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News » Cardinals hang on late to beat Seahawks

Cardinals hang on late to beat Seahawks

Cardinals hang on late to beat Seahawks
SEATTLE (AP) - Darnell Dockett had heard enough from all those whose doubted the Arizona Cardinals, the former laughingstocks who haven't won a division since Gerald Ford was president.

So after rookie Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie dived for his second interception of Matt Hasselbeck with 2 minutes left to clinch the Cardinals' 26-20 victory on Sunday, Dockett looked at the Seahawks' bench. Then he cocked his leg and mockingly kicked, effectively booting Seattle from its four-year reign of the NFC West.

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"It was payback for what they did to us last year. They ran that score up," Dockett said of Seattle's 42-21 win here last December to clinch the division - again. "That feeling, we all remembered that. That's going to be the best feeling in the world, winning the division. I've been here five years. Never won a division. Never won in Seattle."

Yes, this Cardinals' surge of rewriting their sorry history has now written off Seattle.

Kurt Warner completed 32 of 44 passes for 395 yards - his franchise-record fourth straight 300-yard game - and J.J. Arrington scored a career-high two touchdowns as Arizona held off the desperate Seahawks, who trailed 26-7 entering the fourth quarter.

The 37-year-old Warner, a forgotten two-time league MVP after the New York Giants let him go and Arizona benched him last season, admitted last week he thought he would never get this chance again. Then he completed 19 of his first 21 passes while Anquan Boldin, who had 13 catches for a career-best 186 yards, and Larry Fitzgerald - 10 receptions, 151 yards - roamed free all day in Arizona's first win at Seattle since 2002.

"We have heard a lot of talk about people doubting us, that we weren't playing anybody. What we did today speaks for itself," Boldin said. "They say the road comes through here. We came in and took care of business."

Some Cardinals literally skipped off field at being 7-3 for the first time since 1977, when they were in St. Louis. Arizona can clinch its first division title since 1975 next week when it hosts the Giants and San Francisco (3-7) plays at Dallas.

"You know, it's fun. That's all I want is another chance to compete for a championship," said Warner, whose streak of 300-yards games is the tied for the third-longest in NFL history. "We're back in the mix again. Obviously, there's still a long way to go, but to be 10 games in and be in the mix is fun. We haven't been there in a while. I haven't been there in a while."

The Seahawks are in a place they haven't been in a while, too.

They have their worst start since the 1992 team was 1-8 en route to 2-14. Exiting Mike Holmgren, who called this a "must-win," has the first 2-8 start in his 17 years as a head coach just weeks before he takes a sabbatical in 2009.

Seattle's 31st-ranked pass defense had no answers for Warner and his physical, fast receivers. The Cardinals even got Boldin mismatched on linebacker Lofa Tatupu for huge gains that set up some of Neil Rackers' four field goals.

"Now, our goals have changed," Holmgren said. "It's been a good run."

Or, as an "exhausted" quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said: "We're not idiots. We can do the math."

Hasselbeck completed 17 of 29 passes for 170 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions in his first game is six weeks because a bulging disk in his back was causing nerve problems.

Arizona was cruising into the fourth quarter and had an interception of Hasselbeck in the end zone by Karlos Dansby. But Dansby fumbled on his return and left tackle Walter Jones recovered at the Seahawks 11. T.J. Duckett scored on a 1-yard run to cut the lead to 26-13.

On the second play of Arizona's next drive, Warner got hit by Brandon Mebane. Darryl Tapp recovered the fumble at the Cardinals 14. After Hasselbeck converted a fourth-and-3 with a scramble behind an unintended block by an official, Duckett scored from the 2. Suddenly it was 26-20 with 9:41 left.

But after a blitzing Tatupu hit Warner into an intentional grounding to kill Arizona's drive with 5:38 left, Seattle chose a bad time for its first three-and-out drive of the game.

The Seahawks got the ball back at their 28 with 2:05 left and no timeouts. On the first play, Hasselbeck went for what he called "a home run" pass to Deion Branch, who had a team-high four receptions in his first full game since January following reconstructive knee surgery and a bruised heel. But Hasselbeck's line-drive pass was more apt for a double. Branch broke deep and Rodgers-Cromartie slid in for his capping interception.

Hasselbeck looked punch-drunk after taking intravenous fluids afterward.

"I feel like I'm letting people down," he said, adding he had little left physically in the fourth quarter. "It's just a bad feeling."


Warner has 17 300-yard passing games with the Cardinals, two behind Neil Lomax's franchise record. ... Seattle lost top CB Marcus Trufant to a concussion and LG Mike Wahle to a shoulder injury. Their status for next week's game against Washington is unknown.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 17, 2008

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