It wasn’t always pretty, but the Arizona Cardinals held on to a 27-24 victory over the short-handed Houston Texans Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
With the victory, Arizona has now matched its win total from all of 2012.
Here’s a look back at the three-point victory by the numbers:
Cardinals punter Dave Zastudil continued his fantastic 2013 season against Houston. The 35-year-old nailed two punts inside the Texans’ one-yard line.
Sunday marked the first time this season that the Cardinals won a game in which they lost the turnover battle. Arizona turned the ball over three times, including two forced fumbles by J.J. Watt, while Houston’s only gaffe came on the contest’s opening play from scrimmage.
Through his first six games, Cardinals outside linebacker John Abraham didn’t have a single sack to his name. Sunday, he recorded his fourth and fifth sacks in the last three games — the first of which also led to the first score of the afternoon.
Outside of a five-yard touchdown catch by Andre Johnson in the fourth quarter — which was set up by an inopportune fumble by Rashard Mendenhall — the Cardinals’ defense pitched a shutout in the second half. In fact in its five wins, Arizona hasn’t given up more than seven points over the final 30 minutes of play.
Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer didn’t throw a first quarter interception for the first time since Sept. 29. He did, however, extend his streak of games with an INT to nine after a second quarter under throw was picked off by D.J. Swearinger.
Matt Shaughnessy’s six-yard fumble return for a touchdown 14 seconds into Sunday’s game was the fastest non-kick return score by a Cardinal since at least 1970.
Justin Bethel’s block on Randy Bullock’s 40-yard field goal attempt to end the first half was his second of the season, and the 16th recorded by Arizona since 2008.
19:Andre Roberts’ fourth quarter 19-yard touchdown grab was his first since Oct. 21, 2012 at Minnesota.
Rob Housler’s 12-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter marked the first of his career. It took 34 games for the Cardinals tight end to achieve the career milestone.
Since his 117-yard performance in a Week 6 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald only has 88 yards receiving, including just 23 on Sunday. The seven-time Pro Bowler has been held to under 50 yards on five separate occasions in 2013.
Palmer’s touchdown pass to Housler was the 200th of his NFL career. According to Cardinals VP of Media Relations Mark Dalton, Palmer is one of 36 quarterbacks to achieve the feat. The former Heisman Trophy winner also tossed two touchdowns in back-to-back games for the first time this season.