The Arizona Cardinals undrafted rookie quarterback Max Hall may have sealed his fate as the team's starter with a 30-20 upset win over the New Orleans Saints yesterday.
Hall wasn't perfect, but he was good enough -- more valid, perhaps, he was better than Derek Anderson, the team's initial choice to succeed Kurt Warner.
On the first drive in the first start of his NFL career, Hall threw an interception, which set up an early New Orleans field goal. Not a great way to get things rollin'. But some ballsy plays throughout the game (and pullin' out the W, of course) overshadowed Hall's interception.
"I need to fix my mistakes," he said after the game, "but I think those guys trust me and I think when they look at me they know we have a chance to win."
Most importantly, Hall was able to connect with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, something Anderson has been unable to do consistently in the first four games of the season. The two hooked up seven times for 93 yards.
The Cardinals scoring summary is bizarre. The team only gained a total of 194 yards, and none of the 30 points the team scored were the result of a rushing or passing touchdown.
Towards the end of the second quarter, trailing 10-3, Hall tried to rush one into the end zone himself after failing to find an open receiver. It was ballsy.
Hall got absolutely crushed before reaching the goal, causing him to fumble. Thankfully, offensive tackle Levi Brown recovered the fumble and took the ball the remaining two yards into the end zone.
The Cards' second touchdown was also the result of a fumble recovery.
Saints running back Ladell Betts dropped the ball at the New Orleans 27-yard-line and Cards safety Kerry Rhodes recovered it and took it into the end zone.
The timing of the Cardinals' third touchdown couldn't have been better.
Trailing by three, the Saints got the ball at the team's 9-yard-line with 24 seconds left in the game.
It seemed like the stage was set for a classic Drew Brees game-winning drive and another disappointing outcome for Cards fans.
That's not what happened, though. What happened was a little D-R-C.
Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie picked off Brees' pass and ran it back for a touchdown -- putting the final nail in the coffin.
After an awful performance against the San Diego Chargers last week, the Cardinals defense seems to have pulled itself together.
"We finally put a good effort together," Rhodes said after the game. "It wasn't perfect, it wasn't pretty at times for us, but we played as complete a game as we've played so far."
The Cardinals have the day off next Sunday but head to Seattle to take on the Seahawks the following week. For more Cards info click here.
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