From the very
beginning of the game the Arizona Cardinals looked like a different team then in
weeks past. The offensive line gave rookie Matt Leinart protection where they
had failed Kurt Warner so many times before. Edgerrin James gained positive
yards time and time again, eliminating the tackles in the backfield that had
plagued them in weeks prior, and keeping the Cardinals in convertible short
yardage situations. All in all, the 1-4 Cardinals looked like they belonged on
the field with the Kansas City Chiefs, who were coming off a week 4 demolition
over a San Francisco team the Card’s just barely squeaked by in week 1.
The Cards got off
to a quick start when, with only a 1:33 gone in the game, Matt Leinart, 22/35
for 253-yards, with 2 TD’s and 1 INT, hooked up with Anquan Boldin for a 49-yard
touchdown pass that gave the Cardinals an early lead over the Chiefs- but
Leinart wasn’t finished.
After Chike Okeafor recovered a fumble by Damon Huard, caused by a missed handoff to Larry Johnson, Leinart and the Cardinals went back to work on offense. On 3rd
and goal from the Chiefs 6-yard line Leinart, who started the day completing his
first six passes, delivered a 5-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald who then backed
his way into the end-zone giving the Cardinals a 14-0 lead with 6:12 left in the
1st quarter of play.
leave the game with a hamstring injury and not return.
Damon Huard and
the Kansas City offense would not be denied today and even though the Chiefs
receivers continued to drop passes, Lawrence Tynes was able to get the Chiefs on
the board with a 45-yard field goal with 12:01 left in the 2nd
The game took a
large shift in momentum when, after back to back sacks on Leinart, the Chiefs
Bernard Pollard blocked Scott Players punt and gave the Chiefs the ball on the
Cardinals 9-yard line. On 3rd and goal to go, Huard passed to
Johnson, after breaking a Karlos Dansby tackle attempt, Johnson rolled into the
end zone to make the score 14-10.
After a fumble by
Larry Johnson, recovered by the Cardinals Eric Green, the Cardinals Neil Rackers
kicked a 41-yard field goal giving them a 7-point lead going into halftime.
came out strong in the second half and Rackers kicked a 45-yard field goal to
make the score 20-10.
In the second
half the Cardinals continued to stop Larry Johnson and the rush attack limiting
him to only 28-yards through the 3rd quarter.
Regardless of the
lack of a rushing attack Huard was able to connect with Samie Parker in the
end-zone with 9:35 left in the 4th, a play that was originally ruled
incomplete but subsequently overruled when Herm Edwards challenged the call on
the field and won, making the score 20-17.
interception of the game came at an inopportune time when with only 5:58 left in
the game and the Cards trying to protect a 3 point lead, Ty Law picked off a
poorly thrown ball and fell out of bounds at the Cardinals 22-yard line.
defense did a good job of not giving up a touchdown but weren’t able to stop the
40-yard game tying field goal by Tynes.
drive stalled and the Cardinals were forced to punt the ball back to the Chiefs.
and 10 from their own 13-yard line Larry Johnson finally made his presence felt,
Huard dumped the ball off on a short screen and L.J. scrambled 78 yards to set
up Tyne's 19-yard field goal with 1:36 to play giving the Chiefs a 23-20 lead.
Leinart was masterful in leading the offense down the field and into field goal
range, but with time running out the one man Cardinals fans have learned to
trust in finally let them down, as Pro-Bowl kicker Neil Rackers missed a 51-yard
field goal, securing a Chiefs win, and another heart breaking Cardinals loss.