The team responded very well, dominating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40-7, winning their first game of the season.
Cardinal offense returns
The Cardinals offense played just like it did a year ago. The offense featured big throws and David Johnson continued to show he is a star in the making.
Carson Palmer completed 18 passes on 31 attempts for 308 yards and three touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald caught six passes for 81 yards, catching touchdown 101. Jaron Brown had a touchdown catch for 51 yards. David Johnson gained a total of 152 yards, 98 of those yards being receiving yards.
“We know what we have in terms of the arsenal of weapons,” Fitzgerald said. “You never know who is going to be the guy who makes the play.
At the end of the first half, the Cardinals led 24-0. The Cardinals could have gone off on a higher note had they score a touchdown instead of the field goal. The Cardinals would continue their dominance by adding 16 points in the second half.
Defense puts on a show
The Cardinals defense also contributed in the pummeling of the Buccaneers. The defense took away the ball five times, including four interceptions from Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston.
One interception came off of star cornerback Patrick Peterson. Two more came from Marcus Cooper, recently acquired from the Kansas City Chiefs via trade. Cooper and rookie Brandon Williams were rotating in the first two quarters but after Cooper’s interception, Cooper would stay in the rest of the game.
Cooper might have just earned a starting spot in the rotation. Buccaneers quarterback Winston was targeting his side of the field just as Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo did the week before.
“My technique and stuff got a little sloppy toward the end of the game,” Cooper said. “I’m not too happy about that. It’s over now. These guys are going to study me and try to come after me.”
The fourth interception came from safety D.J. Swearinger that ended the game. The fifth turnover came off a fumble from Tampa Bay’s Winston recovered by Cardinal safety Tony Jefferson.
“We got humbled today,” Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter said. “We got beat up all over the field. It just came down to those turnovers in the first half. Three turnovers in the first half. Put our defense in horrible position.”
The Cardinals are now 1-1. In week three they will travel to Buffalo, going up against a 0-2 Buffalo Bills team that scored 31 points in their Thursday night loss to the New York Jets.
These last time these teams faced each other was in week six of the 2012 season, the Bills defeated the Cardinals in a 19-16 victory at University of Phoenix Stadium.
The Bills offense has scored 38 points in their first two games of the season. It wasn’t good enough for Rex Ryan to keep offensive coordinator Greg Roman in his position, firing Roman on Friday morning. Anthony Lynn will have his hands full against a good Cardinal defensive unit.
The Cardinals offense looks to continue what they started this on Sunday against Rob Ryan and the Bills defense.