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Heroes and Goats: 49ers at Cardinals

As we review this week’s Arizona Cardinals victory over the San Francisco 49ers, it’s important to keep some facts in mind:

  • San Francisco is 23rd in the NFL in points scored per game (20.8)
  • They’re also 32nd in points allowed per game (31.4)
  • The Cardinals defense allowed nearly as many points this week as the 30th-ranked New Orleans defense allowed the week before
  • The Arizona offense barely exceeded their season scoring average (22.4 ppg) against the most toothless unit in the NFL

Yesterday’s win goes in the books, and if the team finishes the season 10-5-1 and makes the playoffs, none of this is going to matter. But still, it’s hard to have confidence in this team when half its victories have come against San Francisco.

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Michael Floyd, WR The pending free agent finally found a way to get off the schneid, making a number of exceptional circus catches on poorly thrown balls.

 

John Wetzel, OT The next man up at left tackle acquitted himself well in his first showing. He allowed some pressures, but he also didn’t handicap the offense by requiring help on every down.

 

Larry Fitzgerald, WR There’s little more you can say about Larry Fitzgerald. He’s exceptional, though after being held scoreless in four consecutive games, Bruce Arians and Harold Goodwin need to start finding a way for him to get into the end zone.

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Carson Palmer, QB Despite the rise of David Johnson, this game illustrates that the Arizona Cardinals will only go as far as Carson Palmer can lead them. Palmer’s embarrassing fourth-quarter interception would have cost the Cards a win against a real NFL team.

 

J.J. Nelson, WR Like Jaron Brown before him, Nelson came up short when provided an opportunity to seize the #2 receiver job. Nelson was targeted 6 times and had two receptions for 29 yards with a fumble and a tip that turned into another interception.

 

A.Q. Shipley, OC Shipley is bad at his job. He looks out of shape. The offensive line continues to be mystified by defensive line stunts and games. Besides snap the ball into Palmer’s hands consistently, there isn’t much he adds to the position. It’s difficult to believe this was our Plan A for the center position.

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