"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 SEVEN: "THE NEW SEASON"
Episode Summary: The postseason has arrived. The episode opens with coach Bruce Arians talking to his players about how amazing it is to have the confetti coming down if you win a Super Bowl, and how terrible if you lose – so do everything you can to go 3-0. The Cardinals get a playoff bye week, which means hitting golf balls with the defensive backs, bowling with the defensive linemen, and wedding planning for running back David Johnson. Offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin also talks about his head coaching interview with Tampa Bay. Defensive line coach Brentson Buckner emphasizes Arians' message to his players, since Buckner was 0-2 in Super Bowls as a player. Cornerbacks coach Kevin Ross gets with his group too, saying "I want diamonds. You want diamonds?
Cornerback Patrick Peterson delivers his Friday speech to the defense: "This is where you write the story, in the playoffs. This
is where you build your legacy." At the game, there will be reactions not only on the field but off, with cameras following Arians' wife, Chris; Johnson's fiancée, Meghan; Peterson's wife, Antonique; as well as Tyrann Mathieu, Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim in the owner's box. The crazy playoff game against the Packers unfolds, with Michael Floyd making his pinball touchdown catch, Green Bay's unreal pair of Hail Marys to go more than 100 yards in scoring the game-tying touchdown, and then Larry Fitzgerald's heroics to win the game and send the Cards to the NFC Championship.
Most Riveting Scene: OK, so anyone watching with a pulse (and/or without an allegiance to the Packers) will be drawn in again to the Hail Mary-Fitz explodes overtime sequence, especially with all the dramatic music. In terms of something new, however, it comes in the middle of the mayhem, after Fitzgerald races 75 yards to set up what turned out to be the game-winning TD. It comes on a shovel pass, and we hear Arians ask Palmer, "You OK with the 'Shovel Okie?' Palmer pauses, squirts the water bottle into his mouth, and simply says, "Yeah."
Something We Learned: James Bettcher tried. The defensive coordinator had a whole meeting segment earlier in the week dedicated to how well the Packers and Rodgers executed Hail Mary throws and Bettcher emphasized not only that it could be coming but just how the Packers liked to run the play. It makes it all the more painful when Cards only half-defend it as they are supposed to – forcing Rodgers left, but failing to get in front of the receiver backing his way into the end zone. Ouch.
Stars of the Episode: Chris Arians and Meghan Brock. Reviewing a game in which Fitzgerald was epic would seem to point his way, but there isn't a lot of Fitz before the end-game heroics and besides, we all are familiar with how Fitz shined. What we didn't know was the emotional ups and downs B.A.'s wife and David Johnson's wife-to-be went through during the game. Watching them suffer through for their significant others – "I think I'm going to throw up," Chris Arians says more than once – hammers home the point. (Although a case for the star turn can be made for Buckner, whose scene telling his players how great he was when he played -- complete with video proof -- was priceless.)
Line of the Episode: "Call the right play, Brucie. One perfect play." – Chris Arians, prior to Fitzgerald's game-winning TD catch.
What was your favorite part of "The New Season?" Leave your reaction in the comments below.
Images of Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, who turned 26 on Monday