Monday, December 23, 2013
Upon Further Review: Cardinals Week 16
By Josh Weinfuss
SEATTLE -- A review of four hot issues from the Arizona Cardinals' 17-10 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
Balanced attack: While most of the offense wasn't working, the running game was able to find a rhythm and balance.
Rookie Andre Ellington's 64 yards complemented starter Rashard Mendenhall's 63. But how they got them was vastly different. Ellington averaged 4.3 yards per carry and had a long of 26. On the other hand, Mendenhall averaged 3 yards per carry and had a long of just 9.
The two provided the right inside-out balance that was able to keep Seattle from guessing where they were going. And even when the Seahawks had an idea, Ellington's speed was too much.
Palmer's low days: For the fourth time this season, Carson Palmer threw for fewer than 200 yards. Besides the first time it happened, in Week 3 at New Orleans when Palmer had 187 yards, two interceptions and no touchdowns, the Cardinals have won every time. It hadn't happened in almost two months, but Palmer's 178 yards Sunday were his third-fewest this season. The other two games were against Carolina (175) and Houston (172), both wins.
Palmer was 13-for-25 passing against Seattle, tying his lowest total for completions this season and making that his second-lowest attempts.
Pro Bowl year goes on: It seems like everything Justin Bethel does this season has been Pro Bowl worthy. He added to his résumé in Seattle with less than a week before the voting for the Pro Bowl is over.
On Arizona's first punt of the game, he brought down Golden Tate at the Seattle 11 for no gain.
In the third quarter, after Arizona took a 6-3 lead, Robert Turbin fumbled a kickoff return, which was recovered by Bethel.
Reversal of fortunes: After weeks of having calls go against them, the Cardinals were the beneficiaries of some good luck Sunday.
There were a handful of calls that could have gone the other way but were ruled in Arizona's favor, including one that sealed the win. With 2:06 left in the fourth quarter, Russell Wilson's pass bounced off the arm of tight end Doug Baldwin and into the hands of Karlos Dansby. But the play was challenged, alleging that it hit the ground first. Although replays leaned toward this, the video was inconclusive enough to overturn the call, and Arizona kept possession. Seattle also challenged whether Mendenhall was down before he fumbled, and the replay showed he was, which allowed Arizona to keep the ball and eventually led to a field goal.