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Arizona Cardinals

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I hope . . . That Budda Baker remains the top vote-getter from fans among strong safeties for the NFC Pro Bowl team, which he was when the first counts were announced Monday. The fan vote counts one-third along with the same amount for players and coaches. It surely didn’t hurt when Baker was featured on Hard Knocks in episode…...

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The Cardinals accomplished something on the offensive line Sunday they hadn’t done since Week 8 against the Vikings: Have all five starters play every snap in the game. Furthermore, that’s been the case in only three games this season. There had been the thought there would be a job-share at the guard spots with Rashaad Coward and Cody Ford on the left side and Max Garcia and Lecitus Smith on the right. However, Garcia, who was back on the field after missing four games with a shoulder injury, and Coward played all 66 offensive snaps. Left tackle Josh Jones, center Billy Price and right tackle Kelvin Beachum were the other starters. Right guard Will Hernandez and center Rodney Hudson, who…

“They felt differently.” Those were the succinct words of Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury when asked after Sunday’s last-second, 25-24 loss to the Chargers if his coaches said anything to him after two crucial replay reviews negated potential turnovers that might have affected the game’s outcome. Throughout this season (and prior seasons), there have been numerous instances where it appeared plays were reversed when it wasn’t clear and obvious that the original ruling was wrong. That surely seemed to be the case Sunday, contrary to what NFL senior vice president of officiating Walt Anderson told me shortly after the end of the game. (I was representing the Professional Football Writers of America and was granted access to Anderson by phone and…

The Los Angeles Chargers hit the field Sunday at State Farm Stadium with a 5-5 record after losing to Kansas City 30-27 last Sunday and falling three games behind the Chiefs in the AFC West. However, it is effectively four games because of Kansas City’s head-to-head sweep. The NFL is usually defined by close games and a win would have left them one game back along with a split of the season series. Earlier in the season, the Chiefs also won by a field goal. Overall, the Chargers have lost three games by a total of 12 points, but they also have won four by a total of 13. They face a Cardinals team roiled again by adversity after the…

I hope … That people realize the “regression” in Kyler Murray everyone likes to talk about had actually started to reverse itself after the return of DeAndre Hopkins in Week 7. Shocking, huh? In three games before Murray missed the last two because of a hamstring injury, he compiled these numbers: New Orleans 20-for-29, 204 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions,...

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When PHNX Sports began highlighting dogs for adoption and fostering last year at Maricopa County Animal Care & Control’s east shelter in Mesa, I steeled myself for the depressing conditions at that overcrowded, underfunded, understaffed and badly outdated facility. When I stepped inside Heidi’s Village for the first time this summer, I had a “Wizard of Oz” revelation. You’re not in county anymore. Instead of rows of tiny kennels housed by psychologically deteriorating dogs who hadn’t been walked or talked to for days, I entered a bright and open campus with eight separate buildings for dogs and cats, play areas outside each of those buildings, a splash pad, an on-site veterinary clinic, an on-site groomer, training rooms and evidence of…

It would be an understatement to say Mexico City wasn’t kind to the Cardinals Leos. The relationship between coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray was recently chronicled here because both are Leos and Kingsbury has admitted they “butt heads.” On episode 1 of Hard Knocks, Kingsbury explained that a large picture of a lion on a wall in his house is because he’s a Leo. Well, after yet another difficult to grasp incident involving what is fast becoming a dysfunctional organization, it could be argued that rock-bottom has been reached. Tuesday, after Kingsbury denied in a press conference that he had to make any coaching staff changes, he then confirmed to Arizona Republic reporter Bob McManaman that offensive line…

The fairest point to make after the Cardinals were outscored 21-0 in the second half Monday night after fighting gamely in the first two quarters but lost 38-10 is that the numbers don’t lie. The other is that the 49ers are currently an infinitely more talented team than the Cardinals and they have gotten healthier after three of their losses in the first seven games came against the Bears, Broncos and Falcons, three teams that have a combined record of 11-21. The other loss was to the 8-2 Chiefs. It’s a flight of fancy to wonder where the 49ers would be now had quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo not needed shoulder surgery last March, which would have resulted in an offseason trade.…

After all the talk about altitude, preparation and injuries to key personnel, a football game will finally be played Monday night in Mexico City as the Cardinals seek to remain relevant in the NFC West. With a victory, the 49ers would move their record to 6-4 and tie the Seahawks, idle in Week 11, for first place in the division. Technically, San Francisco would be ahead thanks to its 27-7 victory in Week 2. A Cardinals win to make their record 5-6 record would result in them being one-half game behind the 49ers and keep them even with Atlanta in the NFC. Currently, there are seven NFC teams that have winning records including all four teams in the NFC East:…

“It’s these changes in ‘altitudes,’ changes in attitudesNothing remains quite the sameWith all of our running and all of our cunningIf we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane” ——————————————————–Jimmy Buffett OK, I took a bit of literary license changing the word latitudes to altitudes in one of Jimmy Buffett’s iconic songs. Somehow, it just seemed apropos. The Cardinals departed for Mexico City and it’s 7,200-feet altitude Saturday, one day earlier than normal for a road game. Meanwhile, the 49ers were in Colorado Springs during the week practicing at the Air Force Academy, but they had to deal with colder than usual temperatures (29 degrees on Thursday) and then ended up working inside Friday because of snow. The Cardinals were…

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