The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-33 Sunday at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.
The Cardinals (3-3) played a perfect half, a task that is very difficult to accomplish in the NFL. At halftime, the score was 24-0 in favor of the Cardinals, Arizona had 309 yards of total offense and Arizona’s defense forced Tampa Bay to punt three times and a turnover on downs on the Buccaneers first four drives.
It was all Tampa Bay in the second half. Tampa Bay (2-3) outscored Arizona 33-14, scoring four touchdowns but not capitalizing on two point attempts.
“Obviously, a day for old guys. I know how to coach old guys.” Arizona head coach Bruce Arians said after the victory.
Veterans take the lead
Adrian Peterson showed that he is still a dominant force in the NFL. On the opening play of the game, Peterson put the Cardinals fans on their feet with an eight-yard carry. To close out the first drive, Peterson rushed for a 27-yard touchdown.
On 26 carries, Peterson rushed for 134 yards and totaled two touchdowns. It would be the 50th time in his career he rushed for 100 yards or more.
As a member of the New Orleans Saints, Peterson rushed for just 81 yards through the first four games. The Cardinals traded for Peterson last Tuesday.
“I can’t say enough about what Adrian [Peterson] added to us this week. We blocked better and he made some guys miss. A couple of times he looked like three [yards] but it turned out to be seven.” Arians said about his running back.
Larry Fitzgerald had a great performance of his own, catching 10 passes for 138 yards and a touchdown. For Fitzgerald, it is the 44th time in his career the he posted 100 or more receiving yards. Fitzgerald is now second on the NFL’s All Time receiving yards’ list playing for just one team, only trailing Jerry Rice.
Carson Palmer benefitted from a strong running game as he had a great performance as well. Palmer completed 18 on 22 attempts for 283 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Tampa drops second in a row
Just as the week before, the Buccaneers were playing from behind for most of the game but had a chance to win it in the fourth.
The Bucs suffered a big blow early in the game when Jameis Winston came out of the game in the first quarter. At the time of his injury, Winston was 5-of-10 for 61 yards. He was seen on the sideline tossing the ball and came back into the game for one play.
Ryan Fitzpatrick came into the game for the Bucs in the second quarter. Fitzpatrick brought Tampa Bay back into the game, going 22-for-32 for 290 yards throwing three touchdowns and two interceptions.
A Fitzpatrick touchdown to Mike Evans cut the Arizona lead to 38-32 with two minutes to play. Fitzgerald recovered the onside kick which would ice the game.
Evans did not record a catch until the third quarter. He finished the game with three catches for 95 yards.
Cameron Brate made history as he and Fitzpatrick would be the first duo out of Harvard to score a touchdown in an NFL game. Brate recorded six passes for 76 yards. DeSean Jackson recorded three catches for 38 yards and a touchdown.
In Doug Martin’s second game back from his suspension, Martin rushed for 53 yards and a touchdown.
Tampa Bay will turn their attention to the Buffalo Bills. The Bills will be coming off their bye week.
As for Arizona, they will take on the Los Angeles Rams in London.