"All or Nothing," the groundbreaking series which followed the Cardinals from the start of the 2015 season through the NFC Championship game, is currently streaming on Amazon. NFL Films was given unprecedented access into both the professional and personal lives of the team's players, coaches and executives, resulting in thousands of hours of footage and eight one-hour episodes.
NOTE:* *SPOILERS AHEAD.
EPISODE ONE: "THE CARDINAL RULES"
Episode Summary: The episode – and the series – opens with Bruce Arians letting his team know it is a Super Bowl championship that is the one-and-only goal. There is background on Arians, GM Steve Keim and president Michael Bidwill as the architects for the team (and, by extension, the series.) Quarterback Carson Palmer's rehab from a 2014 ACL injury is covered. We see the Cardinals in their first three games, wins over the Saints (sloppy but done), Bears (domination, despite Palmer's before-the-half mistake) and 49ers (shredding a rival). There is plenty of running backs talk, including the signing of Chris Johnson after he suffered a gunshot wound in the offseason, and rookie David Johnson (and his fiancée Meghan), a player we learned the Cardinals almost didn't draft.
There is also an introduction to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who is shown addressing his Arians-induced switch to an inside-type
position. "I wasn't ecstatic about it," Fitzgerald said. "I played my whole career (at) 'X,' outside the numbers, and played at a high level for a long time, and I get in and (Arians) said you're going to move inside. It wasn't like a discussion."
Most Riveting Scene: Yes, it was from 2014. And yes, the video of Carson Palmer tearing his ACL against the Rams has been seen by most. But to hear Palmer – who coincidentally had been mic'd up that game – for the first time plead for it not to be an ACL tear was still heartbreaking all these months later.
Something We Learned: The Cardinals were on the clock during the second round of the 2015 draft set – and excited -- to take Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah. Vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough was even on the phone with Abdullah when Detroit called Abdullah to tell him they were taking him one pick earlier. The Cardinals had to shift gears, selecting linebacker Markus Golden and then taking running back David Johnson in the third round.
Stars of the Episode: In an hour that covered important ground from various angles, it was the power trio of Bidwill, Keim and Arians who received the biggest spotlight as the backbone of the team.
Line of the Episode: "As far as goals go, we have one. Putting the (expletive) ring on our finger. Not a Super Bowl. A Super Bowl ring. We go to win the (expletive)."— Arians, in a June 2015 pre-minicamp meeting.
What was your favorite part of "The Cardinal Rules?" Leave your reaction in the comments below.