Week 14 Game Recap: Washington Redskins 17, Arizona Cardinals 13
What you need to know
In a game that saw seven turnovers in the first half including five consecutive turnovers by the two teams in the first quarter, the Redskins survived and kept their playoff hopes alive. Washington turned the game over to Clinton Portis in the second half and pounded the Cardinals for the 17-13 victory.
Mark Brunell shook off a horrible first half in which he threw three interceptions to finish the afternoon 18 for 28 for 122 yards and three interceptions. After going ten of 18 for 59 yards in the opening half with three interceptions he was much more accurate in the second half. He completed eight passes in ten attempts in the second half.
Clinton Portis turned in a strong performance, particularly in the second half and finished with 105 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown. Portis showed amazing strength on a number of carries breaking tackles and gaining yards after first contact. He also contributed three catches for another 16 yards.
Redskinsí return man Antonio Brown answered a Cardinals field goal with a 91 yard kickoff return in the third quarter sealing the victory for the Redskins.
The Cardinals turned the ball over on their first three offensive possessions as Kurt Warner opened the game with in interception on his third pass of the day, and a sack and a fumble on the first play of their second possession. J.J. Arrington continued the Cardinals mistake filled quarter with a fumble that led to a Redskins field goal.
Kurt Warner finished 25 of 41 for 255 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Without a competent running game, Warner is forced to throw under duress far too often. Warnerís favorite target on the afternoon was Anquan Boldin as he threw in his direction 16 times. Boldin finished with nine catches for 114 yards. Boldin shows amazing run after the catch skills as he consistently breaks away from first contact.
The Cardinals running game was one again non-existent as Marcel Shipp and J.J. Arrington combined for 53 yards on 16 carries and each had a fumble. Arizona also committed eight penalties.
What you ought to know
|QB Mark Brunell, Pass: 18 - 28 - 122 - 0 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 3 - -2 - 0|
Brunell had his worst half of the season completing ten of 18 passes for 59 yards and three interceptions in the opening stanza. He had a much more efficient second half as the team turned the game over to the running game and shorter, safer passes. Brunell finished without a touchdown and 18 of 28 for 122 yards.
Portisí rushing numbers on the day, 26 carries for 105 yards, do not tell the story of the way he ran. He ran hard and decisively against many eight man fronts. Portis picked up the hard yards and rarely went down after first contact. He also contributed three receptions for 16 yards. His touchdown in the third quarter came on a sweep where he showed balance and patience as he set up Mike Sellers for the lead block to allow him to sneak inside the pylon for the 15 yard touchdown.
|RB Ladell Betts, Rush: 5 - 6 - 0, Rec: 1 - -5 - 0 (2 targets)|
Betts came in to spell Clinton Portis and carried the ball five times for six yards.
Moss was Mark Brunellís primary target and finished with seven catches for 56 yards. Moss dropped two key passes that would have extended drives for Washington. He was unable to break any long plays on the afternoon and his longest play of the day went for 21 yards.
Jacobs caught one of the two passes thrown his way for seven yards.
Cooley is Brunellís second target on most pass routes. He had four catches for 25 yards on the day. Cooley also lost a fumble and had a pass go off his fingertips for an interception.
Royal caught two passes for 23 yards and had a third called back when he was unable to stay inbounds on a sideline catch.
Hall was perfect on his only field goal attempt a 41 yard try. He also went two for two on extra point attempts.
The Redskins rush defense limited the Cardinals to 62 rushing yards on 18 attempts and caused fumbles by each of the Cardinals running backs. Carlos Rogers led the team with seven tackles.
The Washington pass defense yielded 255 passing yards to the Cardinals while sacking Kurt Warner twice and intercepting him once. Sean Taylor had the Redskins interception as well as a forced fumble.
|QB Kurt Warner, Pass: 25 - 41 - 255 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0|
Warnerís lack of an effective running game forced him to throw under pressure often. While he was only sacked once and intercepted once, many of his passes were wide of their targets due to the pressure. He finished with 255 yards and a short touchdown on 25 of 41 passing attempts.
Arrington started the game and saved the Cardinals temporarily from an early turnover on their first possession. He recovered Warnerís fumble on the first play of the game and turned a potential six yard loss into a two yard gain. However, on the Cardinalsí third possession of the game he fumbled the ball away to the Redskins. He had 27 yards on seven carries and shows no ability to break tackles or hit the holes with any sustained effectiveness. The Cardinals make no attempt to establish a running game probably because neither of their backs displays any elusiveness or power.
|RB Marcel Shipp, Rush: 7 - 27 - 0, Rec: 1 - 2 - 0 (1 targets)|
Shipp came on to replace Arrington after his first quarter fumble only to lose a ball to the Redskins himself on a fumble. He finished with 26 yards on nine carries and one catch for two yards. The Cardinals make no attempt to establish a running game probably because neither of their backs shows any effectiveness.
Boldin is a beast and at the current time is possibly the Cardinals best option. Boldin caught nine of the 16 balls thrown his way for 114 yards. A number of his passes were short throws allowing him to pick up yards on his own. He often avoids or runs through first contact and with the teamís lack of a running game these short passes serve as an alternative. Sadly, he might be the best rusher on the team as well.
Johnson played in most three and four wide receiver sets and finished the afternoon with five grabs for 61 yards.
Fitzgerald had a very quiet afternoon with four catches for 23 yards. He seemed unable to get open against the Redskins defense and of the catches he did have none were in space allowing him to gain yards after the catch.
McCoy caught both balls thrown in his direction. Both passes were identical slants inside the Redskins ten yard line. One went for a two yard touchdown and the second one came up just short.
Bergen caught three of the five balls thrown his way for 41 yards.
Rackers, returning from a calf injury, was a perfect on two field goal attempts including a 44 yarder and hit his only extra point attempt.
The Cardinals rush defense limited the Redskins to 3.2 yards per carry but was unable to come up with a couple of key stops when they needed them most. They limited Washington to 3.7 yard average gain from scrimmage. James Darling led the team in tackles with nine.
The Arizona pass defense held Mark Brunell to 122 yards passing on the day. While they were unable to sack Brunell, Antrel Rolle, Adrian Wilson, and David Macklin each had an interception.