The first time the Cardinals went into overtime with Ken Whisenhunt as head coach, they should have won. If Sean Morey was just a little faster, or if the Cards didn’t have a bad penalty, or if Neil Rackers wasn’t going through his late-game issues, the Cardinals would have won — but instead, they lost to the 49ers, 37-31.
Since then, though, the Cards have been efficient when their games have gone into an extra period. Including the playoffs, the Cards have won five of their last six overtime games. They toppled reeling Atlanta, 30-27, later that year in 2007, helping the Cards finish .500 that season. There was the famous blocked punt to beat Dallas in 2008 and the more famous Michael Adams forced fumble against the Packers in the 2009 playoffs. The Cardinals did lose in Minnesota last season — Derek Anderson had time and a wide-open Larry Fitzgerald on a down-and-in on the first play of the extra frame that probably would have set up a scoring chance, but the pass was low and behind Fitz — but have rallied for their St. Louis and Dallas wins this year.
You’d rather win in regulation, of course, and there have been some breaks (I keep thinking how Greg Jennings had beaten Antrel Rolle badly in that playoff game and Aaron Rodgers — the last time he lost a playoff game — simply overthrew Jennings and what would have been the game-winning touchdown). But the Cards have found ways to win.
Another overtime nugget to note: The Cards and the 1995 Chiefs are the only teams with two 50-yard-plus touchdowns in overtime in a season. The Chiefs didn’t have either on offense, by the way. Tamarick Vanover had an 86-yard punt return Oct. 9 against San Diego, and defensive back James Hasty had a 64-yard interception return Sept. 17 against Oakland.
Tags: Ken Whisenhunt, overtime
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