NFC West All But Wrapped Up, Cards Escape Seattle With a 26-20 Win


Not only are your Arizona Cardinals 4 games up on San Francisco (essentially 5 games with a sweep of the 49ers), 5 games up on Seattle and St. Louis, they can wrap up their first division title next week with a win over the New York Giants and a San Francisco loss in Dallas.  That’s a lot that need to happen, however the Cardinals may be the first team in the NFC to clinch a playoff spot.

Let’s not hide the fact the Cardinals almost gave up their second game in a row.  As I’ve said before though, a win is a win.  At the end of the season, wins and losses are all that count, not how you got there.

Leading 26-7 going into the fourth quarter, the Cardinals gave up a rushing touchdown to T.J. Duckett and then gave it right back on a Kurt Warner fumble.  To his defense though, Warner’s offensive line gave way to Seattle pass rushers a little too easily at times on Sunday.  T.J. Duckett ran another in and all of a sudden with nine plus minutes to go, the Cards were only up 26-20.  However, they were able to hang on after Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked off his second pass from Matt Hasselbeck with 1:55 to go and that just left the Cards with three kneel downs and the game was over.

Kurt Warner didn’t have his best game of the day, but did a great job of finding Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, who both finished over 100 yards receiving and at least 10 catches.  The rushing game still showed weaknesses, however it was better on Sunday than what they showed against San Francisco on Monday night.  J.J. Arrington had 40 yards and Tim Hightower rushed for another 35.  Edgerrin James only got one carry on Sunday as he falls further and further away from being important, at least on the field.

The Cards kept Seattle close as I thought they would, but once again they found breaks going their way.  The biggest breakcoming after a Larry Fitzgerald catch in the third quarter, then fumbling the ball, only to find Anquan Boldin waiting for the bounce.  Talk about your luck.  Arizona ended up punching the ball into the end zone.

Next week the Cardinals head home to play arguably the best team in the NFL in the New York Giants (some people in Tennessee might take me up on that argument).  The Cardinals will not be able to get away with the mistakes they’ve made the past two weeks and expect to defeat the defending Super Bowl champs, who are looking like a great candidate to repeat the feat.

I look forward to breaking down that game all this week.  The Cards are 7-3 for the first time since 1977.  I’ve lived here all my life, sans four college years and a seven month stint in Minnesota.  Sure we have the Suns, sure the Diamondbacks have their World Series Championship, but now the Cardinals have the chance to take over the talk of the town.  Defeat the G-Men next week and they will be more than the talk of the town.  They will be the talk of the NFL.  Times are changing.  Your Cardinals aren’t perfect, far from it, but they are doing enough to win games and in this 2008 season of parity, it is more than enough to carry them a long way.

Go Cards!

Scott Allen