JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Carson Palmer’s 419-yard, two touchdown performance in the Arizona Cardinals’ 27-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was overshadowed by what he didn’t do: throw the ball to the other team.
Heading into Sunday, Palmer was the only quarterback in the NFL to throw an interception in every game this season, but getting ready to play against a Jacksonville defense ranked last at getting those. Struggling offenses have used the Jaguars to cure their scoring ailments all year, and Palmer and the Cardinals played well enough to continue that trend.
Arizona’s third straight win didn’t come without a few bumps. The Jaguars, roaring off their first win of the season, continued to break new ground by scoring a touchdown at home for the first time this year. Jacksonville treated its fans to seven more points in the first quarter, leading Arizona 14-7 before the Cardinals’ defense put the clamps down for the rest of the game.
After a shaky start, Arizona was able to control the game through the air. Palmer had three completions of 20-plus yards in a row during a 70-yard touchdown drive in the second quarter, as well as a 91-yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd. Floyd caught a routine slant meant for a few yards and took it up the field to give the Cardinals a 24-14 lead in the third quarter.
Palmer’s strong play came from behind a solid offensive line that he hasn’t been accustomed to for most of the season. The comfortable time allowed him to pick apart Jacksonville, completing passes to nine different receivers.
“I had a really nice time in the pocket. I had a clean pocket for the most part and was able to step into a lot of throws,” Palmer said at the post-game press conference. “Guys did a nice job.”
The passing game may have gotten on the right track, but the Cardinals were only able to rush for 14 yards the entire game. Arizona’s running game has been slacking all season, averaging less than 100 yards per game and showing no signs of consistency.
Despite having an unproven offense, the Arizona Cardinals are 6-4 right now, good for 7th in the NFC, which puts them on the brink of playoff contention.
“We have talked about how the playoffs have already started. You lose, you’re out,” Coach Arians said during the post-game press conference. “We’re a game behind teams, so we have to keep winning. We have to take a playoff attitude every week, that this game is a playoff game and we have to win to catch up. The guys have done it.”
The Cardinals face the AFC South-leading Indianapolis Colts (7-3) next Sunday at home.
About the Author
Written by Thomas Mitchell
Born & raised in Arizona, part of the MJ generation. Lifelong sports fanatic