The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday's season opener, 20-16. The Cardinals took an early 10-point lead before squandering it in the second half, only to rally for a go-ahead touchdown with five minutes left in the game.
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson had a mostly rough NFL debut for Seattle, but Arizona quarterback John Skelton -- who left the game with an injury in the fourth quarter -- wasn't much better. However, Cardinals backup quarterback Kevin Kolb saved the game for the home team by completing a solid fourth-quarter drive.
The big winner: Kevin Kolb
Kolb took over for Skelton with the Cardinals at their own 32-yard line with 8:13 remaining in the game. Kolb proceeded to complete 6-of-8 passes for 66 yards on the drive, which was capped by a six-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Andre Roberts. The Cardinals' offense had stalled under Skelton, who was 14-of-28 for 149 yards and an interception. Whether or not Skelton's injury will keep him out of next week's game might be irrelevant considering Kolb's performance to close out the game.
The big loser: Replacement officials
The officials botched a timeout call by the Seahawks, as there was confusion as to whether or not they actually had one remaining. As such, the game was delayed for several minutes. And, while the Seahawks may or may not have had a timeout left, it didn't really matter, as the clock stopped anyway. Luckily for the Cardinals, they were able to stop the Seahawks on consecutive plays following the delay.
Russell Wilson's debut
The highly touted rookie out of Wisconsin struggled in his first regular season game, though he did improve a bit as the game wore on. He completed 18 of 34 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown, but also threw an interception and lost a fumble. Most importantly, he was unable to lead the Seahawks to the end zone in their final drive, despite moving fairly deep into Arizona territory with the help of a couple of pass interference calls.
Did they cover?
Seattle came in as anywhere from a one- to three-point favorite. So, if you put your money on Arizona, you are a winner.
What's up next?
The Seahawks will head home for Week 2 to host the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 16. Meanwhile, the Cardinals will travel east to face the New England Patriots on the same day.