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49ers Fan

49ers win thriller against the Saints breathes New Life into team. posted by 49ers Fan

 The niners came into this game on the brink of a demoralizing season. Jim Harbaugh's job status became a daily talking point, and people questioned the direction of the franchise.

Yet, Harbaugh and the 49ers shut everyone up by winning themselves back into the playoff race with a 27-24 victory over the New Orleans Saints Sunday.

Although unconventional, Colin Kaepernick led the Niners on a 50 yard two minute drill drive that resulted in a a 45-yard Dawson field goal to tie the game at 24-24 and send the game into overtime, after the Niners defense was able to hold off the Saints Hail Mary throw on a questionable offensive PI call on Jimmy Graham.

With the win, the Niners have breathed new life into their season. From the opening snap, the Niners look determined to win. Antoine Bethea picked Brees off on New Orleans' opening possession, helping set up a four-yard Frank Gore touchdown to give the 49ers' their first of two first-quarter scores.

And while the win was a good step in the right direction for the team, there is still a lot of work left to be done in San Francisco. The Niners are behind the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West and one of many teams, stuck in a dog fight for a wild card spot. It'll be interesting to see how this team responds with a little bit of swagger and momentum as it travels to New York to take on the Giants next week.

Given the controversy surrounding the franchise, players, and head coach heading into this game, the 49ers are just happy to enjoy a win and the relative silence from their fan base and critics that comes after a big win. 

Continue reading "49ers win thriller against the Saints ..."

Chargers Fan

Why Defensive Injuries will keep Chargers out of Playoffs. posted by Chargers Fan

The chargers have the highest percentage of touchdowns allowed in the Red Zone in the NFL. That is not a playoff caliber team. That means not only are the Chargers giving up points, they are letting offenses sustain drives, which eats up clock, energy, and manpower. The Chargers can make the playoffs, but that means they have to be good again on defense, and that starts with getting healthy.

But the Chargers have the bye week to regroup and assess it’s gaping holes on defense. It shouldn’t be too hard as the Chargers, as late as five games into the season, where dominating on the defensive side of the ball. The rushed the passer, stuffed the run, had take-aways, and shut receivers down.

In fact, they led the NFL is scoring defense. They man handled Arizona, left the defending Super Bowl champs in the dust, and had their way with the Buffalo Bills as they notched a shut-out, the definition of a complete defensive performance.

But that only worked because the Chargers had youthful speed and depth to constantly rotate in and keep offenses on their heels. Rookie Jerry Attaochu is able to speed around tackles and get to the quarterback in no time. Rookie Jason Verrett with a sub 4.4 40 speed can keep up with any receiver in the league but also has the bulk to come up and stuff the run from the outside. Manti Te’o’s ability to read the line allows him to fill running gaps better than anyone in the league.

But all of that talent is of no use when all of the players sit watching the games from the sidelines for long periods of time.

Continue reading "Why Defensive Injuries will keep ..."


AZ Cardinals Fan

Don’t Let The Cardinals Record Fool You. posted by AZ Cardinals Fan

The Arizona Cardinals are sitting pretty at 7 – 1 and in first place of the NFC West with the best record in the league. They are the team to beat and a sure thing for the playoffs, right?

Not necessarily. While on paper they look like the most complete team out there, don’t let their record fool you. They are far from a Super Bowl caliber team and have several key flaws that must be addressed if they plan to navigate their way through the second half of the season and subsequently, the playoffs.

One key area that came up last week when they faced off against the Cowboys was offensive yardage. They are not the most efficient team when it comes to offensive production, which means they need to take every yard that they can get.

During the game, Cardinals receiver Michael Floyd had opportunities to gain easy yardage after the catch, get the first down, and keep the chains moving. Instead he danced around looking for that “home run” play. One in the first quarter after a short curl route and another in the third quarter when he had the sticks in front of him, but decided to cut back to make a potential longer run but ends up fumbling the ball and only recovering it with minimal gain.

These two plays, while not costly in this game, are indicative of a larger mindset that can come back to haunt them down the road.

One home run play is less important than sustained drives and moving the chains, and that means taking what the defense gives you and removing a team ego from the equation.

The Cardinals must address this moving forward and they’ll have plenty of time to work on this before the St. Louis Rams come to U of Phoenix Stadium.

Continue reading "Don’t Let The Cardinals Record Fool You."


AZ Cardinals Fan

Are the Arizona Cardinals contenders in 2014 posted by AZ Cardinals Fan

The Arizona Cardinals finished the previous season with a 10-6 record, finishing out of the playoffs mainly because they are in the ultra-competitive NFC West. Many experts considered them the best team not to have made last year’s playoffs, and now the franchise looks to barge into the post-season.

While the NFC West remains very tough, the Cardinals hope their offense remains in sync to have a chance at winning games. This time around, second-year running back Andre Ellington will get more touches as coach Bruce Arians has promised.

Ellington figures to be the target for 34-year old quarterback Carson Palmer, whom the team traded for in the 2013 offseason. Palmer did help the Cardinals offense particularly after Week 8, with the team increasing its points average to 27.3 from the previous 19 points per game.

The team got Palmer more help after signing left tackle Jared Veldheer to a five-year contract worth $35 million. Formerly of the Raiders, Veldheer surrendered a solitary sack in five starts last year despite being slowed down by injury. He’ll definitely help Palmer who had to make do with Bradley Sowell as his blind-side protector last season.

The Cardinals will also welcome the seventh overall pick in the 2013 draft, Jonathan Cooper, who missed his entire rookie season due to a fractured fibula.

While the Cardinals offense will be better this year, their defense could be questionable. The team lost Karlos Dansby who left the team as a free agent.  All-Pro Daryl Washington, one of the top linebackers in the league, is also out for the season due to marijuana usage.  The team would have to rely on cornerback Patrick Peterson, one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the entire league.

Continue reading "Are the Arizona Cardinals contenders in 2014"


TedLevin

Draft Larry Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson? posted by TedLevin

 

Drafting a wide receiver in fantasy football can be a sticky situation. A receiver’s production hinges on multiple factors and risks.

Does the wide receiver have the quarterback capable of getting them the ball? Does their offense pass enough? Are there other offensive options that open up their game?

Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson were once the top two fantasy wide receivers. Their production is still up there, but they aren’t as reliable as Calvin Johnson or AJ Green.

What if your first choices for receiver are already taken? Perhaps the best two options are Johnson and Fitzgerald? What do the  fantasy football cheat sheets tell you about these two stars?

Larry Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald is one of those guys everyone likes. He’s humble, works hard, and makes huge plays. He’s the type of large, fast, and reliable number one receiver every team wants. He almost helped the Arizona Cardinals win the Super Bowl years ago.

After Kurt Warner’s retirement,  Larry Fitzgerald’s production dropped. Why?

The Cardinals haven’t found a reliable or even decent quarterback to run their offense. Last season they constantly shifted between John Skelton and Kevin Kolb. Those two guys had no business playing as a starting quarterback. They couldn’t get the job done.

Starting a mediocre quarterback wastes Fitzgerald’s talent and diminishes his fantasy potential. He still has the talent and skills to stand out as the top fantasy wide receiver. Now, he’s a questionable pick.

Continue reading "Draft Larry Fitzgerald or Andre Johnson?"


Joe Anello

2013 NFL Offseason: Quarterback Craze! posted by Joe Anello

Aside from a few relatively noteworthy transactions in NFL free agency, the past few days have been all about the quarterbacks. There’s been news aplenty regarding some premiere and not-so-premiere signal-callers across the league and the ramifications of their movements. Let’s get through all the news!

Dallas Cowboys extend QB Tony Romo with a six-year, $108 million deal ($55M gtd.)

So we’ve all heard about the basic numbers here, but there’s definitely some “fine print” to this contract. The extension does give Romo $55 million in guaranteed money, but that includes the $11.5M he was scheduled to make next season. He did get a $25M signing bonus, which is pro-rated over the life of the deal (which technically ends after the 2019 season).

This is the contract the Cowboys needed to get done. Through an odd contract loophole, Romo could have become a free agent after the 2013 season… but also after the franchising period ended. So he would have been able to simply walk out on Dallas and get into the free agent market directly, without fear of being franchised. So without a better plan in place or being in any sort of position to draft a quarterback, Dallas made the right, sensible move here. They locked up their franchise quarterback for the long-term.

QB Kevin Kolb signs a 2-year, $13 million deal with the Buffalo Bills

WHOAH. Did NOT see this coming. Can I still get partial credit for saying he’d land in the AFC East? Kolb somehow skirts the sideshow that is the Jets quarterback competition and lands in Buffalo, where he currently only has to beat out Tarvaris Jackson, who isn’t exactly Jim Kelly. Don’t expect this move to stop the Bills from taking a quarterback somewhere in the first two rounds. Kolb might be better than Ryan Fitzpatrick. But at least he’s not making a ludicrous amount of cash.

Continue reading "2013 NFL Offseason: Quarterback Craze!"


Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three posted by Joe Anello

Welcome back everyone! I would have posted this last night but the lack of sleep Monday night really caught up with me. Now I’m back and ready to pick apart the transactions of days two and three of NFL free agency. Let’s get that money man!

OG Gosder Cherilus signs a 5-year, $34 million deal with Indianapolis Colts.
Additional signings: OG Donald Thomas (4 years, $14 million), LB Erik Walden (4 years, $16 million), S LaRon Landry (4 years, $24 million)

This is a group of Colt signings that I didn’t discuss in the day one recap because I was exhausted and there were too many to address. Cherilus was overpaid, but I get it. Thomas’ deal is tolerable and revamps the interior of their line. I don’t feel confident that Walden’s contract will prove to be money well spent. Still, signing Landry as well gives Chuck Pagano a play-making safety in his secondary. The Colts are spending, but not as crazily as the Dolphins.

WR Wes Welker signs a 2-year, $12 million deal with the Denver Broncos

Okay, I have a LOT to say about this deal. I took to Twitter to express my thoughts shortly after the news broke, but I felt utterly hindered by the 140-character limit. I was really upset by the news that New England only offered Welker $10 million (including incentives). He’s only been one of the hardest workers on your team for the past six seasons and this is how he gets rewarded? EFF YOU PATS.

Welker’s caught 100 balls in his entire run with the Pats and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. So imagine my surprise when I heard the Broncos only had to pay him $12 million… for two years!  If he, in this odd-as-hell receiver market, shouldn’t get more than $6M a year, I obviously don’t know football.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three"


Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Bears 28, Cardinals 13 posted by Joe Anello

Chicago entered Sunday’s match-up with the Cardinals needing help to get into the playoffs. They got their help in the form of a Giants loss, but could they do their job on the road? It’s time for the Gameday Review!

 

(9-7) Chicago Bears 28

(5-10) Arizona Cardinals 13

An early reversal on what would have been a first down catch by Brandon Marshall in the first quarter forced the Bears to punt to the Cardinals, who received the ball at their own four yard line when it was downed by Zack Bowman. Bowman wouldn’t cease his involvement there however, as running back Beanie Wells fumbled the ball (without any real contact) in his backfield, which Bowman quickly picked up. Falling over the goal line with the ball, the turnover put the Bears up 7-0 in the first quarter, a lead they would not relinquish. Though to their credit, the Cardinals actually looked competent on their third drive as Ryan Lindley found Larry Fitzgerald twice on their way to an early field goal.

It took time for the Bears to formulate any sort of offensive rhythm, as Cutler didn’t complete a pass in the first quarter. Mike Tice eventually got Matt Forte involved in the game, calling his number 12 times for 88 yards, including a 36-yarder that ended the first quarter. Shortly after that, Cutler completed a pass to Marshall for 30 yards near the goal line. A Forte hand-off made it 14-3, Bears. With 2:18 left in the first half and a 14-6 lead, Jay Cutler led his team on their best drive of the day. A 35 yard pass to Alshon Jeffery (without a PI call) got the series started. Two plays later, Earl Bennett got involved with a 15 yard grab. After a Forte run, Jay delivered a ball to the corner of the endzone to Marshall, who hauled it in and made it a 21-6 lead. Marshall was wide open, spacing which was created by Cutler spreading the ball to his other targets. (And of course, those targets actually catching the ball.)

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Bears 28, Cardinals 13"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals posted by Joe Anello

Following a disappointing loss to the Green Bay Packers last weekend (where life got in the way of the Gameday Review), the Chicago Bears are in desperation mode as they attempt to claw their way back into the playoffs. Can they start an upward trend against the struggling Cardinals? Answers abound in the Gameday Preview!

(8-6) Chicago Bears at

(5-9) Arizona Cardinals 

The Offense

For those of you thinking we can just roll up points again the Arizona defense, I’m not convinced. Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett are on the edges of what is a very intimidating defensive front three. They won’t be manhandled by a suspect offensive line. Daryl Washington is having a fantastic year at linebacker. And the Cardinals have a very solid back secondary, highlighted by corner Patrick Peterson, who is absolutely electric. He’s joined by safeties Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes, both of whom are good tacklers and reliable in pass coverage.

Where the Cardinal defense has struggled this year is in run defense. They’re 28th in the league in rushing yards allowed per game, which was a major issue during the nine game losing streak that took them from 4-0 to 4-9. (And you thought the Bears were slumping.) So what does that mean? It means that aside from forcing the ball into Brandon Marshall (which is going to happen regardless of the game plan), Mike Tice must establish the run. Matt Forte hasn’t been getting enough touches throughout most of the year, and now he doesn’t have Michael Bush behind him on the depth chart. I’m not crazy about Armando Allen or Kahlil Bell, but they’re going to spell Forte for a few plays today. Meh.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Chicago ..."


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 8, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week eight in the NFL brought disaster upon several supposed contenders and cleared up the divisional pictures.  A few days late or not, we can’t have a week go by without an edition of The Final Drive!

(3-4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers 36

(5-3) Minnesota Vikings 17

I guess the Vikings aren’t ready to be contenders just yet. Falling at home against a team on short rest and traveling for a Thursday night game? Thursday nights are built for the home team to get a win, but the Vikings failed to produce points. I put most of that on Christian Ponder, who honestly just looked terrible. Credit the Buccaneers for never taking their foot off the gas in this one, especially when there were several opportunities to lose the momentum.

(2-6) Cleveland Browns 7

(3-4) San Diego Chargers 6

Wow. San Diego only managed to put up two field goals against a team that has severe scoring issues. So yeah, I’d say Norv Turner’s job is in trouble. But where have I heard that before? Anyways, Cleveland really looks like a team that could be a legitimate contender in a few years if they stay on this track. Good for them.

(3-4) Detroit Lions 28

(4-4) Seattle Seahawks 24

Somehow Seattle’s defense took Calvin Johnson completely out of the game but let Titus Young and Brandon Pettigrew wreck them. The fact that those two pass-catchers stepped-up like they did gives more weight toward their possible development. Matthew Stafford had an outstanding game through the air, even managing to outshine Russell Wilson’s best game of the year. While the offensive signs should be encouraging for Seattle fans, the loss is still painful.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 8, 2012"

Arizona Cardinals News

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Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald not thinking beyond this season (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports


Here's what Tom Brady's deflate-gate appeal potentially could mean (Shutdown Corner)

Monday marks the deadline for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to appeal his deflate-gate case, and all signs point toward his camp starting that ball rolling. According to ESPN, the NFLPA plans to file a petition this afternoon to rehear Brady's case "en banc" — which, in legal terms, means in front of the entire court — in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. It's a risky approach, as typically the court defers to the findings of its three-judge panel, which previously had reinstated his four-game suspension by a 2-1 vote, as a matter of respect. "The facts here are so drastic and so apparent that the court should rehear it," NFLPA attorney Theodore B. Olson told ABC News in an interview that aired on "Good Morning America." The team's argument is starting to take focus. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told USA Today that the Brady decision has wider-sweeping effects than to just one star quarterback — every NFL player should be upset at this ruling, he argues. “The problem for the commissioner was simple,” Smith said. “No one believes the conclusions of the Wells Report, and thus, he was stuck with all of the facts developed at the hearing that disproved the Wells Report and he had to base his punishment on something completely new. “Whether it’s a player or any worker, you’re entitled to know why you’re being punished, and no one who has decided to take on the responsibilities of being an arbitrator should be allowed to make it up as they go along.” Still, by most accounts, this is the legal equivalent to a Hail Mary pass. Brady's lawyers had requested and were granted a two-week extension to decide which approach to take, so clearly they've thought things through. How long could a decision to grant the "en banc" status take? It varies, but one month's time appears to be a standard length to be expected. ESPN business analyst Andrew Brandt estimated it might occur as fast as three weeks but as long as six. But that's just the next step in the process. If this is granted, the chances of Brady being eligible from the start of the season until the case has been settled increase dramatically. Assuming that timetable, the case might not begin for many months and Brady might be expected to play in the Patriots' season opener at the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1. It's possible that Brady serves no time during the 2016 season while this plays out. And what if Brady's "en banc" request is denied? His legal eagles then could ask for a stay from the appellate court as they prepare his case for an appeal with the Supreme Court. Yes, it could get that far. And no, this thing is not over. Far from it, it appears. More on Tom Brady, deflate-gate - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm   [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Will Carson Palmer's playoff nightmare linger? Jake Delhomme's did (Shutdown Corner)

This offseason, Shutdown Corner will travel down memory lane with a series of stories presenting some interesting and sometimes forgotten stories from the NFL's past. Join us as we relive some of the greatest and craziest moments in the sport's history. I never thought I would see the look that I saw in the eyes of the quarterback that night. The only other time I ever saw a player so spooked after a nightmare game was a few years later when Wes Welker, who dropped a pass that might have ensured the New England Patriots of beating the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. Welker was spooked. But Jake Delhomme was different to me. I wasn’t at the NFC championship this past January between the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals, but it wasn’t hard to draw a short, straight line between what I saw up close in Delhomme’s eyes back in early 2009 and what unfolded this past January with Carson Palmer. Same teams, same field, same stat line — six turnovers in a playoff loss, each one more haunting than the next. What I saw in Delhomme’s face that night — something odd and eerie — was still different, still quite unlike anything I had experienced. I have been in plenty of losing locker rooms in my life, but little matched what went down on Jan. 10, 2009. I fear, or wonder, if Palmer will carry that same endless nightmare with him the way I suspect Delhomme did after that game. It was his 34th birthday. He’d never play in a postseason game again. Delhomme and the Carolina Panthers had bounced back after two disappointing seasons to finish 12-4 in 2008, and despite losing at the New York Giants in Week 16, which cost them the top seed and home field throughout the postseason, the Panthers were a strong, balanced team with a strong defense and an opportunistic offense. Meeting them in this divisional round game at Charlotte that night was a 9-7 Arizona Cardinals team that: • Had lost four of six heading into the playoffs • Was 3-5 on the road • Had lost all five games east of the Mississippi River • Was outscored by 83 points in eight road games • And had lost to this same Panthers team in Bank of America Stadium earlier that season “Jake and the Pressure Boys are about to take the playoff stage!” Panthers radio play-by-play voice Mick Mixon said just before kickoff. They clearly felt like the favorites to reach the NFC title game heading into that night. Kickoff was right when Ihad arrived. A terrible storm had blasted Chicago that morning (lesson learned: never fly in the day of a game) and delayed my flight more than five hours. I finally landed in Charlotte around 6:15 p.m. local time and somehow managed to get my rental car, drive the seven miles through game-night traffic, park in a remote lot, get my credential and make it up to the press box about 10 seconds before Neil Rackers kicked off to return man Mark Jones. And before my perspiration even dried, the Panthers had scored. They marched 50 yards on five plays and took a 7-0 lead on a Jonathan Stewart touchdown. It looked like this was going to be easy, having controlled the line of scrimmage offensively on that possession, as well as defensively, knocking the Cardinals back for three losses on their first drive. But it started to unravel after that. Rather quickly. The Cardinals converted a few Panthers mistakes on defense into a tie game, and then Delhomme was strip sacked on the next play. The Cardinals punched it in two plays later for a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter, and on the first play of the second quarter an unraveling Delhomme attempted a poor pass to Steve Smith, who was bracketed, and it was picked off at the Arizona 1-yard line by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. The Cardinals then sandwiched two clock-chewing drives ending in field goals around a Panthers three-and-out. With 5:28 left in the first half, down 20-7 but still very much in the game, Delhomme imploded. He gunned a pass over the head of DeAngelo Williams and well behind Muhsin Muhammad, and it was easily picked by Cardinals linebacker Geno Hayes — the fifth (and final) interception in Hayes’ career, which would last 99 games. The first interception was bad. But this one was worse. Delhomme snapped, yelling to himself and clapping his hands in disgust near midfield. He clearly had no solutions nor an idea how to get himself out of the situation. “It was inexcusable,” he’d later say. The Cardinals once again capitalized. Three plays later, Kurt Warner hit Larry Fitzgerald for a crowd-silencing touchdown. Although the Cardinals missed another chance to tack on points before the half with a field goal that came up short, they led 27-7 at half. “Jake wasn’t Jake tonight,” Smith told me in a quiet moment after most of the locker room had cleared out. He continued to defend his quarterback — “ That’s my quarterback. That’s the guy I stand behind. ” But Smith couldn’t help but notice how Delhomme tried in vain to break out of his funk mid-game. “He kept trying to get out of it, but it was like quicksand,” Smith said. “The harder he tried the faster he sank.” Following a Warner pick early in the third quarter, Delhomme came back with one more of his own, trying to force a pass to Smith, who had been held in check to this point. The Cardinals were in Delhomme’s head. They had sniffed out the screen, and instead of just grounding the ball, he tried to fit it into a window that wasn’t there. Wasn’t happening on that night. He was 5 of 12 passing for 35 yards with three interceptions at this point; a Rackers field goal made it 30-7 late in the third quarter. The game was pretty academic, but Delhomme’s nightmare worsened. His fourth-down pass on the following possession was incomplete, and on the Panthers’ next try — their only promising drive in more than an hour — Delhomme followed up his own delay-of-game penalty inside the red zone with a brutal throw in the direction of Smith. Yep, pick No. 4. No. 5 (oh yes, there was more) came a little more than three minutes later. Muhammad had slipped, and at this point Delhomme was seeing red. Five picks — to five different Cardinals — for a player who had thrown only 12 all regular season in 16 games. "I had a hand in six turnovers," Delhomme said with a shrug, not able to look his questioner in the eye. "You’re not going to beat anybody [like that], especially in a playoff game. It’s inexcusable and disappointing.” Prior to that night, Delhomme had thrown only five playoff interceptions in seven games and 192 attempts. Once before on his birthday, Delhomme had delivered one of the biggest clutch performances in franchise history in the Panthers’ double-overtime win (with Stephen Davis injured) over the St. Louis Rams five years prior. Delhomme celebrated his 29th by hitting Smith for the walk-off 69-yard TD. But this night there were no postgame candles to blow out. Delhomme walked off the field, head slung low, and made his way back into the locker room looking unsure of what he’d just experienced. As he entered the room for his postgame conference, he looked milk white. Delhomme had few, if any, answers. “I’m at a loss for words. Usually I’m not,” he said. “For one reason or another, I didn’t give us a chance tonight. “Disappointed. Extremely disappointed. I don’t know what else to say. My fault. I should get the blame.” Delhomme fell on his sword to his teammates after the game, even though none of them publicly blamed their quarterback. “I told them I apologize for not giving us a chance," he said. “That’s just how I felt. I’m not looking for sympathy one bit. That’s the last thing I want. I just wanted to let them know, the work I put in this week, obviously it wasn’t good enough.” Minutes later, he walked through the crowed but pin-drop-quiet locker room with a cell phone glued to his ear and his eyes glued to the ground, navigating through the pile of uniforms, pads and sweaty tape to get out to the players’ lot. I have no idea to this day if Delhomme was actually talking to anyone or if it was a ruse to avoid any eye contact with anyone at that moment. I couldn’t have blamed him if it was. This was a man in shock. I don't know how I knew, but I felt at the time that he might never be the same. Even the five-year, $42.5 million extension he received three months later couldn’t heal those wounds. He led the NFL in interceptions the next season with 18 (with only eight TD passes) and was benched and then released. That also was the beginning of the end for head coach John Fox and GM Marty Hurney in Carolina. For every Delhomme-like effect, there’s that of Brett Favre (six interceptions in a playoff loss to the Rams) or Rich Gannon (five in the Super Bowl loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). Both of them played well after that. It’s not a guarantee that Palmer, for instance, will go from MVP candidate in 2015 to bum in 2016 because he had a bad game, even if it was a chance. But could it linger? Could that doubt recur all offseason? You can’t rule it out, especially for a player who has won one playoff game in 12 years, had eight turnovers in two playoff games last season (after 13 all regular season) and who is entering a season in which he counts more than $20 million against the salary cap (with a roster bonus in 2017 looming for $8.15 million). That's a lot coming off such a brutal season-ender. Now I wish I had seen Palmer’s eyes after that playoff nightmare. I might have a better idea how things might go for him this season. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Palmer shrugs off 'big game' failure, expects big season (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports


Russell Wilson takes jab at NC State; great lesson learned (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

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