The Arizona Cardinals (4-1) pushed their way past the Washington Redskins (1-5) on Sunday one field goal and one interception at a time to ultimately take the game, 30-20.
They pushed them around a little, too.
It was quarterback Carson Palmer’s first game back as a starter after missing the last few weeks with a shoulder injury, and his 250 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions were nothing to sneeze at. Palmer’s offensive production was complemented by receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s best game of the year, during which he scored his first touchdown of the season.
And as always, the Cardinals put their trust in kicker Chandler Cantanzaro, who went 3-for-3 on field goals, one for 49 yards to put some room between the teams when things got close.
But where Arizona really shone was on defense, holding the Redskins to under 100 rushing yards and picking off Washington backup quarterback Kirk Cousins three times and forcing four turnovers in the fourth quarter to seal the game.
Here’s a look at the Cardinals victory by the numbers:
Cantanzaro continues his streak of perfection for Arizona, booting through three of three field goals and accounting for 12 of the team’s 30 total points. The kicker is now 11-for-11 in field goals and 5-for-5 in extra points this season, accounting for 27.7 percent of the Cardinals total points this season.
Fitzgerald caught his first touchdown of the year off a 24-yard pass from Palmer. The receiver also banked his best performance of the year with six catches for 98 yards, plus the touchdown.
Palmer was 28 of 44 with 250 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions on the game. The solid performance is a nice welcome-back basket for the 35-year-old, who has missed the past five weeks as the Cardinals’ starting quarterback with a damaged nerve in his throwing shoulder.
The Cardinals quarterbacks in Palmer and backup Drew Stanton are still perfect on the season, combining for a giant goose egg in interceptions.
The Cardinals defense showed up to play despite some position shuffling due to injuries earlier this week. They managed to pick off Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins three times (one was returned for a touchdown by Rashad Johnson) and recovered a fumble. Additionally, Washington committed their four turnovers in the fourth quarter alone, stopping any momentum they may have gained earlier in the game.
Linebacker Alex Okafor was a terrifying presence for Cousins, as he sacked the hapless quarterback twice for a total loss of 19 yards. Okafor also had four tackles on the game alongside Tyrann Mathieu and Sam Acho.
The Cardinals are now 4-1 and lead the division courtesy of Seattle’s loss to Dallas on Sunday.