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Cardinals vs. Ravens results: The good and the bad in the 26-18 win

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What went well? And not so well?

Norm Hall/Getty Images

Yes, the Arizona Cardinals got the win. They defeated the Baltimore Ravens 26-18 on Monday Night Football. It wasn't pretty, but it was a win. What was the good and the bad? Read on...

The good

The Cardinals finished a game

This has been the theme. They didn't fold or crack. They faced adversity and made plays. The kept the Ravens out of the end zone when it mattered and they got a win.

The offense rolled, was balanced and had red zone success

The Cardinals rolled up another game of over 400 yards of offense. They had 150 rushing yards. Carson Palmer threw a pair of touchdowns, no interceptions and completed nearly 70 percent of his passes. The had 28 rushing attempts and 29 passing attempts. In the red zone, they weren't perfect, but they weren't dreadful like in their two losses. 2/4 is better than 1/5 or 1/4.

Sacks and defensive disruption

The Cardinals had three sacks and nine tackles for a loss. They were making plays around the line of scrimmage and getting penetration.

Fresh running backs, productive running backs

Between Chris Johnson, Andre Ellington and David Johnson, the Cardinals had 195 yards offense from just their running backs. CJ was the horse and David Johnson was the nickel back in the passing offense, but Andre Ellington saw a lot of time late in the game. While many questioned why he wasn't out there much earlier, it was because 
Johnson was pretty hot and you don't want to take a hot guy out."

But having Ellington was very good. "He was fresh as a daisy," Arians said about his fourth quarter play. "He made good runs. He made big catches for us. It's nice to put a fresh, explosive player in the game in the fourth quarter."

The bad

The kicking game

Well, it wasn't pretty. Chandler Catanzaro missed a 55-yard field goal. He missed an extra point. That missed PAT was what caused all the drama. But ugliest play was the blocked punt. Drew Butler had his punt blocked. It wasn't necessarily his fault, but he has been the target of continued criticism from fans, so this didn't help things. According to Rashad Johnson, he was put in a bad spot when he had to choose between two rushers to block.

Game management gaffes

At the end of the first half, it appeared the Cardinals were in a position to be able to try and get down the field for at least a field goal. All they had to do was call timeout before a punt. Normally, Bruce Arians would do that. He didn't and the first half ended with the punt return. Then, in the final minutes, the Ravens were given almost a minute of extra time on the clock when Andre Ellington went out of bounds instead of going to the ground inbounds, and then when Carson Palmer tried to throw the ball away and avoid a sack. He was penalized for the throw, too, so he might as well have just dived to the ground and let the clock run. The result was the Ravens having time to get down the field.

Letting Baltimore in the game early

The defense struggled to get off the field early, allowing the Ravens to convert on third down four times in their first five attempts. It let them get on the board first and to take a 10-7 lead.