Arizona Cardinals Actually Have a Winning Record After Win Over Carolina Panthers
|Ken Lund via Flickr|
Carson Palmer threw three interceptions, the Cardinals couldn't put together 100 rushing yards as a team, and Larry Fitzgerald only caught three passes, with no touchdowns.
And the Cardinals won, 22-6.
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The Cardinals actually have a winning record now (3-2) thanks to the defense being on fire.
In linebacker Daryl Washington's first game back from a four-game suspension, he made nine tackles -- three for a loss -- plus two sacks. a forced fumble, and an additional two hits on Cam Newton. He also deflected one pass, and picked one off, which he returned 41 yards.
Karlos Dansby had eight tackles, two for a loss, plus two sacks, a pass deflection, two hits on Newton, and an interception.
Tyrann Mathieu had five tackles, one for a loss, plus a sack, and two hits on Newton.
Spin the broken record one more time -- Calais Campbell had four tackles, two for a loss, plus two sacks, and two hits on Newton.
Patrick Peterson had an interception, in addition to three pass deflections. Carolina's top receiver, Steve Smith, was targeted 10 times, and only caught four.
You're not going to lose many games when your defense plays like that, no matter how much your offense sucks.
The Cardinals did have one 85-yard touchdown drive, which included 45 of the Cardinals' 90 rushing yards, capped off by Rashard Mendenhall running 1 yard for a touchdown.
Other than that, there wasn't much offense to speak of. The Cards got a field goal after a crappy punt by the Panthers had the Cardinals starting a drive just 46 yards away from the endzone.
The next score was a safety in the third quarter, after Campbell brought down Newton in the endzone, followed by a 50-yard Cardinals field goal early in the fourth quarter.
The other Cardinals touchdown was after the strip/sack by Campbell, which started the drive just nine yards away.
Palmer tossed a 7-yard TD pass to tight end Jim Dray on third down.
If the playoffs started this week, the Cardinals would be in there with their 3-2 record. But, the playoffs don't start anywhere near this week, and remember that the Cardinals missed the playoffs (horribly) last year, after having a 4-1 record at this point.
If the defense does this every week, though, games will be won.
The Cardinals play the San Francisco 49ers in the Bay Area next Sunday.
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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.