Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie were owned by Julio Jones and Harry Douglas
Originally, it was supposed to be the matchup of Roddy White and Julio Jones against Arizona's cornerbacks. White was inactive, but Douglas stepped in and played well. Jones had 10 catches for 189 yards and a touchdown. Douglas added nine catches for 116 yards. The numbers speak for themselves. The Arizona secondary was shredded.
Arizona have crossed the threshold of injuries they can handle
"Next man up" has been wonderful this season, but the Cardinals have finally met their match. With no Larry Fitzgerald in the lineup, their play on offense isn't good enough to maintain an acceptable performance with Drew Stanton in there at quarterback. They got seven catches for 75 yards from Jaron Brown and four for 61 from Ted Ginn, but much of that production came in garbage time.
Michael Floyd had five catches for 53 yards, but his fumble gave the ball up when the team looked like it could make some noise.
The Cardinals added injuries to their already long list. Paul Fanaika left with a high ankle sprain. Tyrann Mathieu left with a cracked thumb. Andre Ellington left with a hip pointer.
Drew Stanton just isn't good on the road
Stanton's numbers entering Sunday were already suspect. He had completed 48 percent of his passes and had thrown two interception and no touchdowns. He threw another pair of picks, but did find the end zone in garbage time. The difference in his play is staggering. His passer rating at home is over 100. On the road it was 59.4. He added a 72 rating on Sunday.
Is there any doubt at this point that Stanton is on a completely different level than Carson Palmer?
Atlanta's defense wasn't bad, but Arizona's was
Entering the game as the league's worst defense, giving up nearly 410 yards per game, they held Arizona to 329 total yards of offense and 35 yards on the ground.
Arizona's squad, touted as one of the toughest in the league, was shredded. Atlanta amassed 500 yards, including 142 on the ground. Steven Jackson was the first back in 21 games to reach the century mark, gaining 101 yards on 18 carries.
There was one bright spot defensively -- Rashad Johnson' pick and 88-yard return for a touchdown.
Cooper, Grice were freed!
Jonathan Cooper finally got to play at guard. At first, he came in at left guard for a couple of series. Then Ted Larsen came back in the game. But Cooper was inserted permanently when Paul Fanaika left with an ankle sprain. Cooper played well, too.
Grice ended up playing significantly after Ellington left the game with a hip pointer. He gained 16 yards on five carries and caught three passes for 24 yards.He looked good on a couple of plays.
Special teams was bad, too
Drew Butler averaged 30.8 yards per punt. Devin Hester returned a punt for a touchdown, although it was negated by a questionable penalty. Ted Ginn's one kickoff return went for a whopping 18 yards. He did have one 14-yard punt return.
Arizona is in trouble
They are still 9-3, but the last four games are not easy. They play the Chiefs at home and then finish the season against each of the NFC West teams. If they aren't careful, 9-1 will end up 9-7.
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