Arizona Cardinals Play Better In Third, Take 12-6 Lead


Oct 6, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall (28) runs up field with the ball as Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy (76) pursues during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

What a difference it makes when you can start running the ball and pushing the defense backwards.  That’s exactly what the Arizona Cardinals did in the third quarter.  They used Andre Ellington and Rashard Mendenhall on the run and it gave the Cards a 12-6 lead going to the fourth quarter.  It was going well on offense until the third interception of the day of Cards quarterback Carson Palmer.

The Cards also picked it up on defense.  Defensive end Calais Campbell sacked Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the end zone to turn a 10-6 game to a 12-6 game.  However just as the Panthers have done on offense, so have the Cards.  Both teams despite their defensive efforts have been hurt by their offenses.

Both defenses have played pretty darn well today overall but neither quarterback wants to take over the game.  Palmer keeps giving the ball back to the Panthers and Newton has been running for his life, having been sacked five times today.  His receivers haven’t helped much either.  They had yet another drop in the third quarter.

Now it’s onto the fourth quarter.  Which offense will decide they don’t want to keep killing itself down the stretch?  If I was a betting man, I’d say the Panthers but right now, it doesn’t look like either offense wants this one that badly.