And on that happy note, here are 5 positives from the Week 11 win in Jacksonville:
1) The Opening Drive
You always want to start a game strong, and the Cardinals did just this on Sunday, as QB Carson Palmer completed 6 passes to 6 different receivers. This drive would be capped off by a 14 yard pass to WR Larry Fitzgerald. It's an encouraging sign for an offense that has struggled for a large part of the season.
The second year receiver had a nice game of his own, taking in 6 receptions for 193 yards. But his biggest highlight of the day came in the 3rd quarter, when Floyd converted a pass from Palmer into a 91 yard TD run, putting the Cardinals up 24-14. Hopefully this is just a preview of what is to come from the talented #2 WR.
3) The defense
After giving up 14 points to the Jacksonville offense in the 1st quarter, many fans were worried that this game would spiral into a nightmare. However, the defense got its act together, as the Cardinals went on to score 20 unanswered points for the rest of the game. The defense made some great adjustments, and was able to contain Chad Henne and the Jaguars after that stagnant 1st quarter.
4) Carson Palmer
Palmer definitely wasn't perfect, and the offense as a whole wasn't outstanding. However, it's worth pointing out that Palmer completed 30 of 42 attempted passes for 419 yards and 2 TD's (The most passing yards by a Cardinals QB since the Kurt Warner-era). Even better, for the first time all season, Palmer didn't throw a single interception, or turn the ball over once (I'm ignoring the interception that was negated by a time-out. Let me have this). Hopefully he produces more mistake-less games like this one down the stretch.
5) Playoff Positioning
As mentioned above, with the win moving the team's record to 6-4, accompanied by the San Francisco 49ers loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Cardinals are now tied in the Wildcard Race. They are firmly in contention for making the Playoffs, and if the team can keep it rolling down the stretch, we may be looking at a very different January.