The Cardinals are 11-3 and atop the NFC West after a 12-6 win over the Rams, but they're desperate at quarterback. So desperate that head coach Bruce Arians asked former Cardinals QB Kurt Warner, who turned 43 in June and hasn't played in five seasons, if he'd consider a comeback.
Warner gave it some serious thought . . . and still is, quite frankly. But so far, the answer is no. Which means the Cardinals will go with third-stringer Ryan Lindley, who replaced injured backup Drew Stanton, who had previously replaced injured starter Carson Palmer.
"You see the one side of it and go, 'Man, this would be awesome,' " Warner said in a Friday radio interview. "And it would be great to go back and help. This team's in great shape. So you understand that part of it and it sounds like, 'Wow, this is great.' But then somebody's got to be realistic. There's not too many people being realistic and I've had to be the one that kind of says, 'Dude, snap out of it. This is ridiculous for me to think this.' "
One other thing to consider: If Warner, who now works for the NFL Network, were to play again, he wouldn't get the chance to be considered for Hall of Fame selection until 2020. He's on this year's ballot, and the selection process takes place the day before the Super Bowl. Which will be played in Warner's old stadium.
Hmmm. Sure you wouldn't reconsider, Kurt?
"As fun as it sounds and as neat of a story as it could be," he said, "I have to be the one that understands really what this would entail and to be realistic that there's no way I can do it."
Bowles a future head coach?
While so much attention has been focused on the Cardinals' injury situation at quarterback, the team should at least be grateful the defense is performing at an exceptionally high level. Credit defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who figures to be a head coaching candidate in the offseason.
Bowles received a contract extension through 2017 from the Cardinals, but that may be a moot point if he is offered a head coaching position. The Raiders are expected to show interest, and the Jets could be in the market once they decide Rex Ryan's fate.
Despite the season-long absence of their most dynamic run-stopping defensive lineman, Darnell Dockett, the Cardinals have allowed an average of just 90.4 rushing yards per game. And their 17.4 points per game allowed is second overall.
Time for Bowles, a former NFL defensive back, to get his opportunity to run the show as a head coach.
Patriots' success historic
The Patriots, who sit atop the AFC East with a 10-3 record, have reached 10 wins for the 12th straight year, becoming only the second team with a dozen straight years of double-digit wins. The 1983-98 49ers, who went 16 straight years with 10 or more wins, hold the record.
The Patriots are also on the verge of becoming only the sixth team in NFL history to win six straight divisional titles. The 1973-79 Rams own the record of seven consecutive divisional championships. The last team to win six straight divisional titles was the 1974-79 Steelers.
Odell not only star rookie
Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham has been spectacular so far this season, producing 59 catches for 829 yards and six touchdowns, including that breathtaking one-handed catch against the Cowboys. But he's not the only rookie receiver who has been red hot this season.
Bucs first-year receiver Mike Evans, the seventh overall pick, leads NFL rookies with 935 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.