The Arizona Cardinals now have as many losses through four weeks as they had through all of 2015. After winning the NFC West with a 13-3 record, the Cardinals are currently sitting at 1-3. The bad news continues for Arizona, as Carson Palmer will likely miss the next game, Thursday Night against the 49ers, due to a concussion.
Week 4 result: 17-13 loss to the Los Angeles Rams
In an ugly defensive battle, the Cardinals took a 13-10 lead deep into the 4th quarter. With 2:36 to play, they gave up a Case Keenum TD pass to Brian Quick that would prove to be the deciding points of the game. Cardinals backup Drew Stanton then threw 2 interceptions to seal the outcome. Stanton was filling in after Carson Palmer left the game due to a concussion suffered on an Aaron Donald & Eugene Sims sack with 5:40 to go in the 4th quarter.
The Cardinals had a few offensive bright spots. Wide Receiver John Brown had a huge game, catching 10 passes for 144 yards. The Cardinals outgained the Rams offensively, 420 yards to 288, but were undone by turnovers. Three interceptions and two lost fumbles marked the 2nd week in a row that the Cardinals have turned the ball over five times.
Next up: Thursday Night Football @ San Francisco 49ers (1-3)
Thursday Night has earned a reputation for bad football, and this week’s battle of 1-3 teams is not shaping up to be an exception. Headlines like “Drew Stanton vs Blaine Gabbert” are a tough sell. Still, both teams will be in desperation mode, as falling to 1-4 would spell the end of any remaining hope for a successful season.
Fans of the run game will have plenty to watch, as two of the NFL’s Top 10 leading rushers square off against poor run defenses. Carlos Hyde (8th in rush yards) will face the Cardinals 20th ranked run D, while David Johnson (7th) will face the worst run D in the NFL, now missing star linebacker NaVorro Bowman for the season. Expect to see a combined 60+ rush attempts Thursday.
Major injuries. Eight Cardinals players missed practice Monday. Palmer and Bowman are the headliners, but both teams are walking wounded, and the short week makes it likely that many will sit out Thursday. The team placed RB Chris Johnson and DB Tyvon Branch on injured reserve Tuesday morning.
David Johnson is the highest rated RB in the NFL according to Pro football Focus, while Carson Palmer ranks 30th among QB’s.