Arizona Cardinals

Reports: McDaniels, Vrabel finalists for Colts job, Flores to Cards?

Reports: McDaniels, Vrabel finalists for Colts job, Flores to Cards?

Bill Belichick could be losing his two coordinators and linebackers coach as his Patriots assistants continue to be at the top of NFL head coaching candidate lists.

Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is reportedly one of two finalists for the Indianapolis Colts head coaching job and Pats linebackers coach Brian Flores is reported to be "very much in play" to be the next Arizona Cardinals head coach.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated's, and an analyst on NBC Sports Boston's Pregame Live, reported that McDaniels and former Pats linebacker Mike Vrabel, now the Houston Texans defensive coordinator, are the final two in the running for the Colts job. 

Adam Schefter of ESPN tweeted about Flores Saturday.

The New York Post reported Friday that McDaniels, Pats defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur are finalists for the New York Giants head coaching job. The New York Daily News reported earlier in the week that all signs pointed to Patricia getting the Giants job. In addition, Patricia had been rumored to be the leading candidate for the Detroit Lions head coaching job. 



Cardinals beat Titans, knock them out of AFC South lead


Cardinals beat Titans, knock them out of AFC South lead

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Phil Dawson hasn't had the greatest season and missed another field goal on Sunday.

He made the other four, though, all the offense the Arizona Cardinals needed in a 12-7 victory that knocked the Tennessee Titans out of first place in the AFC South.

Dawson connected from 47, 23, 32 and 35 yards and missed from 40 for the Cardinals (6-7), whose victory came two weeks after they beat then-AFC South leader Jacksonville on the same field.

"It wasn't our most fancy or nifty offensive performance I've ever been a part of," Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald said. "But it's a win and we'll take them."

The Cardinals intercepted Marcus Mariota twice in the second half after the Titans (8-5) nursed a 7-0 lead at halftime.

Mariota completed 16 of 31 passes for 159 yards. Tennessee managed 65 yards rushing against the Cardinals after gaining 198 on the ground in a win over Houston a week ago.

Mariota was 6 of 16 for 60 yards with two picks in the second half.

"Frustration is an understatement," Mariota said. "Defense played lights-out, special teams did their job and I've been hurting our team. I've got to find ways to be better."

Mariota said he hurt his knee in the first half when he didn't slide soon enough to protect himself, but he wouldn't use that as an excuse for his performance.

The Cardinals gained 64 yards in the first half and 197 in the second.

Blaine Gabbert completed 17 of 26 for 178 yards for Arizona with no interceptions, but was sacked eight times, most by a Cardinals quarterback this season. Kerwynn Williams rushed for 73 yards as Arizona, ranked last in the NFL in rushing, outgained Tennessee on the ground 136-65.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians improved to 7-1 against the AFC South.

"I know what everybody is going to say. `It's an ugly win,'" Arians said. "There is no such thing."

The game's lone TD came after Andy Lee's 33-yard punt gave Tennessee the ball at the 50. The Titans needed nine plays, Derrick Henry sweeping right and diving at the pylon on the 6-yard touchdown play in the second quarter.

Mariota directed the Titans on a drive from their 26-yard line to the Arizona 40 in the final 49 seconds of the half, but Ryan Succop's 58-yard field-goal try bounced off the crossbar.

Arizona took the second-half kickoff and, despite Tennessee getting two sacks, got a 47-yard field goal from Dawson to cut the lead to 7-3.

Then came a big Tennessee gamble.

After the subsequent kickoff, the Titans faked a punt on fourth-and-1 from their 35. Initially, officials ruled that Eric Weems had made the first down. But Arians challenged the spot and, after a review, it was determined the runner came up a few inches short.

Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey said he probably got "a little over-aggressive" with the fake punt call.

But, he said, "We should have got it. I thought we had it. Both officials had the mark as a first down. I was standing right behind them. I don't know how it got overturned."

The Cardinals took over and Dawson's 23-yard field goal cut the lead to 7-6.

Dawson missed a 40 yarder that would have given the Cardinals the lead with 12:04 to play. But the 42-year-old kicker would get another chance.

Rookie Chad Williams ran 33 yards on an end-around to ignite an eight-play, 71-yard drive that culminated in Dawson's 32-yard field goal to put Arizona ahead 9-7 with 5:59 to play.

Josh Bynes intercepted Mariota over the middle on the next possession and returned it 25 yards. A late-hit penalty against the Titans play moved the ball to the Tennessee 7. Jurrell Casey's second sack of the game forced yet another field goal by Dawson, good from 35 yards to finish the scoring.

The Titans will stay in the desert and practice next week at Arizona State University to prepare for next Sunday's game at San Francisco.


With his 23-yard catch on the Cardinals' first possession of the second half, Fitzgerald moved past his boyhood idol Randy Moss into third place on the NFL career yards receiving list, trailing only Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice.

Fitzgerald was a ball boy for the Vikings and used to wash Moss' cars for cash, and even borrowed his BMW to go to the high school prom.


The Titans lost starting left tackle Taylor Lewan in the second quarter with a lower back injury. Arizona outside linebacker Gabe Martin left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.


Titans: at San Francisco next Sunday.

Cardinals: at Washington next Sunday.


Jags loss to Cards keeps battle for AFC South wide open


Jags loss to Cards keeps battle for AFC South wide open

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It was one special afternoon for Phil Dawson and Blaine Gabbert.

Dawson kicked a 57-yard field goal with 1 second left and the Arizona Cardinals beat Jacksonville 27-24 on Sunday, snapping the Jaguars' four-game winning streak and dropping them into a first-place tie with Tennessee in the AFC South.

It was the longest field goal of the 42-year-old kicker's career and came in a maddeningly inconsistent season with six misses.

"I make it a habit not to evaluate a season in its entirety until it's over," Dawson said. "But today was sweet for our team."

It also lifted Gabbert to a win against the franchise that had given up on the quarterback.

"It's great, I love it," guard Alex Boone said of Gabbert's victory. "It's like revenge all over. It's so awesome. That (Jacksonville) is a good team out there. They are playing well and getting this win is what we needed."

The Jaguars traded up six places to draft Gabbert 10th overall in 2011, but they got rid of him after three seasons, sending him to San Francisco for a sixth-round draft pick. Gabbert signed with Arizona in the offseason as the No. 3 quarterback, and then got a chance to play when Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton got hurt.

Gabbert was 22 of 38 for 241 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while improving to 10-31 as an NFL starter.

Dawson also was good from 34, 42 and 48 yards as the Cardinals (5-6) beat a team with a winning record for the first time this season.

Jacksonville (7-4) trailed most of the game, but took a 17-16 lead when ex-Cardinal Calais Campbell returned Gabbert's fumble 10 yards for a touchdown with 12:10 to play.

"I just knew we had the game locked up," Campbell said, "but at the end of the day, they made a few big-time plays. ... I felt like I didn't play my best game today."

Gabbert responded with a 52-yard TD pass to Jaron Brown. He then found Larry Fitzgerald for the 2-point conversion, giving Arizona a 24-17 lead.

Corey Grant's 68-yard return of the ensuing kickoff led to Blake Bortles' second rushing touchdown of the day, a 17-yarder that tied it at 24 with 7:26 left.

Jacksonville's Barry Church and Arizona's Tyrann Mathieu each had an interception in the final 3:38, but neither team could turn it into a score.

The Cardinals got the ball back on a punt with 16 seconds to play at their 39.

Gabbert threw two sideline completions, the second one to D.J. Foster with 6 seconds to go - Foster made a lunging tippy-toe catch that had to be reviewed - to get close enough for the winning field goal.

Coach Doug Marrone blamed himself for giving Arizona that final chance.

"If I had to do it all over again, I just would have ran the clock out and went to overtime," he said. "That is my fault."

Bortles also had a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter. He was 19 of 33 for 160 yards and an interception.

The Cardinals took the lead with a short drive on their first possession. Gabbert completed 4 of 5 for 43 yards to set up Dawson's 34-yarder.

Dawson kicked another field goal in the second quarter and Kerwynn Williams' 21-yard punt return set up Gabbert's 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, making it 13-0 Arizona.

Jacksonville finally got on the board on Josh Lambo's 43-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the half.


Jacksonville entered as the No. 1 rushing team in the NFL at 160 yards per game, but managed a season-low 91 against the Cardinals.

Leonard Fournette carried 12 times for 25 yards. Bortles was the team's leading rusher with 62 yards on six carries.


Seals-Jones no doubt has enjoyed having Gabbert as his quarterback. Promoted from the practice squad on Sept. 25, the undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M didn't have an NFL catch until a week ago, when he caught three, two for touchdowns, from Gabbert in a loss at Houston.

Seals-Jones was back at it Sunday, catching four passes for 72 yards and a touchdown.


Already without starting offensive linemen Patrick Omameh and Jermey Parnell, the Jaguars lost linebacker Telvin Smith to a concussion in the first half. Arizona inside linebacker Deone Bucannon left in the first half with an ankle injury and Williams with a rib injury.


Jaguars: Play Indianapolis next Sunday in first of three straight home games.

Cardinals: Host NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams next Sunday.