GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 18: Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns gets upended at the line of scrimmage by Daryl Washington #58 of the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 18, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
The Arizona Cardinals kept themselves alive in the race for a playoff berth with a 20-17 win over the Cleveland Browns.
The Arizona Cardinals and Cleveland Browns played their NFL Week 15 encounter at the same time as a couple of massive games with playoff implications, so they weren't exactly in the forefront of everyone's mind. Unfortunately, everyone who didn't catch it missed a surprisingly well-played overtime game, capped off by a big play by Larry Fitzgerald. The Cards' star receiver only made three catches, but two of them were absolutely massive in Arizona's 20-17 win.
Cleveland jumped out to a 10-0 lead early, with Peyton Hillis scoring the Browns' early touchdown, but the Cardinals got themselves back into the game with a fantastic two-minute drill to end the second half. John Skelton capped it off with a touchdown pass to Andre Roberts, sending his team into halftime trailing by just three, 10-7.
The Browns would extend their lead to two scores in the third quarter on a great catch and run by rookie wide receiver Greg Little, who beat the entire Cardinals defense on a 76-yard score.
That would be the last of the Browns' points on the afternoon, as the Cardinals came back to force overtime. Beanie Wells capped off an 87-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and Jay Feely kicked a field goal on the Cards' next drive to tie the score up at 17-17, forcing overtime.
Cleveland got the ball first in overtime, but was forced to punt. In two big plays, the Cards would instantly flip the field and get themselves into field goal range. On Brad Maynard's put, Patrick Peterson ripped off a fantastic 32-yard return, instantly putting his team onto the edge of field goal range.
The Cards would clinch the win just three plays later, when Larry Fitzgerald was inexplicably left wide open. Skelton hit him for a 32-yard completion, and the Cardinals didn't even bother to run a play. They lined up and converted the field goal on first and goal, giving themselves the 20-17 win. They're now 7-7 on the season, and this win kept them alive in the race for a playoff berth.