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Michael Bush Hopes to Boost Arizona Cardinals’ Ailing Rushing Attack

November 27th, 2014 at 6:18 AM
By Steve Smith

The Arizona Cardinals are struggling to run the football. It's no secret. Everyone in the NFL knows it.

The Red Birds are dead last in the league with a putrid 3.1 yards per carry average. Andre Ellington has been a good soldier but he has been dealing with a foot injury all season long and is starting to wear down. His usual explosiveness has not been there.

The Cards needed to make a move to bolster their anemic rushing attack so they have signed veteran running back Michael Bush. In a corresponding move, the Cardinals released fellow runner Kerwynn Williams to make room for Bush.

The 30-year-old Bush has not performed since playing in 13 games with the Chicago Bears last season as a short-yardage back. The former Oakland Raiders starter ran for 977 yards with Oakland in 2011, but accounted for just 197 yards and three touchdowns in Chicago last year.

The University of Louisville product gives the Cardinals a physical presence they've been missing all season. Ellington is a dynamic player, but Arizona's inability to sustain drives on the ground cost them dearly in their 19-3 setback to the Seahawks last Sunday.

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NFL Power Rankings: Arizona Cardinals Rank Second Overall

November 26th, 2014 at 5:31 AM
By Steve Smith

Now that Thanksgiving is here – wow, it sure came quickly this year – it's time to look at the NFL's Power Rankings of the Top 10 teams in the league.

May we have the envelope please:

1. New England Patriots (9-2): I picked the Pats to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl at the start of the season and nothing they are doing is making me change my mind, Tom Brady looks as good as he's ever looked. That's bad news for the rest of the NFL.

2. Arizona Cardinals (9-2): The Red Birds are trending downward though because they truly miss Carson Palmer and they are averaging a league-worst 3.1 yards per tote. Their defense has been very solid but the offense (especially Michael Floyd) has to get going.

3. Green Bay Packers (8-3): Despite struggling a little against Minnesota last week, the Pack are in high gear behind the hottest QB in the league, Aaron Rodgers.

4. Denver Broncos (8-3): As great as Peyton Manning is, he needs help with a solid running game moving forward and C.J. Anderson may be the panacea following his 167-yard effort vs. Miami last Sunday.

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Sack Happy Defense not Enough in Arizona Cardinals’ Loss to Seattle

November 25th, 2014 at 5:23 AM
By Steve Smith

Seven sacks. Usually if your football team records seven sacks in a game, you walk away victorious.

Tell that to the Arizona Cardinals.

Despite a season-high seven sacks and relentless pressure on Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, the Red Birds still left Century Link Field with a frustrating 19-3 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday.

"When you lose a game like this, within the division, no matter what you did doesn’t matter because it wasn’t enough,” linebacker Alex Okafor explained via the team's website. “We had a lot of sacks but we missed a lot. If we’re talking about sacks, we should have gotten more. That might have swung the ballgame a little bit.”

A little, perhaps, but not enough to win. Because Arizona's offense is struggling since Carson Palmer was lost for the season a couple of weeks ago, the defensive corps is feeling more and more pressure to keep the Red Birds in games. Arizona held Seattle to 293 total yards from scrimmage – an impressive showing – but it's not going to matter much if the offense is only going to put three points on the board.

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Seattle Seahawks Smother Arizona Cardinals, 19-3 in NFC West Battle

November 24th, 2014 at 4:59 AM
By Steve Smith

That was quite a buzz saw the Arizona Cardinals ran into yesterday afternoon.

Steven Hauschka booted four field goals and Seattle's defense limited Arizona to a season-low 204 yards from scrimmage as the Seahawks smothered the Cardinals, 19-3, at raucous Century Link Field.

The loss dropped the Red Birds to 9-2 but they still hold a two-game lead in the NFC West over the Seahawks (7-4) and the 49ers (7-4).

“Very simple analysis for this one,” Arizona head coach Bruce Arians said via the team's website. “If you don’t block, catch, tackle, kick, you can’t win.”

Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton was sacked three times and threw for just 149 yards on 14 of 26 passing. He certainly missed wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who missed his first game since 2007 with a sprained MCL in his left knee. Fitzgerald had started 110 consecutive contests.

Despite being sacked seven times by Arizona's blitz-happy defense, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson still had a very productive game. The elusive signal-caller led all rushers with 73 yards on just 10 carries and completed 17 of 22 passes for 211 yards and a touchdown. That TD came on a toss to backup tight end Cooper Helfet on a 20-yard catch-and-run touchdown late in the third quarter to give the winners a 19-3 lead.

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NFL Game Preview: Arizona Cardinals (9-1) at Seattle Seahawks (6-4)

November 22nd, 2014 at 6:56 AM
By Steve Smith

Now comes the fun part of the 2014 NFL season – the home stretch, and there's no better place to start that stretch than in the home of the defending Super Bowl champions, where the Seattle Seahawks will face the high-flying Arizona Cardinals on Sunday afternoon.

As important as this game is for the Red Birds, it's a must win scenario for Seattle. A loss would drop the Seahawks four games behind Arizona in the NFC West and severely damage their wild card hopes as well.

The Cards flew into Seattle and beat the Seahawks 17-10 last season, but that was with Carson Palmer at quarterback. This is Drew Stanton's contingent now, and the eight-year veteran has led his team to a 3-1 record as a starter. However, he may be without Larry Fitzgerald (knee) for this contest. The eight-time Pro Bowler has a Grade 2 MCL sprain and will be a game-time decision.

Michael Floyd came back to life last week against Detroit with a pair of TD receptions, but he'll be facing a Seattle defensive corps that has allowed just three touchdown passes and an average of 189 yards through the air in their last four games.

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