It was praise all around from the players and head coach Bruce Arians of the Arizona Cardinals after they handed the Houston Texans their 7th straight loss, 27-24, in Glendale on Sunday. Quarterback Carson Palmer and cornerback Patrick Peterson gave press love to play calling by Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. Other players were also quick to dish out appreciation to a great team victory attributed to intense bye week preparation following their win over the Atlanta Falcons.
It was an impressive (and predictable) domination by the consistent Cardinal defense who continue to show that they are a united team of playmakers. Only 14 seconds into the game and the defensive line was already showing off. A forced fumble on the initial possession by the Houston Texans was recovered by Cardinal linebacker Matt Shaughnessy and taken 6 yards for a touchdown. The offensive line showed that they are slowly adjusting to a laundry list of improvement areas as well. Former Houston Texan, Eric Winston said that his new Arizona team is figuring out the formula for success and in a “transition” year, it is what fans have been hoping for. The Cardinals turned the ball over 3 times, all in their own territory, struggled in the red zone, and were 3-10 on third down conversions – all known to be issues for the team.
The Texans started quarterback Case Keenum, who had been primarily non existent with the team until recent weeks after Matt Schaub suffered a leg injury. He showed promise in “perfect throws” to Houston star Andre Johnson, touchdown passes that were echoed by announcers to be some of the best defended touchdowns by Patrick Peterson. But, ultimately, the Arizona defense was able to “disrupt a young quarterback” rhythm, hold the offense to under 50 yards in the last half, and make a last minute stand as Jerraud Powers batted down a pass by Keenum to Johnson on 4th and 3.
Arizona is not out of the race for a NFC Wild Card spot, only trailing by more than one win to Seattle Seahawks (9-1) and the New Orleans Saints (6-3). The San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, and Carolina Panthers ended Week 10 with 6-3 records. They play in Jacksonville against the Jaguars in week 11.