Cardinals vs. Giants – Arizona Fights To Stay in First in the NFC West
The Arizona Cardinals followed up their season opening win against the San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football with a 25-14 win over the New York Giants, and have taken the lead in the tough NFC West.
The Cardinals earned their victory without starting quarterback Carson Palmer, who was scratched from the game due to a shoulder injury. Without Palmer in the lineup, the Cardinals turned to Drew Stanton to lead them to victory, and the 8th year veteran did his part to lead his team to victory.
Coming into the game, the Giants were 0-1, after dropping their season opener to the Detroit Lions, which meant they would come out more focused in this game because they don’t want to fall to 0-2 to start the season, because teams that do rarely recover in time to make the playoffs.
Instead of the Giants jumping to an early lead, it was the Cardinals that drew first blood, scoring on the opening drive of the game on a 1 yard run by Jonathan Dwyer. On the next possession, Sam Acho intercepted an Eli Manning pass meant for Victor Cruz, giving the ball back to their offense which took advantage of the turnover and scored 3 points on a 49 yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro.
In the second quarter the Cardinals offense stalled, and they were unable to score any points, and Eli Manning was able to find Rueben Randle for a 7 yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds left in the first half. The third quarter was just as uneventful for the Cardinals offense, which couldn’t score any points. The Giants on the other hand found the end zone again, when Eli Manning connected with Daniel Fells for a one yard touchdown.
Just like the week before against the San Diego Chargers, the Cardinals came alive in the fourth quarter, Chandler Catanzaro made a 37 yard field goal to make the score 14-13. On the next Giants possession, they were forced to punt the ball after a three and out, and Ted Ginn Jr. returned the punt 71 yards for a touchdown in what was probably the most exciting play of the game, making the score 19-14. The Cardinals attempted a two point conversion to make it a 7 point game, but failed.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Giants fumbled the kickoff return, and it was recovered by Robert Hughes for 25 yards, to the Giants 21, where the Cards added another field goal, after being unable to move the ball. It all went downhill for the Giants after that, on the next drive, Eli Manning drove the offense the length of the field to the Cardinals 17 yard line, but Rashad Jennings fumbled a pass that was recovered by the Cardinals.
With the score at 22-14, the Giants still had a chance to tie the game, but couldn’t get anything going on offense, and the Cardinals sealed it with a 33 yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro, who made four field goals on the day.
Drew Stanton played well enough for the Cardinals, especially for someone playing on short notice, but the Cardinals will be hoping for the return of Carson Palmer for their next game, which is against their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, who are coming off a tough loss to the Chicago Bears and won’t want to lose more ground to the Cardinals.