12-19-11: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Browns Aftermath

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After a big win (by the way, at the stadium that was probably the loudest I have heard the crowd near the end of that game in a long time) time for some links.

Arizona Cardinals News:

Arizona Cardinals defeat the Cleveland Browns in overtime
The Cardinals took an odd route to their .500 record, arriving late and out of breath. But when they were a broken down 1-6, when all they had going for them was a dynamic punt returner and prayers, did anyone believe they would get there? The Cardinals took another hairpin turn on two wheels Sunday, beating the Browns 20-17 in overtime. It was their fourth consecutive victory and sixth in seven games. Half of those victories came in overtime.

A Familiar -- And Winning -- Refrain
Cards need overtime again to beat Browns, 20-17, and reach .500

Schofield Sacks Change Game
Notebook: Peterson's return sets up winning score; Heap makes impact

Wrap-up: Cardinals 20, Browns 17 (OT) - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts on the Arizona Cardinals' 20-17 overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns at University of Phoenix Stadium in Week 15:

Patience pays off for Cardinals' Patrick Peterson
The crowd at University of Phoenix Stadium booed the first time Browns punter Brad Maynard booted the ball out of bounds in order to keep it away from returner Patrick Peterson. While the crowd was impatient, Peterson was not. He figured if the Cardinals forced enough punts, Maynard eventually would give him something he could return. Peterson finally got it. In overtime, he returned a punt 32 yards to set up the game-winning field goal.

O'Brien Schofield makes big plays on defense for Cardinals
O'Brien Schofield put the big squeeze on Seneca Wallace and the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Twice in succession during the pivotal moments of the fourth quarter, the Cardinals' outside linebacker managed to bottle up and sack the elusive quarterback for losses.

Cardinals QB John Skelton showing the fourth-quarter touch of Tim Tebow as of late
There is no mania surrounding John Skelton. His surname hasn't crossed into the mainstream, into the pages of the English dictionary. But remove the religious overtones, and the Cardinals have their own Tim Tebow. "No," Skelton barked. Why not? "I don't resent it," Skelton said. "I just think it's premature to be comparing any two young quarterbacks to each other. We both win games and find ways to win, but I think we're very different." Yes, they are very different people. No one is suggesting a higher power is guiding the kid in Glendale. But after a 20-17 overtime victory against the Browns on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium, the comparisons are inevitable and warranted.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Post-game spread
All season, the Cardinals have provided a weekly update in their game release on Ken Whisenhunt's career victory total. Whisenhunt entered the season needing seven wins to pass Don Coryell for the franchise lead. As the Cardinals lost six of their first seven, we didn't need the weekly update to keep track. I don't know that anyone envisioned Whisenhunt getting his 43rd victory after that horrible first half. But he got it on Sunday. He was given a game ball by team President Michael Bidwill.

Word From the Birds Blog - Browns aftermath
After a while, even these endings tend to numb you. The Cardinals didn’t really do anything different than they have been. They won. Their playoff hopes took a blow when the Raiders couldn’t finish off the Lions in Oakland – the Cards need a lot of help the next two weeks, even if they win out, for the playoffs – but the goal at this point can only be a 9-7 record and let the rest settle out as it may. Let’s put this four-game winning streak in perspective, at least when it comes to me. I’ve never seen one. I started covering this team full time in 2000; the Cards’ last four-game win streak was in 1999. (I’ve seen a few four-game losing streaks, but I digress).

Arizona Cardinals-Cleveland Browns play of the game
The setup: The game was tied 17-17. The Browns had the ball at their own 34-yard line. There was 13:00 remaining in overtime.

Arizona Cardinals-Cleveland Browns rewind: What we learned
Kent Somers breaks down what we learned in the Cardinals' 20-17 overtime win over the Browns in Glendale.

Cleveland Browns vs Arizona Cardinals Recap - December 18, 2011 - NFL - SB Nation
Jay Feely connected on the game-winning 22- yard field goal in overtime, sending the Arizona Cardinals to a 20-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals began the game-deciding drive on the Browns 40 thanks to a 32- yard punt return by Patrick Peterson. On 3rd-and-6, John Skelton found a wide- open Larry Fitzgerald for a 32-yard completion down to the Cleveland four-yard line, setting Feely up for the chip-shot winner on first down. Skelton ended his day with 313 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 28-of-46 passing in place of Kevin Kolb, who missed the game after sustaining a head injury in the Cardinals' 21-19 win over the San Francisco 49ers last week.

Cardinals defense recovers from slow start in win over Browns - ArizonaSports.com
The Cardinals have four games in a row, and six of their last seven. In that time the defense has morphed from a group that anyone could score on to one that gets key stops whenever it needs them. Sunday was no different. The Browns took a 17-7 lead on a 76-yard touchdown pass with roughly three minutes left in the third quarter, but gained just 66 yards the rest of the way, a period that included the entire fourth quarter and one possession of overtime. So, in reality, it's no wonder that the Cardinals not only came back in the game, but ultimately won it.

Turnover drought ends at good time for Cardinals - ArizonaSports.com
For as well as the Arizona Cardinals' defense has been playing as of late, there's one area where they've been deficient -- forcing turnovers. Arizona opponents had run 227 straight plays without turning the ball over, a streak that dated back to the 3rd quarter of the Cardinals' 23-20 win over the Rams on November 27th. But that streak came to an end on Sunday, when linebacker O'Brien Schofield sacked Seneca Wallace inside his own 5-yard line, forcing an awkward looking fumble. Calais Campbell scooped it up and sauntered into the end zone, but the officials on the play ruled that Wallace was down. Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt challenged the play, and after a lengthy view it was reversed. The touchdown did not count, but the Cardinals took over on the Browns' 5-yard line. Three plays later, Jay Feely booted the tying field goal from 33 yards away.

The new Tim Tebow? Skelton leads Cardinals to another win - ArizonaSports.com
John Skelton's 13 of 19 for 114 yards and one touchdown in the first half Sunday was but one small step for a man, and one giant leap for the Cardinals. OK, maybe not. Skelton was a bit more effective in the first half of Sunday's win over the Browns than he had been in other games, though that's not really saying much. Then again, the Cardinals' formula in Skelton's starts has been to keep the game close and let the QB win it late. And as they say, if it's not broken… Skelton completed 12 of 20 for 155 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime, as the Cardinals rallied - again - for a win, beating the Browns 20-17. At one point these games were crazy, now they're just the norm.

Another overtime win for Cardinals - ArizonaSports.com
The Arizona Cardinals have found a comfort zone. Strangely enough, it's in overtime. Jay Feely booted a 22-yard field goal with 10:56 left in overtime lifting the Cardinals to a 20-17 win in front of 60,443 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Skeltonmania does it again | ProFootballTalk
We’ll say it again: All John Skelton does is win. The Cardinals pulled off yet another crazy comeback, once again in overtime. And once again, an excellent Patrick Peterson punt return set up the win.

Cleveland Browns vs. Arizona Cardinals - Recap - December 18, 2011 - ESPN
Overtime was Arizona's time -- again. And it's got the Cardinals at .500 for the first time since the second week of the season. Patrick Peterson returned a punt 32 yards and John Skelton threw 32 yards to Larry Fitzgerald to set up a 22-yard field goal by Jay Feely that gave the Cardinals a 20-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday in their third overtime win in seven games. Arizona became the ninth team in NFL history to win three overtime games in a season and just the second to win all three at home.

Lions' victory bad for Seahawks, Cardinals - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals kept alive their playoff hopes by improving their records to 7-7 with victories Sunday. Both teams need help even if one of them wins its final two games, including a Week 17 matchup between the NFC West rivals.

NFL.com news: Cardinals owe QB Kolb $7 million roster bonus next season
Much was made of the trade and subsequent signing of quarterback Kevin Kolb by Arizona this offseason, and the Cardinals did so with the intention of having Kolb be their starter for years to come. And he could well do so. But it's worth noting that if Kolb's production does not improve in the near future Arizona could move on with minimal financial and salary cap ramifications, according to the quarterback's contract.

Whisenhunt becomes All-Time Wins Leader
Coach Whisenhunt was awarded the game ball in the locker room by President Michael Bidwill after the Cardinals win. Whisenhunt passed Don Coryell for all time wins in Cardinals Franchise history.

Cards Daily - Postgame Reaction CLE
The Cardinals win their fourth consecutive game with the thrilling overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns. Listen to coaches and players in the locker room after the game.

Fitzgerald's Catch to Set Up Game Winning FG
Cardinals QB John Skelton passes deep to Larry Fitzgerald who is pushed out of bounds at Cleveland's 4 yard line for a 32-yard grab setting up Arizona for the game-winning field goal.

Browns vs. Cardinals highlights
Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson has another big punt return as he takes a punt 32 yards into Brown territory to help set up the game-winning field goal by Jay Feely in overtime.

NFL News:

Wrap-up: Bengals 20, Rams 13 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts on the St. Louis Rams following their performance against the Cincinnati Bengals at the Edward Jones Dome in Week 15:

Wrap-up: Seahawks 38, Bears 14 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks during their 38-14 victory over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Week 15:

Silver linings: Rams vs. Bengals - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The facts: The St. Louis Rams fell to 2-12 with a 20-13 home defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Week 15 Monday 10-pack | ProFootballTalk
We’re one game short of 14 per team, and while we know plenty of things about where this season is heading, Week 15 has been a reminder of just how dramatically perceptions can change.

NFL Week 15 Debrief: Packers, Colts Erase Zeros And Tebow Time Is Stopped By Pats - SBNation.com
Week 15 in the NFL was Upset Sunday as the Packers lost for the first time in nearly a year, the Colts finally won a game and the Giants blew a badly-needed game against the Redskins. Also: Tim Tebow.

Johnny Knox's Scary Back Injury Leads NFL Week 15 Medical Report - SBNation.com
Week 15 saw several key wide receivers go down -- Johnny Knox, A.J. Green and Stevie Johnson. SB Nation Medical Expert Dr. Ali Mohamadi explores those injuries in this week's Medical Report.

Johnny Knox's Scary Back Injury Leads NFL Week 15 Medical Report - SBNation.com
Week 15 saw several key wide receivers go down -- Johnny Knox, A.J. Green and Stevie Johnson. SB Nation Medical Expert Dr. Ali Mohamadi explores those injuries in this week's Medical Report.

NFL Week 15: Brady's Patriots Top Tebow's Broncos, Packers And Colts Ditch Zeroes - SBNation.com
Before everyone's attention shifts to Tim Tebow vs. Tom Brady, the Bengals, Titans and Giants are among those teams fighting for their playoff lives in the early games.

VIDEO: Jesus Asks Tim Tebow To 'Take It Down A Notch' On Saturday Night Live - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
It was bound to happen eventually, but we're glad the writers at Saturday Night Live tried their hand at Tim Tebow humor, because it was amazing. After the Denver Broncos' latest "miracle" win over the Chicago Bears, Jesus, played by Jason Sudeikis, stops by the Broncos locker room to ask Tim Tebow to, among other things, read the playbook and "take it down a notch." It's worth your attention.

Johnny Knox Injury: Bears WR Hospitalized After Hit Nearly Bends His Back In Half - SBNation.com
Johnny Knox was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital after a vicious hit nearly bent him in half.

VIDEO: Tim Tebow Takes 29-Yard Sack While Trying To Make Something Happen - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
It's Tebow Time! As in, it's time for Tim Tebow to run 29 yards backwards. The Denver Broncos didn't have much of a chance to come back in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots, but Tebow probably could have done a little better than this. Video (sadly not sped up and accompanied by Yakety Sax) after the jump.

VIDEO: The One Thing That Can Grab The Spotlight From Tim Tebow? A Monkey Riding A Dog - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
Tom Brady facing off against Tim Tebow, it should be a game filled with plenty of highlights. So far, the game has featured what you expected, but the real highlight has to be the halftime show. And what did the Broncos have to offer a frenzied fan base?

Did Leonard Pope Fumble Or Step Out Of Bounds Against The Packers? - From Our Editors - SBNation.com
The Kansas City Chiefs have won their first game in the post-Todd Haley era, 19-14, simultaneously ending the winning streak of the Green Bay Packers. The Chiefs' defense was great, while the Packers did not play up to their normal standard on both sides of the ball. However, that doesn't mean that the game wasn't without a little bit of controversy.

Peyton Manning Throws But 'No Chance' He Plays This Year - SBNation.com
Peyton Manning is well on his way to playing professional football again, but he won't be doing it this season. While Manning has returned to throwing drills with pads on, Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian confirmed the seemingly inevitable, stating that Manning will not take the field for the Colts in either of their final two games. From Polian's statement at the post-game press conference, following Indy's win over the Tennessee Titans:

Antrel Rolle: Giants are 10 times better than we showed today | ProFootballTalk
After earning their biggest win of the season last week against the Cowboys, the Giants laid an egg today against the Redskins. But Giants defensive back Antrel Rolle says the real Giants are the ones you saw last week, not the ones on the field this week.

Lovie Smith isn’t sure who will start at quarterback next week | ProFootballTalk
The Bears’ post-Cutler injury collapse hit its nadir Sunday during a 38-14 loss to the Seahawks. Both Caleb Hanie and Josh McCown threw two interceptions each against Seattle, with two returned for touchdowns. After the game, Lovie Smith didn’t know who would start next week. Smith said the quarterback position is open.

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