Arizona Cardinals Lose to Buffalo Bills; Kevin Kolb Gets Injured
For once, the Arizona Cardinals didn't come away with a victory in an overtime thriller.
It's kind of been expected for the Cardinals to win these types of games, but the Buffalo Bills were the ones to hit the overtime field goal yesterday in Glendale, beating the Cardinals 19-16.
Quarterback Kevin Kolb was injured after getting tackled on what appeared to be a broken play in the fourth quarter of the game, reportedly hurting his ribs.
The Cardinals were down by three points entering the fourth quarter, and their drives weren't going much of anywhere until late.
The Bills ran a wildcat-formation play with Brad Smith -- a wide receiver/former quarterback -- taking the direct snap with a little more than three minutes left on the clock. The ball had a tremendous arc on it, and Patrick Peterson intercepted it in the endzone, and ran it back for 15 yards.
That set up the Cardinals pretty well, as Kolb hit Larry Fitzgerald for 14 yards on the very first play of the drive. After a holding call, Kolb scrambled on the first-and-20 for 22 yards, setting up a first down at their own 41 yard-line.
On the next play, Kolb took the snap and looked to his running back, who was not looking at him. Kolb ran the ball on the apparently broken play, and was tackled before the line of scrimmage by two hefty Bills defenders. He didn't get up for several minutes, and was taken to the locker room with his injury.
John Skelton came in at quarterback for the Cards, immediately throwing two incomplete passes. He did connect to Fitzgerald for a 17-yard gain, but threw another three passes incomplete, setting up Jay Feely for a 61-yard field goal.
Although Feely's never kicked a 61-yarder before, he did this time, and nailed it with room to spare.
Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, a Gilbert native, was sacked on the first play of the Bills' ensuing drive. After that, the Bills ran the ball twice before punting away to the Cardinals. A short punt gave the Cardinals a pretty sure shot at winning the game -- the ball was three yards short of midfield, with 50 seconds left on the clock.
A five-yard penalty moved the Cardinals even closer, and Skelton nailed Fitzgerald to get the ball to the 20 yard-line. Skelton clocked the ball with a few seconds left, and Feely was sent out to win the game on a 38-yard field goal.
Just a few minutes after hitting a 61-yarder, Feely hit the left upright, and although the ball carried back across the field goal posts, the ball landed in the endzone -- never carrying over the crossbar.
The Bills received the ball in overtime, and stalled at just the perfect point for the Cardinals, as the Bills punted away from the Cardinals' 40 yard-line.
On third down -- after a rush for no gain and an incomplete pass -- Skelton went deep over the middle to tight end Rob Housler. The coverage was there, though, and the Bills picked off the pass, returning it to the Cardinals' six yard-line.
After Fitzpatrick used one play to move the ball to the right side of the hash-marks, Bills kicker Rian Lindell booted home the easy 25-yard field goal to win the game.
Although Kolb was injured, and Skelton completed just two of 10 passes as his replacement, there were a couple good points for the Cardinals throughout the game.
Rushing the football was not just for wasting plays -- the Cardinals actually moved the football on the ground for once. Kolb produced several big runs, totaling 66 yards, and William Powell -- the starting running back now that Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams are toast -- rushed 13 times for 70 yards.
That's a 5.4 yards-per-carry average for Powell, something that's been unheard-of for Cardinals football. If he can keep that up, the Cardinals have a respectable rushing game for sure.
On the other hand, Kolb still got sacked. The Bills sacked Kolb five times, keeping Kolb as the most-sacked quarterback in the NFL.
After six games, the Cardinals are now 4-2, tied with San Francisco and Seattle for the division lead.
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