GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 11: Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald #11 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the football on a 53 yard reception against safety Donte Whitner #31 of the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 21-19. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Every week seems to produce a new "best game of the season" for the Arizona Cardinals.
This week was no different, as the Cardinals defeated the division-rival San Francisco 49ers 21-19 in another Skelton-esque performance. Led by Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals cameback and broke a 5 game losing streak to San Francisco.
Hit the jump to read details from another exciting game.
Kevin Kolb started the game for the Cardinals, but on 3rd and 6 in the first drive, was kneed in the back of his helmet and left for the rest of the game. This paved the way for backup QB John Skelton. Although inconsistent for part of the game, Skelton picked up his slack and finished strong, winning the game for the Cardinals. Skelton ended up 19-28 with 282 yards, 3 TD's, and 2 interceptions. WR Larry Fitzgerald was a big part of Skelton's success. Fitz led all receivers in the game with 149 yards off 7 receptions. This also gave Fitz his 6th 1,000 yard receiving season in a row, breaking a Cardinals franchise record. He also pulled in a huge TD from Skelton. After making a great catch, he converted it into a 46 yard TD. The other two TD's Skelton threw came off a 60 yard catch-and-run by Early Doucet, and a short 3 yard pass to Andre Roberts.
The Cardinals Defense was the next biggest story of the day. All day they kept pressure on 49ers QB Alex Smith, sacking him 5 times. Rookie CB Patrick Peterson had another strong performance, keeping WR Michael Crabtree to only 63 yards off 7 receptions, and no TD's. The Defense also stopped star RB Frank Gore for the large part, keeping him to 72 yards off 10 rushes and 1 TD (Although most of those yards came from the TD run by Gore, where he ran 32 yards for the score).
On Special Teams, PR Patrick Peterson was stopped all day, largely due to the 49ers Punter Andy Lee's outstanding punts, which averaged 53.1 yards per punt.
The time of possession for the Cardinals was 29:04, vs. 30:56 for the 49ers. They had 12 1st Downs, 7 punts, and 4 penalties, which resulted in 45 yards for the 49ers.
Next week, the Cardinals take on the visiting Cleveland Browns. If the Cards hope to keep their Playoff hopes alive, they need to come away with the win against the Browns.
And as close and nerve-racking as today's game was, what Cardinals game would it be without an apperance by the Cardiac Cards?