The (2-2) Cardinals' 28-21 victory over the (2-3) Houston Texans Sunday in Glendale came in a way that would even raise the blood pressure of the 1980 "Kardiac Kid" Cleveland Browns.
After taking a 21-0 lead into halftime, the Birds posted nil in the third quarter, while the Texans put seven on the board with a Chris Brown rushing touchdown.
With a 21-7 lead going into the fourth quarter, the Texans battled back with two Andre Johnson touchdowns to tie the game with about seven minutes left to play.
As the momentum had obviously shifted in favor of the Texans, Kurt Warner and the offense were forced to punt after three unimpressive plays that netted all of one yard.
The Texans proceeded to march down the field in a drive that seemed almost certain to end in a touchdown -- and it did -- in a 49-yard Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie interception return for a Cardinals touchdown. Neil Rackers tacked on the extra point, and the Cards retook the lead 28-21.
But the drama wasn't over. The Texans got the ball back at the Arizona 40 after a 63-yard kickoff return by Andre Davis, with a little more than two minutes on the clock.
The Texans executed a fairly successful two-minute drill that landed them on the Arizona one-yard line with about a minute remaining.
It was second down with one-yard to go and plenty of time on the clock. It seemed as though the football gods were about to once again scowl at the Cards until the defense, for the first time in the second half, decided to show up.
We're talking goal-line stand here. The Cards' D stuffed Matt Schaub and the Houston offense on three straight plays.
Taking over on their own one-yard line, a safety seemed imminent. Warner and the offense managed to avoid two potential two-point sacks, then took a knee, slowing the collectively racing hearts of Cards fans everywhere.
The game serves as a testament to Jeckyll and Hyde nature of the 2009 Arizona Cardinals. The Cards had a fantastic first half, on both sides of the ball.
The second half, not so much.
In the first half, the team found the end zone three times and the defense held the Houston offense to under 120 yards and no points.
Of the Cards' 340 total yards, 295 came in the first half, as well as the only points scored by the offense.
In the second half, the defense gave up all three of Houston's touchdowns.
Regardless of which Arizona Cardinals team showed up in the second half yesterday, a win is a win is a win. Considering the way these guys have looked so far this season, we'll take it.
The Cards head to Seattle next week to face the Seahawks. Good news Phoenicians: They're out of town next week. This means we're officially off the hook when it comes to fan-related blackouts.
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