Cards/Giants Game Release


Dec 8, 2002
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Sunday, November 14, 2004
2:15 PM (MST) – Sun Devil Stadium

The Cardinals open the second half of their 2004 schedule with a home game vs. the New York Giants at Sun Devil Stadium. Arizona is coming off a dramatic 24-23 win last week at Miami that snapped the team’s 17-game road losing streak. The Cards are looking for their third consecutive home win. The Giants lost last week at home to the Chicago Bears by a score of 28-21. It marked the second straight home loss for the Giants, who enter the game at 5-3.

The Cardinals and Giants have met 119 times since 1926 with the Giants holding a 77-40-2 advantage. Since 1990 the two teams have met 25 times with the Giants taking 18 of the contests. The last time the two teams met was Sept. 29, 2002 when the Cardinals posted a 21-7 home victory. One-time foes in the NFC East, the Cards and Giants met twice annually until the 2002 season when Arizona moved to the NFC West division.

Network: FOX
Play-by-Play: Kenny Albert
Color Analyst: Brian Baldinger
Flagship: 1060 KDUS (AM)
KSLX 100.7 (FM)
Play-by-Play: Dave Pasch
Color Analyst: John Mistler
Sideline: Mike Jurecki
Flagship: KMIA (710 AM)
Play-by-Play: Gabriel Trujillo
Color Analyst: Luis Zendejas
Halftime/Analyst: Felipe Coral

3-5 Record 5-3
150 Points Scored 172
165 Points Allowed 141
17 Touchdowns Scored 19
8 Rushing TDs 13
7 Passing TDs 5
2 Return TDs 1
16 Touchdowns Allowed 18
3 Rushing TDs Allowed 5
9 Passing TDs Allowed 13
4 Return TDs Allowed 0
24/208 Sacked/Yards Lost 34/167
15/7 Fumbles/Lost 19/7
4 Had Intercepted 4
10/12 Field Goals Made/Attempted 13/18
269.9 Total Yards Per Game 335.6
338.3 Opp. Total Yards Per Game 315.0
113.0 Rushing Yards Per Game 131.0
126.6 Opp. Rushing Yards Per Game 118.8
156.9 Passing Yards Per Game 204.1
211.6 Opp. Passing Yards Per Game 196.3
+9 Turnover Ratio +9
31:12 Average Time of Possession 31:34
29 / 18 / 29 NFL Rank-Total Offense/Run/Pass 15 / 10 / 20
18 / 26 / 14 NFL Rank-Total Defense/Run/Pass 10 / 20 / 10

The Cardinals defense is tied with the Giants for the NFL lead with 20 takeaways. It has also produced 18.0 sacks (21 last season), and has allowed just three rushing TDs. The defense continues to rank #1 in the NFL in red zone efficiency after allowing just 10 touchdowns in 30 trips inside the 20 (33.3%). The defense has only allowed three rushing and seven passing touchdowns in those 30 trips with the other possessions resulting in 15 field goals, four fumbles and one clock stoppage.

Last Meeting
CARDINALS 21, Giants 7
October 29, 2002 – Sun Devil Stadium – (30,014)
Arizona’s defense upstaged its stout Giant counterpart, holding New York scoreless following its 46-yard opening-drive touchdown. Two reserves turned the tide for Arizona. Defensive back Justin Lucas brought the first half to a stunning conclusion with only 14 seconds remaining and the Giants sitting at their own 32-yard line following a missed 42-yard field-goal attempt by Arizona’s Bill Gramatica. Lucas intercepted a Kerry Collins pass intended for running back Tiki Barber and raced 38 yards down the New York sideline for his first career touchdown with four seconds remaining, knotting the score at 7-7. Following a scoreless third quarter, running back Marcel Shipp, on in relief of Thomas Jones, tallied touchdowns on consecutive fourth-quarter Arizona possessions. The scores came on a seven-yard reception from quarterback Jake Plummer and a 10-yard run. Shipp contributed 125 total yards – 92 rushing, 39 receiving. All three figures were career highs. Arizona’s defensive dominance was particularly evident in the second half when five of New York’s six possessions lasted four plays or fewer and the G-men gained only 121 total yards (29 rushing, 92 passing). The Cards defense held the Giants to just two first downs rushing, the fewest since Detroit managed only two on Nov. 14, 1999, a span of 43 games. The Cards forced three turnovers (two interceptions, one fumble recovery) to gain a giveaway-takeaway edge (3-1) for the first time in 2002. Offensively, Arizona converted on 10 third-downs, its highest total in 90 games (11, Nov. 10, 1996 at Washington). Arizona’s 14-point margin of victory was its largest against the Giants since its 19-0 shutout in 1992. Both teams gained 263 total yards. Wide receiver Bryan Gilmore made his first NFL reception, a 14-yarder, during the Cards’ go-ahead touchdown drive. Plummer, an economical 23-for-32, 168 yards and one touchdown, avoided interception for the first time in 2002.

This week’s opponent is a familiar one for Cardinals running back Emmitt Smith. While this is the first time he’s facing the Giants as a Cardinal, he played them 24 times as a Dallas Cowboy and his 19 rushing TDs against them are his third most against any opponent (Cardinals 25; Redskins 23). He has eight total 100-yard games against the Giants, including six straight at one point between 1992-95.
Rushing Receiving
Date Opponent Att. Yds Avg Lg TD Rec Yds Avg. Lg TD W/L
Sept. 16, 1990 N.Y. Giants 6 11 1.8 5 0 2 12 6.0 8 0 L
Sept. 30, 1990 At N.Y. Giants 12 28 2.3 6 1 4 38 9.5 17 0 L
Sept. 29, 1991 N.Y. Giants 18 67 3.7 16 1 1 8 8.0 8 0 W
Nov. 17, 1991 At N.Y. Giants 17 97 5.7 36 0 3 16 5.3 13 0 L
Sept. 13, 1992 At N.Y. Giants 23 89 3.9 14 1 8 55 6.9 20 0 W
Nov. 26, 1992 N.Y. Giants 17 120 7.1 68t 1 6 41 6.8 26t 1 W
Nov. 7, 1993 N.Y. Giants 24 117 4.9 24 2 6 43 7.2 20 0 W
Jan. 2, 1994 At N.Y. Giants 32 168 5.3 46 0 10 61 6.1 12t 1 W
Nov. 7, 1994 N.Y. Giants 35 163 4.7 28 2 3 13 4.3 7 0 W
Dec. 24, 1994 At N.Y. Giants Did not play (hamstring)
Sept. 4, 1995 At N.Y. Giants 21 163 7.8 60t 4 1 0 0.0 0 0 W
Dec. 17, 1995 N.Y. Giants 24 103 4.3 23 1 2 6 3.0 3 0 W
Sept. 8, 1996 N.Y. Giants 24 82 3.4 16 0 3 12 4.0 5t 1 W
Nov. 24, 1996 At N.Y. Giants 11 18 1.6 6t 0 4 24 6.0 10 0 L
Oct. 5, 1997 At N.Y. Giants 19 91 4.8 20 0 6 24 4.0 7 0 L
Dec. 21, 1997 N.Y. Giants 13 40 3.1 10 1 1 15 15.0 15 0 L
Sept. 21, 1998 At N.Y. Giants 7 21 3.0 5 0 3 18 6.0 8 0 W
Nov. 8, 1998 N.Y. Giants 29 163 5.6 32 0 5 19 3.8 7 0 W
Oct. 18, 1999 At N.Y. Giants 22 26 1.2 5 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 L
Jan. 2, 2000 N.Y. Giants 22 122 5.5 45 0 2 19 9.5 14 0 W
Oct. 15, 2000 At N.Y. Giants 19 61 3.2 11 1 2 10 5.0 6 0 L
Dec. 17, 2000 N.Y. Giants 24 46 1.9 15 1 0 0 0.0 0 0 L
Nov. 4, 2001 At N.Y. Giants Did not play (knee)
Dec. 9, 2001 N.Y. Giants 22 62 2.8 44 1 1 3 3.0 3 0 W
Oct. 6, 2002 N.Y. Giants 13 70 5.4 30t 1 2 15 7.5 12 0 L
Dec. 15, 2002 At N.Y. Giants 11 32 2.9 9 0 1 –2 –2.0 –2 0 L
Totals 24 games 465 1,960 4.2 68t 19 76 450 5.9 26t 3

With his performance in the season’s first eight games, Emmitt Smith has proven that reports of his demise have been greatly exaggerated. The 15-year veteran has started every contest, is averaging 3.7 yards per carry, and has scored a rushing touchdown in six of eight games. He has topped 100 rushing yards twice (both wins). When he went over 100 rushing yards three weeks ago vs. Seattle, it was his 78th career 100-yard game and gave him sole possession of the NFL lead in that category (Walter Payton, 77). He needs just 17 rushing yards to become the first player ever to reach 18,000 career yards. Through eight games in 2004, Smith leads the Cardinals in rushing with 565 yards (5th in the NFC) on 151 carries and six touchdowns. With six rushing touchdowns so far in ’04 he has tripled his ‘02 total (2). Projecting his eight game statistics over the entire season and Emmitt is on pace to finish with 1,130 yards and over 12 touchdowns. If he does, he would top 1,000 rushing yards for an NFL record 12th season. His best game came vs. New Orleans (10/3) when he rushed 21 times for 127 yards and a 29-yard TD that put the Cards up 27-10 with five minutes to play in the fourth. On that same TD drive he also had an 18-yard reception and a key first down that moved the ball to the New Orleans 36. The 29-yard TD run was his longest run as a Cardinal. The NFL’s all-time leader in rushing yardage and rushing TDs also pulled off a career first when he completed his first career passing attempt for a 21-yard TD to fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo. The 127-yard rushing game vs. the Saints was his first 100-yard game as a Cardinal and his first since Thanksgiving of 2002 (11/28/02 Dallas vs. Washington when he was 23-144). The last player to top 100 rushing yards after his 35th birthday was Marcus Allen for Kansas City at Oakland on 12/3/95 (21-124). Emmitt topped 100 rushing yards for the second time in ‘04 with a 26-106-1 TD performance vs. Seattle on 10/24. He added another 30 yards on four catches. The TD was fifth of the year and a pivotal play in the game. With Cardinals clinging to a 1- point lead with two minutes to play, he raced 23 yards on a 3rd-n- nine play, putting the Arizona up by 8. In week one at St. Louis, the future Hall of Famer opened the 15th season of his NFL career/second with the Cardinals and did so in impressive fashion. In that game, he ran 16 times for 87 yards (5.4 average) against the Rams with an 11-yard TD run in the third quarter. In week 2 vs. NE, he ran for just 31 yards on 13 carries but scored again on 1-yard TD jaunt marking the first time since December of 2001 that he had rushing TDs on consecutive weeks.

Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers is enjoying an outstanding season. He is perfect on PATs and 10-12 on field goals. His only misses came on a 58-yarder vs. NE in week 2 that was blocked and a 64- yard try at Buffalo on 10/31. Rackers also leads the NFC with nine touchbacks on kickoffs and trails only Denver’s Micha Knorr who holds the NFL lead with 15.Against Seattle on 10/24, he claimed a share of the NFL’s all-time single-game record for most 50-yard field goals in a game when he connected on three from beyond that distance (55, 55, and 50). It’s shared with Atlanta’s Morten Andersen vs. the Saints on 12/10/95 (55, 55, and 51). Rackers’ three field goals were accompanied by two PATs and a special teams tackle that contributed to his selection as Special Teams NFC Player of the Week. The pair of 55-yarders vs. Seattle came within the same two-minute span in the second quarter. The 55-yarders were the longest in the NFL this season, represented the longest field goals of Rackers’ career, and also tied for the longest FG in Cardinals franchise history, accomplished twice by Greg Davis. Both of Davis’ 55-yarders were indoors –12/19/93 at Seattle and 9/17/95 at Detroit. In the 2004 preseason finale, Rackers nailed a 57-yarder at Denver for the NFL’s longest preseason field goal.

Rackers’ three 50+ field goals vs. Seattle gave him five for the season, three short of the NFL single-season record of eight also set by Andersen in 1995. Rackers entered the season with only three field goals from beyond 50 yards in his career.

New York punter Jeff Feagles is a Valley native who attended Gerard High School in Phoenix lettering in football, basketball and baseball. Feagles also punted one season at Scottsdale Community College before transferring to the University of Miami. He played with the Cardinals from 1994-1997, making the Pro Bowl in 1995 with a 38.2-yard net average. New York safety Brent Alexander played four seasons for Arizona (1994-1997) appearing in all 64 games (45 starts) during the four seasons. The former undrafted rookie free agent collected 328 tackles, 4 interceptions and 5 forced fumbles during his Arizona career. Arizona defensive line coach Deek Pollard was the defensive backs coach for the Giants during the 1979-1981 seasons. Arizona defensive backs coach Richard Solomon was a pro scout for the Giants for five seasons (1987-1991). Arizona linebacker coach Frank Bush (linebackers) and New York quarterbacks coach Kevin Gilbride (offensive coordinator/assistant head coach) coached together with the Houston Oilers during the 1992- 1994 seasons. New York secondary coach Ron Milus coached the same position with Arizona during the 2003 season. Arizona rookie wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and New York rookie quarterback Eli Manning were taken with the first (Manning) and third (Fitzgerald) overall picks of the 2004 NFL Draft. Arizona rookie tackle Alan Reuber and New York rookie wide receiver Jamaar Taylor were teammates together at Texas A&M. The Cards and Giants each have a former NFL and Super Bowl MVPs in their starting lineups. Emmitt Smith was the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1993 and was selected the MVP of Super Bowl XXVIII (Dallas over Buffalo. Kurt Warner won the honor for Super Bowl XXXIV (St. Louis over Tennessee) and was the league MVP twice with the Rams – 1999 and 2001. Arizona rookie linebacker Karlos Dansby and New York rookie linebacker Reggie Torbor were teammates together at Auburn and were taken 64 picks apart from each other in the 2004 NFL Draft. New York linebacker Nick Greisen is the brother of former Arizona quarterback Chris Greisen. Chris played with the Cardinals during the 1999-2001 seasons.

Both the Cardinals and Giants have been outstanding in 2004 when it comes to winning the turnover battle. Both enter this week’s action with a plus/minus of +9 (only the Lions and Jets rank ahead of them). Each has 20 total takeways and rank behind only Cincinnati in that category. The Cards lead the NFL with 11 fumble recoveries while the Giants have 10.
Plus/Minus Total Takeways Fumble recoveries
1. Detroit +11 1. Cincinnati 21 1. Arizona 11
2. NY Jets +10 2. Arizona 20 Cincinnati 11
3. Arizona +9 NY Giants 20 3. NY Giants 10
NY Giants +9 4. Seattle 19 4. Chicago 9
Philadelphia +9 5. Pittsburgh 18 Pittsburgh 9

It’s quite a departure from 2003 when both ranked near the bottom. The Giants and Cards ranked last in plus-minus with -16 and -13, respectively. Only the Bears (20) had fewer takeways than NYG (22) and Arizona (23).

Josh McCown and Eli Manning each represent a half of the NFL’s record five sets of brothers currently playing
quarterback in the NFL. Josh’s younger brother Luke is a rookie with the Browns and Eli’s older brother Peyton is with Indy. The other three sets: Ty (Atlanta) and Koy (Philly) Detmer; Matt (Seattle) and Tim (Washington) Hasselbeck; and Brock (Seattle) and Damon Huard (K.C.). Aside from the five current sets of QB brothers, in the history of the NFL there have been just two other brother tandems at QB: Craig (Oilers, 1980) & Terry Bradshaw (Steelers, 1970-1983) and Ed (Decatur Staleys/Chicago Bears, 1920-27) & Joey Sternamen (Bears, 1922-25, 1927-30, also played with Duluth Eskimos, 1923).

With last week’s win at Miami, Cardinals head coach Dennis Green reached the century mark in career regular season victories. He became the 29th coach ever to record 100 wins and the eighth active. Green was named the 33rd head coach in franchise history on January 7, 2004. A proven winner, Green has succeeded as a head coach at the college level with Northwestern (1981-85) and Stanford (1989-91) before achieving even greater success at the NFL level as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 1999-2004. In his 10 seasons as head coach of the Vikings, Green led the team to the postseason eight times (with seven different QBs), captured four division titles and advanced to the conference championship game twice. He is one of just eight head coaches to advance to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons and one of just three to lead his team to a 15-win regular season. Green’s winning percentage of .599 ranks eighth among active NFL head coaches.
1. Andy Reid Philadelphia Eagles 58-30 .659
2. Joe Gibbs Washington Redskins 127-65 .661
3. Mike Martz St. Louis Rams 47-25 .653
Mike Sherman Green Bay Packers 47-25 .653
5. Bill Cowher Pittsburgh Steelers 122-77-1 .610
6. Mike Shanahan Denver Broncos 105-68 .607
7. Mike Holmgren Seattle Seahawks 121-79 .605
8. Dennis Green Arizona Cardinals 100-67 .599
9. Tony Dungy Indianapolis Colts 81-55 .596
10. Jon Gruden Tampa Bay Bucs 60-44 .576

• The Cardinals are looking for their third straight home victory this Sunday. The last time Arizona accomplished that was in November/December of 1999 with wins over Detroit, Dallas and Philadelphia.
• Emmitt Smith had a five-yard TD run in the fourth quarter last week marking his first career rushing TD against Miami. That leaves just four teams against whom he’s never scored a rushing TD: the Jets, Ravens, Cowboys and Texans.
• With last week’s win at Miami, Dennis Green improved his record against Dave Wannstedt to 11-5. He is 1-1 in his career against Tom Coughlin.
• Last week’s win at Miami ended Arizona’s road losing streak at 17 games. The last win was on 10/6/02 at
Carolina (16-13). The NFL’s longest road losing streak now belong to Cincinnati with 6.
• Only 19 players remain from the Cardinals team that last won on the road at Carolina on 10/6/02: Wendell Bryant, Anthony Clement, Leonard Davis, Russell Davis, Renaldo Hill, Nathan Hodel, Freddie Jones, Josh McCown, Ronald McKinnon, Scott Player, L.J. Shelton, Marcel Shipp, Duane Starks, Michael Stone, Ray Thompson, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Fred Wakefield, Adrian Wilson, LeVar Woods
• RB Troy Hambrick set-up an Arizona FG last week with a 62-yard run. It was the longest run by a Cardinal since LeShon Johnson’s 70-yard TD run on 9/22/96 at New Orleans. Hambrick is averaging 4.8 yards per carry for the Cardinals in 2004.
• Steelers rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger is 6-0 in his first six starts. The only other rookie in NFL history to start
his career with six wins was current Cardinals QB coach Mike Kruczek (6-0 for the Steelers in 1976).
• QB Josh McCown has a completion percentage of 60%-plus and no INTs in four of eight starts this season.
• With 29 catches (275 yards) second-year WR Bryant Johnson needs seven to surpass his rookie total of 35 (438 yards).

Defensive end Bertrand Berry, a key free agent signing from Denver, leads the Cardinals with 5.0 sacks in 2004. His most recent sack came last week at Miami when he got to Jay Fiedler and forced a fumble that LB Karlos Dansby recovered. Second-year DE Calvin Pace, who had one sack as a rookie a year ago, ranks second with 4.0 sacks. He had a career-best 2.0 at SF (10/10). A year ago, the team’s leading sacker had 3.0 (shared by two players). The last time the team’s leading sacker finished the year with more than 4.0 sacks was 2000 (Simeon Rice, 7.5) and the last time the Cardinals had a double-digit sacker was 1999 (Rice, 16.5). Through eight games, the Cardinals have a total of 18.0 sacks. They finished with 21.0 in 16 games last season.

The Cardinals continue to lead the NFL in red zone defense. Opponents have penetrated the Arizona 20-yard line 30 times and have scored just 10 touchdowns. Arizona is the only NFC team that ranks in the top five:
Team Poss. TD TD pct.
1. Arizona 30 10 33.3
2. New England 31 11 35.5
3. Baltimore 22 8 36.4
4. Buffalo 19 7 36.8
5. Pittsburgh 16 6 37.5

After hosting the Giants, the Cardinals hit the road again to take on the defending NFC Champion Panthers in Charlotte. The Panthers (1-7) are on the road against the Niners this week. The Giants return to the Meadowlands to host the Falcons next week. Atlanta (6-2) is hosting Tampa Bay this week.