Monday, January 19, 2009
'08 Cardinals mirror '05 Bengals.
Sorry for the long Hiatus, but I could not get motivated there for a while. Good news is that I am back, at least temporarily! Watching the NFL playoffs this year has been quite bitter sweet, but very motivating.
I say bitter sweet because watching the 2008 Cardinals is like watching the 2005 Bengals. Of course there are small differences, but I did a little digging, and here is what I found on the surface.
Total Yards/Game 4th /6th
Rushing Yards/Game 32nd /11th
Passing Yards/Game 2nd /5th
% Intercepted 9 /9
% Sacked 7 /2
3rd Down Efficiency 11th /3rd
Points/Game 3rd /4th
Field Goal % 8 /6
Opposing Yards/Game 19th /28th
Opposing Rushing/Game 16th /20th
Opposing Pass/Game 22nd /26th
% Intercepted 19 /1
QB Sacks 20th /28th
Opposing First Downs 22nd /27th
3rd Down Efficiency 28th /30th
4th Down Efficiency 31st /16th
If you really look at it it is kind of erie huh? Both teams were offensive juggernauts, that seemed to win games by out scoring the opponent. The only thing that really sticks out is the Bengals actually had a better running game with a healthy Rudi Johnson and Chris Perry, that is way better than the current Edgerin James with a cane and the inexperienced Tim Hightower for the Cardinals. Also the Bengals defense was statistically worse, but they did lead the league in turnovers which kept them afloat. You want more erie? I thought you might!
Palmer - 3,836 yards/32 touchdowns/12 interceptions
Warner - 4,583 yards/30 touchdowns/14 interceptions
Other than Warner having to throw the ball more, because of a non-existent running game, they are almost identical!
C. Johnson - 97 receptions/1432 yards/9 touchdowns
L. Fitzgerald - 96 receptions/1431 yards/12 touchdowns
Housh - 78 receptions/956 yards/7 touchdowns (in only 14 games)
Boldin - 89 receptions/1038 yards/11 touchdowns
WEIRD! Of course there are more touchdowns by the Arizona receivers, but that is because again Rudi was a capable back and Chris Perry was healthy that one year and it made a difference.
What about the individuals on defense you ask? Check this!
Arizona - Bertrand Berry - 5
Cincinnati - Justin Smith - 6
Arizona - Karlos Dansby - 119, 95 solo
Cincinnati - Odell Thurman - 104, 68 solo
Zona - 1044/31/20
Nati - 960/26/18
It is almost scary isn't it? What about the coaches? Both spent time in Pittsburgh under Bill Cowher as assistant coaches. Both went 8-8 in their first season as a head coach of a franchise that was used to losing. The difference comes when Ken Whisenhunt was able to direct his team to the playoffs in his second season, when it took Marvin Lewis three seasons to get there.
Now, the part that aggravates me the most was all the what ifs that I start thinking about when watching the Cardinals. What if Kimo Von Oelhoffen hadn't rolled on Palmer's knee? What if the Bengals played in the NFC, which was a way weaker division that year? What if the Steelers just didn't exist at all?
All just pipe dreams I know, but it allows me the delusion of thinking that 2005 could have been the year for the Bengals, thanks to what the Cardinals are doing today!
So here is to you Arizona, please go out and crush the Steelers, throw 40 points on the board and never let off the gas. Humiliate them on the biggest stage in the world, the Super Bowl, so that this lowly Bengals fan can have something to enjoy this football year, and maybe heals some three year old wounds.