Blake, Cardinals beat Packers in the heat - East Valley Tribune: News

Blake, Cardinals beat Packers in the heat

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Posted: Sunday, September 21, 2003 5:36 pm | Updated: 2:08 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

TEMPE, Ariz. - Jeff Blake wore out the Green Bay Packers on a day of record heat in the desert, then Dexter Jackson sealed it with a clutch interception at the finish.

Jackson, last year's Super Bowl MVP, intercepted Brett Favre's pass in the end zone with 10 seconds left to save the Arizona Cardinals' 20-13 victory Sunday.

Blake completed 20 of 31 passes for 273 yards, including a 1-yard pass to James Hodgins for the winning touchdown with 3:59 to play.

Blake directed a field-goal drive of 7 minutes, 29 seconds in the third quarter and used up 7:09 of the fourth with the 11-play, 68-yard drive for the winning score.

Favre, 23-for-33 for 226 yards and a touchdown, drove the Packers (1-2) to the Arizona seven in the final seconds. But on third-and-goal, his pass was picked off by Jackson, who helped Tampa Bay win the Super Bowl last year, and returned it to the Arizona 22. The Cardinals (1-2) took a knee and earned their first victory of the season, and second in their last 12 games.

A sign hanging from the second level at Sun Devil Stadium read "We'll have the grilled cheese," and there were a lot of melted cheeseheads in the crowd of 58,784, most of them Green Bay fans.

Favre, 35-1 when it's 34 degrees or colder, is 12-18 in games when the kickoff temperature is above 70, and this one was way, way above 70.

The 102-degree temperature at kickoff equaled the hottest game ever for the Packers. It warmed up to 105 at the start of the second half, and 106 at the beginning of the third quarter.

That's hot, even by Arizona standards. The 106 at nearby Sky Harbor Airport was a record for the date, surpassing the 105 recorded in 1949 and 1984.

Arizona took the second-half kickoff and used up 7:29 on a 13-play, 62-yard drive that ended with Bill Gramatica's 38-yard field goal that gave the Cardinals a 13-10 lead with 7:31 left in the third.

But Favre drove the Packers 37 yards in eight plays following Antonio Chatman's 33-yard return of Scott Player's 58-yard punt, and Ryan Longwell's 40-yard field goal tied it at 13-13 with 11:08 remaining.

A 28-yard pass interference penalty against Al Harris ignited Arizona's fourth-quarter touchdown drive.

The Cardinals committed their 10th turnover of the season, but only one of the day, on their first possession after driving to the Green Bay 45. Blake threw to Anquan Boldin, who was hit by Darren Sharper just as the ball arrived. The ball bounced off Boldin and into the arms of the Packers' Nick Barnett.

But on the next play, Ahman Green fumbled as he was hit by Barron Tanner, and Ray Thompson recovered for Arizona at the Packers 39. It was the Cardinals' first forced turnover of the season.

Blake's 38-yard pass to a wide-open Boldin moved the ball to the 1, where the Arizona quarterback dived on top of two defenders for the touchdown to put the Cardinals up 7-0 with 4:16 left in the first quarter.

Favre completed his first 10 passes, including 4-of-4 for 49 yards on an eight-play, 61-yard drive that tied it at 7-7 with 6:44 left in the half. His 23-yarder to a diving Tony Fisher put the ball on the Arizona 9. On third-and-goal from the 4, Favre threw to a wide-open David Martin in the right corner of the end zone.

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