Notes from the Nest: Arizona Cardinals – Dec. 27
TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals had what might be their final Friday practice of the season.
– Head coach Bruce Arians was asked whether or not it’s a little weird that the team could have practiced for the last time Friday. He said he’s been in a bunch of games like this, but that “this team has a chance to make history,” and that was the week’s focus.
– It’s clear the chance to tie a franchise record for wins in a season is on the team’s mind.
– Karlos Dansby deserves to reach his first Pro Bowl. The rosters will be announced late Friday, and the hope here is ‘Los gets to go. It would mean a lot to him.
– Arians once again praised GM Steve Keim’s ability to find talent all throughout the season.
Stat of the Day
Larry Fitzgerald has 12 career touchdown receptions against the San Francisco 49ers, which is tied with Andre Rison for the most against the franchise.
Quote of the Day
“It’s been fun, I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. Just actually being able to play on Sundays in the NFL is something that a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to do,” running back Andre Ellington said. “Just being around a lot of legendary guys like Dockett and Fitz and Carson, guys like that, it’s been amazing. I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.”
This Day in Arizona Cardinals History
On Dec. 27, 1998, the Cardinals beat the San Diego Chargers 16-13 to clinch a playoff spot.
In front of a sold-out crowd, the Cardinals got off to a 7-0 lead after Adrian Murrell scored from four yards out in the first quarter, and the lead was extended to 10-0 when Chris Jacke connected on a 37-yard field goal in the second quarter. It was 10-3 at the half after San Diego’s John Carney made good on a 31-yard attempt.
Jacke’s 36-yard field goal was the only scoring in the third quarter, and the Cardinals went into the fourth with a 13-3 lead. However, Carney made it 13-6 by way of a 26-yard field goal, and then Chargers QB Craig Whelihan hit Ryan Thelwell for a 30-yard touchdown to tie things up at 13. A good kick return from Eric Metcalf and a Jake Plummer pass later, and Jacke was set up for the 52-yard game-winning field goal.
Plummer finished the game 20-of-41 for 274 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. His leading receiver was Frank Sanders, who caught 8 passes for 106 yards. Rob Moore added 94 yards on 4 catches. Murrell scored Arizona’s only touchdown, but was held to 25 yards on 18 carries.
For the Chargers, Whelihan completed 16-of-40 passes for 214 yards with 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions. Terrell Fletcher gained 127 yards on 23 rushes, and Thelwell led the way with 84 yards and a score on 5 catches.
Defensively, Mark Smith tallied two sacks for the Cardinals while safety Kwamie Lassiter intercepted four passes.