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Carson Palmer throws 3 of his 4 touchdowns passes in the second half to lead Arizona to a 34-20 comeback victory over the Cleveland Browns.

A very game Josh McCown — already roughed up from the previous week by a tenacious Rams defense and an unyielding stadium wall — missed practice time during the week while nursing a sore rib cage and shoulder, yet still managed to throw three touchdown passes in the first half of Sunday’s game between Cleveland and the Arizona Cardinals to get his team off to a 20-7 lead. The problem was, there was another half of football to play and the Cardinals could not play theirs too much worse than they played their first, with two fumbles.

The Cardinals were able to do much more in the second half as the defense further pounded on McCown’s ribs, while the heads of Joe Haden and Donte Whitner absorbed enough physicality that they left in the third quarter for concussion protocol and did not return, aiding in Carson Palmer’s second half passing success. He threw for 374 yards (completing 23 of 38 attempts) and 4 TDs with 1 INT. Chris Johnson, the previous week’s hero, ran 30 times for 109 yards (a 3.6 avg), but fumbled the ball away twice and scored no touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald also fumbled one away and finished leading in receptions and targets, but not production. Mike Floyd led all receivers with 4 receptions for 109 yards and 1 TD to Larry’s 9-84-1 stat line. Tight end Troy Niklas added only 2 receptions for 12 yards, but both were scores. The speedy J.J. Nelson saw more action due to receiver John Brown being ruled out, catching 3 of 4 passes his way for 70 yards.

Josh McCown fumbled three times but only one was lost. He went 18 of 34, 211 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, and despite sore ribs he strangely led the Browns in rushing yards (18). TE Gary Barnidge led the Browns in receiving with 7 catches for 53 yards and a TD. Brian Hartline added 2 short TDs. McCown was eventually replaced by back-up Johnny Manziel, but late during garbage time. He says he’ll play Thursday night if he’s healthy enough.

Scoring Summary:

ARI 1st Quarter 7:59 Troy Niklas 11 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Catanzaro kick)                  Ari 7 – Cle 0
CLE 1st Quarter 2:41 Brian Hartline 10 yd pass from Josh McCown (Coons kick)                       Ari 7 – Cle 7
CLE 2nd Quarter 14:48 Gary Barnidge 3 yd pass from Josh McCown (Coons kick)                       Ari 7 – Cle14
CLE 2nd Quarter 4:56 Brian Hartline 2 yd pass from Josh McCown (Coons missed kick)         Ari 7 – Cle 20
ARI 2nd Quarter 0:00 Chandler Catanzaro 37 yd FG                                                                    Ari 10 – Cle 20
ARI 3rd Quarter 11:46 Michael Floyd 60 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Catanzaro kick)         Ari 17 – Cle 20
ARI 3rd Quarter 7:35 Troy Niklas 1 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Catanzaro kick)               Ari 24 – Cle 20
ARI 4th Quarter 9:32 Larry Fitzgerald 6 yd pass from Carson Palmer (Catanzaro kick)        Ari 31 – Cle 20
ARI 4th Quarter 2:16 Chandler Catanzaro 35 yd FG                                                                    Ari 34 – Cle 20

Notes:

The Cleveland Browns will likely play their divisional Thursday night match-up with the Cincinnati Bengals without two of their best defensive players, out with concussions.

The Arizona Cardinals have a bye week 9 before returning to visit the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 15.

 

 

About Author

Tony Lopez

Tony Lopez is a die-hard Rams fan and Rams representing writer at Fanosis, as well as an avid fantasy football player that has won championships at Yahoo, ESPN, NFL(dot)com and FOX. An ex-employment specialist at Goodwill of Southern California's main headquarters, he has work with prison programs and has L.A. certified training to aid people with disabilities. He is also a poet and ghostwriter.