Bottle it up and package it and sell it, this is the recipe for winning games for the Arizona Cardinals after their impressive 27-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons today. The recipe is simply defense dominate and stop the run and cause turnovers and the offense run the ball to set up the big play.
Carson Palmer does not need to throw the ball 35 time a game, he only passed it 18 times completing 13 for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns and added one more interception, which is just what the doctor ordered, balance as a team starting with coaching down to the players.
Coaching game plan was solid and got major results in areas they struggled all year long in, Cardinals did an out standing job on defense today smothering Matt Ryan all day and forced him to throw 4 interceptions, which brings his total against the Cardinals in the last two meetings to 9.
The offense was the best they have been all year, particularly in the first half of the game, they took advantage of field position and allowed their run game with rookie Andre Ellington to set the tone for the deep ball, which came on the drive after the pick where Palmer got the ball deep to newly signed corner turned receiver Teddy Williams for his only catch for 51 yards. That play put a little scare into the Falcon secondary.
Carson Palmer had to keep his interception pace with Eli Manning early in this game and I guess he decided to get his pick out of his system early, but quickly rebounded to lead the offense to it’s best performance sense week one.
The running game finished with 201 net yards from scrimmage on 30 carries, which was done all day by two rookies, these two rookies were the biggest steals of the draft by far this year, no one expected them to have this much of an impact so early and often, but Ellington and Taylor indeed have looked far better than the starter Rashard Mendenhall who may have just passed the starting torch to these rookies.
Now here is where they made their mark today, it was on defense that the Cardinals really seized the opportunity of taking advantage of a depleted Atlanta Falcons team all day, this performance was absolutely dominant in every phase, they got the Falcons off the field on 3rd down going 8/20 for 40% and also cause endless pressure on Matt Ryan on every pass play. Only gave up a whopping 27 yards in total rushing yards, completed that with 4 sacks and 4 picks, not to mention the several hits and hurries to Ryan all day.
Interceptions were by players that have made impacts to this defense all season long, line backer Daryl Washington had another pick covering tight end Tony Gonzales all day and did a great job holding him to only 3 catches for 26 yards, rookie Tyrann Mathieu added his second pick on the year after he also has a good game being all over the field. Mathieu was called for a questionable pass interference in the back of the end zone, which was a bad call by the ref because Mathieu was playing the ball the entire play and then the tight end just murdered him by grabbing his neck and bringing him to the ground. This is why he is called the honey badger because he is feisty and aggressive. Rashad Johnson also added 2 more picks as well off of pressures from up front causing floated passes.
Ex Falcon John Abraham was licking his chops to get to his one time quarterback, whom he was never able to tackle in practice, but did get his hands on Ryan today with a sack and caused several rushed throws getting pressure before leaving with an apparent head injury.
This indeed is the recipe going forward; need not to be changed but follow this pattern and this team will find themselves challenging for the final wild card spot.
Tags: Cardinals Recipe To Win