Lyle Sendlein, the undrafted rookie who played at Scottsdale Chaparral High School, won the praise of his teammates and coaches after starting his first game at center for the injured Al Johnson.
“He did a great job,” left tackle Mike Gandy said. “He was in a tough situation, being a rookie and the center, pretty much the quarterback of the offensive line, getting all five guys to play together.”
Quarterback Matt Leinart wasn’t sacked and usually had time to throw.
“I’m very pleased with Lyle,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said of Sendlein, who will start again Sunday at Baltimore.
Sendlein said he was nervous until the game’s first snap, “Then it goes away.”
The pick up of Sendlein as a free agent may end up compensating for a draft class that seems thin.
Sendlein indicated he figured he might not be drafted when he wasn’t invited to the NFL combine in Indianapolis.
“I have no idea” why scouts didn’t think much of him, he said, in response to a question. “I’d like to know.”
EDGE BIG TIME AGAIN
Edgerrin James leads the NFC in rushing with 220 yards (he’s No. 5 in the NFL) on 50 carries.
James’ 128 yards represents the highest total for a Cardinals running back since Marcel Shipp ran for 141 yards vs. Cincinnati on Nov. 2, 2003. His 17-yard touchdown run was his longest as a Cardinal.
“Edge is running very strong,” Whisenhunt said. “He’s getting a lot of yards after contact.”
Though James is starting out the season dramatically better, according to the stats, than last season, he said, “Nothing has really changed for me. It’s just everyone is on the same page.”
FIRST FOR RACKERS
Neil Rackers’ 42-yard field goal with one second left was his first game-winner for the Cardinals. He had three previously for the Cincinnati Bengals. Rackers also had four kickoffs for touchbacks. His only non-touchback came when he kicked off from the 15-yard line because of a penalty. His 52-yarder to tie the game was his 16th field goal of 50-plus yards.
Sean Morey’s blocked punt in the first quarter was the Cardinals’ first since Gerald Hayes blocked a punt on Oct. 24, 2004, also vs. Seattle. Morey also caught two passes (though he dropped one that would have made Rackers’ 52-yard field goal considerably shorter). He entered the game with just three catches in his previous six NFL seasons.