The Arizona Cardinals pressured Mike Glennon all game until Tampa Bay’s rookie quarterback made a costly mistake.
Carson Palmer threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald in the fourth quarter and Jay Feely kicked a 27-yard field goal with 1:29 remaining as the Arizona Cardinals rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-10 on Sunday.
Patrick Peterson had two interceptions in the closing minutes, one setting up Arizona’s first TD in six quarters and the other to ruin any chance of Glennon pulling off a late comeback in his NFL debut for the winless Bucs (0-4).
Feely also kicked a 42-yard field goal for the Cardinals (2-2), who trailed 10-0 entering the fourth quarter.
Starting in place of the benched Josh Freeman, Glennon was steady — if not spectacular — for most of the game, giving Tampa Bay the type of performance it had been wanting from a quarterback.
But it all unraveled after Peterson stepped in front of a pass intended for Vincent Jackson and returned his first interception 11 yards to the Bucs 13.
Fitzgerald beat cornerback Darrelle Revis on the next play for his 80th career TD reception with just over three minutes to go.
The Cardinals moved 29 yards after forcing a punt to win it on Feely’s second field goal of the day. Palmer threw 19 yards to Jaron Brown on the first play of the drive, and an unnecessary roughness penalty on Bucs safety Dashon Goldson moved the ball to the Tampa Bay 9.
Palmer overcame a slow start to complete 21 of 38 passes for 248 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Fitzgerald had six catches for 68 yards, all in the second half.
Revis and Johnthan Banks had interceptions for the Bucs, and Leonard Johnson set up Glennon’s first career TD pass by forcing a fumble that Gerald McCoy recovered at the Cardinals 41.
Arizona had trouble moving the ball until Palmer got Fitzgerald involved in the third quarter. The seven-time Pro Bowl was matched up most of the day against Revis, and Palmer didn’t even attempt to throw the ball his way in the first half.
Freeman was declared inactive for the game and was not in uniform, instead watching the game from a suite at Raymond James Stadium.
Glennon was 24 of 43 for 193 yards, including an 8-yard TD pass to Mike Williams in the first quarter. He threw two interceptions and was sacked twice.
Freeman was benched Wednesday, two days after coach Greg Schiano insisted the third quarterback selected in the 2009 draft was still the starter because he gave the Bucs the best chance to win.
The fifth-year pro became the first 4,000-yard passer in franchise history last season. However, his inconsistency down the stretch led to the Bucs losing five of their last six games and missing the playoffs for the fifth straight year.
Freeman is in the final year of the contract he signed as a rookie. The benching caps a tumultuous month in which he overslept and missed a team photo shoot, and was not elected a team captain.
The Bucs lost their first two games on last-second field goals and failed to score a touchdown in last week’s 23-3 loss at New England.
Schiano said Wednesday that Freeman would be the backup quarterback.
A day later, Freeman did a television interview with ESPN and said a trade might be the best solution for him and the team. By Friday, Schiano said he no longer wanted to talk about the situation, saying he’d announce the inactives 90 minutes before gametime.
The Cardinals entered the game with problems of their own. They lost linebackers Sam Acho, Lorenzo Alexander and Alex Okafor to season-ending injuries during the previous week’s lopsided loss at New Orleans, and safety Rashad Johnson was inactive Sunday after losing the tip of a finger making a tackle against the Saints.
Nose tackle Dan Williams also missed his second straight game due to the death of his father.