Dec 18, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro (7) reacts after missing an extra point attempt against the New Orleans Saints at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Saints defeated the Cardinals 48-41. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2016 Arizona Cardinals are a lot like the Golden Globes as they had it all with excitement, drama, and comedy
The are no awards for the 2016 Arizona Cardinals. There may be some individual ones coming, particularly for running back David Johnson but this team had a little bit of everything, kind of like the Golden Globes.
The Golden Globe awards are this Sunday evening. The Cardinals are a lot like the long-running awards show. They had a lot of excitement. They had a lot of drama.
Certainly there was some comedy. At least the attendees are expected to have a good time at the award ceremony. In the end though, the Cardinals were just a team that acted like they knew where they were going when the season started.
There were a lot of expectations on the Cardinals in 2016. Most expected them to make the playoffs. Many expected them to take it all the way to the Super Bowl.
In the end, it was a story full of disappointment. Expectations were not met but there were some common themes during the 2016 season. Those common themes were part of the problem.
The Cardinals finished 7-8-1 on the season. There were some positive things that happened but for the most part this will be a season many Cardinals fans will want to forget.
Now, on to the awards, if such a thing existed. If the 2016 Arizona Cardinals were the Golden Globes.
Oct 23, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro (7) looks on after missing a field goal in overtime against the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Winner: Will he miss it or Will he not?
Not quite as good as Michael Jackson’s Black or White. Not as cheesy as Katy Perry’s Hot or Cold. This year’s theme song winner is all about field goal kicking.
Kicker Chandler Catanzaro went 21-28 on field goals and 43-47 on extra-point attempts. He had a few instances where his kicks made the difference in the game result.
It was usually the same old song. He missed game-winning kicks against the New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, and missed a couple of field goals against the Miami Dolphins that would have given them victory.
He did make a game-winning kick against Seattle On Christmas Eve but it was a case of too little too late. The Cardinals needed that kick weeks before. Had he made kicks in just those three games, the Cardinals would be in the playoffs.
Aug 12, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals long snapper Kameron Canaday (86) against the Oakland Raiders during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Winner: Kameron Canady
The rookie long-snapper was in a training camp competition to replace the retired Mike Leach. Instead of looking for a veteran, the Cardinals decided to allow two rookies to battle it out for the job in 2016.
That experiment didn’t last too long. Canady almost immediately was a problem. The problems did not present themselves though until the season began.
Canady appeared to be someone in over his head. He botched a snap in the New England game and although Catanzaro missed his game-winning kick, the snap was never right.
He was called out for needing to do a better job. Then came the game at the Buffalo Bills. That was a debacle. A botched snap led to a Bills touchdown.
At that point, the Cardinals had seen about enough. Canady put on a good act in training camp to make the team but was nothing but a disaster in a role that usually gets the least scrutiny every year.
Oct 17, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche (90) against the New York Jets at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Best Performance by an Actor – Drama
Winner: Robert Nkemdiche
In September 2015, Nkemdiche was named on of the top five prospects for the 2016 NFL Draft. For one reason or another though by the end of the 2015 college football season, Nkemdiche fell down a lot of scouts charts and experts mock drafts.
For awhile we wondered why? He had all the talent in the world and looked to be the real deal coming out of Ole Miss. Then a marijuana incident got him suspended for the 2016 Sugar Bowl.
The lights were coming on with NFL personnel. Experts now were shying a bit away from talking him up. He ended up falling to the bottom of the first round and being taken by the Cardinals.
At first glance it seemed like the Cardinals were getting a steal that early in the draft. However it was a sign of things to come.
Nkemdiche’s work habits were lamented by the Cardinals in the preseason. Sound familiar? The Cardinals had the same issue with D.J. Humphries the year before.
The big difference was Nkemdiche still had maturing to do not only on the field but off the field. He showed up for a road trip at the airport wearing a t-shirt, not professionally dressed as required.
It was too much drama for the Cardinals and for that reason Nkemdiche was inactive for all but five games in his rookie season. He registered all of one tackle in the 2016 season.
Dec 4, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals punter Drew Butler (2) against the Washington Redskins at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Best Performance by an Actor – Comedy
Winner: Drew Butler
The love affair the Cardinals seemed to have with Drew Butler was truly a head scratcher. It was a relationship that just never seemed to end.
Butler took over the punting duties in 2014. He wasn’t very good then but still managed to hold a job until 2016. His struggles were shown to the whole country in the 2014 Wild Card game against the Carolina Panthers.
They were a bit masked in 2015 with the success of the team. In 2016 however, his struggles were a huge part of the number of issues that dogged the team.
Butler did injure himself early on in the season. However it was to the point where he struggled so much, they released him and went with Ryan Quigley.
A few weeks later however, Butler was back. It was a move many fans just couldn’t understand. What did Butler have on the Cardinals?
Turns out he can hold a football during placekicking. Honestly he wasn’t even that great at that but apparently no one else on the roster was able to do it like him, or so we were told.
However, the Cardinals finally saw the light and released him for good in favor of Matt Wile. Butler was done fooling the front office.
Sep 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro (7) misses a field goal attempt late in the 4th quarter against the New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Best Picture – Drama
Winner: Arizona Cardinals vs New England Patriots
They always say problems can always be traced back to one thing, one thing that was a trigger point. Well, for the Cardinals, it was the first game of the season against the Patriots.
The Cardinals allowed a Tom Brady-less team not only stay with them but have the lead in the game until the fourth quarter when the Cardinals finally took a short-lived lead. Backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looked like the MVP quarterback at times.
Although it was still the Patriots, most felt the Cardinals would come out and handle business. Apparently the Cardinals players felt the same.
They all believed all of their own press clippings. They all felt they could just show up and everything would be fine. The Patriots put them in their place.
The Cardinals, after falling behind early though, were able to come back and take the lead. It appeared a bullet had been dodged.
Then the defense gave up another score before the Cardinals brought the ball down in the final minute and set themselves up for the game-winning field goal attempt by Catanzaro. We all know how that turned out.
Oct 23, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals kicker Chandler Catanzaro (7) reacts after missing a field goal in overtime as punter Ryan Quigley (9) and Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (54) react at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Best Picture – Comedy
Winner: Arizona Cardinals vs Seattle Seahawks
The game no one wanted to win. That was proven too as the Cardinals and Seahawks finished in a 6-6 tie. Not only was it a tie, but neither team managed to find the end zone over five full quarters of football.
To be fair both defenses came in and played lights out, although the Cardinals were able to move the ball much better than the Seahawks most of the night.
The game was showcased on NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Great. The entire nation got to see this laugher.
The Cardinals had a field goal blocked by Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner. It appeared he used leverage to jump the center but he only grazed him and did not use leverage. The block was ruled legal. That didn’t stop Cardinals coach Bruce Arians from trying to challenge.
Sorry Bruce, you can’t challenge that. You lose a timeout.
Then in overtime, Cardinals running back David Johnson missed scoring a touchdown by about a half-yard. They ran it with him on second down, only to try the game-winning field goal on third. Missed. What? I wish I was making this up.
Seattle got another chance, went down the field and set up a field goal attempt for kicker Steven Hauschka. It would be the last play of the game. It was a 28-yard attempt. No good. All you could do at that point was laugh.