The Arizona Cardinals snapped their two-game losing streak on Sunday, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 17-14 at University of Phoenix Stadium. Falling behind 14-6 in the first half, they shut out an opponent in the second half, got the first 100-yard performance by a running back in the season and caused turnovers in the second half to come back and improve to 10-3 on the year and remain in first place in the NFC.
Arizona got on the board first, getting a Chandler Catanzaro field goal to take an early 3-0 lead, but then things got a little worrisome.
Jamaal Charles busted free, forcing some missed tackles to score on a 63-yard scamper to give the Chiefs a 7-3 lead and it started to look like the game last week in Atlanta, when Steven Jackson got free for a 55-yarder that sent the defense into a bit of a tailspin.
Arizona would score next, getting another field goal from Catanzaro, but the defense once again had problems stopping opposing offenses late in the half.
Kansas City scored a touchdown on an 18-yard pass play to Charles to take a 14-3 lead with 1:12 left in the half. Alex Smith converted on third and 14 and again on third and 19 in the series.
Drew Stanton marched the team down the field into field goal range, but Catanzaro missed, hitting the right upright.
In the second half, things changed. Kansas City didn't get the ball much to Charles and the defense not only held the Chiefs scoreless, they forced a pair of turnovers.
Arizona got a third field goal from Catanzaro in the third quarter to pull within five at 14-9 and then the defense made its big play. Alex Okafor intercepted Alex Smith and Arizona used that drive to take the lead.
Kerwynn Williams, who was promoted from the practice squad gained nine yards and then 15 yards, getting the offense in the red zone, where they had yet to score a touchdown.
Drew Stanton was sacked and then threw an incompletion, but on third and 18 he found Jaron Brown down the seam for a 26-yard touchdown pass. Stanton hit John Carlson for the two-point conversion to give the Cards a 17-14 lead.
That would be the final score, but Arizona still needed a big play. After trading punts, in the fourth quarter, Alex Smith had KC moving. After a 29-yard completion to Travis Kelce and a six-yard play to D'Anthony Thomas, he found Kelce again, getting them into Arizona territory. Deone Bucannon knocked the ball loose, but Kelce was ruled down by contact. Bruce Arians challenged the play, having only their final timeout, and the play was overturned. The refs ruled the ball came loose and Kelce never regained control. Arizona recovered the ball and tried to put the game away.
The marched down the field and Catanzaro came on for another field goal attempt, only he hit the left upright and missed the kick.
The defense held one last time and the offense took one kneeldown to end the game.
Stanton finished the game 15/30 for 239 yards and a score. He did not throw an interception.
Kerwynn Williams rushed the ball 19 times for 100 yards. He was the first back to reach the 100-yard mark this season. Arizona rushed for 141 yards as a team.
Charles ended up with 91 yards on the ground and 20 more yards in receptions, but only touched the ball 12 times. Alex Smith was 26/39 for 293 yards, one score and a pick. He was sacked five times.
With the win, Arizona maintains its one-game lead over the Seattle Seahawks in the division. They also reached 10 wins for the second straight season, the second time they have done so and the first time since 1975-76.