The Arizona Cardinals finally showed that they can still occasionally play to the form of the 13-3 team that made the NFC Championship game a season ago.
Meanwhile, the New York Jets are a hot mess that don’t resemble their 2015 form in the slightest.
David Johnson rushed for 111 yards and three touchdowns, Carson Palmer passed for 213 yards and a touchdown and the Arizona defense intercepted Jets quarterbacks twice in a 28-3 romp on Monday night.
Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched midway through the fourth quarter and replaced by Geno Smith after another ineffectual performance. Fitzpatrick passed for just 174 yards and was intercepted by D.J. Swearinger in the end zone as the Jets were trying to find the end zone for the first time all night. Fitzpatrick has now been intercepted 11 times this season and thrown just five touchdowns. He only had 15 interceptions all of last season.
But it wasn’t all on Fitzpatrick either. New York manages just 11 total first downs and were just 2 of 13 on third down. Matt Forte and Bilal Powell rushed for just 29 yards on 12 carries.
Smith was 4 of 6 for 31 yards and was intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu on his only drive of the game in relief of Fitzpatrick. Drew Stanton also saw time for Arizona after Carson Palmer sat due to a strained hamstring and a 25-point lead.
The victory sets up a significant chance for Arizona to jump back into the NFC playoff picture after a slow start to the season. The Cardinals host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football next week with a chance to cut into their rival’s division lead.
The Jets will be forced to determine if they can still run Fitzpatrick out at quarterback or if they need to make a change to Smith, Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty or anyone else they can find that could be more productive than Fitzpatrick has been through the first six weeks of the season.