Carson Palmer didn’t start, but the Cardinals didn’t lose.
Arizona traveled across the country for a date with the Giants and weren’t particularly hospitable guests by leaving MetLife Stadium with a 25-14 win over the reeling home team. The Cardinals had an early lead that the Giants wiped out as their offense showed its first signs of competence in a very long time, but Arizona was able to rally back with the help of some big blunders by Tom Coughlin’s group.
Victor Cruz dropped a pass to force a punt that Ted Ginn turned into a 71-yard touchdown (after a missed tackle, naturally) and Quintin Demps fumbled the ensuing kickoff as the Cardinals scored nine quick points to leap back into the lead in the fourth quarter. The Giants put together a good drive despite another Cruz drop, but their propensity for shooting themselves in the foot returned when running back Rashad Jennings fumbled the ball back to Arizona.
Jennings wasn’t touched, he just stumbled to the ground and lost the football in what makes for a pretty good shorthand for what the first two weeks of the season have been for the Giants. They were better this week than they were against the Lions, but that’s going to be small comfort to Coughlin after watching an afternoon overstuffed with mistakes. Eli Manning had two more interceptions, they committed nine penalties for 70 yards and any burst of good play would be almost immediately wiped out by physical and/or mental error. You can see why there’s belief that better days are ahead, but it’s also hard to feel confident they’ll get here when it still matters for the 2014 season.
The Cardinals, however, can feel very good about coming away with a win on a day that started with the bad news about Palmer. Drew Stanton wasn’t great, but he didn’t avoided the kind of pratfalls that sank the Giants and he got 124 yards on the ground to keep the pressure off of him. He also got a strong performance from a depleted Cardinals front seven, something the team will need in the next two weeks as they face the 49ers and Broncos in a pair of stiff challenges.