2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Cardinals' misery ends with 27-13 loss at 49ers

By ANTONIO GONZALEZ - AP Sports Writer
    2012-12-30 21:01

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Arizona Cardinals huddled around televisions in the visitors' locker room at Candlestick Park late Sunday afternoon to watch the Minnesota Vikings clinch a playoff berth with a game-winning field goal against Green Bay. Faint cheers could be heard from across the hall of the San Francisco 49ers celebrating a first-round playoff bye, setting the scene for how Arizona will be spending January again.

As postseason spectators.

The Cardinals closed the season losing 11 of their last 12 games, capping off three miserable months with a 27-13 defeat to the NFC West champion 49ers. Whether coach Ken Whisenhunt returns for the final year of his deal is unclear, and so is so much else about the future of the franchise, except that there will likely be big changes - and soon.

``We haven't won enough games this year. That's the bottom line,'' Whisenhunt said. ``It doesn't matter that you had injuries, that you had changes in personnel, playing rookies. Ultimately, that's the way it goes. But our guys played hard all year, and I'm proud of that. But it's not something I can control.''

Near the top of Arizona's to-do list will be quarterback.

Brian Hoyer, the fourth starter for Arizona this season, completed 19 of 34 passes for 225 yards with an interception and a late TD toss to Michael Floyd in his first career start. The Cardinals (5-11) claimed Hoyer off waivers from Pittsburgh just three weeks ago, and he relieved Ryan Lindley in a loss to Chicago a week earlier before filling in for the finale.

``I know it's been a long year,'' said Hoyer, who will also be a free agent. ``I've only been here three weeks, and I know how disappointing it feels to me to lose this game. I can only imagine for those guys.''

Just who will be in charge of the decisions also is uncertain.

Cardinals President Michael Bidwill had said he would evaluate the situation after the season ended. General manager Rod Graves also might be gone. If Whisenhunt is retained, some of his assistants almost certainly won't.

Even some of the most tenured and decorated veterans are among those wondering what's next.

``I don't know what to expect. I really don't,'' said wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who caught 71 passes for 798 yards this season, his lowest total since he had 780 yards receiving his rookie year in 2004. ``I'll be listening and watching what's going to happen myself.''

San Francisco showed just how far away Arizona is in a division that only seems to be getting better.

Michael Crabtree caught touchdown passes of 49 and 7 yards and finished with a career-high 172 yards receiving, Colin Kaepernick threw for a career-best 276 yards and two TDs and the Niners (11-4-1) did their part to control their postseason fate. Then they waited about 15 minutes to watch Minnesota beat Green Bay, giving San Francisco the NFC's No. 2 seed and a week off before hosting a divisional playoff game for the second straight season.

Frank Gore ran for a 2-yard score early in the fourth quarter for his franchise-best 51st touchdown rushing, breaking a tie with mentor Roger Craig and late Hall of Famer Joe Perry. Crabtree's outstanding outing was the best by a 49ers receiver since Terrell Owens' 166-yard performance on Nov. 25, 2002, against Philadelphia.

The Cardinals outgained the 49ers 129-15 in the opening quarter and held San Francisco without a first down. Jay Feely kicked two field goals to give Arizona a 6-0 lead before the 49ers ran away with the win.

``Today's game kind of mirrored our season,'' Whisenhunt said. ``We started out well and did some things good. Couldn't do enough early against a good football team, and then we made mistakes in the second half that really hurt us. ``

Hoyer exhibited poise in the early moments.

The former New England backup and Michigan State quarterback completed seven of his first 13 passes, including three straight - for 7, 15 and 12 yards - to set up Feely's 35-yard field goal late in the first quarter. Feely added a 31-yarder early in the second, but that lead didn't last long.

The Cardinals ended a six-game stretch without a touchdown pass when Hoyer hit Floyd on a 37-yard strike late in the fourth quarter.

Arizona pounded the ball toward the right side of San Francisco's defensive line where Pro Bowler Justin Smith had been stout against the run all season before getting hurt two weeks ago. But Hoyer, who replaced the benched Ryan Lindley in last week's 28-13 home loss to the Bears, couldn't make enough plays against San Francisco's stingy defense.

``I think we kind of shocked them coming out,'' Hoyer said. ``They didn't expect us to give them what we had. You'd obviously like to finish it off on a better note than that.''

Notes: Whisenhunt said RB Beanie Wells didn't play because the team had practiced certain schemes that fit William Powell better and once Powell got going early he wanted to stick with him. Powell finished with 14 carries for 52 yards. ... Pro Bowl CB Patrick Peterson was lost to a left hamstring injury in the fourth quarter. RG Pat McQuistan was sidelined in the first with an ankle injury and didn't return. LB Paris Lenon injured his left hand in the second half.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Giovani BernardOct 31 11:12a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, shoulder) is unlikely to play in Week 9.

Trent RichardsonOct 31 10:32a

Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson (hamstring) is not on the injury report for Week 9, and should be able to play Monday, Nov. 3.

Rashad JenningsOct 31 10:12a

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (knee) is aiming to return for the Week 10 game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ronnie HillmanOct 31 09:12a

Updating previous reports, Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) is expected to have his normal workload in Week 9, despite his limited practice repetitions.

DeAngelo HallOct 31 08:52a

Washington Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall (Achilles') tore his Achilles' again at home and had surgery to repair it Thursday, Oct. 30.

Ron JohnsonOct 30 08:22p

Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (back), DE Michael Bennett (toe), C Stephen Schilling (knee), CB Tharold Simon (knee), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), LB Malcolm Smith (groin), DT Jordan Hill [ More ]

Patrick WillisOct 30 07:52p

San Francisco 49res CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and LB Patrick Willis (toe) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps) and CB Chris Culliver (hamstring) practiced in full.

Chris MatthewsOct 30 07:42p

The Seattle Seahawks re-signed WR Chris Matthews and TE Brett Brackett to their practice squad Thursday, Oct. 30.

Scott WellsOct 30 07:42p

St. Louis Rams OG Rodger Saffold (shoulder), CB Janoris Jenkins (knee), DT Aaron Donald (shoulder) and S Cody Davis (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Rodney McLeod [ More ]

Luke JoeckelOct 30 07:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars OT Luke Joeckel (concussion) has recovered nicely from the concussion he suffered in Week 8, and he could play in Week 9 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Joeckel [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 30 07:22p

New Orleans Saints RBs Khiry Robinson (forearm) and Pierre Thomas (shoulder) are both inactive in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers Thursday, Oct. 30.

Arian FosterOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (knee) was limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Johnathan JosephOct 30 07:12p

Houston Texans LBs Brian Cushing (knee), Brooks Reed (groin) and Jeff Tarpinian (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. RB Alfred Blue (ankle), LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee), CB Johnathan [ More ]

David HawthorneOct 30 07:12p

The New Orleans Saints have declared LB Austin Johnson, LB David Hawthorne, C Jonathan Goodwin, RB Khiry Robinson, WR Nick Toon, RB Pierre Thomas, CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste inactive for Week 9.

Amini SilatoluOct 30 07:12p

The Carolina Panthers have declared OG Amini Silatolu, CB Bene Benwikere, OT Byron Bell, RB Fozzy Whittaker, WR Philly Brown, FS Thomas DeCoud, OG Trai Turner inactive for Week 9.

Justin TuckOct 30 06:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), CB Carlos Rogers (knee) and WR Kenbrell Thompkins (non-injury) did not [ More ]

Anthony CollinsOct 30 06:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OT Anthony Collins (foot) and LB Brandon Magee (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. C Evan Dietrich-Smith (knee), WR Trindon Holliday (hamstring) and DE Michael Johnson (hand) were limited.

Brian RobisonOct 30 06:32p

Minnesota Vikings DT Shariff Floyd (ankle, knee), TE Chase Ford (foot), CB Jabari Price (hamstring), CB Josh Robinson (ankle) and DE Brian Robison (glute) were limited in practice Thursday, [ More ]

Louis VasquezOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos S Quinton Carter (hamstring) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Lamin Barrow (concussion), TE Virgil Green (calf), LB Steven Johnson (ankle) and OG Louis Vasquez (illness) [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 30 06:22p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman (shoulder) was limited in practice for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

Billy WinnOct 30 06:22p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DE Phil Taylor (knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), S Jim Leonhard (ankle), LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder), [ More ]

Jordan CameronOct 30 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30.

Chris JohnsonOct 30 06:12p

New York Jets RB Chris Johnson, who carried the ball just three times for seven yards in Week 8, said he's frustrated with his limited role in the offense. [ More ]

Tom CrabtreeOct 30 06:02p

The New Orleans Saints waived TE Tom Crabtree Thursday, Oct. 30.

Patrick PetersonOct 30 05:42p

Arizona Cardinals S Tony Jefferson (head) and TE Troy Niklas (ankle) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. DE Calais Campbell (knee), LB Kenny Demens (knee), S Rashad Johnson [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 30 05:22p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Jamell Fleming (hamstring) and LB Josh Martin (hamstring, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. S Eric Berry (ankle) and CB Christopher Owens (knee) were [ More ]

Demario DavisOct 30 05:22p

New York Jets CB Darrin Walls (calf, knee) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OT Oday Aboushi (shoulder), CB Phillip Adams (groin), LB Antwan Barnes (knee), OG Willie Colon [ More ]

Keenan RobinsonOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins S Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) and OT Trent Williams (knee) were limited in practice Thursday, Oct. 30. LB Ryan Kerrigan (wrist), LB Trent Murphy (knee), CB Tracy [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) practiced in full for the second straight day Thursday, Oct. 30.

R. Griffin IIIOct 30 05:02p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) will start against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9, barring any setbacks this week in practice, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Mike PounceyOct 30 05:02p

Miami Dolphins OG Daryn Colledge (illness, back) LB Chris McCain (foot) and TE Dion Sims (toe) did not practice Thursday, Oct. 30. OG Nate Garner (neck), LB Koa Misi [ More ]

Andre BranchOct 30 04:42p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Will Blackmon (finger), DE Andre Branch (groin), DE Chris Clemons (non-injury), LB Geno Hayes (non-injury) and DT Roy Miller (non-injury) didn't practice Thursday, Oct. 30. CB [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group