It was party time once again in Arizona as the Cardinals dismantled the Buccaneers and the Pro Bowl QB Jameis Winston.
The Cardinal players considered this game a must win, the sense of urgency & dedication to preparation skyrocketed after last week’s tough loss to New England.
But the football gods favored the Arizona Cardinals today, blessing them with a victory, a Rams victory, a 49er loss, and a Seahawk loss. This resets the NFC West scoreboard, putting all four teams at 1-1 in the standings. In fact, the Seahawks and the Rams have losses within the division, which is even better if you’re pulling for the Cardinals.
But back to the Buccaneers: The Arizona defense flat out bullied Jameis Winston, forcing a lost fumble, 4 interceptions, and one returned for a TD.
Markus Golden and Chandler Jones both had sacks, again. Patrick Peterson and D.J. Swearinger had interceptions, but the day belonged to Marcus Cooper.
This recent acquisition looked both promising and comfortable in his Cardinal debut. The 2 interception and the PICK 6 also came with a great overall game as far as coverage goes. Bruce Arians said that they “liked him on film”, and that “Coop had a heck of a ball game.”
Tampa Bay was also limited to 85 yards on the ground, albeit Doug Martin did leave the game early. But what we primarily witnessed today was a flustered quarterback. I get it, Jameis Winston is very talented, but the Arizona defense keyed in on him, especially after Martin was sidelined with the hamstring.
Arizona’s Balanced Offense Returns to True Form
Larry Fitzgerald scored TD reception number 101, putting him 3 away from tying Antonio Gates (104), and 7th for most in NFL history.
Carson Palmer played a clean game, 0 picks, 308 yards, and 3 TDs. Michael Floyd was the recipient of one TD, the other was a 51 yard bomb to Jaron Brown.
The offensive line held Tampa Bay to a single sack, and pushed their way to Arizona gaining 100+ on the ground. The Cardinals ran the ball 29 times between David Johnson and Chris Johnson, with Carson Palmer throwing 31 passes, it doesn’t get much more balanced than that.
David Johnson continues to light up defenses for big gains, you never know when it’s going to happen, you just know it will. D. Johnson has 284 combined yards thus far, but fantasy players aren’t very happy with the single TD. I don’t mind it at all, I’m pretty sure the Cardinals don’t either. All and all it was a good day in the desert.
Defensive dominance, offensive production, winning the turnover battle, the Cardinals regained some much needed focus and confidence today. But it’s on to the Bills in Buffalo now, the Bills will be playing some desperate football after a 0-2 start.
Desperate is dangerous, the Cardinals will have to keep the new found intensity for the winning record to begin. That’s it for me tonight, thanks for reading, same Bat time, same Bat channel…
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