Rapid Reaction: Arizona Cardinals

October, 27, 2013
10/27/13
7:39
PM ET

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A few thoughts on the Arizona Cardinals' 27-13 victory against the Atlanta Falcons.

What it means: The Cardinals offense began to click Sunday against Atlanta, but was it because the Falcons' defense played badly or the Cardinals’ running game helped balance the passing game? Either way, Arizona showed what its passing game could do when its running game shows up. The Cards gained 201 yards on the ground, which kept the Falcons’ pass rush honest and allowed let offensive line give Carson Palmer time to throw.

Stock watch: Rookie running back Andre Ellington was given an opportunity to show what he can do as the starter Sunday and made the most of it. Ellington made a case to unseat Rashard Mendenhall as the Cardinals' primary back when the team returns from its bye week in November. His ability to cut on a dime and his breakaway speed add another dimension to the Cardinals offense as he showed on an 80-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Ellington finished with 154 yards.

Another record: Larry Fitzgerald’s 17-yard catch at the end of the third quarter was the 800th of his career, making him the youngest player in NFL history to reach that mark at 30 years, 57 days old. And the record came on a day when news broke that he could be traded or have his contract restructured during the offseason.

Pick party: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan came into Sunday’s game with three interceptions, one for every 81.3 attempts. He left Arizona with more than twice as many. The Cardinals intercepted him four times in his 61 attempts. Safety Rashad Johnson had two, the first was by linebacker Daryl Washington and the third by safety Tyrann Mathieu.

What's next: The Cardinals have a bye next weekend before hosting the Houston Texans at 2:25 p.m. MT on Nov. 10 at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Josh Weinfuss

ESPN Arizona Cardinals reporter

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