NFL.com: Cardinals return to normalcy

Sep 19, 2016, 1:29 PM | Updated: 2:55 pm
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) celebrates his touchdown with teammate Larry Fit...

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Michael Floyd (15) celebrates his touchdown with teammate Larry Fitzgerald during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Arizona Cardinals had to listen to the grumblings about their 23-21 loss to the New England Patriots all week leading up to their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

When it was time for the Cardinals to get back on the field, they looked more like the team they were made out to be. The end result was a 40-7 beat down of Tampa, as the Bucs were just victims of an irate Cardinals team that wanted to get back on the right track.

NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal wrote about the winners and losers of Week 2. Take a guess where the Cardinals landed.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s serving of humble pie to the Cardinals in Week 1 could serve them well. Arizona responded with aggression this week, especially on defense, in a 40-7 destruction of the Buccaneers. The Cardinals were much more creative, confusing Bucs Quarterback Jameis Winston. Coach Bruce Arians replaced rookie starting cornerback Brandon Williams with Marcus Cooper and the move paid off.

The defense was exceptionally destructive against the Buccaneers. Winston was knocked off his game all afternoon, tossing up four interceptions and losing one fumble. Cooper had two of those picks, returning one to the house, virtually icing the game.

David Johnson is threatening to take over the mantle as the best back in football and Carson Palmer hit some deep shots Sunday after a slow start. Only the Cardinals could put up 40 points with 22 yards combined from John Brown and Michael Floyd. The talent is deep here and the news around the NFC West was favorable. The Seahawks lost in Los Angeles, so there’s a four-way tie at 1-1 in the division. The Cardinals have the Bills, Rams and 49ers next on the schedule. That screams 4-1.

The box score was full for the Cardinals on Sunday. Palmer threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns with no turnovers, and backup quarterback Drew Stanton played most of the fourth quarter. Larry Fitzgerald had his second consecutive solid game, as he nabbed six balls for 81 yards and a score. As usual, David Johnson did David Johnson things, with 143 total yards on 15 touches.

The Cardinals will look to keep things rolling next week as they head to Orchard Park to take on the 0-2 Buffalo Bills.

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