In a wild west shootout between two teams with nothing the lose, the Arizona Cardinals took a step towards wrapping up their 2007 season at .500 after beating the game Atlanta Falcons 30-27 in overtime at the University of Phoenix Stadium. The back and forth contest came to a close when Neil Rackers was true on a 31-yard field goal at 9:30 of overtime after he tied the game on the final play of regulation.
Kurt Warner, who earlier in the week stated he wants a shot at being the teams starter at QB in 2008, made a big case for that today, throwing for 361 yards and three touchdowns. Falcons QB Chris Redman, who last week was beaten up badly by the Buccaneers, came back with a strong game himself, throwing for 315 yards and two TD’s and one pick.
It was a wide open affair, as the two teams combined for 842 yards, 43 first downs, and a total of 57 points. After the Cardinals built a 24-14 lead at halftime, the teams went scoreless in the third quarter, only to see the Falcons run off 13 straight points on a Morten Anderson 23-yard field goal, a Redman to Alge Crumpler 7-yard TD, and antoher Anderson field goal to make it 27-24 with 1:38 left.
Arizona came right back, with Warner hitting big pass plays for 19, 9, 18, 5 and 7 yards to set up Rackers for the chip shot 29-yard field goal to send the game into the extra session. In OT the Cards won the toss, and used a successful 10-play, 58-yard drive to set up Rackers final game-winner to send the home folks home happy and the Falcons a loser to send them to 3-12.
Two opposing wide outs also had big days, as Anquan Boldin, who has been banged up, caught 13 passes for 162 yards and two scores from Warner. Roddy White, who caught just one pass for four yards last week, pulled in 12 catches for 141 yards to go over 1,000 for the season. Laurent Robinson also had a good day for Atlanta, catching 7 passes for 114 yards including a 74 yard score.
With a win at home vs the Rams next week, the Cards can end the season at 8-8, the first time since 1998 they would end a season over .500. That season they went 9-7, beat the Cowboys in the playoffs in the first round before being trounced by the Vikings in the divisional round.
The Falcons just want to put everything that has happened in 2007 behind them. From Michael Vick, to Bobby Petrino, to the latest – Bill Parcells, it’s been a tough year for a franchise that simply has gotten no breaks whatsoever. Next week they will end the year at home vs Seattle.