The Cardinals weren't spectacular yesterday. While it was in no way a perfect game it was balanced and consistent. Besides a second quarter scare when a turnover allowed the Raiders to gain momentum the Cards essentially forced their will onto the Raiders.
They ended converting 60 percent of their third downs and finished with a time of possession of 36:57. Remember the Seattle Seahawks circa 2013? That happens to be how the Cardinals played today and guess who is now obviously leading the NFC West? The 5-1 Arizona Cardinals.
Time to look at the best players who helped the team stay on that plateau:
37, 9, 7, 16, 10. Those are yards on catches or runs Ellington had not included the many 5 or 6 yard gains he had too. He finished with 24 rushes for 88 yards and 6 receptions for 79 yards. That's a total of 167 yards and as Jess pointed out that's 30 touches in one game. Every time he touches the ball it's electric.
Did you think Ellington was the only running back on the team? 12 rushes for 40 yards, 2 catches for 19 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor proved he can be a short yardage back, but more importantly he showed he could be a solid backup if anything would happen to Andre Ellington after Ellington's cramps sidelined him.
Keim and Arians made two amazing draft picks with these two.
22 for 31 for 253 yards 2 touchdowns and an interception. Not bad for his second week back. Most impressively consider his lone interception, while a little high, was off a tip from John Carlson into the great Charles Woodson and that he passed to nine different receivers. There are weapons on this team and Palmer showed he can use all of them.
I know this is a cop out, but if there is any position that is dependent on teamwork it's the offensive line and can you honestly choose between any of them? Who was better Massie? Fanaika? Sendlein? Larsen? Veldheer? The pass protection and run protection were both great. Palmer had time in the pocket and there were holes for the running backs to move through.
Again, between Tommy Kelly, Dan Williams, Ed Stinson and Kareem Martin who was most valuable. The once again shut down the run game only allowing 56 net rushing yards. There were fears that injuries to both Dockett and Campbell would be tough to overcome, but the depth on the Cards is flat out incredible and this defense may bend but doesn't brake. Kudos to an under appreciated group.
Who was most important this game? Vote and/or tell us in the comments.