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CARDINALS WIN! 3 big takeaways from their overtime victory over the 49ers

CARDINALS WIN! 3 big takeaways from their overtime victory over the 49ers
Posted at 5:04 PM, Oct 01, 2017

It was as ugly a win as you could imagine.

Fortunately for the Arizona Cardinals, ugly wins count the same in the standings.

Larry Fitzgerald's touchdown catch in overtime led the Cardinals to an 18-15 win over the San Francisco 49ers at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday to move the Cards to 2-2 on the season and the 49ers to 0-4. Both of Arizona's wins this season have come in overtime.

Here are three big takeaways from the victory.

1. Larry Legend does it again

After tying a career high with 13 catches on Monday night, Fitz had been quiet for nearly all four quarters (plus overtime) of Sunday's game -- until Carson Palmer found him for the game-winner with less than a minute to play in OT.

Another game, another big play for Fitzgerald, who has now gone 199 straight games with at least one reception.

2. Offensive line in shambles

 

The Cardinals' injury-riddled offensive line is presently being pieced together with duct tape, and it showed once again Sunday. Without injured starters Mike Iupati and D.J. Humphries, the Cards yielded six sacks for the second straight game. Keep in mind: The 49ers had tallied only three sacks in their first three games combined.

So, yes, the victory was a thrilling one -- but if the Cards' O-line continues to turn in performances like these, Arizona will not be headed to the playoffs -- and 37-year-old quarterback Carson Palmer, who has taken more hits than any QB this season, might not make it through the entire season.

3. Some questionable calls

Fitzgerald's touchdown was the first and only TD of the entire game. The Cardinals could have easily had two more touchdowns Sunday if not for a pair of controversial decisions that went against them.

In the second quarter, a pass from Palmer to Andre Ellington was initially ruled a touchdown but was overturned upon review, as Ellington was ruled out of bounds. In overtime, a spectacular grab by John Brown that would have won the game was ruled incomplete, even though Brown appeared to get both feet in bounds. The call stood upon replay.

Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira said Cardinals coach Bruce Arians had good reason to be upset about the Ellington call, and Cardinals fans in attendance were certain Brown's catch would be ruled a touchdown after review. All's well that ends well, but still -- even with the benefit of replay, officials may have gotten a couple of important calls wrong, and it nearly cost Arizona a win Sunday.