Fumble Helps Cardinals Win
Sunday, September 16th 2007, 6:40 pm
By: News On 6
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) _ Maybe that Cardinals curse is history.
After blowing a 17-0 lead in what looked like another classic Arizona collapse, Darnell Dockett recovered a fumble by Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck. Then Neil Rackers kicked a 41-yard field goal with 1 second to go Sunday, giving the Cardinals a 23-20 victory over the Seahawks.
Rackers' 52-yarder tied it at 20 with 4:44 to play.
The Seahawks took the subsequent kickoff and drove toward what could have been the winning score. But on first-and-5 from the Arizona 36, linebacker Gerald Hayes disrupted an already botched handoff from Hasselbeck to Shaun Alexander.
The ball popped free, and Dockett recovered at the Seattle 45 with 1:48 to go. Edgerrin James, who rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown in 23 carries, carried four times before Arizona called time out to take the winning kick.
Seattle (1-1) scored 20 consecutive points and took a 20-17 lead on Josh Brown's second 28-yard field goal with 9:52 to play.
Arizona's offense, dormant up to that point in the second half, got a 35-yard pass from Matt Leinart to Anquan Boldin to the Seahawks 35, but a holding penalty against Deuce Lutui pushed the Cardinals (1-1) back and forced the long tying field goal.
Special teams figured large in Arizona's early lead.
The Cardinals' first blocked punt in three seasons, by Sean Morey, set up Rackers' 28-yard field goal to make it 3-0.
Leinart's 31-yard pass to Boldin ignited a four-play, 70-yard touchdown drive. On third-and-1 at the Seattle 30, Leinart faked the handoff to Leinart, then threw to a wide-open Leonard Pope for the score. It was the first NFL touchdown for the big second-year tight end.
On the Cardinals' next possession, Mike Barr lofted a perfect punt that Arizona's Oliver Celestin caught at the Seattle 1.
Deion Branch dropped a pass on third-and-1 and Seattle had to punt from the back of the end zone. Steve Breaston's 17-yard return gave Arizona the ball at the Seahawks 38.
From the 17, James went right untouched to the end zone to make it 17-0. It was James' longest TD run since a 30-yarder for Indianapolis against Tennessee on Sept. 19, 2004.
Seattle's offense finally got moving on a 10-play, 80-yard drive near the end of the second quarter. Nate Burleson fought his way over the goal line on a 24-yard touchdown pass from Hasselbeck to cut it to 17-7.
Rackers' 54-yard field goal try as the half ended bounced off the left upright.
The Seahawks got Alexander going in the third quarter. After gaining 15 yards in his previous 10 carries, Alexander went 16 yards on fourth-and-1 for a touchdown that cut it to 17-14.
The score followed Lofa Tatupu's interception of Leinart's pass at the Arizona 40. The subsequent drive was kept alive by a 5-yard facemask penalty against Eric Green after the Cardinals stopped Seattle on third-and-18.
The Seahawks drove to the 10-yard line on their next possession, where Brown's 28-yard field goal tied it at 17.