After missing week 11 against the Titans, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner returned to action on Sunday night. Warner played very well and he didn't seem to skip a beat on offense. He recorded his 4th game in a row with a quarterback rating of 120+, which tied him with Johnny Unitas. The Cardinals played their most complete game of the season, en route to a 30-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Clearly the defense played a great game but it was the Cardinals on offense that made their mark.
Anquan Boldin: Anquan has been on a tear(minus last week w/o Warner) since Ken Whisenhunt forced him out of the Bears game with a high ankle sprain. In the last three games that Warner has started, Boldin has 23 catches for 306 yards and 3 TDs. More important was his performance on Sunday. Boldin had a monster first half and his biggest catch was a 39 yard scamper in which he made the circus catch and out maneuvered Vikings defenders to make the score and give the Cardinals the lead.
Kurt Warner: Many fans were unclear whether or not Warner would start on Sunday but once it was made official, Cardinals fans could breathe a sigh of relief. Kurt Warner carved up the Vikings secondary, making his reads and putting the ball in places that only the receivers could find. Not only has Warner completed three straight games with a QB rating over 120, but he's also had a rating over 100 seven times this season. Having Kurt Warner under center improves every player on offense and it's clear the Cardinals can beat anyone in the league if they want to.
Tim Hightower: Hightower's numbers don't stand out when you look at them(6 carries, 50 yards) and the fumble certainly doesn't look great as well, but Hightower played another complete game as a running back, and his knowledge on the field was greatly needed. Hightower brought a burst to the running game, but also provided spectator blocking and kept Kurt Warner from being a soft cushion for defenders to land on. Tim Hightower continues to run like a veteran and utilizing his skill set on the field is key to victory.
Jeremy Bridges: Most of us should be aware of who Bridges is, and that he made his first start of the season opposite Jared Allen. The biggest stat of the night was the ZERO sacks allowed, and for a back-up to limit the best defensive end in the league to absolutely nothing says a lot. He received much tight end/running back support but defending Allen is still no easy task. Bridges also filled in for Gandy against the Titans and there was obviously not a drop off in production. With the recent play of Bridges, one would have to wonder how certain the chances are of Mike Gandy returning next season.
Karlos Dansby: The lone defender that makes the list happens to be one of the captions on defense. Dansby recorded a team high in tackles(8) and also picked off Brett Favre in the second half. Dansby was playing through a shoulder injury but looked fine on the field. Dansby surprisingly played safety on the field at times throughout the game and it worked in the Cardinals favor when he recorded the interception.
I feel that there were more individual players on offense that stood out, but the defense played great as a hole. You could certainly make a case for Larry Fitzgerald but Boldin was the receiver that set the tone on offense and initially gave the Cardinals the lead. As aways, feel free to leave a comment if you think anyone should be added to the list. Who did you pick and why?