Takeaways from the Cardinals' 26-16 victory over Panthers




 

The Arizona Cardinals picked up a badly needed win on the road against the Carolina Panthers, defeating them 26-16. They are 2-2 and things feel much better than they did a week ago.

In the win, what did we learn?

Our takeaways from the game are below.

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Another slow start on offense

 

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The Cardinals did not score in the first quarter for the fourth game in a row this season. They did not score until their sixth possession and went three-and-out twice in the first quarter.

Kyler Murray described the start of games they have had as "sleepwalking,"

They left points on the field on one drive, opting to go for it on fourth down instead of kicking a field goal and then getting stopped on fourth down.

The defense was great from the start

 

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Unlike the first two weeks of the season, the defense started strong. In fact, it has been very good over the last 10 quarters.

The defense did not allow any points until the Panthers' final drive of the first half when they kicked a field goal.

Lots of defensive playmaking

 

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The defense was able to make plays. They had two sacks, tipped five passes at the line of scrimmage and took the ball away three times, picking off Baker Mayfield twice.

Dennis Gardeck had a pick and a sack (and three special teams tackles).

They held the Panthers to 2-of-10 on third down.

Cardinals had success with the running game

 

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The Cardinals rushed for 132 yards in the win and had contributions from many players.

James Conner led the way with 55 yards on 15 carries. Eno Benjamin added 36 yards on five carries, Darrel Williams had four rushes for 19 yards and Kyler Murray had 26 yards on 12 attempts, which included three kneeldowns.

Hollywood was great again

 

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After a career-high 14 catches for 140 yards in Week 3, he followed that game up with six receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. He also drew a pass interference penalty that went for 37 yards so he accounted for 125 yards in all.

Murray hot in the second half

 

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After going 13-for-20 passing in the first half for 90 yards and a pick, Murray turned it around in the second half.

He was 10-for-12 passing for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed  for a touchdown.

Rondale Moore's impact minimal

 

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Moore's 2022 debut did not have the impact everyone hoped it would have.

He had three catches for only 11 yards and a rush for minus-four yards.

His usage was familiar, as we didn't get to see him used in the Christian Kirk role. Perhaps his role will expand as he gets more practice time.

Some injuries to watch

 

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Left guard Justin Pugh reinjured his elbow and left the game but didn't return.

Center Rodney Hudson had to be looked at for something.

Linebacker Nick Vigil injured his hamstring.

Kicker Matt Prater, who entered the game with a right hip injury, couldn't finish the game.

Running back Eno Benjamin handled the final three kickoffs and the Cardinals went for two after their final touchdown because Prater didn't feel good enough to kick after making two field goals and two extra points previously.

Story originally appeared on Cards Wire

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