There were some highlights, and some obvious lowlights, but the Cardinals came away with the W, and in the end that's what matters in the NFL. Without further ado, let's examine 5 highlights from Sunday 22-6 win.
1) Andre Ellington Shines
Fans have been clamoring for Ellington to get an increased role, and we witnessed that on Sunday. He carried the rock seven times for 52 yards, and made four catches for 31 yards. He's a play maker and I believe coach Arians should be considering whether or not to replace Mendenhall as the Cardinals featured back.
I watched Sowell intently for the first half of the game, and on the first three to four plays, he struggled. He was allowing pressure on Palmer, and at one point I even recorded a sack against Sowell, but later erased it when I saw his guy actually missed Palmer, and instead was Fanaika's mistake. Sowell passed his first test, but faces an even tougher opponent in Justin Smith and the 49ers defense next week.
3) Pressure Galore
Coming into this game, I never would have thought that this unit was capable of sacking the quarterback, let alone Cam Newton, a total of seven times. Well that came to fruition this week. Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington combined for four sacks, Calais Campbell recorded two more(and a safety), and rookie Tyrann Mathieu acquired the seventh. Bowles could very well erase the bad taste of losing Ray Horton if this unit continues.
4) Turnovers Galore
The Cardinals forced three picks, one each by Dansby and Washington, and a third by Patrick Peterson, and Campbell was able to knock the ball out of Newton's hands and Antoine Cason made the recovery and nearly took it for a touchdown. It's a well known fact that with pressure comes turnovers, and the Cardinals made both happen.
5) Daryl Washington Returns
This game is not a Cardinal win without Daryl Washington. Simply. He had a game high nine tackles, and was the reason Newton was under duress much of the game. He will be needed as we go back to back NFCW match ups with San Francisco next Sunday (10/13) and the Seattle Seahawks that Thursday night (10-17). Starting out 0-3 in the division won't help our chances at a playoff run.