Clutch Encounters: Week 10
by Scott Kacsmar
Everyone's in the win column now. For the first time since the Bengals and Cardinals did it in Week 9 of the 1978 season, two 0-8 teams won their first game in the same week. It doesn't surprise me, as nothing should be a surprise in the NFL anymore.
Then again, the Colts lost by 30 at home to the Rams. Greg Schiano (2-10) and Ron Rivera (3-18), the two worst active coaches at game-winning drive opportunities, generated the only successful fourth-quarter comebacks of Week 10. Those are a few outcomes you could call surprising.
We had nine games with a comeback opportunity this week, but only one featured a successful Hail Mary. Or a huge failure, depending on which way you look at it.
Game of the Week
Cincinnati Bengals 17 at Baltimore Ravens 20
Type: GWD (OT)
Win Probability (GWD): 0.67
Head Coach: John Harbaugh (10-21 at 4QC and 17-24 overall 4QC/GWD record)
Quarterback: Joe Flacco (10-20 at 4QC and 17-23 overall 4QC/GWD record)
Normally for "Game of the Week" we have something with a high caliber of play from one or both teams. This was not a pretty game, but it had the wildest play of Week 10. It had 30 possessions. Six ended with giveaways, along with multiple fourth-down stops. Baltimore led 17-0, but Joe Flacco and Andy Dalton engaged in a battle to see which quarterback could drop his stock furthest the fastest.
Baltimore's inept running game continued, producing 30 carries for 85 yards. Flacco averaged 2.57 yards per drop back, so the Bengals, not showing much dropoff without Geno Atkins and Leon Hall, were able to hang around until the end.
Down 17-3 in the fourth quarter, the Bengals intercepted Flacco for a second time and Dalton finally engineered a good drive. He kept it on a read-option for seven yards to convert a fourth-and-2. On the next play, Giovani Bernard took a screen pass for an 18-yard touchdown to make it a one-score game.
Baltimore used over four minutes of clock time to move into Cincinnati territory as even a field goal would likely ice the game. Flacco overthrew Torrey Smith on a potential touchdown bomb. On third-and-10 at the Cincinnati 42, James Harrison, an old nemesis from Pittsburgh, recovered a fumble after Carlos Dunlap strip-sacked Flacco.
Dalton kept his team's drive alive with a nifty 12-yard scramble on third-and-10, putting a spin move on safety James Ihedigbo. Two plays later, Dalton threw a terrible pass that was tipped by Baltimore and Ihedigbo came away with the interception with 1:55 left.
The Bengals had all three timeouts, and the Ravens are really bad at running the ball this year, so it was not surprising that a three-and-out was forced by the defense. Dalton had 88 seconds to drive 60 yards, which is within reason.
Short gains were burning a lot of clock as Dalton had a two-yard scramble and took a bad sack from Elvis Dumervil. He was forced to spike the ball with two seconds left, setting up a fourth-and-15 from his own 49.
At that point you can only throw the Hail Mary, which Dalton got off facing a three-man rush. While most of these fall harmlessly incomplete, we have seen some interesting catches over the years. This one may have been unlike any other. The ball was short of the end zone, but it reached the customary large mass of players, got tipped into the air, and then Ihedigbo made the cardinal sin of tipping the ball again, putting enough air on it for A.J. Green to make the easy touchdown catch. This is the real "Fail Mary."
Too bad Dan Dierdorf already used the one good line of his career, as this would have been the perfect moment for him to say "Lord, you can take me now. I've seen it all."
How bad was that decision by Ihedigbo? The fact that he decided to stab at the ball with one hand says it all. Amazingly, we'd get overtime in this one. The Bengals won the toss and chose to receive, even though both offenses were playing terrible football. Like last week, I am continuously preaching for a coach to defer and this would have been another good situation to do it. If this was Denver-San Diego going to overtime in a 28-28 tie, then I would say take the ball. But these offenses, at their current rate, were more likely to turn it over than drive a long field for a touchdown.
The Bengals started at the 20 and soon drove into Baltimore territory. Marvin Lewis faced a decision on fourth-and-2 at the Baltimore 33. A field goal does not end the game anymore and a miss would put Baltimore at the 43, so that should probably be out. A pooch punt is a solid option. I'm in favor of going for it here, but the Bengals picked a poor play.
Dalton hit Bernard on a little swing pass in the flat, but he caught it eight yards shy of the first-down marker. That's asking for a lot of yards after the catch in a crucial situation. Ihedigbo, having a very active game, was first in on him, but Bernard shook that tackle. He tried to reverse field, as he did for his brilliant touchdown in Miami on Halloween, but there was no repeat performance. Instead he lost 11 yards, so Baltimore actually got better field position than they would have if the Bengals missed a field goal.
Flacco moved to his right and flipped a short pass to uncovered Ray Rice for 13 yards. Two plays later Ed Dickson caught an 8-yard pass and the Ravens were in field-goal range. After three runs for a total of two yards, Justin Tucker came out and nailed the 46-yard game-winning field goal.
After 31 modified overtime games, it's the coin-toss loser winning the game with a field goal on the second drive nine times now -- the most frequent ending to these games. The Bengals are the first coin-toss winner to receive and turn the ball over on downs.
Clutch Encounters of the Winning Kind
Carolina Panthers 10 at San Francisco 49ers 9
Largest Fourth-Quarter Deficit: 2 (9-7)
Win Probability (4QC/GWD): 0.51
Head Coach: Ron Rivera (3-17 at 4QC and 3-18 overall 4QC/GWD record)
Quarterback: Cam Newton (3-17 at 4QC and 3-18 overall 4QC/GWD record)
What do you get when you match two similar teams who have been slaying poor competition for the last month? Apparently, a 10-9 game, with the fewest points scored by any winning team in 2013.
While the defenses looked strong as expected, this game exposed both offenses for having a limited passer and a small supply of receiving weapons. If you contain the running game, then it's not that difficult to frustrate these quarterbacks with blitzing as there's not enough receiving talent to worry about. Vernon Davis leaving early with a concussion did not help Colin Kaepernick, who averaged a miniscule 1.94 yards per drop back.
The 19 combined points were fortunate given each team made a long field (52-plus yards) goal, a muffed punt and Cam Newton interception set up two short field goals for San Francisco and Davis appeared to get away with a fumble in the red zone.
San Francisco led 9-0 early and 9-7 to start the fourth quarter, but failed to score on any of its last seven drives. One promising drive went backwards with Anquan Boldin responsible for 15 penalty yards. The ensuing punt was returned 25 yards by ex-49er Ted Ginn.
Facing a two-point deficit and starting with the ball at the opponent 44, that's in the wheelhouse for the comeback-starved Panthers, who were just 2-18 at game-winning drives in the Newton/Ron Rivera era.
A sack by Ahmad Brooks (three on the day) threatened to spoil the drive, but Newton threw a six-yard pass to Steve Smith to make the field goal reasonable. Graham Gano blasted the 53-yard kick for a 10-9 lead with 10:05 left.
Both teams would punt, but Carolina pinned the 49ers at their own 1. Kaepernick did find Mario Manningham for 14 yards on third-and-10, but a sack by Luke Kuechly on the next play stalled the drive. The 49ers punted with 2:27 left.
After the 49ers used two of their timeouts, Newton did a good job of finding Smith for nine yards on third-and-8. The only problem was that he slid out of bounds to stop the clock. On the very next play, Jonathan Stewart nearly brought back the close-game demons with a fumble. Somehow, Donte Whitner did not recover the ball and it stayed with Carolina.
On third-and-two with the 49ers out of timeouts, the Panthers botched the quarterback-center exchange, but Newton was able to fall on the ball. With a chance to ice the game, where have we seen Carolina do something like this before?
Kaepernick had 62 seconds left at his own 20 to be a hero, only needing a field goal. He passed for 91 gross yards on the day and that total would not increase. Greg Hardy started the stand with a sack. That burned a lot of clock, prompting a terrible pass from Kaepernick for a game-ending interception by Drayton Florence.
Miami Dolphins 19 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22
Largest Fourth-Quarter Deficit: 4 (19-15)
Win Probability (4QC/GWD): 0.32
Head Coach: Greg Schiano (2-9 at 4QC and 2-10 overall 4QC/GWD record)
Quarterback: Mike Glennon (1-2 at 4QC and 1-3 overall 4QC/GWD record)
The best 0-8 team ever finally closed a game, but it did not come easy. The Buccaneers dominated early to a 15-0 lead as the Dolphins offensive line still looked incognito following the off-field controversy. On a good night for Rutgers, Brian Leonard managed 20 carries after rookie Mike James was injured in the first quarter. When you're getting beat badly by an offense featuring that type of backfield (gargantuan Mike Glennon included), then it just might not be your night.
That meant the anticipation in Detroit for the 2008 Lions (0-16) was growing.
However, the Dolphins mounted their comeback with Rishard Matthews (11 catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns) emerging as the top receiver on a night where Mike Wallace caught four balls for 15 yards on Revis Island.
Miami jumped ahead 19-15, but could not turn a Glennon interception into a touchdown despite starting seven yards away from the end zone. That drive actually lost five yards. The Buccaneers took over at their own 20 and Leonard carried on five consecutive plays for 30 yards as the game moved into the fourth quarter. Glennon found Tiquan Underwood for a 17-yard completion, which was his only dropback on the drive.
Bobby Rainey took over from there with a beautiful 31-yard run to Miami's 1-yard line. He finished the drive with a go-ahead touchdown run with 10:19 left. Keep in mind Tampa Bay's already blown four leads in the fourth quarter this season.
Readers of Football Outsiders Almanac 2013 are familiar with Tampa Bay's ability to stuff running plays in 2012. They had the highest stuff rate (32.8 percent) since 1995. On this night, the Dolphins ran the ball 14 times for two yards (0.14 yards per carry). Even Trent Richardson would blush at that line.
Including the playoffs, Miami's the eighth team since the 1970 merger to run for as few as two yards:
|Fewest Rushing Yards Since 1970 Merger (Including Playoffs)|
|1||DET||11/11/2007||at ARI||L 31-21||8||-18||-2.25||1||Shaun McDonald had a minus-15-yard carry|
|2||DET||12/31/1994||at GB||L 16-12||15||-4||-0.27||0||NFC Wild Card; Barry Sanders: 13 runs, minus-1 yard|
|3||DET||12/10/2006||MIN||L 30-20||10||-3||-0.30||0||Kevin Jones: 9 runs, minus-3 yards|
|4||BUF||10/2/1988||at CHI||L 34-23||10||0||0.00||0||Ronnie Harmon had a minus-24-yard carry|
|5||TB||10/22/1989||at WAS||L 32-28||10||1||0.10||0||James Wilder: 3 runs, minus-9 yards|
|6||DAL||12/30/2007||at WAS||L 27-6||16||1||0.06||0||Marion Barber: 6 runs, minus-6 yards|
|7||NE||11/30/1986||at NO||W 21-20||18||2||0.11||0||Tony Eason had 4 kneel downs for minus-7 yards|
|8||MIA||11/11/2013||at TB||L 22-19||14||2||0.14||0||Daniel Thomas tackled for safety|
Miami was stuffed seven times, including a safety. One of the best runs of the night was Ryan Tannehill gaining two yards on a quarterback sneak in the fourth quarter. However, the drive stalled from there and Miami punted.
Tampa Bay's gave 15 yards away as rookie returner Eric Page took a cheap shot at a Miami gunner with the ball well out of bounds. With 7:17 left, Tampa Bay worked on the clock. A roughing the passer penalty kept the drive alive. On third-and-1 at midfield, Glennon tried to roll the pocket to his left, but decided running out of bounds for a five-yard sack that stopped the clock was the smart move. No wonder this team has been winless.
Miami got the ball back with three minutes left, but Marcus Thigpen thought it was a good idea to call for a fair catch at his own five. Tannehill completed three passes in a row, putting the ball at the Miami 33 at the two-minute warning. That's when the pass rush finally woke up as Tannehill suffered back-to-back sacks (his only two of the game) to set up a third-and-28. He threw incomplete, leaving Miami in full-desperation mode. Wallace casually watched an inaccurate deep ball get intercepted by Darrelle Revis.
Down to one timeout, the Dolphins did not get the ball back as Tampa Bay timed it right to kill the clock. Victory at last, as Miami is Florida's NFL laughingstock.
Clutch Encounters of the Losing Kind
Jaguars at Titans: Another Eyesore on Mike Munchak's Resume
When I wrote that the Jaguars were the least competitive team since 1970, that was based on the first eight games. They always trailed after the 11:34 mark of the second quarter and never were within one score with possession in the fourth quarter. I also said to not be surprised to see a win this week given Mike Munchak's enigmatic Titans have lost to the 2011 Colts (0-13 team) and the Jaguars' lone win in their 1-20 stretch came over Tennessee last season.
Make that 2-20 as the Jaguars did it again to the Titans. After leading for 22 minutes and 26 seconds all season, the Jaguars went wire-to-wire, leading for the final 58:29.
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They weren't dominant or efficient, but the 79-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter to build a 20-7 lead was the highlight of the day. The Titans lost Jake Locker (Lisfranc) in the first half and had to come back with Ryan Fitzpatrick.
A Chad Henne interception set up a field goal for the Titans to make it 20-13 in the fourth quarter. After getting the ball back at their own 1-yard line, rookie guard Chance Warmack was penalized for holding in the end zone, which is a safety.
Jacksonville went three-and-out. Down 22-13, Fitzpatrick capped off a 72-yard drive with a touchdown run on a quarterback draw. Jacksonville again went three-and-out, putting the Titans in a favorable situation (win probability: 0.54) in a 22-20 game.
But rarely has a fourth-quarter comeback attempt with Fitzpatrick at quarterback (5-26 record) been a fruitful endeavor. On the third play of the drive, cornerback Will Blackmon stripped the ball away from Fitzpatrick, returning it 21 yards for a touchdown with 2:32 left.
The Titans answered with an 82-yard touchdown drive to make it 29-27, but it was over after the Jaguars recovered the onside kick.
Lions at Bears: Short Grace Period for Marc Trestman
Rookie coach Marc Trestman was all the rage after Monday's win in Green Bay, but now he's facing criticism for the team's season sweep at the hands of the Lions. Trestman had to make an important decision before the game: Was Jay Cutler recovered enough from a recent ankle injury to make a better starting quarterback than (surprisingly hot in recent weeks) career backup Josh McCown. Trestman went with Cutler, who looked good on the opening drive with a touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall, but he struggled the rest of the day in a surprisingly low-scoring game.
Detroit led 14-10 to start the fourth quarter. Matthew Stafford's overthrown pass was intercepted by Chris Conte and returned to the Detroit 9. Matt Forte had an easy go-ahead touchdown, but it was negated by a holding penalty. On third-and-goal, Cutler appeared to have Alshon Jeffery for a 14-yard touchdown, but the "Calvin Johnson Rule" worked against Chicago this time as replay overturned the call to an incompletion. The Bears settled for a field goal and 14-13 deficit.
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David Akers missed a 45-yard field goal for the Lions, but the Bears went three-and-out in return. Cutler, now nursing a high ankle sprain with his groin injury, had Jeffery wide open on third down, but the pass was well underthrown. On the ensuing drive, Calvin Johnson came through with two big catches on third down, including a 14-yard touchdown on third-and-10.
Now up 20-13 with 2:22 to play, why not go for a two-point conversion to basically ice the game at 22-13? You have the best wide receiver on the planet and his jump-ball skills are second to none. Chicago had one timeout left. You're lucky to see a nine-point comeback engineered in the final two minutes once or twice in a decade. The extra point keeps it a one-score game and eight-point comebacks are far more common. Let's not forget a seven-point lead is still advantageous too.
We looked at this in Week 2 with Titans-Texans, noting how every single coach has kicked the extra point. If there was ever a situation to go for two in, this would be it. Up by seven or eight, the defense's goal remains the same: do not allow a touchdown. It's beyond me how anyone can believe "well if we give up the touchdown we'll just stop the two-point conversion, because it's obviously easier to stop a team from getting two yards instead of 75!" makes sense.
With 2:17 left and 74 yards to go, McCown entered the game as Trestman did not believe Cutler could move around in the two-minute drill. Cold off the bench, McCown went to work, converting a crucial fourth-and-1 with a 14-yard pass to Marshall. Making it look easy, McCown drove into the red zone, stepped up in the pocket on a third down and fired an 11-yard touchdown to Marshall. Now it was time for that two-point conversion.
The Bears moved the pocket, which seemingly never works anymore for NFL offenses in the red zone, and McCown threw a pass out of the end zone. However, he was saved with a roughing the passer penalty on Willie Young for a helmet-to-helmet hit. Without a frame-by-frame video analysis, it's hard to tell if that actually happened, but he did lead with his helmet.
Getting a second chance and the ball at the one-yard line, the Bears could call anything in the playbook -- even the Stafford-style lunging quarterback sneak. What they came up with was suboptimal to say the least. Nick Fairley blew through Roberto Garza on the shotgun handoff and engulfed Forte in the backfield.
Keep in mind the Bears' backs had 18 carries for 33 yards prior to that play. Jeffery (18) and Marshall (12) had 30 combined targets. It should have been 31.
With 40 seconds left, Robbie Gould's onside kick never gave the Bears a chance as Detroit recovered. The Lions (6-3) are all alone in first place in the NFC North.
Broncos at Chargers: Different Script for Denver with a Scary Ending
Known for slow starts, including a 24-0 deficit in San Diego last year, the Broncos flipped the script with a dominant first half. Peyton Manning faced some pressure, but it came at the expense of open receivers, which he exploited for four touchdown passes to build a 28-6 lead in the third quarter.
Having dominated the second half of games, Denver surprisingly struggled the rest of the way. Manning tied his career high with a seventh fumble this season, helping to ignite a San Diego comeback. Down 28-13 in the fourth quarter, Philip Rivers hit a pair of big plays on third-and-long to set up Ryan Mathews for a 1-yard touchdown run with 10:42 left.
Now a one-score game, Manning failed to get back on track as his third-and-8 pass fell incomplete to Eric Decker. Rivers converted a third-and-12 with a 12-yard gain to Vincent Brown. The drive self-destructed: Rivers bobbled the snap on first down, took a sack from Von Miller on second down and threw incomplete on third-and-16. San Diego wisely punted.
Manning had 3:26 to burn, but the Chargers were down to two timeouts. He threw a screen to Demaryius Thomas on second down for 12 yards and a first down. Two plays later, Manning used play-action -- he was 9-of-9 for 187 yards and three touchdowns on play-action passes in this game -- to complete a nine-yard pass to Thomas for another first down.
That normally would have ended the game, but Manning took a shot to his lower legs after the throw. After slowly getting up, he limped around briefly before going down again. Manning pushed the training staff away and yelled at the referee about who called timeout. Indeed, the Broncos were charged with a timeout, which allowed Manning to stay in the game, but he could no longer simply take three knees to run out the clock.
It became a moot point when he drew the Chargers offsides for five yards and Knowshon Moreno put it away with another first down. But there was some interesting gamesmanship at hand with Manning not wanting to leave the game leading into this important three-game stretch against the Chiefs (twice) and Patriots.
The first game with Jack Del Rio as interim coach was a success, but it was the first time in 26 games with Manning that Denver failed to score double-digit points after halftime -- one game short of the regular-season record. Including playoffs, that 25-game streak is a NFL record.
|Most Consecutive Games with 10+ Points, 2nd Half|
|Team||Years||Cons. Games||Including Playoffs|
Redskins at Vikings: Fade Out
It was a Thursday night game, but it feels even longer ago when Washington led 27-14 before the Vikings finished with 20 unanswered points. The Redskins did whatever they wanted on third down in the first half (7-of-8 conversions), except for an early goal-to-go situation -- the type that won the game for Washington against San Diego in Week 9.
Settling for field goals twice would certainly hurt as Minnesota quietly put together a strong game on offense. While dislocating his shoulder on a scramble, Christian Ponder led a drive to the one-yard line. Adrian Peterson finished it off for the go-ahead touchdown to take a 28-27 lead late in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Robert Griffin could not avoid the sacks, taking three of them (two on third down). Matt Cassel subbed in nicely to hit some key plays, adding to Minnesota's lead, which grew to 34-27.
Mike Shanahan started using his timeouts around the four-minute mark. It would become clear he did that so his offense could still use the running game to counter the pass rush in their comeback attempt. Griffin got the ball back with 3:36 left at his own 20. Six of the drive's first seven plays were designed runs and the biggest came from Griffin himself.
On a fourth-and-1 after the two-minute warning, Griffin kept it on the zone-read option and gained 12 yards. After two completions to Roy Helu for 14 yards, Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier called his first timeout with 1:20 left. Apparently he was worried most about the fatigue of his players. Minnesota failed to field a full 46-man roster on the short week.
But if saving time for an answer to a score was the secondary part of the strategy, then why did Frazier not call timeout after Griffin's 17-yard pass to Jordan Reed to the Minnesota 8? Surely the Redskins are more likely to score from there compared to the 25.
After Helu carried for four yards, Frazier again quickly called for his second timeout with 38 seconds left. On second down, Reed took a lot of contact and could not hang onto a pass in the end zone. Pierre Garcon dropped a slant that may not have produced a score. On fourth-and-goal from the Minnesota 4, Griffin went with a fade pass to the left corner for Santana Moss, but he failed to come down in bounds with the ball. Game over.
It was a poor play design with the game on the line. For starters, Helu was split out wide and ran a hopeless route. It was either the fade or give your tight end Reed a shot in the middle of the end zone.
I would have gone with the big guy in space over the small guy in a tiny window, but I only write. Washington went scoreless on its final four drives and has started 3-6 in consecutive seasons.
Raiders at Giants: One QB Doesn't Help His Sack EPA Again
Turnovers, including a blocked punt for a touchdown going against Oakland, dominated the game's early flow. These errors set up 31 of the game's first 41 points. The Giants took a 21-20 lead into the fourth quarter. Under some pressure, Eli Manning failed to connect with Victor Cruz on what would have been an easy touchdown. The Giants settled for a 23-yard field goal to take a 24-20 lead with 8:04 left.
Terrelle Pryor's comeback attempt nearly ended in one play after he threw a pass right at Jacquian Williams. On third down, Pryor fielded a low snap, but Antrel Rolle's blitz resulted in a sack for a three-and-out. Manning again faced pressure on third down, throwing the ball in the dirt to avoid the sack and end a three-and-out for the Giants.
Getting a second chance with 4:55 left, Pryor started this drive with a bootleg, but unwilling to throw, he was taken down for a two-yard sack as this started to look like the Kansas City fourth quarter all over again. A wide-receiver screen to Denarius Moore did pick up 15 yards, but three plays later Mathias Kiwanuka got Pryor from behind on the strip-sack and Cullen Jenkins recovered the ball.
The Giants had 3:21 to burn, but the Raiders had all three timeouts. Andre Brown, in his return from a broken leg, carried the ball on five consecutive plays, producing two first downs to ice the game. The clincher was a five-yard power run on third-and-5. Brown finished with 30 carries for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Pryor was sacked four times, but the three in the fourth quarter were too much to overcome.
Texans at Cardinals: Bruce Arians Is 11-1 in Games Decided by One Score
Case Keenum's had a great two-game start to his career, but this was supposed to be more challenging given the Cardinals were at home and entered Week 10 with the league's top defense according to DVOA. Keenum still managed to throw three touchdowns without an interception, but he did give up a touchdown on the game's opening play on a sack-fumble.
Every point would be precious as the Cardinals led 20-17 to start the fourth quarter. Keenum showed his inexperience by taking a 23-yard sack on third down. That's way too much field position to give up. Carson Palmer drove the Cardinals 67 yards for a touchdown. The Cardinals got the switch they wanted and Andre Roberts was open for a 19-yard grab with 6:42 left.
It looked bleak when the Texans punted the ball with 4:53 left, but on the first play of the ensuing drive Rashard Mendenhall fumbled at his own 5-yard line. J.J. Watt received credit for the strip and the recovery.
Three plays later, Houston's other best player (Andre Johnson) made an impact with a ridiculous touchdown after Patrick Peterson had perfect coverage in the end zone, but his one-handed attempt at an interception just helped the ball get to Johnson on the deflection.
Arizona converted one third down with a good pass to Andre Ellington, but the rookie's second effort gained six yards when it was third-and-7. Even worse, he went out of bounds to stop the clock. Arizona challenged and might have had a decent argument that Ellington got the first down by extending the ball before stepping out of bounds, but nothing conclusive was shown to win the challenge.
For the second week in a row, Keenum had the ball in a 27-24 game, but this time he had 2:06 left to win it. After an 11-yard pass to DeAndre Hopkins, Keenum went back to him deep, but it was out of bounds. Johnson caught a 7-yard pass, but again Keenum's deep ball was thrown inaccurately out of bounds. With a fourth-and-3 at his own 35, Keenum forced one more to Hopkins, but the pressure was too much and the pass was nowhere close.
Arizona held, leading Houston to tie a franchise record with its seventh consecutive loss.
If you combine Bruce Arians' tenure as interim coach in Indianapolis last year and this season's job in Arizona, he is 11-1 in games decided by one score. Not even Vince Tobin (circa 1998) can match that. It will start going the other way eventually, but the Cardinals must be considered a surprise at 5-4 with one of the best defenses in the league.
Fourth-quarter comebacks: 37
Game-winning drives: 47
Games with 4QC opportunity: 93/147 (63.3 percent)
10+ point comeback wins (any point in the game): 20