By: Haley O'Shaughnessy (@HaleyOSomething)
There comes a regrettable time each year when the holidays are over, when the house decorations' welcome has expired, and when the Cardinals have played their last football game. This year's ending marks something I would not like to dwell on any longer than necessary. So, I welcome the distraction of checking in with Cardinals Forever and how they have prospered this season.
Elvis Dumervil: Kool played a major part in the Ravens' wild card win over the Steelers on Saturday with two sacks. Baltimore advanced to the second round and will be playing the Patriots next Saturday at 4:35 pm.
William Gay: It's hard to ignore that the Steelers, while eliminated, would not have come nearly as close to a victory if Gay hadn't been out there. Swatting away a possible Raven's TD was the final mark at the end of a breakout season.
Teddy Bridgewater: The rookie completed 64.4% of his passing attempts this season for 2,919 yards and 14 touchdowns without much of a receiving corp at all. He rushed for 209 yards and one touchdown. Not to mention, the Minnesota people love and adore him. Some things never change, huh? No, I'm not tearing up.
Preston Brown: With multiple linebackers out, Brown wore many hats (helmets?) and impressed the Bills coaching staff. He completed the season with 66 tackles and 43 assisted tackles, 109 combined tackles. He had one interception, one fumble recovery and seven stuffs. Buffalo games have actually been pleasant to watch this season, and the defense is by far the team's strong card. Not to mention you also get to watch Eric Wood.
Greg Scruggs: Despite the Seahawks being very much in playoff contention, Scruggs has been on injured reserve (knee) since early November, finishing his 2014 season with two tackles.
Gorgui Dieng: The Timberwolves are never on TV unless you live in Minnesota (and even then, I don't know), so at first glimpse, their 5-27 record is horrifying. That's an 11-game losing streak. Many of the games have been agonizingly close, and it is not to be ignored that the Wolves are without their true point guard, Ricky Rubio, due to injury. So it would be understandable if Gorgui were struggling, right? Right.
Except, he isn't. With starting center Nikolas Pekovic out with an injury, Gorgui has thrived, and is making a legitimate argument for the starting position. He leads the team in field goal percentage with 50%, tops the team in rebounds (averaging 8.1), and naturally, leads in blocks with 1.6. He's had seven double-doubles this season so far (out of 32 games)-five of which were in the last month. If you can stomach a young, losing team to watch your old Natty champ-center dominate, I recommend it.
Earl Clark: Since Earl Clark left talks with the Lakers on the table for the China CBA's in December, he's played in eight games for the Shandong Lions, starting four. He's averaging 11.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.8 steals, and one block per game. He leads the team in points (averaging 29.3), rebounds, blocks and player efficiency rating. He also had 14 rebounds last game.
Peyton Siva: Siva is in the D-League with the Erie BayHawks, starting each game since he's been on the roster. He leads the team in assists (so shocking, right?), averaging 8.5. Classic Peyton. SERIOUSLY WHO IS CUTTING ONIONS IN THIS THREAD?
Francisco Garcia: Fransisco was with the Rockets until December 19th, when he was cut as a casualty in the Minnesota-to-Houston Corey Brewer trade. The NBA analyst Gods all foresee him being picked up again soon, though, as he averaged 14.3 good pickup minutes a game for Houston this season.
Russ Smith: Russdiculous was recalled from the D-League after New Orleans dropped guard Gal Mekel. Pelican games may actually be available to the casual viewer because Anthony Davis' rise to the spotlight. Excess facial hair may also be a thing with this team, because Russ was last spotted on the sidelines with a heavy beard.