It wasn't supposed to be this difficult.
The Arizona Cardinals had won 2 in a row and were facing the 1-8 Jacksonville Jaguars without Luke Joekel, Blaine Gabbert, Justin Blackmon, Paul Posluzny and Will Rackley. Jacksonville was last in rushing defense and scoring offense. They hadn't scored a touchdown at home all season. They deserved their last place ranking and it looked to be an easy victory for Arizona.
But then they played the game.
The Cardinals overcame a 14 point first period from the home team and Carson Palmer had over 400 yards (30-42 419 yards, 2TDs) and Micheal Floyd (coming in with a sprained shoulder) a 91 yard touchdown with Arizona, making second half adjustments again, defeated the Jaguars 27-14 on Sunday.
In a game when neither team could muster a running game - AZ 24 carries for 14 yards and JAC 16 for 32, the passing game came into effect. Palmer had his 6th career 400+ passing game and Floyd pulled down 6 reception for 193 yards, including the 91 yard run-and-catch scamper in the third quarter, breaking 4 tackles.
"Carson played by far his best game," Arizona coach Bruce Arians said.
"The safety bit down on the play-action and Carson made a heck of a throw," Floyd said. "I made a couple of guys miss and we scored a touchdown. You give me a little bit of a space and I just try to break tackles. With my big frame, I should be able to make catches that not all guys can."
The first half was was punch-counter with Chad Henne hooking up with TE Danny Noble on 4th and 1 for a 61 missed defensive match up for his first career catch and touchdown.
The second half the game was dictated by sloppy play. Other than the opening kick drive of 9 plays and 77 yards, which resulted in a 21 yard Jay Feely FG (later would add a 32 FG for 18 in a row) by the Cardinals and the aforementioned 91 yard breaking-4-tackles Floyd TD (seventh longest in Cardinal history) it was mostly 3 and outs with punts. Jacksonville had a last gasp 10 play 4th quarter drive that ended in downs - but neither offense was efficient after halftime.
AZ followed back with probably their best first opening drive of the season since New Orleans with short Palmer passes and a 10 play 5 minute session, ending in a Larry Fitzgerald 14 yard touchdown.
Jacksonville countered with a quick snap on offense misleading Arizona's defense with a trick play to Harbour to the Jags 6 yard line. Maurice Jones-Drew (14 for 23 yards) ran from 1 yard in after a questionable taunting unsportsmanlike call on Yeremiah Bell to make it 14-7.
"They're a great defense. We knew that going in," Jones-Drew said. "They load the box and wanted to make sure that we couldn't run the ball."
The Cardinals closed out the half, tying the score on two tough catches from Floyd, a Rob Housler sighting and a 5 yard scamper from Rashard Mendenhall.
S/ST Justin Bethel was helped off the field with perceived concussions and ST/WR Teddy Williams left with an achilles injury that will put him out for the season.
For the first time in 10 consecutive games Carson Palmer DID not throw an interception. Well... he did, but it was called back for an apparent AZ timeout called.
Jacksonville was last in third down conversion accuracy and kept the futility in plane with 2 for 14.
Andre Ellington supposedly lost some braided hair from Jason Babin in the 4th quarter. Coupled with Rashad Johnson losing tip of finger earlier this year, team has be concerned about pets's heads falling off later in the season.
The team is now 6-4 and could be in second place in the NFC West pending the Niners- Saints late game.
Enjoy the victory, Cards fans.