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11/17/2013 6:27 PM EST
Cardinals go error-free in 27-14 win over Jaguars
ARIZONA 27, JACKSONVILLE 14

By DOUG FERGUSON
AP Sports Writer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Carson Palmer completed six passes to
six receivers on the Arizona Cardinals' opening drive that led
to a touchdown. Three straight completions went for at least 20
yards on another drive. A simple slant turned into a 91-yard,
catch-and-run touchdown.

It was like that all game. Best of all, the nine players who
caught Palmer's passes Sunday all played for his team.

For a team plagued by turnovers this year, including 15
interceptions, Palmer delivered a beauty Sunday in a 27-14
victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was 30 of 42 for 419
yards and two touchdowns, and he did not throw an interception
for the first time this year.

"Carson played by far his best game," Arizona coach Bruce Arians
said.

His one big mistake? Throwing a ball up for grabs late in the
third quarter that linebacker Russell Allen easily grabbed for
an interception. Just his luck, Arians had called a timeout and
no one saw the official running from the sideline to stop the
play.

The Cardinals (6-4) couldn't afford to lose this game as they
try to stay in the playoff mix. Palmer's flawless play, and a
defense that stiffened after surrendering two quick touchdowns,
made sure they didn't.

"We have talked about how the playoffs have already started. You
lose, you're out," Arians said. "We're a game behind teams, so
we have to keep winning. We have to take a playoff attitude
every week, that this game is a playoff game and we have to win
to catch up. The guys have done it."

Arizona won its third straight, and it won twice in Florida in
the same season for the first time in franchise history. The
Cardinals had a 13-10 win over Tampa Bay in late September. This
one was easier, thanks to the strong play of Palmer, a career
game for Michael Floyd and a defense that allowed only 57 yards
in the second half.

Floyd, listed as questionable because of a shoulder injury, had
six catches for a career-best 193 yards, including a 91-yard
score that made the Jaguars' secondary look silly. On
third-and-10 from the 9, Floyd beat Will Blackmon on a slant. He
shook off tackles by Allen and safety Winston Guy. When Blackmon
caught up to him, the cornerback's hands slid off his shoulder
pads, he rolled into cornerback Alan Ball, and Floyd was on his
way.

"The safety bit down on the play-action and Carson made a heck
of a throw," Floyd said. "I made a couple of guys miss and we
scored a touchdown. You give me a little bit of a space and I
just try to break tackles. With my big frame, I should be able
to make catches that not all guys can."

The Jaguars (1-9) at least scored a touchdown at home for the
first time this year.

On fourth-and-2 from the 38 on their opening drive, Chad Henne
found tight end Danny Noble all alone behind the defense for an
easy catch, and he rumbled 50 yards to the end zone with his
first NFL reception.

"There were many situations where I felt like we were bold, and
I told our team that we need to take that personality on,"
Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said.

Jacksonville scored another touchdown after a 59-yard kickoff
return by Jordan Todman and a pair of Arizona mistakes - none
bigger than Yeremiah Bell getting called for unsportsmanlike
conduct after Henne's pass on third-and-goal from the 3 was
incomplete. Maurice Jones-Drew scored from the 1 for a 14-7
lead.

But that was it for the Jaguars, who returned to their inept
ways one week after getting their first win at Tennessee.

Palmer was rarely under pressure and moved the ball at will,
with six passes that went for at least 20 yards. His other TD
was a 14-yard strike to Larry Fitzgerald that tied the game at 7
in the first quarter.

"I had a really nice time in the pocket. I had a clean pocket
for the most part and was able to step into a lot of throws,"
Palmer said. "Guys did a nice job of finding the voids in their
zone. I thought guys came with the right attitude. It wasn't a
letdown game for us. It was a must-win, and we did what it
took."

Rashard Mendenhall scored on a 5-yard run late in the second
quarter to tie the game at 14. Otherwise, the running game
didn't exist for either team. The Cardinals came into the game
with the third-ranked run defense. It held the Jaguars to 32
yards. The Cardinals had 416 yards, only 14 on the ground.

Jones-Drew finished with 23 yards on 14 carries.

"They're a great defense. We knew that going in," Jones-Drew
said. "They load the box and wanted to make sure that we
couldn't run the ball."

Henne rarely threw downfield, settling for bubble screens that
didn't get the Jaguars very far. When he finally went vertical,
he threw a pair of interceptions late in the game that sealed it
for Arizona. Henne was 27 of 42 for 255 yards.

Palmer was sacked three times, but for the most part, he had
ample time to show. The Jaguars' best player was punter Bryan
Anger, who constantly pinned the Cardinals deep in a spot they
couldn't afford any mistakes. They didn't make any.

After spotting Jacksonville two scores, the defense took it from
there. The Jaguars only once got beyond the Cardinals' 40-yard
line the rest of the way, and that was late in the game when it
was too late.

"Defensively, we came out in the second half like we have all
year and shut them down," Arians said.

---

AP NFL website: -www.pro32.ap.org

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