As you know, we'll be releasing a "top five" list of various situations, and this week will be the top single game performances of the regular season. I decided to leave off the post season because we all know that Warner's game against the Packers was already honored as the Cardinal of the Week and was part of the top five games of Warner's career. Now let's take a look at the top performances of the season:
5. Week 5 vs Houston Texans - Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, 3 Tackles, 1 PD, 1 INT, 1 TD
The Cardinals were fresh off of their bye week and were looking to get back into the division race when they played at home during week five. They faced a high-octane Houston Texans' offense that featured pro bowl quarterback Matt Schaub, and all pro receiver Andre Johnson. For the moments that Rodgers-Cromartie lined up opposite of Johnson, he made the most them by limiting Johnson's production. Unfortunately, DRC's counterparts couldn't say the same as Johnson scored twice in the game. Nonetheless, DRC later made the game-changing play with his interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter that would eventually be the deciding factor of the game.
4. Week 10 vs Seattle Seahawks - Beanie Wells, 16 Carries, 85 Yards, 2 TD
Week 10, the Seahawks traveled to Glendale at a time when the Cardinals were fending off the San Francisco 49ers from first place in the NFC West division. Rookie running back Beanie Wells was beginning to reach the cusp of his full potential at that point in the season as well. Although he would later run for over 100 yards against the Lions, Wells best game would come at the hand of the Seahawks. Beanie provided a spark off the bench that later propelled the Cardinals to a 31-20 victory. He ran for 85 yards but none were as pivatol as a 4th and 1 attempt, which morphed into a 10-yard touchdown. In the fourth quarter he ran a game-ending 13-yard touchdown, and we also saw a sprint down the sideline for 29-yards to put the icing on the cake. Wells briefly played in this game, but made the most of the time he was on the field.
3. Week 9 at Chicago Bears - Kurt Warner, 22/32 68%, 261 Yards, 5 TD, 132.9 Rating
After a horrendous performance against the Carolina Panthers the week before(six turnovers), Kurt Warner responded with one of the greatest games of his career. Warner only needed 22 completions to throw five touchdowns - one to four different Cardinals. He finished the game with a 132.9 quarterback rating while not turning the ball over and was only sacked once. The baffling part is that the Cardinals were on the road in a hostile environment when Warner went off. At one point, the crowd began clapping when the Bears defense finally forced a punt in the second half. Dominant games like this are just one of the many achievements that Kurt Warner will be remembered for.
2. Week 16 vs St. Louis Rams - Adrian Wilson, 4 Tackles, 1 Sack, 1 PD, 1 INT
During week 16 against the St. Louis Rams, Adrian Wilson would see his career with the Cardinals reach new heights. During the game, Wilson recorded four tackles and added one interception, but his only sack of the game was what was most impressive. The lone sack put Wilson's career total at 20.5, and he became the 10th player in NFL history to reach 20 sacks and 20 interceptions in a career. Although the Rams never threatened to win the game, Wilson's play stood out as one of the best performances of the 2009 season.
1. Week 2 at Jacksonville Jaguars - Kurt Warner, 24/26 92.3%, 243 Yards, 2 TD, 131.2 Rating
At a time when the Cardinals desperately needed a win, Kurt Warner delivered one on the road in Jacksonville. He carved up the Jaguars defense, completing a team record 15 passes in a row, and only threw two incompletions. His 92.3% completion percentage is now a league record, and his jersey from the game was sent to the NFL Hall of Fame. Warner also threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns. Another surprising fact is that Warner did all this in three quarters of play(he injured his shoulder and missed the fourth quarter). It's only fitting that in his final season, Kurt Warner was able to break an NFL record that may be held for several years.
The top five performances were a tough choice to make, and you can certainly substitute your own selections in the comments below. What were you top performances of the regular season and why?