The Arizona Cardinals find something else to get people to talk about each and every week. Most of the time, it’s not positive things. This week, different story. No matter how ugly the game was at times, they saved the best for last as rookie cornerback Patrick Peterson ran back a punt 99-yards for a thrilling 19-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams in overtime. The Cards had two safeties called against them thanks to a sack and an intentional grounding from quarterback John Skelton. That looked like it would be the story of the day. Not so thanks to Peterson. Credit to defensive lineman Calais Campbell as well for blocking the Rams winning field goal attempt by Josh Brown in regulation to get them to the overtime period.
It was not a pretty game on either side of the ball by any stretch, but the Rams played under control and didn’t make many mistakes except for late in the game. The Cards made some dumb mistakes but overcame them in the end.
Rams quarterback Sam Bradford returned from injury to lead the Rams while Cards starter Kevin Kolb sat with an injured toe. Bradford didn’t blow us away with stats, however he was serviceable and let running back Steven Jackson do most of the work on offense. It was some questionable coaching at the end that did them in. The Rams decided to go for it on fourth and one instead of kicking the potential winning field goal with over a minute to go. They still got one more chance though.
As for the Cardinals offense, they could get nothing going. Running back Beanie Wells was a non-factor, in fact so much so Skelton was the team’s leading rusher for the day. Skelton had many batted passes and was 20-35 for 222 yards and one touchdown . Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was quiet again for the most part, however he did catch Skelton’s one touchdown in the fourth quarter to tie the game briefly at 13. It was a very nice catch in the back of the end zone.
The Cards had their chances to win at the end of regulation, however some poor play calling (surprise surprise) and poor clock management once again prevented victory in regulation. Then they lost the overtime coin toss but held the Rams on their first drive in overtime, then Peterson happened.
Now, after week nine and eight games, the Cards are out of the NFC West cellar. The victory today allows the Cards to move into tie with the Seattle Seahawks at 2-6. The San Francisco 49′ers won on Sunday and moved to 7-1. They are now five games up with eight to play. This division could be wrapped up by Thanksgiving weekend. Wow. Even I didn’t think the division was this bad.
Skelton didn’t do anything to create any controversies, not that there would have been any to begin with. However, we won’t have to hear those people who think Skelton should be starting on a regular basis in place of Kolb.
Now the Cards get to go on the road for the next three weeks, starting next week in Philadelphia. Joyous times.