Facing a rookie quarterback and a winless team, the Arizona Cardinals came into Sunday’s matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with what looked like a clear advantage.
It took 60 full minutes of football for that advantage to come to a head, but when the dust settled the Cardinals left Tampa with a hard-fought 13-10 comeback victory on the road.
Here’s a look back at Sunday’s win by the numbers:
The Cardinals held Buccaneers running back Doug Martin to 45 yards on 27 carries or 1.7 yards per carry. By comparison, Martin averaged 4.6 yards per carry during his rookie season.
For the second consecutive week, Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer threw two interceptions in the second half. While the first pick required a beautiful play by Johnthan Banks, Palmer has now thrown at least one in every game this season. He’s thrown the third-most picks (6) through the first four weeks.
Rashard Mendenhall struggled to hang on to the football in the 13-10 victory, fumbling three times on 12 carries. Luckily, the Buccaneers only recovered the ball on one occasion.
In the first half, Larry Fitzgerald wasn’t even targeted once. In the second half, the All-Pro had six catches for 68 yards and a game-tying touchdown.
Arizona’s woes on third down continued in Tampa. The Cardinals converted only one time on third down, despite having 10 chances. A win is a win is a win, but 10 percent on third down is not a pretty number.
Undrafted free agent Jaron Brown (No. 13) only caught one pass in the game but it was the biggest one. On the Cardinals’ final scoring drive, Brown went up to catch a 19-yard pass along the right sideline. And despite being leveled by Dashon Goldson, who was given a personal foul penalty for his hit, Brown managed to come down with the football. The catch set up Jay Feely’s game-winning 27-yard field goal.
Patrick Peterson (No. 21) recorded two interceptions in the fourth quarter — one which set up a tying score and one which preserved the victory. It marks the first time in the two-time Pro Bowler’s career that he’s recorded two picks in the same game.
In their two wins this season, the Cardinals have outscored the Buccaneers and Lions by a combined 22-0 in the fourth quarter.
Between Alfonso Smith’s 3-yard touchdown run against the Saints and Jay Feely’s 42-yard field goal against the Buccaneers, the Cardinals went 103 minutes and 13 seconds without a point.
The Buccaneers came into the afternoon one of the most-penalized teams in the NFL, however the Cardinals were the far more undisciplined team Sunday. Arizona committed a season-high 10 penalties for 90 yards.
The last time Arizona overcame a double-digit fourth quarter deficit to win on road was in Sept. 1999 against the Philadelphia Eagles.