David Johnson runs in 47 yard TD -Â Photo credit:Â Elsa/Getty Images
â€˜Arizona Cardinals Take the NFC Westâ€™
Cardinals 40 Eagles 17
By Stephanie Connery @AZLadyBirdsÂ
The Arizona Cardinals hit the road to face the Philadelphia Eagles for another game of Sunday Night Football in front of a national audience. This game meant a lot to the Cardinals going in, a win in Philly would give us the NFC West Championship. It had been exactly six years to the day since Arizona had held their last NFC West title and to say my stomach was in knots would be an understatement. I was sort of sick all day waiting in anticipation for the game. This was our 3rd Sunday Night Football appearance (5th prime time game this season) and honestly my nerves were shot! Here are my spotlights and takeaways from the game.
Quarterback Carson Palmer completed 20 of 32 for 274 yards for the evening with 1 touchdown and he threw no interceptions. There was a moment of brief panic when Palmer left the game with an injury to his right index finger. He smashed it on a helmet but his finger was quickly wrapped up by the trainers and Palmer was back out on the field. Carson is performing as one of the best QBâ€™s in the league this season and has my vote for MVP hands down.
The star of the show however was our rookie running back, David Johnson. The rookie running back led an impressive offensive showing with 29 carries for 187 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He also had four catches for 42 receiving yards (Rob Goldberg/Bleacher Report). This kid has been amazing to watch all season long and although he is a rookie he is making big time impact! Johnsonâ€™s 47 yard touchdown is being compared to a Marshawn Lynch type of run. â€œI was talking to veterans, this doesnâ€™t happen a lot your rookie year,â€ Johnson said. â€œHelping out the team, and doing so well overall as a team. I canâ€™t get complacent myself.â€ (Darren Urban/AZCardinals.com)
Now, for probably the worst news for Cardinals fans everywhere. Safety Tyrann Mathieu aka â€œHoney Badgerâ€, went down after intercepting Sam Bradford with less than 3 minutes left in the game. Head coach Bruce Arians announced Monday morning that Mathieu had in fact torn his right ACL and will miss the rest of the season. Â With two games left in this season, Mathieu set career highs with 89 tackles, five interceptions and one interception returned for a touchdown (Josh Weinfuss/ESPN). Arians was visibly upset and a bit emotional during the press conference. “We have a little different bond,” Arians said. “Just because where he came from, where I came from, and I’ve just gotten real attached to him. I love the player, but I love the person more”. (AZCardinals)
We are the NFC West Champions and we now wait until Sunday where we face the Green Bay Packers back in our nest. We will be fighting for a first round bye in the upcoming playoffs and University of Phoenix Stadium is expected to be a â€˜Sea of Redâ€™. There hasnâ€™t been this much electricity since the year we went to the Super Bowl. Although there is still a lot of work to be done, our journey is just beginning! Go Cards!
â€˜Fan Factâ€™: The Cardinals set season franchise records with 12 wins and 445 points….. Arizona is 5-0 in prime time games (Sports Illustrated)