It took a team for the Arizona Cardinals to beat the Atlanta Falcons

Oct 28, 2013, 2:20 AM | Updated: 2:21 am

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Cardinal quarterback Carson Palmer said something that was a bit inaccurate following his team’s 27-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.

“You don’t see four interceptions by their quarterback very often, that’s a bit surprising,” he said.

You see, the Cardinals, who picked off Falcons QB Matt Ryan four times Sunday, tallied five interceptions against him in a game last season.

But, unlike last year when the Cardinals’ offense wasted a fantastic defensive effort against one of the NFL’s best passers, this time was different.

This time, the Cardinals had Andre Ellington run for 154 yards and a touchdown on just 15 carries. Stepfan Taylor added 38 yards on 14 carries of his own.

This time, the Cardinals held the Falcons’ running backs to a paltry 14 yards on 13 carries. It was actually Ryan, the quarterback, who led the team in rushing yards with 13.

This time, the head coach did not pull a struggling quarterback early in the game. Following his first quarter interception, Palmer completed 11-of-14 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns.

This time, the Cardinals got the win, and it evened up their record at 4-4 as they head into the bye week.

“It’s a lot more fun when you’re 4-4 and you win then when you’re 3-5 and you’re starting from scratch,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said after the game. “A lot of things would have been said had we lost this game in a lot of different areas.”

Of course, it is just one win and it came at home against a reeling opponent after having extra time to rest up and prepare. Had the Cardinals lost, there is no doubt plenty would have been said about the team, be it a need to replace Palmer or that Arians’ style may not be working as much as people hoped.

At the very least, the win bought the Cardinals a two-week window.

Arians added that the Cardinals won as a team Sunday, and it’s true. For the first time this season, the slogan “Team is What it Takes” held true. Offense, defense and special teams — this one had it all.

The Cardinals beat up an opponent they were supposed to beat up, and while not reason to throw a parade, it’s certainly a noteworthy accomplishment for a team still trying to find its way.

“It feels so good right now,” defensive end Calais Campbell said. “Especially going into our bye week it’s something we can build off of for the second half of the season.”

“It’s a relief,” linebacker Daryl Washington added. “To be 4-4 right now sitting at .500. We’ll get a chance to get some rest and take care of our bodies and get ready for our home game.”

Two weeks from now the Cardinals will return to UofP Stadium to face the Houston Texans. Like the Falcons, the Texans were a preseason Super Bowl contender. Also like the Falcons, the Texans have struggled mightily this season.

That game, of course, is followed by a visit to Jacksonville, where the worst team in the NFL resides. After a win like this one, where everything worked, it’s easy to look ahead and wonder where this team could be just a few weeks from now.

“It’s obviously a big win, but we’ve got a long way to go,” Palmer said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. That’s four wins. We’re going to worry about number five and not worry about anything else. We’re going to worry about number six and not worry about anything else.

“Nothing has been accomplished.”

Nothing has been accomplished, unless you count returning the positive vibe for the Valley’s football team.

Amazing what a good, solid win can do.

Life Changer Loans


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Adam Green

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zack Greinke adjusts his cap between pitches against the Colorado Rock...
Adam Green

Concerned about Zack Greinke? Yes, I am

It's early, yes, but Zack Greinke's struggles this season are unexpected and concerning.
6 years ago
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Chandler Jones, who was acquired in a trade with the New England Patri...
Adam Green

Chandler Jones is the most exciting addition in Arizona Cardinals history

The Cardinals added Chandler Jones not to make them good, but to get them to the Super Bowl.
6 years ago
Arizona Diamondbacks pitchers Zack Greinke and Patrick Corbin (46) prepare to hit during a spring t...
Adam Green

Money, expectations change the game for Diamondbacks

If the Diamondbacks are concerned about big heads due to being "offseason winners," they need look no further than to a division rival as a cautionary tale.
7 years ago
Phoenix Suns' P.J. Tucker (17) and Devin Booker (1) react to a foul call during the second half of ...
Adam Green

Who knew the Suns bottoming out could feel so terrible?

While the Phoenix Suns being bad may actually be a very good thing, the way they have hit the bottom is difficult to stomach.
7 years ago
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians watches during the second half of an NFL football game ag...
Adam Green

Trust leads to Arians’ aggressive approach with Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals had just coughed up a 14-point fourth quarter lead and had the ball at their own 16 with just 58 seconds left in a tied game.
7 years ago
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, left, greets Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palm...
Adam Green

Cardinals show road to NFC West title goes through Glendale

Prior to the game there was plenty of talk about how the Cardinals had yet to beat a winning team and were not nearly as good as their record may have indicated.
7 years ago
It took a team for the Arizona Cardinals to beat the Atlanta Falcons