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Cardinals shut out Giants to keep .500 season a possibility


XXX in the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 24, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.

Norm Hall

Losing running back David Johnson for the year before the end of the first game of the season was a pretty good sign that the 2017 Cardinals season wasn’t going to go the way the team hoped, but they can still end the year on an up note.

Arizona crushed the Giants 23-0 on Sunday and a win in Seattle next weekend will allow them to avoid a second straight losing season. It’s not winning a Super Bowl, obviously, but it’s all there is to play for before the offseason arrives in the desert.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald provided the biggest highlights of the day as he caught a touchdown pass and checked off one of the few unfilled boxes of his career by completing a pass for the first time in his NFL career. Fitzgerald paced the offense with nine catches for 119 yards overall and fellow wideout John Brown scored the other offensive touchdown of the day for the Cardinals.

The defense had an easy time with the hapless Giants offense. Eli Manning threw a pair of interceptions and lost a fumble on a sack by Deone Bucannon. Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche recovered and returned the ball 22 yards for a fourth quarter score that pushed the game totally out of the Giants’ reach.

Cleveland’s loss means the Giants can’t get the first overall pick in April, but they can clinch the No. 2 spot by losing at home to Washington next week. That goal is even less shiny than the one the Cardinals are chasing, but it may actually be the rare one that a bad Giants team can achieve.