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1-2-12: Arizona Cardinals Bird Droppings - Seahawks Aftermath

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The season is over, and the Cards get a win to put them at 8-8 for the season. They also did it with Skelton and Fitz fighting injuries (Skelton fainting after having his knee drained before the game, and Fitz having a chest injury during the game).

Time for some links

Arizona Cardinals News:

Arizona Cardinals defeat Seattle Seahawks in overtime to end season 8-8
Officially, it was the Cardinals who beat the Seattle Seahawks in overtime Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. The final score, however, might as well have been Larry Fitzgerald 23, Seahawks 20. The Cardinal receiver put his teammates on his shoulders -- they were careful not to mess up the hair -- and willed them to their fourth overtime victory this season, an NFL record. Oh, others played a part. Cornerback Patrick Peterson blocked a field goal. Defensive back Richard Marshall intercepted a pass. The defense stuffed the Seahawks on the first possession of overtime. But it was Fitzgerald who took over the game in the second half. He caught just one pass for 1 yard in the first half, yet finished with nine receptions for 149 yards.

Finishing With Fitz, Flourish
Cards need overtime one more time, but beat Seattle, 23-20, to go 8-8

Peterson Misses Record By A Foot
Notebook: Hyphen fills in for Wells; Holliday steps up

Wrap-up: Cardinals 23, Seahawks 20 (OT) - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts on the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals following their Week 17 game Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium, a 23-20 victory for the Cardinals:

Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald sets example in win vs. Seahawks
He's parachuted out of airplanes, and he's bungee jumped off bridges. He's dived with sharks, and he's walked alone and unarmed through dangerous lion and cheetah habitats. "Don't tell me. I don't want to know," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said after his team's 23-20 overtime victory Sunday. "I wish he wouldn't do that stuff." As long as star receiver Larry Fitzgerald keeps living up to his exploits on the football field, like he did once again in helping beat the visiting Seattle Seahawks, Whisenhunt will just have to continue to grin and bear it.

Cardinals sit Beanie Wells vs. Seahawks
Cardinals running back Beanie Wells didn't know he was being held out of their game against the Seattle Seahawks game until Sunday, and he was not happy. "I was pissed," Wells said. Wells has played with a right-knee injury since Week 6. Coach Ken Whisenhunt made the decision to sit Wells based on how he practiced this week and "where we were in the season." "Beanie was mad at me because Beanie wanted to play. He's been a warrior all year, playing on one leg, and I just thought, at this point, it was in his best interest not to play. You're torn, because you always have the opportunity for a big play with Beanie in there." LaRod Stephens-Howling replaced Wells and made his first start of the season. Stephens-Howling gained 93 yards on 21 carries.

Cardinals' Larry Fitzgerald sets example in win vs. Seahawks
He's parachuted out of airplanes, and he's bungee jumped off bridges. He's dived with sharks, and he's walked alone and unarmed through dangerous lion and cheetah habitats. "Don't tell me. I don't want to know," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said after his team's 23-20 overtime victory Sunday. "I wish he wouldn't do that stuff." As long as star receiver Larry Fitzgerald keeps living up to his exploits on the football field, like he did once again in helping beat the visiting Seattle Seahawks, Whisenhunt will just have to continue to grin and bear it.

Arizona Cardinals-Seattle Seahawks play of the game
The setup: The score was tied 20-20. The Cardinals had the ball on Seattle's 36-yard line. There was 9:21 remaining in overtime.

Arizona Cardinals display lots of character, take momentum into next season
For a non-playoff team, the Cardinals are armed and dangerous. They are among a minority of teams that will finish the season with a victory. Their 8-8 record speaks of resiliency, not mediocrity. They won seven of their last nine games, defying a six-game losing streak that would've fractured most teams. Statistics are their ally, and a good friend to have entering the long off-season.

Word From the Birds Blog - Seahawks aftermath
There was frustration late in regulation after the Cards’ offense couldn’t generate any movement right before the two-minute warning. In three plays, the Cards couldn’t gain a first down and could only burn 12 seconds off the clock. The defense was exhausted. But they huddled up and rallied. The Seahawks weren’t going to score again, not in regulation, and certainly not in overtime. That’s how the defense was the last half of the season. "I think we’re gonna be pretty good," safety Adrian Wilson said. There was no question the end of Sunday’s season finale win was about Larry Fitzgerald but it was also about that defense, overcoming two big plays against it – the 61-yard pass that beat Marshay Green and the 48-yard Leon Washington run, both for TDs. If they can secure defensive end Calais Campbell with a long-term contract (he will be around in 2012 regardless), if they can get another pass rusher to help out the linebacking corps, if they can get Greg Toler back healthy and re-sign Richard Marshall, you have to like where the defense is going – especially after seeing where it had been.

Word From the Birds Blog - The schedule and draft for 2012
With the season over, the Cardinals will pick 13th in April’s draft. Their opponents for 2012 have also been set (although dates, of course, aren’t announced until April too): blogs - Kent Somers - Post-game spread
Finishing 8-8 is no reason for celebration, at least not under normal circumstances. The Cardinals 1-6 start, however, made mediocrity a little more palatable. Even with the lockout and new quarterback, at the beginning of the season I thought the Cardinals could finish 10-6, at best, and that 9-7 would have been a successful season. I thought all along it would be a team that would play much better in October than it would in September. But improvement came slowly, at least defensively. Offensively, it never came at all. The Cardinals struggled at the end of the season with the same problems it had in the first: mostly inconsistent quarterback play. The unit started playing better late in games, which was a step forward I guess. I think the most important thing about Sunday's game is that the victory came over the Seahawks, who had beaten the Cardinals three straight times. The Cardinals went 4-2 in the NFC West. Sure, winning division games are important, but so are the other 10.

Thoughts on 2012 NFC West opponents - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts: I could see the Cardinals winning most or all of those home games, but perhaps only one of the road games. That is just an early feel. These things are tough to predict. If the Cardinals can go 5-5 in those non-division games, a winning record in the division would get them to 9-7, at least.

2012 NFL draft order through NFC West - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The St. Louis Rams (second overall) and Arizona Cardinals (13th) know their places in the NFL draft order for 2012. The Seattle Seahawks know they'll pick 11th or 12th pending a coin flip to break a tie with Kansas City. That was the major fallout from Arizona's 23-20 overtime victory over Seattle in Week 17.

Sources -- Larry Fitzgerald of Arizona Cardinals was coughing up blood on sideline - ESPN
Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald was coughing up blood on the sidelines during Sunday's 23-20 overtime victory over Seattle, according to multiple team sources.

Patrick Peterson just misses punt return history -
There was some doubt whether rookie punt returning sensation Patrick Peterson would even be able to play for the Arizona Cardinals in their season finale against Seattle on Sunday. Peterson suffered a strained Achilles tendon last week in a loss to Cincinnati and was slowed for much of the week in practice. Not only did Peterson play, but he nearly made history by taking his fifth punt return back for a touchdown, which would have broken the league record.

Larry Fitzgerald carries Cardinals to win in season finale -
Larry Fitzgerald reached out with his right arm, grabbed the football and fell to the ground. The reception, which was good for 12 yards, was Fitzgerald's last of the season, his ninth of the day and, arguably, one of the coolest catches you'll ever see. Not that his second one-handed grab of the day impressed his teammates. "We come to expect that from Larry," quarterback John Skelton said. "It's almost like it's not even a shocker anymore because he does it so often."

Ho-hum...Cards win in OT again -
The fans at University of Phoenix Stadium have been treated to a lot of free football this season, and Sunday was no exception.

Fitzgerald had lung injury, Skelton fainted before leading Cardinals | ProFootballTalk
The Cardinals’ quarterback-receiver connection of John Skelton and Larry Fitzgerald led Arizona to a season-ending 23-20 win over Seattle on Sunday, and both players were ailing. Larry Fitzgerald Sr. wrote on Twitter after the game that his son had a lung injury.

Cardinals end season with fourth overtime win of the year | ProFootballTalk
Beyond the winner finishing with a .500 record, there wasn’t much at stake in Sunday’s game between the Cardinals and Seahawks. They didn’t let that stop the two teams from playing an entertaining game of football, though. The Seahawks tied the game with 10 straight points in the fourth quarter, but two great plays by Larry Fitzgerald helped the Cardinals move the ball in overtime before Jay Feely ended the proceedings with a field goal for a 23-20 Cardinals victory.

ANIMATED: Larry Fitzgerald Made A Ridiculous One-Handed Catch Again - From Our Editors -
Larry Fitzgerald makes so many ridiculous catches that it's hardly news at this point. Every week, the Arizona Cardinals' wide receiver does something that human beings should not be able to do. For his next trick, he will show off his insane magnetic hand.

ANIMATED: Larry Fitzgerald Is Not From This Planet - From Our Editors -
You can try to defend Larry Fitzgerald, and it won't matter. You can make him catch passes from John Skelton, and it won't matter in the least. If the ball is anywhere near Fitzgerald, he will find it and catch it as if he had velcro on his hands. Twice on Sunday, Fitzgerald reached out and snared the ball with one hand. And the second catch, even if it was on a short slant, was the most impressive.

Seattle Seahawks vs. Arizona Cardinals - Recap - January 01, 2012 - ESPN
What a fitting way for the Arizona Cardinals to finish their season. They win, in overtime of course, with Larry Fitzgerald's spectacular plays making the difference. Fitzgerald had two such catches in the game-winning drive, leading to a 28-yard field goal by Jay Feely that gave the Cardinals a 23-20 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, Arizona's fourth overtime victory -- all at home -- in the last nine weeks of the season. The four overtime wins in a season are an NFL record. "I wish we could play more games in overtime," Fitzgerald said. "If we play 16 games in overtime next year, we might go 16-0."

Seattle Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals Recap - January 01, 2012 - NFL - SB Nation
Jay Feely hit the game-winning 28-yard field goal in overtime, sending the Arizona Cardinals to a 23-20 win over the Seattle Seahawks in the season finale for both squads. The winning drive was keyed by two huge catches by Larry Fitzgerald. Faced with a 3rd-and-3 from their own 26, John Skelton connected on a 26 yard catch- and-run to Fitzgerald to bring the ball inside Seattle territory at the 48. Then, Skelton found Fitzgerald for 12 yards on an outstanding one-handed snag to place the ball near the red zone, setting up the game-winning kick.

Cardinals vs. Seahawks highlights
The Arizona Cardinals knock off NFC West rival Seattle 23-20 in OT to finish the 2011 season with an 8-8 record.

Cards Daily - Postgame Reaction SEA
The Cardinals defeat the Seahawks to finish the season at 8-8 winning seven out of the last nine games to complete the year. Coaches and players talk about the win from the locker room.

Fitzgerald soars for 42-yards
WR Larry Fitzgerald runs for 42-yards on a catch and run from QB John Skelton.

NFL News:

Wrap-up: 49ers 34, Rams 27 - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Thoughts on the San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Rams during their Week 17 game at the Edward Jones Dome, a 34-27 victory for San Francisco:

How much should 49ers be concerned? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The San Francisco 49ers locked down the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs with their victory over the St. Louis Rams in Week 17. They finished their first season under coach Jim Harbaugh with a 13-3 record. They earned a first-round playoff bye. The 49ers also struggled late in the game Sunday and had to hold on for a a 34-27 victory. They have lost key players to injuries. Their defense has faltered over the last couple weeks.

Week 17 Monday 10-pack | ProFootballTalk
It’s the first Monday of the year, and it’s the last Monday 10-pack of the year.

Steve Spagnuolo Fired As St. Louis Rams Head Coach -
As everyone expected, the St. Louis Rams have fired Steve Spagnuolo as head coach, Jay Glazer reports.

NFL Week 17 Debrief: NFL Playoffs Schedule Set After Record-Breaking Sunday -
The NFL regular season is done. We saw one New York team clinch a spot, another one blow it and an NFL record three quarterbacks finish the season with over 5,000 passing yards.

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Andrew Luck And Robert Griffin III Highlight Crop Of Players -
The NFL regular season is over, and attention now shifts to the 2012 NFL Draft. With the draft order all set for the non-playoff teams, our latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft takes a look at how things might shake out come April.

NFL Playoffs: Wildcard Weekend Is Set; Let's Make Some Early Predictions -
The 2012 playoff schedule is officially set. On Saturday the Texans host the Bengals while the Lions play the Saints. On Sunday, the Giants host the Falcons while the Steelers play the Broncos in Denver.

PHOTO: Adrian Peterson Celebrated New Year's Eve In The Hospital - From Our Editors -
The majority of America was celebrating with friends and family, perhaps even imbibing, as the Times Square ball dropped to mark the beginning of 2012. Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson didn't get that opportunity, however, as he was trapped in the hospital following season-ending knee surgery on Friday.

Is the Tim Tebow magic over? - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Three straight losses coincide with three straight underwhelming performances for the Denver Broncos quarterback, perhaps showing that there is a shred of humanity to a quarterback once raised to deity-like heights in the Mile High City. Sunday afternoon's 7-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs still fell the right way for Tebow and his teammates as they backed into the playoffs and won the AFC West, but how can the Broncos expect to win if their quarterback continues to perform so poorly?

Report: Spagnuolo, Devaney are out - NFC West Blog - ESPN
ESPN's Chris Mortensen cites a St. Louis Rams team source as saying the organization plans to fire coach Steve Spagnuolo and general manager Billy Devaney.

Sunday’s five most valuable players, Week 17 - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Comprehensive National Football League news, scores, standings, fantasy games, rumors, and more

Sunday’s five least valuable players, Week 17 - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Comprehensive National Football League news, scores, standings, fantasy games, rumors, and more