Cardinals Dethrone Defending NFC West Champs

The Cardinals continued their winning ways on Sunday, improving to 7-3 on the season. Arizona has now won three straight games and remains four games up in the NFC West. While Seattle mounted a fourth-quarter charge, a late interception by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie sealed the victory. Brad Wilbricht breaks down the win and wraps up the action from Qwest Field.

Despite a shaky fourth quarter, the Cardinals prevailed for the seventh time this season and maintain their stranglehold on the NFC West division. Arizona had a decisive advantage on the stat sheet, dominating the Seahawks in total yardage (458-196) and time of possession (34:05-25:55). Furthermore, the Cardinals held Seattle to just one-for-nine on third down and forced four turnovers.

Arizona got off to another fast start and held a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Cardinals first three possession resulted in 214 total yards but they were limited to only 13 points on the scoreboard. Following a Kurt Warner interception, the Seahawks pulled within 13-7 on a 13-yard touchdown strike from Matt Hasselbeck to Maurice Morris. Arizona kicker Neil Rackers rounded out the first-half scoring, after he connected on a 54-yard field goal.

The Cardinals quickly took back control of the game and jumped out to a 26-7 lead in the third quarter. Rackers nailed his fourth field goal while RB J.J. Arrington scored his second touchdown of the afternoon. However, the Seahawks made one last push and narrowed the lead to 26-20 after RB T.J. Duckett reached pay dirt twice in the final quarter of play.

Warner and company stalled on their last three drives, giving the Seahawks an opportunity to get back into the game. Seattle regained possession with 2:05 remaining but Hasselbeck was picked off by CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie on the first play of the drive.

RB J.J. Arrington

While Arrington had a breakout performance, the Cardinals' lack of a running game continues to plague the offense. Arrington led the team in rushing, totaling 40 yards on eight carries. RB Tim Hightower was held to 35 yards rushing as the team managed only 76 yards rushing on 3.2 yards per carry.

Arrington is becoming more involved in the Cardinals' offense each week and his versatility has been exploiting opposing defenses. On Sunday, he scored on a four-yard run in the first quarter and his six-yard touchdown grab late in the third quarter proved to be the game winner.

Although Warner turned the ball over twice, he went on to complete 32-of-44 passes for 395 yards and one touchdown. WR Anquan Boldin was held out of the end zone but he reeled in an astounding 13 passes for 186 yards. Meanwhile, WR Larry Fitzgerald also had a productive outing with 151 yards on 10 receptions. Both Boldin and Fitzgerald gave the Seahawks' secondary fits all game long.

Arizona's defensive unit was tremendous as they limited the Seahawks' running game to 43 yards on 22 carries. RB Julius Jones found little success on the ground as he managed only 10 carries for 19 yards. SS Adrian Wilson led the Cardinals with six tackles and one sack while DE Antonio Smith chipped in three stops and a sack.

Returning from a five-week layoff, Hasselbeck's timing was off and he was mistake prone throughout the game. He completed 17-of-29 passes but was held to 170 yards and tossed three interceptions. Rodgers-Cromartie picked off the first two passes of his young career while LB Karlos Dansby had an interception for the second consecutive week.

The Cardinals enter a difficult two-game stretch as they welcome the New York Giants to University of Phoenix Stadium next week. Following a tussle with the defending Super Bowl Champions, Arizona has a short week as they travel to battle the Philadelphia Eagles on Thanksgiving night.

Brad Wilbricht can be contacted at

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