You know it’s going to be a long day when the officials blow a call that costs your team a touchdown three minutes and 12 seconds into the game. A missed review on an apparent fumble and the Carolina Panthers were on their way to victory.
The Arizona Cardinals fell behind 24-0 before they knew what hit them and the Panthers were well on their way to an easy 30-20 win on Sunday afternoon in Charlotte. The Cardinals are now 3-4-1 on the season.
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As for the Panthers, their victory puts them at 2-5 and in position to make second-half run to get back into the playoff hunt. don’t kid yourselves though, although the officials called what appeared to be an incomplete pass a fumble, the Cardinals did themselves no favors on Sunday.
The Cardinals only had trouble moving the ball and quarterback Carson Palmer was finding little time to throw the ball. He was sacked eight times on the day.
Running back David Johnson had a tough time too. He had four runs for negative yardage in the first half. It wasn’t pretty.
The Cardinals did go 75 yards on a drive right before half time to get on the scoreboard and send the teams to the locker room with a 24-7 game. However the Cardinals momentum did not carry into the second half and the Panthers were back up 30-7 fairly quickly.
11/13San Francisco 49ers
11/20at Minnesota Vikings
11/27at Atlanta Falcons
12/11at Miami Dolphins
The Cardinals played with more heart in the second half but by then it was too late. They managed a couple of touchdowns and had chances to get it even closer but an interception ruined any chances of a fourth quarter miracle.
The Cardinals only rushed for 24 yards as a team against the Panthers, while the Panthers racked up 141 yards on the ground. The Cardinals were forced to throw most of the day with limited availability by their receivers.
Larry Fitzgerald was limping with a hurt ankle for much of the afternoon. John Brown, who caught a touchdown pass, his first of the season, did little to be involved much on Sunday, clearly still not 100 percent. Then receiver Michael Floyd did see the field but was never targeted.
Now the Cardinals head into the bye week to think about this one and possibly get healthier. One thing they may need to take a look at though is their offensive line. They played about as poorly as an offensive line can play. The eight sacks by the Panthers were the most Palmer had ever been sacked in his career in one game.