Receiver Larry Fitzgerald hauls in a catch during the Cards' game-winning drive Sunday.
After he was named the backup to John Skelton, Kevin Kolb stood as his locker and told a gaggle of reporters he'd be ready whenever the Cardinals needed him.
They needed him Sunday.
When Skelton went down with an ankle injury with 8:33 left in the fourth quarter, Kolb took the reins of an offense he didn't spend much time practicing with last week. His first pass sailed over the head of Larry Fitzgerald, even too high for the superstar to catch. But then Kolb settled into a rhythm thanks to the Cardinals' no-huddle offense.
"I think that he is very comfortable in that offense," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "He runs it very well. It was the right time. We were going to go to that anyway. It was part of our plan, and we just didn't get to it."
Kolb started the drive 1-of-3 and then completed his next five passes, the last a six-yarder to Andre Roberts to give the Cardinals a 20-16 lead. He finished 6-of-8 for 66 yard and a touchdown.
Fitzgerald watched Seattle's defense start to tire when Kolb began the hurry-up offense.
"They're trying to make personnel adjustments and changes and it really messes up the defense's flow from that standpoint," Fitzgerald said. "Kevin does a really good job of the up-tempo offense. I think he really excels at that. He has a good understanding of the coverages and where his hots and sights are."
All it took was a couple of completions for Kolb to feel a rhythm, he said. He hit Fitzgerald for a pair and then found tight end Todd Heap on two passes, one for 21 yards and another for 10.
"I haven't had a lot of two-minute opportunities, and successful ones at that," Kolb said. "To win a game in that fashion, the way the preseason went, I'll definitely enjoy it this evening and tomorrow and then get back to work."
The Seahawks got a longer timeout than they bargained for late in the fourth quarter.
With 30 seconds left, Seattle called what it thought was its third – and last – timeout. But according to the scoreboard at University of Phoenix Stadium, the Seahawks didn't have a timeout left. However, the officials believed the Seahawks had one left and they granted it, much to the chagrin of the Cardinals.
The confusion stemmed from an injury that occurred during the final two minutes. Seattle had used two of its timeouts previously, and when the injured Seahawk went down, the referee did not charge them for the third timeout, which, according to NFL rules, he should have. The rules state that if a team has any timeouts left in the final two minutes and one of its players is injured, the team is charged an injury timeout. However on Sunday, the officials let the stopped clock from an incomplete pass stand as the timeout.
Referee Bruce Hermansen took blame for the mishap after the game.
"It was my error," he said. "We gave them the additional timeout because of the incomplete pass stopping the clock before the injury occurred. When in effect the clock has no bearing on the play at all, whether it's stopped or running, we should not have given them the additional timeout."
Running around Calais Campbell is hard. Imagine kicking by him.
The Cardinals' 6-foot-8 defensive end blocked his sixth career field goal Sunday afternoon on Steven Hauschka's 50-yard attempt with 11:20 left in the first quarter.
"I wish I could've knocked it backwards so somebody could've picked it up and ran for a touchdown," he said. "I got a decent amount (of the ball). I was surprised it went as far as it did."
Campbell's block was the Cardinals' 13th since 2008, the most in the NFL.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
If there was a statistical category for "points responsible for" Seattle returner Leon Washington would have been atop the charts Sunday.
Washington accounted for 189 return yards – 133 on kick offs and 56 on punts – and two of his returns led to scores.
In the third quarter, he returned a Jay Feely kickoff 83 yards to the Cardinals' 24, which led to a Russell Wilson touchdown pass to Sidney Rice and pulled Seattle within 13-10.
Then in the fourth, Washington returned a Dave Zastudil punt 52 yards and it eventually led to a field goal by Hauschka that gave Seattle a 16-13 lead with 9:25 left.
"Leon is one of the best returners in the league," Cardinals' special teams captain Reggie Walker said. "Going into the game we knew that and if you're not gap-sound he's going to do that to you. He's a good player and he saw the openings. I give it up to him, he's a good player. Not really looking forward to seeing him again."