Arizona Cardinals' Playoff Hopes Still Alive (Barely) After Overtime Win Against Cleveland Browns
After a 1-6 start, the Arizona Cardinals still have an outside chance of making the playoffs thanks to a Tebow-esque fourth quarter in the team's 20-17 overtime win over the Cleveland Browns yesterday.
The W is the Cards' third overtime win in seven games.
"We have a flair for dramatics," wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald told reporters after the game. "Today was kind of typical Cardinals fashion."
The Cards trailed the Browns 17-7 heading into the fourth quarter. But the defense managed to hold the Browns' offense to no points in the final quarter, and quarterback John Skelton led the Cards to 10 unanswered points, taking the game to overtime.
The Cardinals lost the coin toss and handed the ball over to Cleveland for the first overtime drive.
The Browns were forced to punt, though -- and they were forced to punt to Patrick Peterson, who managed another circus return for 32 yards, giving the Cardinals good field position for a game-winning drive.
Skelton hooked up with Fitzgerald for a 32-yard gain, setting up a game-winning, 22-yard Jay Feely field goal.
"It wasn't pretty, but we had so many different guys make plays throughout the course of the game, especially in the second half," coach Ken Whisenhunt said after the game. "The way our team fights back is really something special. What I told them is their will to win is pretty strong."
Skelton completed 28 of 46 passes in the victory, with one touchdown and one interception as he filled in for the Cards' injured started, Kevin Kolb.
The Cardinals' playoff chances are slim, but not non-existent. In other words, things need to happen around the NFC that are out of the team's control.
For the Cards to get the NFC's final playoff spot, a few things need to happen -- the Atlanta Falcons need to start losing. As do the Detroit Lions -- each team can clinch the final spot with a win.
Most importantly, the Cardinals need to win out -- they need to beat the Seattle Seahawks at home in week 17, and they need to beat the Cincinnati Bengals on the road next week.
If the stars align, the Cards could find themselves in the post-season for the first time since Kurt Warner retired.
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