Arizona Cardinals Blow Late Lead, Defeat Titans in 37-34 in OT


Dec 15, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall (28) celebrates with Cardinals tight end Cody Sperry (83) after scoring scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals almost snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.  It was a pretty bad defensive effort overall Sunday but the Cards found a way to defeat the Tennessee Titans 37-34 in overtime in Nashville.

It is hard to describe this one.  Early on, the defense couldn’t do much and the offense did enough.  It was a 10-10 game at halftime.  Then the fireworks started.  The Cards got a field goal after a surprise pooch kickoff to start the half resulted in Arizona ball.  It was 13-10 at that point.

The Titans went down the field after four penalties against the Cardinals kept the Titans drive alive, and scored on a touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to receiver Delanie Walker.  It was a 16-play drive and gave the Titans a 17-13 lead.  It didn’t last long.

The Cards went down the field and quarterback Carson Palmer threw a six-yard pass to tight end Jake Ballard to give the Cardinals a 20-17 lead.  Rashard Mendenhall added his second touchdown of the game to give the Cards a 27-17 lead and then cornerback Antonie Cason seemed to lock the game with a 20-yard interception return for touchdown, giving the Cards a 34-17 lead.

However, nothing is final until all zeroes on the clock.  Give the Titans credit, they tied the game at 34-34 with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter after the Cards defense couldn’t come up with a stop and the special teams couldn’t recover an onside kick.

The Titans won the overtime toss but Fitzpatrick threw another interception to Cason and the Cards got into position for a Jay Feely field goal to give the Cards a 37-34 win.  It is never easy but the Cards are now 9-7 and give a first-year coach a winning record in his first season for the first time in franchise history since 1925.