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Arizona Cardinals get out to big lead and hold on in Seattle for win

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The Cardinals finished the season at 8-8 and can hang their hat on a dominant defense heading into the offseason.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Whether this is the end or not, Bruce Arians has to be ecstatic with his team to end the season.

In back-to-back weeks the Cardinals defense has been not just stout, but utterly dominant, but today, it was timely offense and just enough from the defense as the Cardinals hung on to a 26-24 win.

The Cardinals would take a 20-7 lead into the half, but the Seahawks came out of the half and marched down the field on a 10 play, 80 yard drive to open the half and get the Seahawks back within a score at 20-14.

Yet, Bruce Arians found enough juice in his offense to sustain drives, but maybe most importantly, Phil Dawson was money today.

Two first half field goals to go along with his 2/2 on extra points, then, with the Cardinals struggling in the second half to make much happen on offense. Yet, they got into Seahawks territory, and all of a sudden, that became Dawson range.

He nailed a 53 yarder to extend the Cardinals lead back to two scores 23-14.

The Seahawks would answer to start the fourth quarter with a long Blair Walsh field goal to get the game to 23-17.

That would set up the Cardinals to let their defense win the game. Their offense had done as much as could be expected, it was on James Bettcher and the defense to finish.

Today, they struggled in the second half to make adjustments, something Bettcher has done well the last six weeks.

The Seahawks ended up gaining more yards on the game after the Cardinals out gained Seattle 190 yards to 41 yards in the first half.

In the second half, it was the other way around as the Seahawks finished with 296 yards on offense to the Cardinals 259 yards.

With 23 points in Seattle, you have to feel good about your offensive performance, but the second half, it was bad.

Yet... On the final drive of the game... On the final drive of the season for the offense, Drew Stanton, Elijhaa Penny and D.J. Foster set Phil Dawson up for the biggest kick of his Cardinals career.

A 42 yard field goal would put the Cardinals back in front 26-24.

It was again on the defense.

The last six weeks that is what you would want.

Today, that wasn’t the recipe for success.

The Seahawks would go 45 yards quickly, setting up Blair Walsh for the win.

That is what all Arizona Cardinals fans wanted to hear, as Walsh pushed a 48-yard field goal attempt right and the Cardinals came out on top.

Bruce Arians is the winningest coach in franchise history with 50 wins in five years and if this is it... What a fitting end to a career.