The Cardinals are winners to all of their fans, Pittsburgh continues to play dirty, and the referees blow a critical game again…

Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23

Again, horrible officiating determines the outcome of an important game.  Arizona played beyond well-enough to win the game on both sides of the ball, yet the game goes to Pittsburgh because why would anyone want the Cardinals to beat the mighty Squealers, err Steelers?!

Kurt Warner had another spectacular outing, 31/43, 377 yds, 3 TDs, 1 INT.  Fitz hauled in 7 receptions for 127 yds and 2 TDs.  Boldin and Breaston played well too (8 for 84 and 6 for 71, respectively.)  Tight end Ben Patrick caught the other TD.  The running game was virtually non-existent, but not surprising to me.  Warner was throwing well vs. the “mighty” Pitt D, so why didn’t they continue to throw it?  If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Defensively, Darnell Dockett sacked Ben Roethlisberger (does anyone else think he looks like Shrek?) twice; however, there were at least half a dozen almost-sacks that I wish they would have managed to pull out.  Karlos Dansby recorded the lone deflected INT.  Adrian Wilson and Chike Okeafor led the D in tackles.

The final play of the game was, in my opinion, a travesty.  Warner’s arm was clearly coming forward; however, the inept refs didn’t even bother to take a closer look at the play.  Even if it was upheld, take another look at it.  Come on, the two plays that Whisenhunt challenged were overturned (adding fuel to my fire that the referees SUCKED), so on a pivotal play, they should have had the sense to make sure before awarding the ball — and the game — to Pittsburgh.

I am so proud of the Cardinals, despite the penalties, many of which were completely unfounded.  Running over the holder?  What the hell call was that?  Or how about tackling Roethlisberger and getting flagged for roughing the passer.  Apparently the officiating crew wasn’t completely apprised of the rules and didn’t realize that football is a CONTACT sport.

The Cardinals should be very pleased with themselves.  They were not given much credit all year, yet kept winning and proving the nay-sayers wrong.  Next year they will have another strong showing, especially if Rod Graves knows what’s good for his team and keeps Boldin. (Swallow your pride, apologize to the guy because you need him more than he needs you!!)