TAMPA, Fla. - The Arizona Cardinals' fourth-quarter comeback seemed too good to be true. In the end, it was.
Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald, the pair who had been so spectacular in the playoffs, connected for two touchdowns in a span of just under five minutes against the fierce Pittsburgh defense to give their team a 23-20 lead last night.
Just 2 minutes, 37 seconds separated Arizona from an incredible Super Bowl upset, a magical finish to a playoff run nobody had expected for this long-downtrodden franchise. But it was too much time. Santonio Holmes' tiptoe touchdown catch with 35 seconds to play spoiled everything for the Cardinals.
Warner completed 31 of 43 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns with one costly interception. The 31 completions were one shy of New England quarterback Tom Brady's Super Bowl record and tied Buffalo's Jim Kelly for second.
Warner now holds the top three passing yard marks for a Super Bowl, previously throwing for 414 yards in 2000 against Tennessee and 365 yards against New England in 2002 while with the St. Louis Rams.
When the dust from this crazy finish settles, Arizona can look back at its 11 penalties for 106 yards. And of course that interception at the end of the first half, when the Cardinals were driving for what would have been the go-ahead touchdown.
But on first and goal from the Steelers' 1-yard line, James Harrison stepped in front of Anquan Boldin and picked off Warner's short toss, then rambled 100 yards for a touchdown that made it 17-7 Pittsburgh at halftime.
Fitzgerald couldn't quite bring the big linebacker down at the Arizona goal line, and his efforts at the end couldn't make up for it.
Catches Yards TDs
7 127 2