"That's what it is in the quarterback's world," Arizona coach Bruce Arians said.
It was that kind of night for the Arizona offense against a Bengals' defense that ranked second in the NFL last season.
"We had a number of things that were just off," Palmer said, "from overthrows to missed opportunities, some funky things that happened on a couple of routes and some drops."
Mike Nugent added field goals of 48 and 36 yards for Cincinnati (1-2).
Jay Feely, competing with rookie Chandler Catanzaro for the Cardinals' kicking job, made a 24-yarder but missed from 48 yards. Catanzaro made a 23-yard attempt.
The Cardinals (1-2) got their lone touchdown on a 30-yard pass from backup Drew Stanton to rookie John Brown, who stretched out for a diving grab in the end zone with 1:29 left in the third quarter, tying it at 13.
"I guess the good thing is everyone acted very quickly to get things headed in the right direction very fast," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said, adding that Brown would have preferred to have kept the incident quiet. "We're happy that, hopefully, everything is going in the right direction and hopefully he'll get back with us very quickly."
Cincinnati inside linebacker Vontaze Burfict left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury.
On the Cardinals' second possession, it was third-and-7 from the Arizona 40 when Palmer fired a pass intended for Fitzgerald. But the errant throw went right to Newman, who evaded a couple of early would-be tacklers and outran everyone else to the end zone.
The Arizona starters' biggest offensive threat came on their first possession of the second quarter. The defense forced the Bengals to punt from their 6-yard line, giving the Cardinals good field position at the Cincinnati 41.
Statistically, at least, the Bengals' starters had the advantage, outgaining Arizona 198-141 in the first half.
"On defense, we had some negative plays," Lewis said, "but overall the effort -- and of course the point total -- was what you are looking for."
Cincinnati DT Geno Atkins played two series, his first game action since tearing an ACL and missing the last seven games a year ago. ... Bengals rookie guard Trey Hopkins was carted off the field in the fourth quarter with a right shin injury. Moments later wide receiver James Wright left via cart with a concussion. Guard T.J. Johnson became the third Bengal carted off the field in the fourth quarter. ... Arizona was without starting inside linebacker Kevin Minter (pectoral muscle) and guard Jonathan Cooper (toe).