Defense, big plays lead Cardinals' resurgence

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Given up as a lost cause seven weeks into the season, the Arizona Cardinals have won five of six to climb within a game of .500.

Consecutive victories over Dallas and San Francisco have stamped Arizona's resurgence with legitimacy.

If the Cardinals win out, they will have a winning season and maybe even make the playoffs.

It's a turnaround based on defense and big plays, as well as the steady hand of coach Ken Whisenhunt, who reminded everyone after Sunday's 21-19 victory over San Francisco that he and his team never wavered from their approach in the six-game slide that left the Cardinals 1-6.

The win over the 49ers was Whisenhunt's 42nd as Arizona's coach, tying him with Don Coryell for most in the franchise's history.