Found December 07, 2012 on Fox Sports Arizona:
TEMPE, Ariz. Early Doucet remembers when achieving mediocrity gave you a good chance to win the NFC West. Since the Cardinals joined the division before the 2002 season, four of the 10 division winners have had a 9-7 record or worse -- capped by Seattles 7-9 mark in 2010 -- and only three division winners over that stretch have managed more than 10 wins. The NFC West hasnt produced two playoff teams in the same season since 2004, and the division hasnt produced a Super Bowl champ with its current alignment; the AFC West is the only other division without a Super Bowl champ over that 10-year time period. Both of those facts may be altered this season, with the 49ers a legitimate contender for the title and the Seahawks currently sitting in the NFCs final wild-card spot. Times have changed, said Doucet, now in his fifth season with the Cardinals. We knew that this division was only going to continue to get betterm and thats what youre seeing this season. Were not a division to overlook anymore. You even got St. Louis beating San Francisco. Anything can happen. Defense has certainly played a role in the divisions sudden uptick. All four NFC West clubs are currently ranked among the NFLs top 12 in total defense. But Arizona is proof that defense alone cant do much. At the risk of repeating ourselves, the common denominator for the 49ers, Rams and Seahawks improved standing is quarterback play. The 49ers are perhaps the only club in the NFL with two legitimate options at QB -- Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith -- and they are in first place. The Rams Sam Bradford struggled earlier in the season, as did his club, but his improved play of late has St. Louis within a half-game of .500 and still in the wild-card chase. Then theres Seahawks rookie QB Russell Wilson, whom Seattle drafted in the third round -- five picks before the Cardinals chose cornerback Jamell Fleming. While Smith still has the NFLs third-highest QB rating at 104.1, and Kaepernicks 96 rating would be ranked seventh if he had taken enough snaps, Wilson is just a shade behind him at 95.2, the seventh-best rating in the league among qualifiers. Wilson owns a 63.4 completion percentage with 19 TDs and eight interceptions this season. But in his last four games, Wilson has nine TDs and zero interceptions with 778 passing yards and 170 rushing yards. How much has that meant to the Seahawks' resurgence? I think its everything, Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton said. Last year, they had a mobile, athletic quarterback in (Tarvaris) Jackson, but they didnt go far. Id put it all on (Wilson) the quarterback position is so important that he gets the lions share of it. A lot of teams passed on Wilson despite a sensational senior season at Wisconsin in which he threw for 3,175 yards with a 72.8 completion percentage, 33 TDs and just four interceptions. Unfortunately for the fan base, the Cardinals were one of those teams (although it should be noted the club did not have a second-round pick, and theres no telling how Wilson would have meshed with the Cardinals system and personnel). With Russell playing so well at quarterback for us, it gives us the hopes that we can really build on this young group of guys, Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. We hoped that we would have the dynamic football player -- that the terrific kid as a leader would show up, and it has. I have always looked for guys that are unusually gifted and talented, and I didnt care what size they were when they were that unique. Its impossible to predict career arcs for Wilson and Kaepernick. Neither has played enough games to declare their selections an unmitigated success for their clubs. But the NFL is all about the now, and the depressing reality therein is that three NFC West teams have varying degrees of stability at quarterback and one does not. You dont need to guess whos who. Its reflected in the standings. The truth is, every team in the NFC West is now ahead of the Cardinals in terms of development because every team in the NFC West has a better situation at quarterback than the Cardinals. Feeling depressed? Well, take heart. Things could be worse. You could be rooting for the Jaguars. In that same 2012 draft in which Wilson went in the third round, Jacksonville selected its third player of the draft five spots before the Seahawks. The Jags' selection: Bryan Anger. Hes a punter. Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter

Spitting in the wind: Darnell Docket fined six figures for spitting on teammate Kerry Rhodes

We’re still trying to get over a defensive lineman spitting on a safety, no wonder the Cardinals haven’t won in about 2 months. We reported the initial story of Darnell Dockett spitting on Kerry Rhodes after an argument, as if losing 8 games in a row isn’t enough, the front office wants to send a message by fining Dockett six figures for spitting according to Mike Jurecki...

Reports: Cardinals fine Dockett 200K

According to multiple media reports, the Cardinals fined defensive lineman Darnell Dockett a "six-figure" amount Friday for conduct detrimental to the team. XTRA 910 AM radio host Mike Jurecki first reported the fine According to's Albert Breer, the amount of the fine was 200,000. The report also states that the NFL Players Association has already...

Kevin Kolb still isn’t healthy

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb told Darren Urban of that his broken ribs still aren’t completely healed. “A lot of the (slow recovery) goes back to the injury itself,” Kolb said. “The way that my ribs are broken, they aren’t completely healed. “Whenever the cartilage broke, (the ribs) are laying underneath my sternum. That’s how they are trying...

Report: Cardinals fine Darnell Dockett six-figures for incident with Kerry Rhodes

According to Mike Jurecki of XTRA 910 in Arizona, the Cardinals have fined defensive lineman Darnell Dockett six-figures for his incident with teammate Kerry Rhodes. I’m hearing that Darnell Dockett has been fined six figures from the Cardinals organization, & could have a limited role vs. Seattle. — Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) December 7, 2012 Dockett reportedly spit in...

Cardinals Injury Report: Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, Calais Campbell

While Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb has been able to return to practice in a limited capacity this week, the team has already named QB John Skelton as its starter for this weekend’s matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Kolb continues to recover from a rib injury he sustained against the Buffalo Bills in Oct. While he was able to return to practice in a limited...

Cardinals DE Dockett fined 'six figures'

Arizona Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett was fined an amount of "six-figures" for an on-field incident involving teammate Kerry Rhodes, ESPN reported Friday. The exact amount of the fine is not known. Dockett reportedly spit on Rhodes during the incident, according to ESPN, citing a source. Rhodes denied that Dockett split on him. Dockett, who apologized for...

Cardinals Darnell Dockett fined six figures behind on-field altercation with Kerry Rhodes

The details of what happened between Darnell Dockett and Kerry Rhodes on Sunday are a little fuzzy but the Cardinals have fined Dockett six figures – the exact amount is alleged to be $200,000- for conduct detrimental to the team. Per his Twitter, Dockett isn’t pleased with the fine and plans to appeal it via [...]

John Skelton will get start

Let’s face it, Arizona’s single shining moment of QB excellence was between 2005 & 2009, when Kurt Warner was under center. Before and since it has been middling at best and a disaster at worst, with the 2012 season shaping up to be a prime example of the latter. With his team currently mired in an eight-game losing streak after starting the season 4-0, coach Ken Whisenhunt...

Fantasy Football News – Beanie Wells Questionable Against Seattle

Fantasy Football News - The Arizona Cardinals running back is listed as questionable going into the week 14 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks. Beanie was limited in practice Friday and is averaging a terrible 2.2 YPC after missing 7 games earlier this year. FFLockerRoom Take - Let me be frank. I do not like Beanie Wells as an NFL running back. I never have. I know that the Cardinals...

Cardinals at Seahawks: Trap Game or Easy Victory?

On paper, tomorrow's Week 14 matchup against the Cardinals looks like an easy victory. Since starting hot at 4-0, the Arizona Cardinals have bumped into a slew of problems on both sides of the ball and slipped into a nightmare scenario, losing their last eight straight. Coach Ken Whishenhunt inexplicably benched QB John Skelton in Week 12 in favor of rookie Ryan Lindley, with...
NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.