TIm Hightower (Kevin Cox/Getty)
The Arizona Cardinals lead the Carolina Panthers, 27-7, at halftime. The naysayers were adamant that the Cardinals didn't have a chance. But boy oh' boy have the tables turned.
Jonathan Stewart revved up the engine for the Carolina Panthers with an opening drive touchdown, but it was the Cardinals who were hot in the first half of the NFC Divisional matchup.
Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald got Cardinals back in the game before it slipped away. A beautiful 41-yard reception set up the Cardinals' first touchdown. Tim Hightower received a short 3-yard pass for the game equalizer, 7-7.
Antonio Smith got the turnover party started. He took care of the club when he attacked the ball and stripped it from QB Jake Delhomme. Edgerrin James moved the chains on his first attempt at goal, but the second time was the charm. James went straight through the middle to get the go-ahead lead, 14-7.
The Cardinals scored 14 points in 56 seconds.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie solidified the notion that everything was clicking for the Cardinals. He picked off Delhomme to start the second quarter. The turnover would cost Carolina a field goal, 17-7 Cardinals.
Neil Rackers would get another field goal through the post, 20-7.
Gerald Hayes got in the fun when he intercepted Carolina. Warner went deep to Fitzgerald for the 27-7 final first half margin.
Arizona dished out a lofty deficit to come back from, and the Cardinals get the ball back at the second half.
Keys to Second Half
If Warner can continue to do as he pleases, the Cardinals are moving on to face the Eagles or the Giants. If Fitzgerald can continue to do what he's known for, get the champagne ready. If the Cardinals' defense keeps shutting down any Carolina attempt, all heck just might break loose.