (he is more special teams player, not safety – Deionte Thompson inactive, presumably a healthy scratch) … Turner blocked punt = 1-10, 10 > one play Murray to Edmonds for touchdown (one of one in red zone this season) = SF 10-7, 7:03 … Defense second consecutive three and out after Blackson sack (5:17) … Kirk on field both punt returns … Cardinals 3+out after Hopkins illegal block (4:21) … Shanahan featuring Kittle (even a running play) > like Shanahan slapping back at Keim for saying they drafted Simmons to cover Kittle … Simmons #2 corner in base defense
SECOND QUARTER: SF 4+1, 1 – Phillips, Kennard and Campbell (three off-season add) goal line stop of McKinnon (12:37) – drive included coverage sack by Jones … Murray accuracy poor thus far (7:10) … Cardinals nice drive (13 plays, 65 yards) but no points > one yard from 3+out at own one yard line but complete to Hopkins for +10 – reached SF 34 before Gonzalez wide right on 52-yard field goal attempt (7:28) … Baker great ankle tackle saved Mostert big gain … Cardinals very little initial pass rush > defense fortunate to force punt when McKinnon dropped pass on third down – Niners zero for five on third down (5:26) … Sherman now appears to be shadowing Hopkins … Murray pass deflected and picked in Cardinals territory and returned to 26 > Baker hit on Kittle = incomplete pass and Kittle limps off > Cardinals good red zone defense, played zone twice after 1+10, 14 > Also, Jimmy G one of worst red zone QBs in league last season = SF 13-7, :33 … Edmonds 20 yard run one first down = hurry up offense > Sherman not shadowing Hopkins on this drive > > Fitz hustled ball to official to help them get lined up = Gonzalez 56 yard attempt good – career long = SF 13-10, 0:00 … Cardinals good job hanging close because of blocked punt and two stops inside SF five (fourth down at goal line meant zero points and field goal
THIRD QUARTER: KIttle back on field with his helmet … Edmonds returning kickoffs, so Isabella not returning kickoffs or punt … 1st play – Daniels hold on reverse run with Kirk – also, Mason Cole limps off on same play and goes to locker room = Gailliard at center > Sherman back to shadowing Hopkins who catches passes consecutive passes on Sherman > Edmonds fumble and luckily recovers > Murray 25 yard scramble for first down > Pugh rough day, now tripping penalty > Murray another pass deflected = Gonzalez 49 yard field goal wide right – he is one of three (9:54) … Apparently, Cardinals need a home run offensive play to score – not good enough to drive the field which was a significant issue last season … Zack Allen sack – why is Reddick on field (9:07) … Arnold fumble and lucky to recover > Hopkins and Murray 3rd down miscommunication might not have happened if Hopkins would have participated more in camp (5:51) … Vance Joseph excellent job scheming up since first couple of drives when Shanahan had nine months to prepare … Reddick in coverage, playing more than Simmons > seems like Cardinals playing a lot of zone – difficult to tell on TV sometimes (2:22) … Mason Cole (hamstring) questionable to return … Sherman not shadowing Hopkins every possession … short yardage – Streveler short yardage and QB sneak third and one … Hopkins 11th catch – hamstring looks great after new contract
FOURTH QUARTER: Murray gets second late hit call after sliding on scramble > Cardinals skill players looks slow compared to Niners, except Murray > finally, deep ball to Kirk draws interception to SF 35 (third SF penalty on drive) > Murray scramble 22 yard td (great blitz pickup Edmonds and Sherman missed tackle) = AZ 17-13, 10:26 (94-yard TD drive … Reddick is playing for Simmons > Cardinals bailed out Jimmy G who threw into triple coverage and was picked by Banjo but Hicks interfered with McKinnon – Shanahan two straight years wisely isolated TEs and RBs on Cardinals > incredibly, Cardinals forced to call time out before third down play, Niners td to McKinnon on next play (Shanahan RB again) – unsure If Simmons or Banjo screwed up = SF 20-17, 8:38 > the former LB Spielman says Simmons responsible … Kingsbury super fast in drive that started with some of backup SF backup DL – Hopkins 33 yard pass (and mostly run) to one-yard line – bad news is Humphries down with injured on play > Drake easy one yard TD and Murray quick snap with SF not lined up, even after time out for Humphrey injury = AZ 24-20, 5:03 … Time for Joseph’s defense to step up with game on line > 2:00, Niners combo run and pass to AZ 32 at 2:00 > Peterson beat bad by Bourne but Jimmy G threw to late = incomplete in end zone > Murphy good cover on 3+5 = 4+5, 16 after Kliff calls another time out on defense – Murphy defection after Jimmy G another late throw to open receiver – defensive third stop inside 15 today was difference in game … Drake two carries +9, +4 = run out clock and victory formation!
THE LATEST LINE: Las Vegas Super Book – SF 6 1/2 (49) … Prediction – 49ers 27, Cardinals 17
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020
SPORTS ZONE PREDICTION FRIDAY
*SUPER BOWL: Kansas City over New Orleans
*WEEK ONE: 49ers 27, Cardinals 17
*CARDINALS SEASON RECORD (7-9): Wins – Washington, Detroit, at Carolina or NY Jets (will go 1-1 on East Coast trip), Miami, LA Rams, NY Giants, Philadelphia … Losses – at San Francisco, at Carolina or NY Jets (will go 1-1 on East Coast trip), at Dallas, Seattle, Buffalo, at Seattle, New England, San Francisco, at LA Rams
*WEEK ONE SPOTLIGHT GAMES: Saints 27, Buccaneers 23 … Packers 23, Vikings 20
NEXT BOTTOM LINE ON SATURDAY – CARDINALS @ 49ERS LIVE IN-GAME UPDATES
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2020
*EAST: Buffalo, New England, Miami, NY Jets
*NORTH: Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati
*SOUTH: Tennessee, Indianapolis, Houston, Jacksonville
*WEST: Kansas City, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles
*NUMBER-ONE SEED: Baltimore
*WILD CARDS: Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, New England
*SUPER BOWL REPRESENTATIVE: Kansas City
*SUPER BOWL WINNER: Kansas City
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2020
*EAST: Dallas, Philadelphia, Washington, NY Giants
*NORTH: Green Bay, Minnesota, Detroit, Chicago (changed on 9/10 from Minnesota first and Green Bay second after Danielle Hunter injury)
*SOUTH: New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Carolina
*WEST: Seattle, San Francisco, Arizona, Los Angeles
*NUMBER-ONE SEED: Dallas
*WILD CARDS: San Francisco, Tampa Bay, Green Bay
*SUPER BOWL: New Orleans