Their star wide receiver shook off a concussion throughout the week in order to play. Their thick-skinned quarterback battled an ankle injury all game long. With the “cards” stacked against them, and being held out of the end zone for the first 57 minutes on the road in a hostile environment, somehow the Arizona Cardinals pulled out a victory against the Seattle Seahawks in a shocker.
By no means was it a pretty game, but the Cardinals withstood the elements and did what no team had been able to do over the last two seasons; win in Seattle. With the win Arizona is still in the hunt for a wildcard spot in the NFC Playoffs. The final spot in the NFC could all come down to a head-to-head meeting between Arizona and the San Francisco 49ers next week.
Arizona was able to do what every team tries to do when on the road, and that is to control the clock. The Cardinals had a 37:24 to 22:36 advantage in time of possession. Arizona also played terrific defense. They held Russell Wilson to a meager 108 passing yards, and sacked him four times. Seattle also had only 103 yards on the ground, and was completely shut down at home. It was Wilson’s first home loss of his young career.
The offense was not great for the Cardinals, but it wound up being just enough. Carson Palmer did throw four interceptions, and the team was 0-3 inside of the red zone. But with just over two minutes left on the clock, Palmer found Michael Floyd for the team’s lone touchdown. From there, the defense finished the job.
Give the Cardinals and Palmer credit, after a slow start to the season, the Cardinals are 6-1 in their last seven games. Their final two games of the season lined up to be difficult tasks within the NFC West to try and get into the playoffs. But the Cardinals completed part one of that task against the NFC front-runners. These birds are flying high with a ton of momentum after a great team victory. Might they just be able to fly into the playoffs next week?
Nick Schaeflein is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.