Cardinals QB Carson Palmer made one of the gutsiest plays of the season when he decided to go long in a 3rd down situation that resulted in a game-winning TD.
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To be the best you have to beat the best. So far that is just about all the Arizona Cardinals have done: San Diego, San Francisco and now Philadelphia have all fallen to the Cardinals as they move to 6-1 thanks to an incredible late-game TD bomb from QB Carson Palmer to WR John Brown with less than 2 minutes to play. The scariest thing about how well the Cardinals are doing is that they aren’t even at full strength: LB Daryl Washington, DT Darnell Dockett and LB John Abraham have all either been suspended or injured to the points where the team should see a significant reduction in defensive stopping power. And yet the team remains stout.
With an elite receiving corps that features future Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald, a strong-armed, veteran QB in Carson Palmer, and a defensive backfield with the tandem of Patrick Peterson, Deone Buchanon and Antonio Cromartie, the Cardinals are flying high and get to put their NFC West-best record on the line next week against the Dallas Cowboys in a game to determine the league’s best record to start November.
Here are the five biggest winners from NFL Week 9:
Arizona Cardinals – That was a gutsy call going for the deep ball on 3rd down with under two minutes to go, and if the Cardinals can get just one win over the Seattle Seahawks, it may be the signature play that propels them to the NFC West title.
Detroit Lions – Overcoming that 21-point deficit while holding the Falcons scoreless in the second half proves a few things: 1. The Lions have arguably the best defense in football this year, 2. Megatron or No Megatron, a lead is not safe when you play against a team with a franchise QB, 3. You have to be playing one of the worst teams ever to win a game BECAUSE of a penalty they committed themselves.
Pittsburgh Steelers – Games like the record-setting 6 TD, 522 yard performance Ben Roethlisberger had against the Colts tend to silence all of the critics who said the Steelers offense was terrible.
New Orleans Saints – The difference between the Saints at home and the Saints on the road is like night and day. Winless on the road, undefeated at home. But the difference in this game was RB Mark Ingram, who finally looked like the RB the team drafted in the first round all those years ago.
Houston Texans – It’s hard to believe that the Texans are only one game out of first place in the division playing with a journeyman QB, and yet here they are, at 4-4 with the best defender in the NFL.