It was a tale of two halves for the Arizona Cardinals Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.
After stinking up the joint and digging themselves a 20-7 first-half deficit, the Cardinals (6-2) rebounded to score the next 27 points in a 34-20 win over the Cleveland Browns Sunday.
Here are some interesting statistical notes and nuggets from the win.
• This was the Cardinals’ first win in Cleveland since the 1985 season opener. Neil O’Donoghue kicked a 35-yard field goal in overtime to give the St. Louis Cardinals a 27-24 win. Cardinals rookie Ron Wolfley had a 24-yard kickoff return in that game — which was his first in the NFL. Prior to that, the Cardinals’ last win in Cleveland came in 1968.
• The Cardinals won Sunday despite committing four turnovers. They became just the second team to win a game in 2015 with four or more turnovers. The Philadelphia Eagles committed four in a 27-7 win over the New York Giants in Week 6. So far this season, teams are 2-15 in games in which they turn the ball over four times or more (including Atlanta’s loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday).
• With two touchdown catches Sunday, tight end Troy Niklas became the 17th Cardinals player to have two or more receiving touchdowns in a game since the franchise moved to the Valley in 1988. He’s only the second tight end to do it. Leonard Pope had two touchdown grabs in a 31-21 win over the Detroit Lions on Nov. 11, 2007 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
• Quarterback Carson Palmer had 374 yards passing and four touchdowns in Sunday’s win. He’s just the third Cardinals quarterback to have more than 350 yards and four touchdown passes in a game since 1988. Dave Krieg threw for 414 yards and four scores in a 40-37 win over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13 of 1995. The next year, Kent Graham had 366 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-28 win over the St. Louis Rams in Week 5.
• Palmer had four touchdown passes for the second time this season. He’s the first Cardinals QB since 1988 to have two four-TD games in the same season.
• At the midway point of the season, Palmer has 20 touchdown passes, putting him on pace for 40 on the season. That would shatter the Cardinals’ franchise record of 30 by Kurt Warner in 2008.
• The Cardinals were an astounding 13-of-16 on third downs against Cleveland Sunday. According to Pro Football Reference, that’s the most third-down conversions they’ve had in a single game since the stat was offically tracked in 1991. It’s also the most third-down conversions in a single game in the NFL this season. The Browns went 12-for-19 in a Week 5 overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens.
• Running back Chris Johnson ran 30 times for 109 yards against the Browns — his fourth 100-yard game this season. He’s the first Cardinals RB to eclipse the 100-yard mark four times in one season since Stump Mitchell (current Cardinals RB coach) in 1985.
• Johnson also became the first Arizona running back to have 30 or more carries in a single game since Edgerrin James, who had 36 carries for 55 yards in a 24-23 Monday night loss to the Chicago Bears in 2006 (yes, it was the “They are who we thought they were” game.)
• Palmer completed five passes of 20 or more yards Sunday, giving the Cardinals 19 on the season. Nine different players have catches of 25 yards or more — John Brown (5), Larry Fitzgerald (4), Michael Floyd (3), David Johnson (2), Jaron Brown (1), Andre Ellington (1), Darren Fells (1), Chris Johnson (1) and J.J. Nelson (1).
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