GLENDALE, Ariz. — Facing a third down and seven at the Arizona 40, Carson Palmer took the shotgun snap, quickly looked to his right and fired a pass down the field to Larry Fitzgerald.
The only problem was Fitzgerald was running a different route than Palmer was expecting, and the pass was intercepted by Cincinnati’s Terence Newman and returned 54 yards for a score. It was the only touchdown the Bengals would earn in a 19-13 win over the Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.
It was the first interception thrown by a Cardinals QB this preseason, though according to Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, it wasn’t actually the quarterback’s fault.
“We had a miscommunication on a route,” he said. “The receiver should be breaking across the guy’s face, and he went behind him and it’s a pick-six.”
The coach made it a point to explain that while the interception is attributed to the quarterback, he actually did what he was supposed to do on the play. Arians, after all, said Palmer, who completed 7-of-19 passes for 92 yards on the night, made a perfect read.
Fitzgerald didn’t disagree with his coach.
“I didn’t break across the corner’s face, and I’ve got to do that,” the receiver said. “You never can let your quarterback, you know, hang him out to dry, and so I’ve got to do a better job of reading and recognizing the defense and doing what I’m coached to do.”
Arians said it is the type of issue the team should not be having at this point in the season, but in reality, in roughly a week’s time the interception will be wiped from the record books like it never happened.
“It was just a miscommunication, something that doesn’t typically happen,” Palmer said of the pick. “It’s something that’s come up that’s good because we’ll look at it; we’ll see why that happened and we will move on and get better from it and learn from it.
“That’s what you have to do when you make mistakes and things don’t go the way you want them to go on a certain play, you have got to find out why and we’ll move on from there.”
Of course, that does not mean Palmer will not (and has not) been criticized for the play — even though it wasn’t necessarily his fault — with Arians saying that’s just how things are in a quarterback’s world.
“That’s what it is in the quarterback’s world,” Arians said. “It is what it is.”