Today started slowly for the Arizona Cardinals, who fell behind the Cleveland Browns by ten. Peyton Hillis ran hard and the Cards' defense seemed unable to slow him down. On the flip side of the coin, John Skelton couldn't seem to find drive gear for the offense, managing to sputter along for a few plays before punting the ball back. When things looked grim, the defense cemented. Todd Heap came to life, providing a nice outlet for the second your QB from Fordham.
And as the dust settled, the Cards found themselves tied with the Browns. The defense held once more in overtime, and Patrick Peterson, held to little yardage in the punt return game came to life when needed most, returning a punt in overtime for thirty-two yards, placing the Cards at the Cleveland forty yard line. A few plays later Skelton connected with Larry Fitzgerald who was downed at the two. A chip shot by Jay Feely, and the Cards walk out of UOP stadium with another win under their belts.
Hit the jump to see what the organization had to say about the win.
Keeping with tradition, we start with the head coach, who was candid in his assessment of today's team performance. "It wasn't easy, it wasn't pretty... but the way our team fights back is really something special."
It's been an interesting dynamic. Earlier in the Cards wouldn't have won this game, and I would've had a drinking bill. Now the Cards win the game, and I have a heart medication bill. Talk about the Cardiac Cards.
Another impressive note is that second year QB John Skelton managed to post another three hundred plus yard game today. Against a highly regarded pass defense. He shows flashes of brilliance at times, and once again did just enough to get the win. He had this to say about his game, "Trials and tribulations. That's the way you learn as a quarterback and as a team."
Darnell Dockett had a disruptive game, chasing Seneca Wallace all over the field. But he was focused on the big plays the Cardinals yielded, an opening drive of seventy-six yards and a score, followed by another scoring opportunity for the Browns in the reception by Greg Little. "You want to be a top defense, you can't allow those two things."
Patrick Peterson has stepped up his swagger, showing a buildup of frustration over opposing teams not punting to him. "I told the punt return team, I'm not fair catching anymore."
I consider that good news considering the thirty-two yard return in overtime to set up the go ahead field goal. I'm pulling for him to get return number five this year.
Lastly, we hear from O'Brien Schofield, who's back to back sacks and a forced fumble changed the dynamic of the game. "Once you beat the guy the first time, he becomes more attentive.
The same goes for the rest of the NFL, you start racking up sacks and the league starts to notice.
Schofield followed up with, "I was kind of frustrated I didn't start out fast this season."
The season may have started slow, but if the second half is any indication of the 2012 season, I expect many teams to sit up and take notice of the Arizona Cardinals.