Boldin Bowls Over Falcons

In case anyone had forgotten, receiver Anquan Boldin reminded them Sunday just how special he is. Boldin caught 13 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns against the Falcons despite playing with a sore toe that caused him to come up limping after several catches.

The Cardinals were out of the playoffs and were playing only for pride and the possibility of finishing 8-8. For Anquan Boldin, that was enough, so he never considered sitting out the final two games of the season.

"I don't know how many times I've told him over the last couple of games how much I appreciate him battling," quarterback Kurt Warner said, "and being out there now, doing what he does, because it makes us a whole different football team."

The strength of the Cardinals offense is its starting receiver duo, Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. But the team rarely has enjoyed the benefits of having both healthy at the same time.

Boldin missed four games with hip and toe injuries. Fitzgerald has struggled through a painful groin injury in the past two weeks.

After Sunday's victory, coach Ken Whisenhunt was asked if he wondered what the season would have been like if both receivers had been healthy.

"There are a lot of those," he said of the "what ifs." "We can't worry about those."

Despite missing four games, Boldin has caught eight touchdown passes this year, tying a career high set as a rookie.

NOTES, QUOTES

--WR Anquan Boldin is not letting up even though he is playing on a sore toe and the Cardinals are out of playoff contention. Boldin had two touchdown catches against the Falcons and made two other one-handed grabs, exposing his midsection to defenders.

"Not even," he said when asked if he ever thought of sitting out the game. "For me it was a big game. I know any time or any play could be my last play. If I'm able to go out there, I will."

Boldin caught his 400th career pass Sunday, reaching that mark faster than any player in NFL history. Boldin did it in 67 games, breaking Kellen Winslow's record of 72.

--K Neil Rackers' 31-yard game-winning field goal was eerily similar to the kick he missed in overtime against the 49ers a month ago. That one was from 32 yards.

"It was ironic," he said. "I guess that was the Big Man's way of giving me a Christmas gift."

--The Cardinals had just four penalties, their lowest total of the year.

"We played a good, solid game and a clean game," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "Maybe that's a stride. I would like to see it two weeks in a row before I say that for sure."

--LB Calvin Pace on the team's propensity to play games that are both bizarre and very close. "It's always ESPN Classic for us," he said.

PLAYER PERSONNEL NOTES

--WR Anquan Boldin is still bothered by a sore toe even though it didn't look like it Sunday when he had 13 catches for 162 yards and two touchdowns.

--WR Larry Fitzgerald is still suffering from a sore groin. It affected him more this week than the previous two games.

--DE Darnell Dockett has gone seven games without a sack.

--RB Edgerrin James didn't break many tackles Sunday, and he looked slow to hit open creases. He had 76 yards on 25 carries and didn't get as much out of his blocking as he should.

--RG Deuce Lutui suffered a sprained left knee in the second quarter, and the extent of the injury isn't known yet. Elton Brown played well in his place.

--LS Nate Hodel suffered a sprained left ankle on the winning field goal in overtime. Hodel doesn't think the injury is serious and expects to play in the season finale.


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