GLENDALE, AZ — For as well as the Arizona Cardinals’ defense has been
playing as of late, there’s one area where they’ve been deficient —
Arizona opponents had run 227 straight plays without turning the ball
over, a streak that dated back to the 3rd quarter of the Cardinals’ 23-20
win over the Rams on November 27th.
But that streak came to an end on Sunday, when linebacker O’Brien
Schofield sacked Seneca Wallace inside his own 5-yard line, forcing an
awkward looking fumble. Calais Campbell scooped it up and sauntered
into the end zone, but the officials on the play ruled that Wallace was
Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt challenged the play, and after a
lengthy view it was reversed. The touchdown did not count, but the
Cardinals took over on the Browns’ 5-yard line. Three plays later, Jay
Feely booted the tying field goal from 33 yards away.
“Yes, it was a big point of emphasis that we try and get a turnover,”
Whisenhunt said. “Adrian [Wilson] was close on a couple of balls today.
So was Kerry [Rhodes], but it’s nice to actually get one and where we got
that was critical. I mean it was huge for us in that game.”
The Cardinals came into the game near the bottom of the league in
takeaways with only 6 fumble recoveries and 9 interceptions. Today’s
lone turnover was certainly the biggest of the season.
“The second sack I got was a game I ran with [Darnell] Dockett,”
Schofield said. “He did a really good job of pinning the guy in so I was
able to come in pretty clean and get the sack.”
After describing that play to the media, Dockett had a little fun with his
younger teammate. “That’s right, you tell them your stepdaddy helped
you,” he yelled out across the crowded locker room.
Schofield said he had no idea that the second sack led to a game-
changing turnover for the defense.
“I saw him go down, but I didn’t see the ball come out, so I just thought
it was a regular sack and he was down.”