From the Armchair: Arizona Cardinals, Week 10
Carson Palmer completed 62.5% of his passes, which is better than his seasonal average, with 2 touchdowns and an interception that lead to a Texans field goal. Andre Roberts and Rob Housler both had touchdowns, this was the first career TD for Housler. Rookie running back Andre Ellington out-performed veteran Rashard Mendenhall by 13 more yards with fewer carries. Kicker Jay Feely scored 9 points, including 2 significant field goals to win the game. Fitzgerald was limited to 23 yards on 3 recpetions, thanks in part to Jon Joseph of the Texans and his nagging multiple hamstring injuries.
On the first play of the game, after the Texans won the coin toss, Schaub’s backup quarterback Keenum was sacked and the ball was recovered by one of the Cardinals’ defensive ends and taken into the end zone during the first 10 seconds on the game clock. On the next drive, the Cards defense was unable to contain the Texans’ offense, which resulted in a touchdown pass to star wideout Andre Johnson, who also caught another TD pass later in the game after an attempted deflection from Patrick Peterson while barley staying within limits and landing on his feet just in the nick of time to help nearly tie the score. Palmer was picked off once which lead to the Texans getting a critical field goal. Justin Bethel managed to block a 40 yard field goal attempt by the Texans, which is a rare feat in the NFL.
“A win is a win” is a poplar motto for any team, but when a team is fighting for a wild card spot in the playoffs, every play is critical on both sides of the ball. Despite barely winning this game, there were several inconsistencies with the Cardinals, including the defense working on their pass protection and pacing the scrimmage and the offense working on their third-down conversions, as they were only successful with 30% of them during this game. As mentioned earlier, Arians needs to utilize running back Ellington more often instead of the aging Mendenhall, after it’s been proven who is currently the more productive carrier. If Schaub had been healthy and still in his prime, there is very little chance the Texans would’ve lost this match, regardless of where the game was hosted.
Next week the Cardinals visit Jacksonville, FL and take on the struggling Jaguars in an attempt to gain their 6th win, which would put them above their previous season record. Arians is speculating that Fitzgerald should be recovered from his injuries that have silenced him throughout the season.