Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals beat Titans, knock them out of AFC South lead

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Cardinals beat Titans, knock them out of AFC South lead

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Phil Dawson hasn't had the greatest season and missed another field goal on Sunday.

He made the other four, though, all the offense the Arizona Cardinals needed in a 12-7 victory that knocked the Tennessee Titans out of first place in the AFC South.

Dawson connected from 47, 23, 32 and 35 yards and missed from 40 for the Cardinals (6-7), whose victory came two weeks after they beat then-AFC South leader Jacksonville on the same field.

"It wasn't our most fancy or nifty offensive performance I've ever been a part of," Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald said. "But it's a win and we'll take them."

The Cardinals intercepted Marcus Mariota twice in the second half after the Titans (8-5) nursed a 7-0 lead at halftime.

Mariota completed 16 of 31 passes for 159 yards. Tennessee managed 65 yards rushing against the Cardinals after gaining 198 on the ground in a win over Houston a week ago.

Mariota was 6 of 16 for 60 yards with two picks in the second half.

"Frustration is an understatement," Mariota said. "Defense played lights-out, special teams did their job and I've been hurting our team. I've got to find ways to be better."

Mariota said he hurt his knee in the first half when he didn't slide soon enough to protect himself, but he wouldn't use that as an excuse for his performance.

The Cardinals gained 64 yards in the first half and 197 in the second.

Blaine Gabbert completed 17 of 26 for 178 yards for Arizona with no interceptions, but was sacked eight times, most by a Cardinals quarterback this season. Kerwynn Williams rushed for 73 yards as Arizona, ranked last in the NFL in rushing, outgained Tennessee on the ground 136-65.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians improved to 7-1 against the AFC South.

"I know what everybody is going to say. `It's an ugly win,'" Arians said. "There is no such thing."

The game's lone TD came after Andy Lee's 33-yard punt gave Tennessee the ball at the 50. The Titans needed nine plays, Derrick Henry sweeping right and diving at the pylon on the 6-yard touchdown play in the second quarter.

Mariota directed the Titans on a drive from their 26-yard line to the Arizona 40 in the final 49 seconds of the half, but Ryan Succop's 58-yard field-goal try bounced off the crossbar.

Arizona took the second-half kickoff and, despite Tennessee getting two sacks, got a 47-yard field goal from Dawson to cut the lead to 7-3.

Then came a big Tennessee gamble.

After the subsequent kickoff, the Titans faked a punt on fourth-and-1 from their 35. Initially, officials ruled that Eric Weems had made the first down. But Arians challenged the spot and, after a review, it was determined the runner came up a few inches short.

Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey said he probably got "a little over-aggressive" with the fake punt call.

But, he said, "We should have got it. I thought we had it. Both officials had the mark as a first down. I was standing right behind them. I don't know how it got overturned."

The Cardinals took over and Dawson's 23-yard field goal cut the lead to 7-6.

Dawson missed a 40 yarder that would have given the Cardinals the lead with 12:04 to play. But the 42-year-old kicker would get another chance.

Rookie Chad Williams ran 33 yards on an end-around to ignite an eight-play, 71-yard drive that culminated in Dawson's 32-yard field goal to put Arizona ahead 9-7 with 5:59 to play.

Josh Bynes intercepted Mariota over the middle on the next possession and returned it 25 yards. A late-hit penalty against the Titans play moved the ball to the Tennessee 7. Jurrell Casey's second sack of the game forced yet another field goal by Dawson, good from 35 yards to finish the scoring.

The Titans will stay in the desert and practice next week at Arizona State University to prepare for next Sunday's game at San Francisco.

FITZ MOVES UP

With his 23-yard catch on the Cardinals' first possession of the second half, Fitzgerald moved past his boyhood idol Randy Moss into third place on the NFL career yards receiving list, trailing only Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice.

Fitzgerald was a ball boy for the Vikings and used to wash Moss' cars for cash, and even borrowed his BMW to go to the high school prom.

INJURIES

The Titans lost starting left tackle Taylor Lewan in the second quarter with a lower back injury. Arizona outside linebacker Gabe Martin left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.

UP NEXT

Titans: at San Francisco next Sunday.

Cardinals: at Washington next Sunday.

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Jags loss to Cards keeps battle for AFC South wide open

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Jags loss to Cards keeps battle for AFC South wide open

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- It was one special afternoon for Phil Dawson and Blaine Gabbert.

Dawson kicked a 57-yard field goal with 1 second left and the Arizona Cardinals beat Jacksonville 27-24 on Sunday, snapping the Jaguars' four-game winning streak and dropping them into a first-place tie with Tennessee in the AFC South.

It was the longest field goal of the 42-year-old kicker's career and came in a maddeningly inconsistent season with six misses.

"I make it a habit not to evaluate a season in its entirety until it's over," Dawson said. "But today was sweet for our team."

It also lifted Gabbert to a win against the franchise that had given up on the quarterback.

"It's great, I love it," guard Alex Boone said of Gabbert's victory. "It's like revenge all over. It's so awesome. That (Jacksonville) is a good team out there. They are playing well and getting this win is what we needed."

The Jaguars traded up six places to draft Gabbert 10th overall in 2011, but they got rid of him after three seasons, sending him to San Francisco for a sixth-round draft pick. Gabbert signed with Arizona in the offseason as the No. 3 quarterback, and then got a chance to play when Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton got hurt.

Gabbert was 22 of 38 for 241 yards, two touchdowns and one interception while improving to 10-31 as an NFL starter.

Dawson also was good from 34, 42 and 48 yards as the Cardinals (5-6) beat a team with a winning record for the first time this season.

Jacksonville (7-4) trailed most of the game, but took a 17-16 lead when ex-Cardinal Calais Campbell returned Gabbert's fumble 10 yards for a touchdown with 12:10 to play.

"I just knew we had the game locked up," Campbell said, "but at the end of the day, they made a few big-time plays. ... I felt like I didn't play my best game today."

Gabbert responded with a 52-yard TD pass to Jaron Brown. He then found Larry Fitzgerald for the 2-point conversion, giving Arizona a 24-17 lead.

Corey Grant's 68-yard return of the ensuing kickoff led to Blake Bortles' second rushing touchdown of the day, a 17-yarder that tied it at 24 with 7:26 left.

Jacksonville's Barry Church and Arizona's Tyrann Mathieu each had an interception in the final 3:38, but neither team could turn it into a score.

The Cardinals got the ball back on a punt with 16 seconds to play at their 39.

Gabbert threw two sideline completions, the second one to D.J. Foster with 6 seconds to go - Foster made a lunging tippy-toe catch that had to be reviewed - to get close enough for the winning field goal.

Coach Doug Marrone blamed himself for giving Arizona that final chance.

"If I had to do it all over again, I just would have ran the clock out and went to overtime," he said. "That is my fault."

Bortles also had a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter. He was 19 of 33 for 160 yards and an interception.

The Cardinals took the lead with a short drive on their first possession. Gabbert completed 4 of 5 for 43 yards to set up Dawson's 34-yarder.

Dawson kicked another field goal in the second quarter and Kerwynn Williams' 21-yard punt return set up Gabbert's 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, making it 13-0 Arizona.

Jacksonville finally got on the board on Josh Lambo's 43-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the half.

RUSHING WOES

Jacksonville entered as the No. 1 rushing team in the NFL at 160 yards per game, but managed a season-low 91 against the Cardinals.

Leonard Fournette carried 12 times for 25 yards. Bortles was the team's leading rusher with 62 yards on six carries.

SEALS-JONES

Seals-Jones no doubt has enjoyed having Gabbert as his quarterback. Promoted from the practice squad on Sept. 25, the undrafted rookie out of Texas A&M didn't have an NFL catch until a week ago, when he caught three, two for touchdowns, from Gabbert in a loss at Houston.

Seals-Jones was back at it Sunday, catching four passes for 72 yards and a touchdown.

INJURIES

Already without starting offensive linemen Patrick Omameh and Jermey Parnell, the Jaguars lost linebacker Telvin Smith to a concussion in the first half. Arizona inside linebacker Deone Bucannon left in the first half with an ankle injury and Williams with a rib injury.

UP NEXT

Jaguars: Play Indianapolis next Sunday in first of three straight home games.

Cardinals: Host NFC West-leading Los Angeles Rams next Sunday.

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks defeat Cardinals, 22-16

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THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL: Seahawks defeat Cardinals, 22-16

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Russell Wilson has been confounding the Arizona Cardinals with his escape antics for a long time.

He did it again Thursday night in the biggest play of the Seattle Seahawks' 22-16 victory.

In what his coach Pete Carroll called "an extraordinary play," Wilson eluded the Cardinals with an array of jukes and spin moves before completing a 54-yard pass to Doug Baldwin, setting up his second touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham.

Seattle climbed within a half-game of the first-place Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West in a game marred by a host of injuries, including a season-ending one to Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman.

The Seahawks (6-3) limited Adrian Peterson to 29 yards in 21 carries, improving to 4-0-1 in Arizona in Bruce Arians' five seasons as coach of the Cardinals (4-5). The only time the Seahawks haven't beaten Arians' team in Arizona was in last season's 6-6 tie.

Seattle's Kam Chancellor forced a fumble by Peterson on Arizona's first offensive play and later tackled him in the end zone for a safety.

Sherman limped off the field in the third quarter, one of at least seven players who left the game with injuries. He said afterward he had ruptured an Achilles tendon. He had sat out practice all week nursing the sore Achilles, knowing it could go at any moment.

"It has been bothering me all season," Sherman said. "It is one of those things. You just have to play through it as long as you can and when it goes, it goes."

Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner linked the injuries to playing on Thursday nights.

"We play a physical game, a physical sport," he said, "and to ask us to turn around and be ready after Sunday, to turn around and have our bodies OK on that Thursday, is really tough for us to do."

Wilson, sacked a season-high five times, completed 22 of 32 passes for 238 yards. Arizona's Drew Stanton, in his second start since Carson Palmer went down with a broken arm, completed 24 of 47 for 273 yards and a touchdown. Larry Fitzgerald caught 10 passes for 113 yards for the Cardinals, topping 15,000 yards receiving for his career in the process.

With his team leading 15-10, Wilson scrambled and spun his way out of serious trouble repeatedly before throwing from his heels to Baldwin. Antoine Bethea fell down trying to knock the pass away and Baldwin raced downfield on a 54-yard play to the Arizona 2-yard line.

"I saw (outside linebacker) Chandler Jones right there and whenever you see him right there it is not a good thing," Wilson said. "So i was trying to find a way to get some space and get away from him I think I swung back twice and gave Doug a chance to make a play."

The Cardinals have seen Wilson do this sort of thing too many times.

"It's not a surprise, his ability to extend plays," defensive tackle Josh Mauro said, "that's really the catalyst of their whole offense.".

Arians called the play "probably the deciding factor in the game."

Wilson threw 2 yards to Graham on the next play and the Seahawks led 22-10 with 12:49 to play.

Kerwynn Williams scored on a one-yard run with 20 seconds to play for the Cardinals and Seattle recovered the onside kick try to seal the win.

INJURIES

There were injuries to important players on both sides.

Arizona left tackle D.J. Humphries and safety Tyvon Branch both left with right knee injuries early in the game. Humphries injured the same knee in the season opener. Branch was the Cardinals' leading tackler through eight games with 68.

Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed left in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. And Seattle left tackle Duane Brown, in his second game since being acquired in a trade from Houston, went down with an ankle injury in the second quarter.

Seattle linebacker Michael Wilhoite (calf) and Arizona tight end Ifeanyi Momah (ankle) also had to leave the contest.

The Seahawks already were without safety Earl Thomas, who sat out the game with a hamstring injury.

Arians said there's a possibility Humphries, Branch and Momah all go on injured reserve.

PENALTY FLOOD

Seattle entered the game as the most penalized team in the league with 82, nine more than its nearest competitor, the New York Jets and it looks like their lead in that category for another week is assured.

With their 12 penalties (for 108 yards) on Thursday, the Seahawks have 94 in nine games.

Four Seattle penalties for 41 yards aided the Cardinals on their first touchdown drive.

The Seahawks had 16 penalties for 138 yards in their home loss to Washington on Sunday.

UP NEXT

Seahawks: Host Atlanta on Monday, Nov. 20.

Cardinals: Play at Houston on Sunday, Nov. 19.

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