The third quarter was a total big-play fest, as 34 of the game's 47 points were scored in the third period.
Steve Smith just punctuated it with one of those "How did he do that?" plays, going 65 yards on a short sideline completion when he somehow split two defenders after catching the ball, stayed in bounds by an eyelash and scored. Arizona challenged the play, thinking Smith went out of bounds, but unsuccessfully.
There were five TDs in the third quarter altogether. Arizona opened it with a TD drive. Then Carolina bolted to two straight TDs, helped by an Arizona fumble.
But the Cardinals came right back with a long TD drive of its own, with Kurt Warner hitting Anquan Boldin for the TD right between Chris Gamble and Jon Beason. It was the second TD hookup for Warner and Boldin in this game -- Boldin is coming back from a severe facial injury suffered earlier this season.
Then Arizona made another special-teams miscue, however, joining the fake field goal it couldn't convert earlier in the game. Holder Dirk Johnson dropped a perfect snap, so Neil Rackers never had a chance to kick the extra point. Thus, Arizona had only a 23-17 lead instead of 24-17, and that may well make Arizona go for a two-point conversion later in this game if it scores again.
Cam Newton cracks Tom Brady Deflategate joke
1 week ago