Dansby's fumble return gives Cardinals 51-45 win over Packers
BOB BAUM | 1/10/2010, 8:34 p.m.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Karlos Dansby's 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown in overtime gave the Arizona Cardinals a 51-45 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the highest-scoring playoff game in NFL history.
Aaron Rodgers, who started the game with an interception but was marvelous after that, was stripped by Michael Adams. The ball careened off Rodgers' foot and into the hands of Dansby, who ran untouched for the score.
Rodgers flung his helmet to the sideline in disgust as the reigning NFC champion Cardinals rushed the field to celebrate.It brought an abrupt end to a sensational passing duel to rival any the NFL has seen between playoff newcomer Rodgers and old master Kurt Warner.
"That's probably one of the best games ever played in the playoffs," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said.
Warner, who improved his playoff record to 9-3, completed 29 of 33 for 379 yards with five touchdowns passing and no interceptions. Rodgers was 28 of 42 for 422 yards and four TDs. All but two of Rodgers' yards came after the first quarter.
The previous high for combined points in a postseason game was 95 in Philadelphia's 58-37 win over Detroit 37 on Dec. 30, 1995. It was the most points scored and allowed by the Packers in their storied 41-game playoff history.
Dansby started and ended the game with big plays. He broke up Rodgers' game-opening pass and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie intercepted. The next time the Packers got the ball, Dansby stripped Donald Driver of the ball and Arizona's Alan Branch recovered.
With Anquan Boldin sidelined with ankle and knee injuries, Warner threw two touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald, two to Early Doucet and one to Steve Breaston, who caught seven passes for 125 yards.
The previous playoff game to end on a defensive touchdown was Jan. 4, 2004, when Al Harris returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown in Green Bay's 33-27 win over Seattle.
Neil Rackers missed a 34-yard field goal at the end of regulation for Arizona.