Cardinals improve to 5-4 with win over Texans

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Don’t look now, but the Arizona Cardinals are making their way into the NFC playoff race.

With an impressive performance on Sunday against Houston, the Cardinals have improved to 5-4 and are making a statement that they deserve to be considered playoff contenders.

Arizona’s outstanding defense was put in some difficult positions by the Cardinals’ shaky offense, as Carson Palmer threw an interception and lost a fumble, while Rashard Mendenhall fumbled at the Cardinals’ 5-yard line with five minutes left in the game. Those turnovers were the reason the Texans were able to keep it close even though Houston had only one drive of 50 yards or longer.

But in the end, the Cardinals’ defense was too much. They held the Texans to 41 yards in the second half, stopped the Texans’ final drive, and the Cardinals won, 27-24.

Can the Cardinals make it to the playoffs? They’ve got an uphill battle. They almost certainly won’t catch the Seahawks in the NFC West, but they’re only a game behind the Panthers and 49ers in the wild card race. If they can catch fire down the stretch, they can make some noise.

In fact, they’re already making noise. The offense needs to play better, but the defense is already playing great. And through nine games, Arizona is a winning team.

24 responses to “Cardinals improve to 5-4 with win over Texans

  1. Great win Cards but i still question how you can justify giving mendenhall more touches than your explosive rookie Andre Ellington? Face it he’s done, hand the reigns over!

  2. Great defense by the Cards in the 2nd half. Andre Johnson made two amazing touchdowns. If Arians doesn’t cut Mendenhall this week I will have lost all respect for him. He is a complete liability. He can’t get the 1 tough yard when you need it. He is not that great of a blocker. He damn near gave the game away with a crucial fumble at the 5 yard line. Taylor runs harder than him and is a good change of pace for the real starter Ellington. Ryan Williams can’t be worse than him. He runs faster and harder when healthy. Mendenhall has to go if the Cards are going to make a playoff run…

  3. I warned 49er and Seahawk fans that with the league having a book on their QBs, one of them could take a step back. Obviously, Kaepernick has been the victim and the Cardinals have a window to creep up and steal that other wild card from the division with some more cupcakes coming up (Jacksonville up next, although they did win today). Their defense has played well and needs to keep doing so as Carson Palmer continues to steal money from another organization. Ellington was a steal for them out of this draft class. He just makes plays.

  4. I agree that Mendenhall is DONE! Arians is going to keep going with him because they have some sort of friendship that has no place in the game! At least that is what is seams like to me. Good win today…lets keep it rolling!

  5. The Cardinals need to drop Mendenhall to 3rd string behind Ellington and Taylor. Its 10 weeks into the season…can’t play the “Rookie” card forever…

    They Cards do deserve to be in playoff hunt with wins both over the Lions and Panthers. They have a few easier games coming up, so they might be able to pad the win total…it will be interesting.

  6. Keenum is awesome. Just what the Texans needed. Oh, wait, they are 0-3 with him. Huh…..2 less wins than Schaub. Maybe QB wasn’t the problem.

  7. The Cardinals play tough, but ultimately they’re not going to get anywhere with Carson Palmer. He’s a turnover machine and choke artist when it matters most. And Arians’ continued reliance on Rashard Mendenhall is baffling. He must have blackmail on Bruce or something.

  8. Mendenhall had a bad game, but he’s been effective in short yardage for them. Ellington is their most dynamic back and just like Bernard in Cincinnati, he will probably get more touches later in the season, but rookies can’t just be thrown in there because of pass protection concerns. Unfortunately for the Cardinals even if they wanted to get rid of Mendhenall, the other two top backs are rookie so they have the same learning curve with protection and Ryan Williams who might break if he falls the wrong way.

  9. realfootballfan, I understand what you are saying but Mendenhall has not had a good game yet. Cards owe him nothing. He signed a 1 year contract. Cut ties now before they lose because of him. Williams can not be worse than him. Arians is making a HUGE MISTAKE if he keeps him… He is terrible at best…

  10. At this point the Texans may as well tank the rest of the season. The Colts blatantly did it in 2011 with no repercussion. Curtis Painter. Dan Orlovsky. Teams like the Bills, Raiders, and Browns have sucked legitimately for a decade and deserved more of a shot at the greatest QB prospect to enter the NFL since Peyton Manning.

  11. The nfc west has shown its got some serious D. Palmer at least is capable for the short term unlike last year. finding franchise QB’s is a tough deal so the off season will be interesting.

  12. The Cards have a run game for the first time in decades and Mendenhall has been better than Beanie & co., and is a good battering ram to wear down defenses so the smaller guys don’t get steam rolled. Palmer had a pretty decent game and kept the offense moving down the field once the D started pressuring Kassum. The Cards aren’t anywhere close to putting up 30 points on anybody as the Rams did the Colts and should keep their eye on the ball, taking it one week at a time. I’m not counting Kaep out and the next few weeks on the road will show just how realistic playoffs hopes are. It would be pretty embarrassing to get beat by the Jags!

  13. The Cardinals D has been great since last year. They have the WR’s, this year they got two absolute steals in Ellington and Taylor, plus a steal in the Honey Badger. Those two guys are both valid in the ROY hunt for offense and defense. Their guard Cooper they drafted will add a lot to their line and it’s really unfortunate he broke his leg…but he should be back strong next year. Their TE Housler even seems to finally be emerging, and the pick up of TE Ballard was a great move if he’s healthy. The future is bright for them, but they still lack the critical pieces of QB and tackles. Carson is an upgrade from what they’ve had since Warner, but he’s not the guy to lead you to the promised land. They have to make a run at Albert at LT or draft one in the first, and pick up a QB to pair with Albert in the first or try to find a gem in the second. I think they easily win vs. the Jags, Titans and Rams to get 8 wins. But the wildcard will likely take at least 10 wins to get, and it will be tough getting two more from the Colts, Eagles, San Fran and Seattle. Huge improvement from last year though…they’ve already matched their 2012 win total.

  14. Let me get this straight … Palmer threw 2 TDs and the Cards won. You guys act like he’s the reason why the Cards are not in first place with a 9-0 record.
    Maybe if Palmer had a good OL and good running game the Cards would be 9-0.

  15. Another dominating performance, but it should not have been this close. Texans were lucky a few times – Dansby potential pick-6 turns into 1st down and that last td. Sure great – catch, but also very lucky.
    I thought overall the offense is improving and Palmer played better. Texans Def. is pretty good.
    Cut Mendenhall…

  16. raideralex99: you are very close to the truth. Maybe not 9-0, but certainly 7-2 with just a mediocre, run-of-the-mill QB

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