Cardinals edge Packers in OT thriller

Sun Jan 17, 2016 1:30am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

(Reuters) - Larry Fitzgerald's remarkable 75-yard catch and run set up his game-winning touchdown as the Arizona Cardinals survived a wild finish with a 26-20 overtime triumph over the Green Bay Packers on Saturday.

Carson Palmer, who connected with Fitzgerald on a five-yard pass for the winning score, earned the first playoff win of his 12-year National Football League career and sent the second-seeded Cardinals into next week's NFC championship.

But Arizona first had to withstand a 41-yard Hail Mary touchdown pass by Aaron Rodgers as time expired on regulation that sent the game into overtime.

The coin toss prior to overtime was initially flubbed by the official, who watched it fall to the ground without turning over and had to flip it a second time, but once play started the Cardinals struck on the opening drive.

"We’re a resilient team and we believe," said Fitzgerald, who finished the game with eight catches for 176 yards.

"We found a way to win. We're glad to get this one behind us. We have to keep on fighting next week."

The Cardinals, who had not won a playoff game since the 2009 season, will play the winner of Sunday’s game between the top-seeded Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks for a trip to the Super Bowl.

The Packers defeated Washington 35-18 last week to reach the divisional round of the playoffs and fought until the end despite a critical loss with an injury to leading receiver Randall Cobb in the opening quarter on Saturday.

That left Green Bay and Rodgers with little-used wide receivers but he still managed to produce 261 yards and two scores.   Continued...

Jan 16, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) celebrates after scoring the winning touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during overtime in a NFC Divisional round playoff game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports