Arizona Cardinals: The Heat Is On but it’s a Peaceful Easy Feeling


Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and head coach Bruce Arians got their first playoff wins on Saturday night

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer got the monkey off his back as they say.  He finally got his first playoff win 13 seasons into his professional career.  The same can be said for head coach Bruce Arians, although it took just three years for him to win his first game as head coach.

The fourth line in Glenn Frey’s “The Heat Is On” says “The pressure’s high, just to stay alive”.  Frey, who passed away on Monday, couldn’t have said truer words for the Cardinals.  The pressure was on against the Green Bay Packers and the Cardinals looked tight at times Saturday night in their 26-20 overtime victory.

“Caught up in the action I’ve been looking out for you” had to be what the football Gods had to be thinking at the end of the game as Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw back to back Hail Mary’s to send the game to overtime, only to have Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald erase that in two of the three plays in overtime to finish the Packers off.

“That’s a chance you take when the heat’s on you”.  Arians has been hearing about his decision to throw late in the game when trying to put the Packers on ice in the final couple of minutes.  The heat was on and Arians aggressiveness rubbed some fans and media the wrong way.  I told people that’s just who Arians is.  I didn’t have an issue with it, playoff game or not.

For some reason though, despite the tightness and the Cardinals not playing their best game on Saturday night, they still found a way to win.  They had several games like that during the season.

They played an awful first half against the Cleveland Browns, but won by two touchdowns.  They played an awful fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle in November and allowed them to come back from a 19-0 deficit to take a 29-25 lead before the Cardinals regained their momentum to win 39-32.

They played a really un-Cardinals-like game at the San Francisco 49ers, escaping with a 19-13 victory thanks to a couple of calls that went their way.  Those are the types of games that has me with a “Peaceful Easy Feeling” going into Charlotte this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers have been known to blow a few leads themselves and if not for better first-half clock management by the Seahawks, we could be talking about a Seahawks-Cardinals NFC Championship.  Nevertheless, the Panthers definitely earned the right to be there.

The Panthers will be tough to beat in Charlotte.  Not impossible though as many in the national media believe.  The Cardinals are 3.5-point underdogs.  They should be.

“And I know you won’t let me down”.  The Cardinals have already met my expectations.  If they lose on Sunday, they lose.  I think they will win but this squad looked like a winner to me in preseason and they haven’t disappointed.  At this point win or lose, they haven’t let me down.

It is a shame someone will lose the game this Sunday.  However can’t have both teams going to the Super Bowl, although in my eyes these are the best two teams in the NFL.

“Cause I’m already standing, I’m already standing, Yes I’m already standing on the ground”.  The Cardinals got the message on Saturday.  They almost let one get away.  They will come out stronger on Sunday on both sides of the ball.  Palmer will be better.  Cornerback Justin Bethel will be better.  They will be ready, with two feet on the ground and not with their minds up in the sky somewhere.

The Heat Is On but I’ve got a Peaceful Easy Feeling.

R.I.P. Glenn Frey