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Schofield Sacks Change Game

Notebook: Peterson's return sets up winning score; Heap makes impact


Linebacker O'Brien Schofield celebrates one of his sacks during the Cardinals' 20-17 overtime win over the Browns Sunday.

The first sack, O'Brien Schofield figured, is one he has to get. The second one, that's harder.

"Once you beat the guy the first time, he becomes more attentive," the linebacker said.

It was Schofield's second of back-to-back fourth-quarter sacks that helped changed Sunday's game, however, in the Cards' eventual 20-17 overtime win against the Browns. The Cardinals had just sliced the lead to 17-14 with eight minutes left when Schofield went to work, taking down Browns quarterback Seneca Wallace first for a four-yard loss on second-and-11 and then forcing a fumble on the very next play.

At first, Wallace was called down, but coach Ken Whisenhunt challenged the call – defensive end Calais Campbell made a clear recovery, despite the play being called dead, which is reviewable – and it was reversed.

It was the Cards' first forced turnover since two fumble recoveries in St. Louis Thanksgiving weekend, something that had been a focal point for Whisenhunt.

"I was focused on trying to swipe at the ball but I didn't want to miss the sack," said Schofield, who now has 4½ sacks this season. "I was happy after they looked at it, it was a fumble."

The Cardinals got the ball on the Cleveland 5-yard line, although they went backwards on offense and only got a field goal to tie the game. Nevertheless, multiple Browns said they felt the play swung momentum, and Cleveland never really threatened after that.

"I know what my calling is, I know why I am here," Schofield said. "I was kind of frustrated I didn't start out fast (this season). The Bible says, 'The race is not given to the swift but to those that endure.' I endure."


The Browns wanted to direct punts away from Patrick Peterson, and for most of the game, it was effective. But Peterson's one chance in overtime wasn't away from him enough, and his 32-yard return set up the game-winning points.

"I knew he was going to try and (kick) it out of bounds but he ended up missing it," Peterson said. "I ran under the ball quick, and I didn't care who was around me. I told the punt-return team, 'I'm not fair-catching anymore.' "

Peterson said he knew he wasn't going to be able to take it all the way back, a la his game-winning overtime return against the Rams on the same field, but it was good enough.

"I thought we did a nice job, even on the last punt," Browns coach Pat Shurmur said. "We had a guy down in his face and you know we were trying to punt it out of bounds and try to pin him down. The guy in his face thought he saw the fair catch."

Instead, Peterson ripped off his longest return since he scored from 80 yards away in St. Louis.

"He wants the pressure on his shoulders and there aren't a lot of guys like that," wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. "Some guys would be scared to make a mistake, they don't want to fumble it, or they don't want something bad to happen. You have a few guys when it hits the fan, they want the ball in their hands. He is one of those guys."


Todd Heap's return to his home state hasn't been what was imagined, but the tight end was a big part of the offense finally Sunday. He caught a team-high seven passes for 69 yards, his first receptions since he tore his hamstring back on Oct. 2 against the Giants.

Heap said "I don't know if I'm quite back or completely healthy," but wore a wide smile after the win.

"For me, the biggest thing is we win ballgames," Heap said. "It did feel good to be out there and playing. When you have so many weeks off, it's frustrating. But to come back with the team on a roll, it's been a fun few weeks."


Browns backup quarterback Seneca Wallace hadn't played a whole game this season, but forced to start because Colt McCoy was sidelined, he was a thorn to the Cards – especially when they did get pressure, because he managed to escape it most of the time.

The biggest sidestep came in the third quarter, when Wallace avoided blitzing cornerback Michael Adams enough to buy time for receiver Greg Little to come across the field, hitting Little for what turned into a 76-yard touchdown.

"I scrambled and he made a great play," Wallace said.

Adams was able to think back on the play knowing it didn't cost the Cards the game.

"I don't think the first guy (pass rushing) got him, maybe one time," Adams said. "O.B. maybe. (Wallace) can run, man. Very elusive. I felt I should have made that play. Once they scored, I thought, 'Hopefully we win this game, so I don't have to beat myself up anymore.' "

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