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Notes from the Nest: Cardinals vs. Jets

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — After a long break the Cardinals are finally back in action at University of Phoenix Stadium, as they host the New York Jets in a Monday night matchup.

It’s a big game for both teams — the Jets, at 1-4, are struggling to keep their season afloat, whereas the Cardinals, at 2-3, can ill afford to drop another home game, especially to a lesser team.

Among the storylines are the return of Todd Bowles, who was the defensive coordinator in Arizona for two seasons before becoming the head coach in New York, as well as the return to the field for Carson Palmer, who missed last week’s game against the 49ers with a concussion.

And, apropos of nothing, today is my birthday. Incidentally, it is the second time in the last four years the Cardinals have played a game on my birthday, but neither game was on a Sunday.

With all that said, the Cardinals won the toss and elected to receive. Here we go.

End of game

Cardinals run out the clock and this one is over. Arizona wins 28-3, evens record up at 3-3 and prepares for a Sunday night showdown with the Seattle Seahawks.

Time to head down to what should be a happy locker room, though we’ll find out the status of Palmer (hamstring) and Jaron Brown (not sure).

2:00 left in fourth quarter

The Cardinals are sticking to the ground game with Ellington getting the work. It is now 2nd-and-10 from the New York 37.

3:24 left in fourth quarter

After a short Ellington run Stanton drops back to pass, and his through is batted in the air before being corralled by Jaron Brown. Unfortunately, Brown landed awkwardly and remained on the ground for a while, before needing help to get off the field. Looked like they were looking at his knee.

4:20 left in fourth quarter

Jets moved the ball down the field but an Alex Okafor strip sack led to the Jets facing a 4th-and-11, and Smith’s pass is picked off by Tyrann Mathieu. Mathieu raced down the field deep into Jets territory, but he was ruled to have stepped out of bounds at the Arizona 40. So, Cardinals take over with Drew Stanton at QB, as it was announced that Carson Palmer was “questionable” to return with a hamstring strain.

Still 8:20 left in fourth quarter

Jets take over at their own 25 with Geno Smith now in the game at quarterback.

8:20 left in fourth quarter

Ruling on the field stands, and with the PAT the score is 28-3.

8:57 left in fourth quarter

Palmer gets crushed on a couple of passing plays, but comes back on third down and finds John Brown for a nice gain and a first. After a short David Johnson run an end-around with JJ Nelson nets nine yards, and the Cardinals are at the nine. Arizona must have seen something on film there, because they’ve run that a couple times today. On next play Palmer throws a really nice ball to Michael Floyd in the corner of the end zone. Yes, Michael Floyd is still here, and apparently Palmer is still very capable of getting the ball to him.

Play is under review, though, and it’s going to be close.

10:36 left in fourth quarter

Cardinals moving the ball well with Palmer consistently finding John Brown on out routes. On this drive alone, he has found Brown for nine, 12 and 13 yards. Not deep balls, but looking like last year in that the receiver is open and the ball, on a timing route, is right on the money.

Cardinals are at the Jets 33 and going for the kill.

End of third quarter

A David Johnson run goes for four yards and the quarter ends with the Cardinals up 21-3.

:46 left in third quarter

Facing a 3rd-and-7, Fitzpatrick throws into the end zone and is picked off by Swearinger, who returns the ball to the 11. Pressure from Markus Golden helped force the errant throw, and the Cardinals turn the Jets away again.

2:25 left in third quarter

Jets have moved into Arizona territory as Fitzpatrick and the Jets have tried a novel thing in completing passes. On one incomplete ball, D.J. Swearinger just drilled Jets receiver Charone Peak. Following the play, Tyrann Mathieu was flagged for delay of game (he ran with the ball thinking it was a fumble but then threw it after it was ruled incomplete). The Jets have it 2nd-and-5 from the Arizona 28.

Still 5:24 left in third quarter

Kickoff sails out of the end zone and the Jets, reeling, take over at their 25. Arizona’s defense was built to play with a lead, and now they have one and are facing an offense that hasn’t shown much in the way of ability.

5:24 left in third quarter

Cardinals did not get cute in that series, as on second down they again handed it to Johnson, who found a hole and punched it in for the third time tonight. The PAT was good, and the Cardinals are up 21-3.

5:45 left in third quarter

David Johnson runs to the New york three and then on first down picks up a yard, though it looked like he had a different cut and a path to the end zone.

7:54 left in third quarter

Penalties for everyone on this drive, but the Cardinals are currently at the New York 15 with a first down. Palmer has looked pretty sharp of late.

10:30 left in third quarter

Cardinals are on the move. Michael Floyd drew a pass interference on third-down play, and after a few more plays (a first-down to Jaron Brown, a nice David Johnson run) the Cardinals have it at the New York 38.

13:01 left in third quarter

Cardinals force a three-and-out and get the ball back at their own 32 after a one-yard return. Arizona’s offense wasn’t lights out in the first half, but is really just one or two more scores away from seemingly putting this one to bed. The defense has come to play, now the offense needs to pick it up.

The Jets came into the game with a shoddy pass defense to go along with a solid run defense. So far, the Cardinals have yet to exploit the former.

15:00 left in third quarter

Kickoff sails out of the end zone and Jets begin at their own 25.

:04 left in second quarter

An incomplete pass on third down that was nowhere near any receiver leads to a punt, which is downed at the Arizona four. That should do it for the half, and the Cardinals lead 14-3 at the break.

:19 left in second quarter

A deep ball to Robby Anderson is way too deep, and now it’s 3rd and 15 (there was a false start before the play) has the Jets in a rough spot at the Arizona 44.

:24 left in second quarter

Yep, incomplete. Jets at the Arizona 39.

:09 left in second quarter

Play is under review after what may have been a fumble is probably going to be turned into an incomplete pass. Fitzpatrick tried to shovel it away, but had it batted down by Robert Nkemdiche. I believe it was ruled a fumble (recovered by the Jets) on the field, but should end up being an incomplete pass.

:49 left in second quarter

And just like that, the Jets are moving. Passes to Charone Peake and Marshall have them at the 50, and with one timeout left have enough time to do some damage. Arizona’s defense isn’t exactly on its heels, but has also not offered up much resistance here.

1:23 left in second quarter

Cardinals got a first down on a nice Palmer throw to Jermaine Gresham, but went nowhere after that. Quigley comes in and gets off a 42-yard punt, and Jets take over at their 20.

2:00 left in second quarter

A hold on Larry Fitzgerald negated a short Johnson run, though the next play saw a quick pass to Jaron Brown go for 10 yards. So, it is 2nd-and-5 from the Arizona 15. With that much time left in the half and a pair of timeouts, you figure the Cardinals are thinking points right now. Of course, with a decent lead and this deep in your territory, the last thing you want to do is take an unnecessary risk.

Being in second-and-short here helps.

2:41 left in second quarter

Cardinals force a three-and-out, barely, and the punt is fair caught at the Arizona 20. Justin Bethel was flagged for holding on the non-return, though, and now the offense takes over at its 10.

4:06 left in second quarter

Not much going for the offense there, with a dump off to Johnson being the only thing that wasn’t bad. Punt is fair caught at the New York 22.

5:39 left in second quarter

Cardinals got their three-and-out, and the punt is shanked for just 30 yards. Cardinals take over at their own 34, and with a good drive (build off last drive’s success) could instill much confidence in not only their abilities, but chances of winning this game.

Still 6:43 left in second quarter

Kickoff is a touchback and Jets will begin at their 25. Arizona’s defense could use a stop after allowing points last time out.

6:43 left in second quarter

The Cards got the first with a David Johnson run up the middle, and after a first-down pass was incomplete on second down Johson ran through a big hole right up the gut for his second touchdown of the night. The PAT is good, and the 11-play, 75-yard drive comes at a good time for the Cardinals, who are now up 14-3.

8:04 left in second quarter

Cardinals are moving the ball courtesy of a timely third-down conversion to JJ Nelson, a reverse from Nelson and a bubble screen to him. There was also a pass interference on a pass to John Brown, though that looked like a very questionable call. As it stands, the Cardinals have a third-and-1 from the New York four.

11:24 left in second quarter

A one-yard David Johnson run was followed by an overthrown (and out of bounds) deep pass to Fitzgerald, and now the Cardinals are facing a 3rd-and-9 from their 26. This would not be an ideal time to have a three-and-out, after the Jets just scored.

Still 12:06 left in second quarter

The kickoff goes for a touchback and the offense takes over at the 25. The Cardinals have shown flashes, just as they have all season, but have yet to truly look good.

12:06 left in second quarter

The Jets got inside the red zone but then went backwards, with a holding penalty wiping out a good run and then nothing much after that. Nick Folk came on and hit a 39-yard field goal to get New York on the board, and now the score is 7-3, Cardinals.

13:52 left in second quarter

Jets are moving after Patrick Peterson was called for pass interference on third down, which was unfortunate for Arizona because the pass was going to be incomplete. Then Peterson can’t keep up with Brandon Marshall, who picks up 36 yards on the passing play to get into Arizona territory.

End of first quarter

The first frame ends with the Jets picking up a couple of yards. The score is 7-0, and though Arizona is in control, it feels like they should be up more. Defense has done very well, though the offense — save for a big run — has not been sharp.

:17 left in first quarter

Nothing doing for the Cardinals there, as they go three-and-out. On third down, Palmer tried to force the ball to Jaron Brown but the pass was batted away. It looked like Palmer may have had David Johnson open in the flat on the other side of the field, but he never looked that way. Anyway, Jets take over at their 21.

1:50 left in first quarter

Defense gets the job done with help of a good pass rush. Jets are struggling to handle Arizona’s front. Punt sets the Cardinals up at their own 32, and Michael Floyd is finally in the game.

3:30 left in first quarter

The drive showed promise but stalled once the Jets stopped committing penalties and Larry Fitzgerald dropped a pass. Yeah, he did. Anyway, Quigley’s punt is fair caught at the Jets 12 and once again New York starts with rough field position. Arizona’s defense got a three-and-out the last time the Jets were backed up, which set up a score. Can the D do it again?

4:59 left in first quarter

Cardinals are moving after a nice gain from Fitzgerald was followed by a short run and a third down play that turned into a first down after Fitz was held. From near midfield, the Cardinals caught the Jets jumping offsides and Palmer went deep to JJ Nelson, who nearly came down with a great catch. Anyway, the Cardinals have it first and five at their own 48.

7:18 left in first quarter

The Jets picked up a first down on a pass to Brandon Marshall but then went backwards with a pair of false starts. Finally getting a playoff, Fitzpatrick was drilled by Chandler Jones and Markus Golden while throwing incomplete. A short run was followed by another incomplete pass, and the punt is fielded by John Brown and returned to the Arizona 24.

9:51 left in first quarter

And just like that, points! David Johnson took a handoff to the left, made some moves, got some blocks, and 58-yards later punched it in. The PAT was good, and the Cardinals are up 7-0. The Jets came in known to be good at stopping the run, but if the Cardinals can do that, well, New York could be in trouble.

10:03 left in first quarter

On first down Josh Mauro burst through the line and tackled Matt Forte for a four-yard loss, and after that the series was all Cardinals. The defense forced a three-and-out, and the punt was fair caught inside Jets territory but the ball was moved back to the Arizona 42 after an illegal block in the back by Brittan Golden. Tough penalty wipes out great field position, and instead leaves Arizona with very good field position.

Note: the Cardinals have yet to score any points in the first quarter this season. Will this be THE drive?

12:12 left in first quarter

Cardinals picked up a first down after a quick pass to Darren Fells was followed by a short David Johnson run, which was good. However, on the next play the snap was fumbled, and though the Cardianls recovered with a loss of two yards, it set the drive back because a 10-yard pass to Larry Fitzgerald on the next play was not enough for a first, and on third and short Palmer’s pass to Johnson was short of the running back. Couldn’t tell if Palmer was grabbed by a defender or not as he threw it — I hope he was, because if not it was just a really bad throw.

Ryan Quigley’s punt is downed at the New York 9.

15:00 left in first quarter

Kickoff goes for a touchback and Cards begin at their 25.

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