The Arizona Cardinals are creating more space between them and other members of the NFC West. Arizona sits on top of the division with an 8-2 record and the closest team to them is the Seattle Seahawks at 5-5, already three games behind.
It appears that a lack of discipline on the part of Arizona’s opponent on week 11 of the 2015 NFL season, the Cincinnati Bengals, helped the Cardinals maintain their lead.
The field goal that gave the Cards the win was considerably closer than it should have been. That’s due to Bengals’ defensive tackle Domata Peko who was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct when he yelled out so-called offensive signals to try and confuse the Cardinals as QB Carson Palmer was setting up to spike the ball so that the field goal try could occur.
The penalty moved the ball from the 27-yard line to the 14 and kicker Chandler Catanzaro made the attempt.
After the game Peko commented, “I don’t think I have ever seen that call, ever since I have been in the NFL.”
Moreover, the Bengals were penalized 10 times for 108 yards.
Palmer had to overcome two interceptions early in the game and ended up throwing four touchdown passes. He also completed three quick tosses to move the Cards into field goal range after the Bengals tied the game.
Cincinnati’s QB Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes to Tyler Eifert –- the second one was a 10-yarder that cut the score to Cardinals 31 Bengals 28 with 3:44 remaining. Bengals’ kicker Mike Nugent tied the game at 31 with a 43-yard field goal with 1:03 remaining.
Dalton finished with 22 completions on 39 tries for 315 yards and two touchdowns. Bengals’ running back Giovani Bernard caught eight passes for 128 yards and running back Jeremy Hill scored two touchdowns on short runs.
Carson finished with 20 completions on 31 throws for 317 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He has a total of 11 TD passes in the last three games.
Cardinals’ rookie wide receiver J.J. Nelson caught four of those passes for 142 yards including a 64-yard touchdown. However, his biggest grab came when the Cardinals were driving for the winning field goal and he caught a 19-yarder to move the team from their own 16 to the 35. Nelson replaced Michael Floyd, who didn’t play due to a hamstring injury. CARDINALS 34 BENGALS 31
Seattle Seahawks’ running back Marshawn Lynch was scratched from participating in the week 11 game against the San Francisco 49ers. It didn’t matter. Replacement rookie Thomas Rawls rushed for 209 yards caught three passes for 46 yards and had a total of two touchdowns. He is only the third running back in Seahawks history to better 200 yards in a game. It also marked his third 100-yard rushing game of the season.
Another rookie, wide receiver Tyler Lockett, helped the Seahawks’ cause with two touchdown receptions of 24 and 11 yards.
Russell Wilson finished with 24 completions on 29 attempts for 260 yards, and three touchdowns and rushed for 30 yards on nine carries. He was sacked twice. Doug Baldwin caught six passes for 60 yards.
Blaine Gabbert replaced Colin Kaepernick for the second consecutive game led a long drive late in the second quarter that finished in a 19-yard touchdown pass to Vance McDonald. He continued to move the 49ers in the third quarter, but had to settle for field goals twice after punching inside the Seahawks’ 10-yard line. He finished with 22 completions on 34 throws for 264 yards and one touchdown and ran four times for 22 yards. He was sacked twice. McDonald finished with four catches for 65 yards and the touchdown.
49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin caught five passes for 93 yards. SEAHAWKS 29 49ERS 13
The Baltimore Ravens were able to corral both Todd Gurley and Tavon Austin as they beat the St. Louis Rams. Gurley gained 66 yards on 25 carries and fumbled and Austin caught only one pass for five yards and fumbled a punt that set up a 25-yard field goal. In addition, Rams quarterback Case Keenum, who was replaced Nick Foles, lost two of three fumbles.
However, the biggest news out of this game was injuries to Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who may have torn an ACL, and running Back Justin Forsett, who broke bones in his right forearm. Rookie running back Javorius Allen replaced him and gained 67 yards on 22 carries.
One of Keenum’s fumbles was recovered at the Rams 41 yard line and Flacco engineered a drive to the Rams 29 where Justin Tucker kicked a game winning 47-yard field goal. Flacco finished with 27 completions on 44 throws for 299 yards and a touchdown.
The Ravens committed more than their share of miscues including two turnovers and 10 penalties for 137 yards.
Keenum completed 12 passes on 26 attempts for 136 yards.
It appeared that the Ravens were heading for another loss due to their own mistakes including a Gurley fumble at the St. Louis 42 yard line that resulted in a seven play drive that was capped by a Flacco three-yard touchdown pass to Kamar Aiken with 11:11 remaining.
Later Flacco engineered a 76-yard drive that ended with a Tucker 20-yard field goal that tied the game with 5:12 remaining. RAVENS 16 RAMS 13
NFC WEST STANDINGS Overall Division
ARIZONA CARDINALS 8-2 2-1
SEATLE SEAHAWKS 5-5 2-2
ST. LOUIS RAMS 4-6 3-0
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 3-7 0-4
NFC WEST SCHEDULE
RAMS @ BENGALS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2015
CARDINALS @ 49ERS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2015
STEELERS @ SEAHAWKS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2015
Courtesy of Sports Rants