Cardinals 37, Titans 34 (OT)
The Arizona Cardinals blew a 17-point fourth-quarter lead and lived to tell about it. In a game that had no business getting to overtime, the Tennessee Titans showed heart and determination in making one of the best comebacks of the season.
Unfortunately for the Titans, it was not enough.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 402 yards and four touchdowns, but it was his two interceptions to Cardinals cornerback Antoine Cason that will define his game.
The Titans (5-9) will not make the postseason this year, which is doubly unfortunate because they started so well behind young quarterback Jake Locker. Locker goes down, the team goes 2-8 over the next 10 games, and suddenly it's a lost season.
Tennessee's defense played its heart out, however. The longest pass play was from Carson Palmer to Andre Ellington and covered 38 yards. The longest run play was (again) from Ellington and covered 22 yards. Other than that, it was a bunch of dink-and-dunk stuff that led to timely scoring opportunities.
The Cardinals (9-5) will have a winning season for the first time since Kurt Warner led them to a 10-6 record and NFC West title in 2009. Will that mean playoffs for this team? That remains to be seen, as they have two more very tough games left—at the Seattle Seahawks next week and a Week 17 showdown with the San Francisco 49ers.
Palmer was efficient, completing 20 of 30 passes (66.7 percent) for 231 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions for a 100.8 passer rating. He's gone over a 100.0 rating in five of the past seven games (Arizona is 6-1 over that time).
The star of the game for Arizona has to be the running back tandem of rookie Andre Ellington and veteran Rashard Mendenhall. Ellington recorded 158 yards from scrimmage, averaging 7.1 yards per carry and 21.8 yards per catch—he led the team in rushing and receiving. Mendenhall provided two rushing touchdowns for the first time since December 2011 while with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
This game came down to the foot of Jay Feely, who connected from 41 yards out in overtime to propel the Cardinals to their ninth win of the season. He connected on all three of his attempts, also hitting from 25 and 47 yards.
For Arizona, the blown fourth-quarter lead is problematic. But good teams find ways to win in the face of adversity, and that's just what head coach Bruce Arians' team did on Sunday.
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