Week 1: Cardinals 28, Panthers 21

by Eric Tellez for NFLMIX.com on 14 Septemeber 2011

It was an amazing day for fans of offense. Carolina Rookie QB Cam Newton threw for a 1st game record of 422-yards. He rushed for 18-yards and a touchdown. He found WR Steve Smith for two touchdowns, Smith only had two touchdowns all of last season. Newton smiled, he laughed...he also lost.

If there's one thing that bothers me about the current sports media it's that we have a tendency to let the individual performance over shadow the performance of the team. When the individual performance overshadows the performance of TWO TEAMS, his and the team that won, you have to wonder where we went astray as journalists. Will there ever be another 422-yard performance in a rookie debut? Not likely. There will also never be another Week 1 victory in 2011, a first touchdown by rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson, or a first win for Kevin Kolb away from Philadelphia.

The truth to the matter is that Kolb had a pretty good game himself; 18 for 27 with 309-yards and 2-touchdown strikes for 48-yards and 70-yards. First round draft pick Patrick Peterson took a punt 89-yards for a go-ahead score after being terrorized by Carolina WR Steve Smith the entire first half. No offense Patrick, Smith has terrorized lots of people.

There's also a story that's being seriously overlooked; Beanie Wells getting 90-yards on 18 carries. Sure, fans out there might not be impressed by a simple 5-yard a carry average but to Arizona fans it resembled something we haven't seen in a long time. Balance. It reminded us of how a team looks when it holds a lead. It reminded us that sometimes teams are throwing for large amounts of yards because they are losing.

Eric Tellez is an independent football journalist from Las Cruces, NM. He has been a contributor to NFLMIX.com for two season and writes for AZCARDINALSMIX.com every Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. You can reach him at cover4@rocketmail.com to talk football anytime.

Bulger Rumor Changes Draft

By Eric Tellez for NFLMIX.com
28 April 2011

I'm not really sure how it happened, not really sure if it could even happen legally, but apparently Baltimore Ravens quarterback Marc Bulger is rumored to be coming to Arizona next season. This could prove to great or disaterous but for some reason when I read the comment my first instinct was to flinch and say "What about Gabbert? What about the future?" And then I remembered the up-and-mostly down season of Derek Anderson and I flinched again. Bulger would be an upgrade and is a seasoned vet. But Anderson was too and Gabbert has so much upside. Life as a Cardinals fan is not easy.

I don't really care what the record says, we are not a team in need of "rebuilding". We are not that different from where we were in our Super Bowl year. But it just so happens that the needs we have are in very critical areas. Would Gabbert fix that? With the success that Matt Ryan had in Atlanta and Joe Flacco had in Baltimore it's not impossible to think we could be in contention again. Would Marc Bulger work as a temporary fill-in while Gabbert adjusted? Where does that leave John Skelton? Perhaps they could trade Skelton and get more picks, this year the Cardinals only have 6-selections and he looked solid in the games he played.

Who would of thought that in 2011 the draft would change drastically because of a Marc Bulger rumor.

Eric Tellez is a team reporter from Las Cruces, NM. He has been contributing on NFLMIX.com for 2-years. Feel free to email him at footballfreepress@yahoo.com to talk football anytime.

Blaine Gabbert? Nice But Not Likely

by Eric Tellez for NFLMIX.COM

It is being reported that former Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert held a private workout yesterday that was attended by a who's who of Arizona Cardinals executives. Among those in attendance were head coach Ken Whisenhunt, general manager Rod Graves, director of personnel Steve Keim, and the team's owners; Michael and Bill Bidwell. It has also been reported, by ESPN's Chris Mortenson, that at the conclusion of the workout Gabbert attended dinner with the Arizona brass and that all signs seemed to be looking positive.

As a Cards fan, I am thrilled that the team is looking to address its quarterback problems. I was asking for the same thing no-more than a couple of weeks ago but there are still some wrenches in works that concern me. Even though the Cardinals do have the #5 pick in the draft there is a strong possibility that Gabbert doesn't fall that far. Let's look at the variables:

#1 pick belongs to the Carolina Panthers. It's not much of a stretch to think that Gabbert could go to the Panthers who have a new coach and have shown no allegiances to the quarterback the drafted last year, Jimmy Clausen. Looking back, the Panthers might not have been all that sure about Clausen at that time either, in addition to Clausen they drafted two other quarterbacks; Armanti Edwards and Tony Pike. Edwards was drafted as a wide receiver but there was nothing to keep the team from transitioning him back like the Minnesota Vikings did with Joe Webb.

#3 pick belongs to Buffalo Bills. The Bills are not sold entirely on Ryan Fitzpatrick and have already stated they are heavily considering taking a quarterback in this year's draft. The Bills have a lot of needs at a lot of positions but you can not rule them out of the equation.

#4 pick belongs to the Cincinnati Bengals. Carson Palmer wants out of Cincy, wants out bad enough that he is threatening to retire if not being granted a trade. Having Palmer retire doesn't help the Bengals because they lose the player, get nothing in return and won't have a quarterback. If they can draft a quarterback and then trade Palmer they are in much better shape. Have to love brotherly loyalty, if Palmer walks the QB that takes over is his younger brother, Jordan. Oh ya, and you can't forget that Carson says he has $80-million in bank.

As much I'd love to see a quarterback brought in but I just can't see Gabbert falling this far anymore. Perhaps the future of the position may have to rest on the shoulders of Washington's Jake Locker.

Eric Tellez has been a team reporter for NFLMIX.COM for 2-years. You can reach him at footballfreepress@yahoo.com to talk about the Cardinals or your favorite team.

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