Arizona Cardinals dominating at both ends as they remain undefeated

Jay Asser 08:51 29/09/2015
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Picking his passes: Carson Palmer.

There have been few teams off to a better start this season than the Arizona Cardinals, who have come out of the gates on fire.

Arizona have won blowout after blowout, the latest being a 47-7 beat down of the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night to win and remain unbeaten at 3-0.

On both sides of the ball, the Cardinals dominated from beginning to end with their defence smothering 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and their offence scoring seemingly at will.

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Their six touchdowns were evenly distributed as two came on the ground, two came through the air and two were returned by the defence.

It’s been the passing game though, which has been arguably the most impressive through the first three weeks.

With Carson Palmer at quarterback, Arizona have won nine straight games dating back to last season – the NFL’s longest active streak – and have the league’s highest-scoring offence this year at 42.0 points per game.

Much of the offence’s brilliance has been due to the connection between Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

After catching eight passes for 112 yards and three touchdowns in last week’s victory over Chicago, Fitzgerald was once again unstoppable with nine receptions for 134 yards and two scores against San Francisco.

The 32-year-old’s five touchdowns in the past two games dwarf the six scores he tallied in his previous 21 contests.

Fitzgerald has turned back the clock to the mid-to-late 2000s, when he had six 1,000-yard receiving campaigns in seven seasons. Following three straight years of being held shy of the mark, the future Hall of Famer is on pace to smash the barrier with 1,776 yards.

With Palmer throwing him the ball and Fitzgerald becoming more of a mainstay in the slot, allowing him to work the middle of the field, the results have started to come in bunches.

“He’s transformed himself,” Palmer said of his main target. “He spent so much time early on in his career one-on-one on the outside…which he absolutely crushed and did a great job in. Now we ask him to do something completely different.

“He’s inside a lot. He’s blocking guys that outweigh him by 40 pounds but he’s winning the battle. To see him do it and to see him work and practice and lead and do all of the things he does, I don’t know another guy in the league who has done that.”

The Cardinals’ attack gets back another weapon in Andre Ellington next week, when the running back is expected to return from injury.

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