After being embarrassed by opponents two weeks in a row, the Cardinals got back on track against the division rival Seahawks. This was also Mike Holmgren’s last game as head coach of Seattle, and it is still being speculated when or where he will coach, if he decides to come back after a year off.
Kurt Warner might have made a late run at MVP with a four touchdown performance, but the Cards record, and some of their performances against good teams could hurt his chances. Ken Whisenhunt rested some of his starters, but this was a big game for the psyche of his team, so most of the key faces were in the lineup.
There was even an Edgerrin James sighting, as he rushed for 100 yards on 14 carries. This was a nice gesture to James, who in some ways has been a key part of the franchise’s turnaround, and it was a testament to James’ class, as he came up with a huge performance. James had made it clear that he wasn’t happy with sitting behind a rookie, but he still mentored the young Hightower, and he was a key cog in the first year back having so much success.
I don’t think this performance will have any effect on the Cardinals game plan going into the playoffs, as James will most likely not start when they host the Falcons next weekend.
This game got off to a very sloppy start, with both teams turning the ball over twice in the first half, although each team scored twice as well. With the score 14-14 at halftime, Kurt Warner and the Cardinals would takeover in the second half, with two TDs in the third quarter. The Cardinals offense would have four drives of over three minutes in the second half, as well. The Arizona defense was also successful in shutting down the Seahawks in the second half, allowing only one Deion Branch touchdown.
The Cardinals now host the upstart Atlanta Falcons in the wildcard round of the playoffs next weekend. This will be a tough test for the Cardinals, as Michael Turner has been on fire of late, including a 200 yard game to close off the season.
This game has the look of a shootout, and it will probably come down to whatever defense can come up with a key stop or turnover. Meanwhile, the Seahawks close what has been a tumultuous with another loss. Jim Mora Jr. will have a tough job turning this team around next season.
However, there is a lot of talent on the roster, and they will have a high draft pick. Injuries have been the main reason why they have struggled this season, so the situation isn’t that dire for next year.