Cards Wrap Up Regular Season with 34-21 Win

The Arizona Cardinals spotted the Seattle Seahawks a quick touchdown and went into halftime tied but managed to pull away for a 34-21 win. Arizona now turns its focus to the playoffs as they host the Atlanta Falcons next Saturday. Brad Wilbricht breaks down the Cardinals victory in their regular season finale.

The Arizona Cardinals got back on track Sunday afternoon, snapping a two-game losing streak against the Seattle Seahawks. The Cardinals' offense racked up 457 yards and converted 6-of-12 third downs en route to their ninth win of the season. Despite being significantly outgained in total yardage, Seattle had a 24-19 advantage in first downs and held the ball for over 32 minutes.

Arizona's running game finally showed signs of life as they rushed for over 100 yards for the first time since Week 9. RB Edgerrin James saw his most significant action during the second half of the season and responded with 100 yards on 14 carries. Rookie RB Tim Hightower's production remains limited as he carried the ball just three times for 3 yards. James provided the Cardinals' rushing attack with a much needed spark and could see an expanded role in the playoffs.

WR Larry Fitzgerald had another terrific outing, reeling in five passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Backup wide receivers Steve Breaston and Jerheme Urban rebounded from a poor performance last week in New England and both found the end zone against Seattle. Breaston made five grabs for 91 yards while Urban chipped in four receptions for 43 yards. With his performance on Sunday, Breaston became the Cardinals' third 1,000-yard receiver, joining Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.


QB Kurt Warner
(Getty)

Although QB Kurt Warner has struggled in recent weeks, he tossed four touchdown passes against the Seahawks' secondary. He completed 19-of-30 passes for 263 yards but fumbled once and was picked off by LB Lofa Tatupu on the final play of the first half. Warner must do a better job of protecting the ball if the Cardinals hope to advance in the postseason.

On defense, the Cardinals forced three turnovers and limited Seattle to 330 yards of offense. Rookie CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie made his fourth interception of the season, further justifying his selection as the 16th overall pick in this year's draft. CB Ralph Brown also intercepted a pass from QB Seneca Wallace and added a fumble recovery.

Wallace has started Seattle's last four games and has done an admirable job filling in for the injured Matt Hasselbeck. Wallace finished 24-of-43 for 250 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted twice. WR Deion Branch was Wallace's favorite target as he hauled in six passes for 90 yards and two scores.

The Seahawks managed a mere 87 yards rushing on just 3.1 yards per carry. RB Maurice Morris led the team in rushing with 15 attempts for 45 yards. In addition, RB T.J. Duckett rushed for only 16 yards but scored Seattle's lone touchdown on the ground.

Despite their success on both sides of the ball, Arizona was flagged 10 times for 100 yards and has now compiled 781 yards on 107 penalties for the year. Furthermore, the Cardinals have committed 10-plus penalties in five games this season.

Arizona begins its playoff push next week at University of Phoenix Stadium against the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have been one the biggest surprises in the NFL and feature and extremely balanced offensive attack. Atlanta has won five of its last six games and will be a difficult task for the Cardinals in their first playoff appearance since 1998.


Brad Wilbricht can be contacted at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com

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