The Arizona Cardinals’ 27-14 road win over the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday was uneven at times and had its fair share of scares, particularly in the early going.
But winning in the NFL isn’t an easy accomplishment regardless of the opponent, so after 60 minutes of football, Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians admitted he was pretty impressed by the final result, especially with the way his veteran quarterback performed.
“It was a good team win,” Arians said. “I thought it was the best offensive performance to start a game and to start a second half [this season]. We got backed up there with a lot possessions inside the five and had to play careful with a 10-point lead or 13.
“But overall I thought it was a breakout performance for Michael Floyd, and they knew it was coming. And I thought Carson [Palmer] was at his best.”
Arizona’s offense scored a season-high 27 points for the third consecutive week, largely because Palmer played a turnover-free game for the first time all season.
And although the Cardinals found themselves surprisingly tied at 14 heading into halftime, Arians said he had a feeling his team would pull out the victory, simply because of his quarterback’s consistent demeanor.
“I knew going in that Carson had a great look in his face all game and all week,” said Arians. “It was just a matter of him continually putting the ball in the right spots for our guys to get it.”
Palmer certainly did that, including a 91-yard pitch and catch with second-year receiver Michael Floyd that broke the game wide open in the third quarter. In all, the former Heisman Trophy winner threw for 419 yards and two touchdowns.
The numbers didn’t seem to take Arians by any sort of surprise, because the first-year head coach believes his starting quarterback finally has a grasp of the system nearly three months into the season.
“I think he has a total understanding of what we’re doing,” said Arians. “I think you can start seeing it in practice. A lot fewer balls are on the ground in practice. Guys are talking and communicating — whether it be the lunch room or anywhere — about football.
“I think it’s starting to click on offense, and we needed an explosive day.”