Late in the game Sunday, with the Cardinals trying to run the clock nursing a three-point lead, Carson Palmer thought it would be a good idea to call his own number on a bootleg. And he convinced Bruce Arians of that.
“I let them talk me into keeping that damn ball on third down, and I never should have done that one,” Arians said.
So, Palmer was asked, let’s get this straight: You hurt your shoulder, way back in the season opener, running the ball – and then Sunday, in your first game back, you talked Arians into letting you run the ball?
“That’s one way to put it,” Palmer said, to laughs. “I won’t say that. But you did.”
“I was talking (Bruce) into a lot of stuff,” Palmer said. “I was just excited to be out there.”
— It was easy to joke around after a win. After the debacle that was the Denver trip – a defensive breakdown and injuries galore – Sunday was the ultimate cheerup. Palmer was back as starting QB. The defense, while it had a couple breakdowns, held up decently. And then there was the cheer that reverberated around University of Phoenix Stadium late when the Cowboys’ win in Seattle was announced.
(Suddenly that trip to Dallas looks very, very difficult. But that’s a topic for another day.)
— The Cardinals’ play was far from perfect, with 14 penalties (yikes), an offense that couldn’t put the ball in the end zone even though the Redskins seemed to almost want them to be there, and a defense that had a couple of breakdowns. But these two weeks were about beating teams they should beat, and that’s one down. One trip to Oakland to go.
— Palmer said he “isn’t out of the woods” yet. The Cards will continue to approach this nerve deal cautiously. But he was no worse for wear after Sunday’s game. Call it a positive step.
— The play of the day for Palmer wasn’t the TD pass to Michael Floyd or the laser he completed to Smokey Brown for a first down, but the flip he somehow made to running back Robert Hughes on third-and-2 for seven yards. It kept alive a field-goal drive early in the fourth quarter, and it should have been a sack. Multiple Redskins were hanging all over Palmer, and frankly, I’m shocked they didn’t call it in the grasp.
“I should have gotten the ball out quicker,” Palmer said. “That’s kind of one of those things I’m talking about. I need to practice.”
Instead, he ended up with a I’m-a-warrior-type highlight.
— Great sign to see Alex Okafor with two sacks. If he can end up being a guy who can consistently pressure the passer, it would be a Godsend to this team.
— Tyrann Mathieu admitted he is “not really comfortable” with the knee brace he has to wear. “But I have to be comfortable with it, so I play these mind games with myself and tell myself I’m comfortable with it,” Mathieu said.
— Mathieu picked up the Andre Roberts fumble and starting running around in an old-school Honey Badger kind of way (which included holding the ball awfully loosely around the field …) but eventually decided discretion was the better part of valor. Why wouldn’t he, when he acknowledged he had some flashbacks to the punt return against the Rams – in which he was running around trying to make something happen – before he was caught and his knee was turned into spaghetti.
“No question,” Mathieu said. “Made two people miss and then I said time to get down. Very reminiscent of last year. Very.”
— Patrick Peterson got beat on DeSean Jackson’s 64-yard slant-and-run touchdown. Mathieu looked like he could have been over the top. Mathieu said the Cards “kind of messed up our coverage a little bit.” Plus, Mathieu said he took a “horrible angle” toward Jackson, costing him a chance at the tackle.
— Always nice to see Fitz get to the end zone. I’m guessing Fitz was the most happy about it.
— How many games can this team go without throwing an interception? No turnovers. Again.
— Speaking of turnovers, I was thinking to myself late in the third quarter the defense really needed to force one. Then came the questionable Roberts fumble – I could have sworn he was down, referee Ed Hochuli said after the game there was not conclusive evidence to overturn the fumble call – and then three straight picks. All in the last 13 minutes. All due respect to Rashad Johnson, but Jerraud Powers’ pick was the thing of beauty. He hid as the Redskins tried a wide receiver screen and popped out of nowhere to steal the pass.
— That’s enough for tonight. I can’t say the quarterback won’t be a story this week – Palmer gets to face his former team – but we are done with the QB-or-not-QB drama. Thankfully.
Tags: Alex Okafor, Bruce Arians, Carson Palmer, Jerraud Powers, Patrick Peterson, Redskins, Tyrann Mathieu
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