1:00 PM ET, October 21, 2007
FedEx Field, Landover, MD
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- In the final 30 seconds, the Arizona Cardinals used three quarterbacks, scored a touchdown, failed on a 2-point conversion, recovered an onside kick and barely -- just barely -- missed a 55-yard field goal.It was only after Neil Rackers' kick sailed wide left that the Washington Redskins could take a deep sigh, digest all that happened and realize that, despite their effort, they had not quite found a new way to blow a ballgame. The Redskins beat the Cardinals 21-19 on a Sunday afternoon that degenerated into a series of unfortunate events. The winning team had 160 total yards and was on the wrong side of nearly every statistic except two of the big ones: turnovers and penalties. "Any team can come back and beat you at the end of the game if you give them the amount of chances we gave those guys," Redskins cornerback Fred Smoot said. "Put it like this: We're lucky to get out of here with a victory." The box score will show Clinton Portis with a pair of short touchdown runs for the Redskins (4-2), who, after this effort, can't be too excited about playing unbeaten New England next. The Cardinals are 3-4 heading into their bye, a good piece of timing since it will probably take two weeks to figure this one out. "A lot of people are going to say, 'Same old Cardinals,'" Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "That to me wasn't the same old Cardinals. Those guys didn't quit. We obviously didn't make enough plays to win. We made too many mistakes." To be sure, no one expected a classic. The Cardinals showed up with a one-armed quarterback and two backups who barely knew the play book, while the Redskins had to patch together a starting offense after injuries to three linemen last week. But that didn't do much to explain the combined 15 penalties for 128 yards. Or the blocked punt by the Cardinals. Or the blocked extra point by the Redskins. Or the end-of-first-half mini-melee that included the bizarre sight of Cardinals lineman Elton Brown getting yanked to the ground in a wrestling-style takedown by an official. Three of the game's six touchdowns were the product of interceptions, but the Redskins actually put together a decent drive in the third quarter to take a 21-6 lead. Safety LaRon Landry (late hit) and linebacker London Fletcher (taunting the bench) then let the Cardinals back in by committing dead-ball fouls on third downs during a long drive that eventually resulted in a touchdown. Then came the real fun. Kurt Warner, who started despite a torn elbow ligament that made it awkward to hand the ball off, drove the Cardinals from Arizona's 29 to Washington's 1 in the final minutes. Then -- surprise -- Tim Rattay entered and threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Leonard Pope to make the score 21-19 with 21 seconds to play. Whisenhunt said the Cardinals had planned all game to use Rattay in goal-line situations because Warner's bulky brace made it difficult to work in tight quarters. The second surprise came when the shotgun snap on the 2-point conversion went straight to receiver Anquan Boldin, who scrambled to the right, found nowhere to run and threw feebly toward Larry Fitzgerald. Landry caught the ball instead. "When those plays work, they're great. When they don't work, people are going to question them," Whisenhunt said. "Anquan is an outstanding football player. When you put the ball in his hands, your chances of success go up greatly." Still, the Cardinals recovered the onside kick and marched to the 37 before Rackers, who ended the first half by getting into a face mask tug-of-war with cornerback Carlos Rogers after the blocked extra point, nearly ended the game with a winning kick. "There's a lot of nerves going on," said Redskins center Mike Pucillo, who started at center in place of Casey Rabach as part of Washington's latest injury-induced line shuffle. "We all felt it shouldn't have been that close. We always want to go out there and put games away."
Warner went 27-of-41 for 282 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, one of which was returned 27 yards for a touchdown by Fletcher. ... The Redskins used a defensive lineman, Lorenzo Alexander, as an extra blocker near the goal line. ... Boldin, who had missed the previous three games with a hip injury, caught eight passes for 29 yards. ... Injuries: Rogers (sprained knee), Smoot (hamstring), Cartwright (quad) and Arizona T Mike Gandy (right calf). ... Gibbs is 13-0 at home against the Cardinals. ... Arizona's Edgerrin James (83 yards rushing) is 10 yards short of 11,000. ... Two police officers on motorcycles collided while escorting a Cardinals bus to the game, shutting down traffic for hours on a busy interstate. Neither officer was seriously hurt.
Arizona QB Kurt Warner showed a lot of guts playing one week after tearing ligaments in his nonthrowing elbow, but the Washington defense created three turnovers that were the difference in this game. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ game plan was to pressure Warner with four rushers while dropping seven players into coverage on the back end. Redskins MLB London Fletcher was all over the field and did a great job of stabilizing the run defense, leaving little space for Cardinals RB Edgerrin James. The Washington secondary was very physical and did not allow any big plays down the field to Arizona’s explosive corps of wide receivers. The Redskins were fortunate to get such a good performance from their defense, though, because the offense continues to struggle.
-- Keith Kidd, Scouts Inc.
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||5.0||3.4|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||3-4||2-3|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||1|
|TD||4:18||Clinton Portis, 2 yd run (Shaun Suisham kick is good)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 25 yds, 4:20
|TD||7:10||London Fletcher, 27 yd interception return (Shaun Suisham kick is good)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 3 yds, 0:55
|TD||0:06||Anquan Boldin, 2 yd pass from Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers kick blocked)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 23 yds, 1:46
|TD||5:51||Clinton Portis, 1 yd run (Shaun Suisham kick is good)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 59 yds, 5:58
|TD||15:00||Anquan Boldin, 10 yd pass from Kurt Warner (Neil Rackers kick is good)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 72 yds, 5:55
|TD||0:26||Leonard Pope, 1 yd pass from Tim Rattay(Anquan Boldin pass to Larry Fitzgerald for 2pt conversion failed)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 71 yds, 2:16