Arizona Cardinals Beat Tampa Bay 40-7: Five Things We Learned

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The Arizona Cardinals’ season did not start as planned after dropping their season opener to the Tom Brady-less New England Patriots in Week 1, 23-21. The Bird Gang was able to take a step in the right direction on Sunday, beating the Tampa Buccaneers 40-7.

Here are five things we learned in the Cardinal win:

Carson Palmer’s Good Day: Palmer came out of the gate with touchdowns to three different receivers in the first half. The last time the Cardinal signal-caller notched three scores or more in a half was in 2009 when he was with the Oakland Raiders. After playing just over three quarters, Palmer was replaced by backup Drew Stanton. Palmer finished the day going 18/31 for 308 yards and three scores.

Spreading the Love: Entering each game, there is a question as to who will step up and be “the guy” to be Palmer’s go-to target for that day. To put it simply, there were a lot of “guys” on Sunday. Running back David Johnson led the way with 98 yards, and Larry Fitzgerald and Jaron Brown combined for 159 yards and each had a touchdown.

Jameisn’t: Jameis Winston opened his second season with the Buccanneers with a win over the Falcons and throwing for 281 yards and four touchdowns. We did not see that Jameis Winston on Sunday. The former #1 overall pick threw four interceptions and lost a fumble, leading to 16 Cardinal points.

Hangin’ With Marcus Cooper: When a secondary produces four interceptions, things are going well. Recently traded for Marcus Cooper stepped in nicely opposite Patrick Peterson, intercepting two passes and returning one for a touchdown thanks to a tip at the line by Josh Mauro. Cooper has picked up the system quickly after being traded from the Chiefs just 16 days ago.

 

Patrick Peterson and D.J. Swearinger also added interceptions, and Tony Jefferson forced a fumble.

On The Road: The Cardinals opened 2016 with two games at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Bird Gang takes to the road for the first time to take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 3. Last year, the Bird Gang went 7-2 on the road, falling in Week 6 to the Pittsburgh Steelers and in the NFC Championship to the Carolina Panthers.