Notes From Cardinals 21-14 Win over Steelers

From AZCardinals.com 

· KEN WHISENHUNT became the first Cardinals head coach to win his first two home games since Charley Winner in 1966. Winner’s Cardinals won the first three home games before tying their fourth and finished 5-1-1 at home in ’66.

· The Cardinals were able to beat a Pittsburgh team that looked nearly unstoppable in the first three weeks of the season. The Steelers won their first three games by an average of 23.6 points and trailed for only 12 seconds all season. Below is a look at Pittsburgh’s numbers yesterday compared to their first three games:

First 3 Games Vs. Cardinals
Avg. Pts Scored 32.3 14
Avg. Pts. Allowed 8.7 21
Rushing Yds./Game 198.3 77
Rushing Yds./Game 0 1
Return TDs Allowed 0 1
Passing Yds Allowed/Game 164.7 215
Total Sacks Allwd/Yds Lost 4/23 4/39
Total Sacks/Yds Lost 12/87 2/10
Total Interceptions Thrown 1 2
Total Yds/Game 378.3 282
Total Yds Allwd/Game 244.3 301
Total 4th Qtr Pts Allowed 7 14
Total Penalties/Yds 11/67 11/72
3rd Down Pct. 55.5 33.3
Opp. 3rd Down Pct. 38.1 50.0

· The Cardinals defense held Willie Parker, the NFL’s leading rusher heading into the game, to just 37 yards on 19 carries, marking the ninth game in a row that the team has not allowed a 100-yard rusher. Parker was held to under 100 yards rushing for the first time in five games.

· Parker’s 37 yards are the lowest total for him in 2007 and his 1.9 yards-per-carry average is his lowest since running for 20 yards on 11 carries (1.8-average) on 9/18/06 at Jacksonville. It is the second-lowest yards-per-carry average of his career. Parker was held to two yards or fewer on 13 of his 19 rushing attempts, including three rushes that went for negative yards.

· The Steelers entered the game with the NFL’s #1 rushing offense (198.3 yards/game) but gained just 77 yards yesterday, their lowest since December 24th of last year against the Ravens.

· Including their four sacks, the Cardinals caught the Steelers eight times in the backfield yesterday.

· Arizona recorded its first two interceptions of the season against a QB (Roethlisberger) who had thrown just one in the first three games. The first was by Adrian Wilson, who came up with a huge play when he picked off a pass in the end zone to kill a third quarter threat. The second interception sealed the win when defensive back Ralph Brown picked off Roethlisberger in the final minute. It was Brown’s first interception since 2003 as a Giant (11/2/03 @ NYJ).

· DARNELL DOCKETT collected three sacks, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble vs. Pittsburgh. His three sacks are a career-high and give him 5.5 sacks through the first four games. The most sacks he has collected in a season was 3.5 in his rookie year of 2004 and he has almost equaled his career sacks total (6.0 in 48 games) in the first four games of the season.

· Dockett’s performance yesterday marked only the 15th time in team history a Cardinal recorded three or more sacks in a game.

Franchise Single-Game Sack Records

Curtis Greer vs. Philadelphia, 12/1883 (4.5 Sacks)
Bertrand Berry vs. NY Giants, 11/14/04 (4.0 Sacks)
Darnell Dockett vs. Pittsburgh, 9/30/07 (3.0 Sacks)
Bertrand Berry at Oakland, 10/22/06
Adrian Wilson at St. Louis, 11/20/05
Simeon Rice at Philadelphia, 11/19/00
Ken Harvey at Washington, 9/12/93
Ken Harvey at Dallas 11/3/91
Ken Harvey at Atlanta, 12/9/90
Freddie Joe Nunn at Dallas, 10/30/88
Curtis Greer vs. Dallas, 9/13/87
Al Baker vs. Philadelphia, 12/18/83
E.J. Junior at NY Giants, 12/4/83
David Galloway vs. Seattle, 11/13/83
Curtis Greer vs. Dallas, 9/11/83

· Dockett currently ranks second in the NFL in sacks with 5.5, trailing only the New York Giants Osi Umenyiora who has 6.0 sacks.

· STEVE BREASTON’S 73-yard punt return for a touchdown was the first for the Cardinals since 9/12/93 at Washington when Johnny Bailey returned a Reggie Roby punt 58 yards. It was the Cardinals first return in the last 545 attempts.

· Breaston is the first Cardinals rookie with a punt return touchdown since Vai Sikahema in 1986 and his 73-yarder was the longest since a 76-yard touchdown by Sikahema in 1987.

· Breaston is tied for second in the NFC and fourth in the NFL with a punt return average of 14.8 yards.

· LARRY FITZGERALD tallied his first 100-yard receiving game of the season and 10th of his career yesterday catching 11 passes for 123 yards.

· Fitzgerald has now caught 37 passes for 533 yards and three touchdowns in the last five games he has played without fellow wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who missed yesterday’s game with a hip injury. Fitzgerald has averaged 7.4 catches and 106.6 yards in those five games.

Opp Rec Yds TD
9/30/07 vs. Pit 11 123 0
11/13/05 @ Dal 9 141 1
11/6/05 vs. Sea 8 102 0
10/24/04 vs. Sea 4 73 1
10/10/04 @ SF 5 94 1

· JERHEME URBAN established a new career-high with five receptions for 53 yards vs. Pittsburgh. Urban’s previous single-game high was three catches, which he established vs. Dallas on 10/23/05 as a member of the Seahawks. Urban caught his second career touchdown, his first since 12/6/04 vs. Dallas while with Seattle, yesterday when he caught a six-yard pass from Kurt Warner in the third quarter.

· KURT WARNER has now appeared in four games as a backup to starter Matt Leinart and has completed 60-of-86 passes (70%) for 851 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in those appearances. Warner has now attempted 102 consecutive passes without throwing an interception.

· OFFENSIVE WEAPONS: The Cardinals offensive trio of Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald and Edgerrin James have been as good as advertised in 2007. Fitzgerald (26) and Boldin (22) ranked second and sixth, respectively, in the NFC in receptions while James is second in the NFC in rushing with 354 yards, trailing only Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson who has 383 yards. The trio has combined for six touchdowns.

· MIKE BARR added two more punts inside the 20 yard-line yesterday, bringing his total to nine on the year, good for third overall in the NFL.

· The last time the Cardinals started a season 2-2 was 2002 when the team got off to a 4-2 start.


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