Cardinals improve to 8-2 with win over Bengals
(The Sports Xchange) - Carson Palmer said Sunday night's showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals was not going to be "just another game."
The contest carried some extra weight on a few different fronts, from it being the 100th game the Arizona Cardinals would play in University of Phoenix Stadium, to it coming against the former team Palmer demanded to be traded from.
It was also a chance for his team to improve to 8-2 and tighten their grip on one of the top two NFC playoff seeds.
The Cardinals hit the trifecta with a 34-31 victory over the Bengals during their second consecutive appearance on NBC's "Sunday Night Football," as Palmer overcame two first-quarter interceptions to throw for four touchdowns.
The Bengals rallied behind quarterback Andy Dalton (315 yards, two touchdowns) to tie the score, 31-31, with 1:08 to play on a 43-yard field goal by kicker Mike Nugent.
However, Palmer threw two quick completions, and the Cardinals were aided in a big way by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Cincinnati defensive tackle Domata Peko for "calling out signals."
The penalty turned what would have been a 45-yard game-winning field goal try by kicker Chandler Catanzaro into a 33-yarder, which Catanzaro nailed with two seconds remaining.
With their fourth consecutive victory, the Cardinals (8-2) maintained their three-game lead in the NFC West and their one-game edge in the race for the No. 2 seed in the NFC postseason.
Palmer, who finished 20 of 31 for 317 yards, improved to 21-4 in his last 25 starts for Arizona. Continued...