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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Nov 6, 2011 - 8:07 pm

Consecutive possessions result in safeties for Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton (19) gets up after giving up a safety to the St. Louis Rams during third quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals won 19-13 in overtime. (AP Photo/Paul Connors)

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While talk of one of the most memorable plays anyone has ever seen will be the 99-yard game winning punt return by Patrick Peterson, it cannot be forgotten that earlier in the game the Cardinals' offense had a very rare and odd sequence of possessions.

In the middle of the third quarter, with the score 9-6, the Cardinals had back-to-back possessions resulting in a safety.

The going-backwards possessions stretched the Rams' lead to 13-6 going into the fourth quarter. They outscored the Cardinals 4-3 in the third quarter. Not something you usually see in the box score. Or ever.

"The safeties are something that we can't have happen," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "We are going to address that and we won't have that happen again. We have to be smarter about getting rid of the ball."

It was the Cardinals second possession of the half after they had kicked a field goal coming out of the locker room.

With the ball on the five yard line, John Skelton dropped back to pass on 2nd and 7 and was sacked by James Hall. Skelton realized he was about to go down with no one to know the ball to and hit Beanie Wells in the back of the leg. Too late. Safety.

"We tried to get them with the big play," Skelton said. "We knew that they had kind of stacked the box and we tried to get behind them. They ended up taking Larry [Fitzgerald] away, which is our first read and as soon as I came over to Andre [Roberts] the pressure had gotten to me."

The Cardinals defense forced the Rams to punt and the next possession would start at the nine yardline.

Skelton dropped back to pass, was forced out of the pocket to his right and as he went to throw the ball away it didn't make the line of scrimmage. It was nowhere close to the original line of scrimmage. Intentional grounding. Safety.

"Those were frustrating," Skelton said after the win. "We just gave them four points in two possessions right there with those plays. The O-line, one of those was on them and the other one was on me."

It was the first time a player yielded two safeties in a quarter since Aaron Rodgers did it against Minnesota on Nov. 9, 2008. The last player to have safeties on consecutive plays was Kordell Stewart of Pittsburgh against Jacksonville on Oct. 3, 1999.

The safeties marked the first time in NFL history that a team had scored a total of four points in a quarter.


Skelton came back and tied the game in the fourth quarter. A potential game-winning field goal by the Rams was blocked by Calais Campbell and rookie Patrick Peterson took a punt return 99 yards to the house for the Cardinals to win and end their six game losing streak.

Memorable or not so memorable, this Cardinals game had its moments.


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