By the Numbers: One Last Look at Week 14

The Arizona Cardinals have worked hard to be labeled NFC West champions. Ken Whisenhunt came in with a plan. With the title under the Cardinals cleats, it's safe to say everyone has bought into it. Sunday's game marked a 34-10 victory over the St. Louis Rams, the division crown and many other team and player achievements. Here is a look at Week 14, by the numbers.

Defense Defends Turf

Sunday's game was a pretty showing by the defense in the second half, but the offense failed to put numbers on the board.

But before Kurt Warner and his crew were silenced, it registered 20 points before hitting the locker room. Including Sunday's victory over the St. Louis Rams, Arizona has scored 20 or more points in 20 of its last 21 games. The only time that the Cardinals have been held to less than 20 points in that span was at the Washington Redskins on Sept. 21, 2008 (24-17).

Thanks to Darnell Dockett and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Cardinals registered even more points. Dockett likely tallied some more Pro Bowl votes when he recovered a Steven Jackson fumble, caused by Gerald Hayes, and he returned it 11 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career. Fumble recoveries are a bit more familiar as Sunday's performance marked his eighth career fumble recovery and third of the season.


Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
(Getty)

The Cardinals are no strangers to defensive touchdowns when facing the Rams. In three games against St. Louis, they have scored five defensive touchdowns (four interception returns and one fumble recovery).

Rodgers-Cromartie also added to that total with his third career interception off a fourth quarter interception off Marc Bulger. Rodgers-Cromartie left a trail of dust when he ran the ball 99 yards for the touchdown. The rookie cornerback tied a franchise record for the longest pick return (Adrian Wilson, 99 yards at Atlanta on Oct. 1, 2006.

Rodger-Cromartie's performance was stellar on Sunday. He tallied five tackles, a tackle-for-a-loss and two passes defensed. His pair of pass defenses gives him a team-high with 19 even though he's started in only eight games.

Running Past the Record

It's no secret that the Cardinals running game needs a kick in the butt, but rookie running back Tim Hightower is giving it all he has. With his 1-yard touchdown against the Rams, he marked the 10th of the season, which established a new franchise rookie record. He bypassed Ronald Moore (1993) who ran in nine rushing touchdowns as a first year player.

Passing for Praise

Warner set a new franchise record on Sunday, when he completed 24 of 33 passes against St. Louis. His performance gives him 347 completions on the season. Neil Lomax recorded 345 completions in 1984.

Quotes to Note From Sunday


Darnell Dockett
(Getty)

For Dockett, Sunday's game was just the beginning.

"You know what, it doesn't stop here," Dockett said. "We've got to take two days off and get ready for Minnesota. That's going to be a hungry team and they can run the ball better than anybody else in the league. That's going to be a good challenge for us, especially going into the playoffs."

Warner thinks the Cardinals work rate led them to the post season.

"I think what's special about this is the fact of where we've come since I've been here, and the perception of the team and the work that we had to do," Warner said. "It's special. I understand it's just the beginning, there's a lot more things that you want to accomplish. Where we're at right now is a special accomplishment for our team and our organization."

Perhaps Adrian Wilson knows what the win means the most. He is the longest tenured Cardinals player on the roster.

"Emotionally, (there) is a lot that you can think back on, the teams that you have played on and the playersyou have played with that didn't have the opportunity to witness this," Wilson said. "To play with a team like this is a blessing, because you don't come across a group of guys like this often."


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