The Arizona Cardinals never trail the Seattle Seahawks in 34-31 victory on Saturday
A Christmas miracle arrived before Santa was even ready to deliver his gifts on Christmas Eve as the Arizona Cardinals came away with a 34-31 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle.
In a game the Cardinals lead throughout most of the game, it came down to a Chandler Catanzaro field goal to finish it off. The Seahawks had been down 31-18 with about four minutes remaining.
Once again, special teams was the difference for both teams, as it was in the teams 6-6 tie in Glendale in October. This time, the Cardinals special teams was better.
The Cardinals blocked a field goal and a punt. Seahawks kicker Steven Hauschka missed an extra point on Seattle’s last touchdown, leaving the Cardinals with a chance to win the game in regulation or go to overtime to take care of business, tied at 31.
The Cardinals were unable to stop the clock on the last drive, out of timeouts. They had to hurriedly get the field goal team on the field after a Larry Fitzgerald reception was short of the first down, leaving the Cardinals with a fourth and two.
The Cardinals defense though was the key in the first half. They sacked Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson four times in the first half, including once in a terrific goal-line stand.
They did play a little too lax in the secondary, playing too soft in zone coverage in the fourth quarter to give the Seahawks life. However, the Cardinals offense also came to play on Saturday as well.
Quarterback Carson Palmer was 16-26 for 284 yards and a touchdown. He was not intercepted. He did throw one pick but it was negated by a defensive holding penalty.
The story once again though was running back David Johnson. Johnson once again went over 100-yards from scrimmage, although that looked in doubt for awhile. He finished with 136-yards from scrimmage. He rushed for 95-yards and had another 41-yards receiving.
He broke the franchise record for touchdowns in a season, crossing the goal line three times on Saturday to give him 19 total touchdowns on the season.
The Cardinals also found the big play. Palmer hit receiver J.J. Nelson for an 80-yard touchdown pass in the first half. It was the longest pass play ever at CenturyLink Field.
In a season full of failed expectations, this was a surprise gift. The Cardinals did not lay down when it could have been easy to fold and just ride out the last two weeks into the offseason.
Instead the Cardinals came in inspired and motivated. The left Seattle with their third victory in four seasons. That is as many as the rest of the NFL has in Seattle over that same time period.