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Against Seattle, Defense Makes A Stand

Notebook: Boldin has first 100-yard game of season in return to lineup


Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie breaks up a third-down pass to Seahawks receiver Nate Burleson, forcing a field goal during Sunday's 31-20 win.
It wasn't the equivalent of the goal-line stand against Houston, because the Cardinals didn't give up any points against the Texans.

But the biggest similarity between the goal-line stand the Cardinals' defense had against Houston and again during Sunday's 31-20 defeat of the Seahawks was that it gave the Cards a win.

"We just said, 'No matter what, we're going to keep them to three points,' " defensive end Darnell Dockett said. " 'We're going to take the air out of them.' "

With the game tied at 17 and the Seahawks at the Arizona 1-yard line, the Cards pressured Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck into a rushed throw when no one was open for an incompletion. On second down, the defense stuffed running back Justin Forsett for a one-yard loss.

Then, on third down, Hasselbeck tried a fade throw to Nate Burleson in the back corner of the end zone, only to have cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie break up the pass.

"I fed off the crowd's energy," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "That third down, the crowd was into it and we just wanted to get off the field. We were tired, but we knew they couldn't get a score out of it."

The Seahawks kicked a field goal to give themselves the lead, but the momentum shift seemed complete. 

"We knew from prior situations we could stop them, so the mindset was, 'We have to get a stop here, we have to make them kick a field goal.' " defensive end Calais Campbell said.

The Cardinals weren't thrilled with their defensive performance, although Dockett emphasized over and over that he was impressed with the Seahawks and their game plan. After holding the Seahawks to 128 total yards in the first meeting, the Cards surrendered 472 Sunday.

But Seattle scored just that lone field goal in the second half, and the Cards twice came up with interceptions – one by safety Antrel Rolle, one by safety Adrian Wilson – to short-circuit any Seattle comeback hopes.

"They got way more than they should have," Rodgers-Cromartie said. "But when it came down to it, when we needed to get off the field, we got off."


Wide receiver Anquan Boldin was unhappy he was held out of the Chicago game a week ago with a bad ankle, so it wasn't surprising to see him return to big results against Seattle.

Boldin had his first 100-yard game of the season, catching eight passes for 105 yards  -- including a key 37-yarder (along with a 15-yard penalty at the end of the play when he was brought down with a horsecollar tackle) that set up the game-winning touchdown.

"It would be easy to sit here and say that I'm glad he had the week off last week because he sure looked good today," Whisenhunt said with a smile. "He looked fresh and fast."

Boldin downplayed the events of the week before. "For me, it's just about playing football," Boldin said. "I'm not worried about what people say or what people think."

As for the idea that he came into the game with a chip on his shoulder, Boldin shrugged it off, saying "if that's the case, then you'd have to say I have a chip every week, because I play like that all the time."


The Cardinals hadn't been affected multiple penalties of late but Sunday, they ended up with 11 for 136 yards.

"It seemed like every time we turned around there was a penalty," Whisenhunt said.

Many of them were on the defense, which helped the Seahawks stay on the field when it looked like the Cardinals had them stopped.

"Penalties are almost the equivalent to a turnover," linebacker Clark Haggans said. "Some things happen, luck of the draw, but there are times you can control it, like the offsides. We just had to keep fighting."

It wasn't one-sided. Seattle was flagged nine times for 113 yards.


The Cardinals reported no injuries from the game. …

Warner's two touchdown passes gave him 200 for his career. He becomes the 29th player in NFL history to achieve that total. …

Starting linebackers Gerald Hayes (back) and Chike Okeafor (back) were inactive, as was starting tight end Ben Patrick (knee) and Pro Bowl special teamer Sean Morey (concussion).

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