BY: ED COLE
TEMPE, Ariz. – The Arizona Cardinals moved to 9-2 on the season after Sunday’s 19-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.
Here’s some notes following the win, courtesy of the Cardinals Media Relations Department:
- With the win, Arizona got its first road win over San Francisco since 2008, and its first sweep of the 49ers since 2008.
- The Cardinals have a three game lead over the Seattle Seahawks (6-5) with five games remaining.
- This season is the just the fifth one in team history in which the Cardinals have at least nine wins in their first 11 games. Add this season onto last season’s 9-1 start, and it’s the first time in franchise history that the team has done so in back-to-back seasons.
- With the win, Arizona locked up its third straight winning season. It’s the first time since 1974-76 (and fourth time in team history) that the Cardinals put up a winning season in at least three straight seasons.
- After giving up just 13 points on Sunday, the Cardinals improved to 24-2 in games in which it allows 20 points or less under head coach Bruce Arians, including a 6-0 record in 2015.
- Arizona forced two San Francisco turnovers, and didn’t have one of their own on Sunday. The Cardinals are now 17-1 when winning the turnover battle dating back to the beginning of the 2013 season. They’ve won 10 straight games in which they’ve finished on the positive end of the turnover differential.
- Both of Arizona’s touchdowns on Sunday came on the ground (running back David Johnson’s one-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and quarterback Carson Palmer’s eight-yard, game winning touchdown run in the fourth quarter). The Cardinals now have 11 rushing touchdowns on the season. That’s nearly double what they had (6) all of last season.
- Arizona’s now 5-1 on the road this season. They have at least five road wins in a single season for the first time since 2009 (6), and for just the eighth time in team history.
- Their +65 point differential on the road ties them with the Carolina Panthers for the best mark in the NFL.
- After scoring 19 points on Sunday, Arizona’s now up to 355 points on the season, which is the highest total in the league. They also lead the NFL with 42 total touchdowns.
- Arizona’s #1 in the league in total offense (410.0 ypg) and #5 in total defense (326.4 ypg) this season. They’re the only team in the NFL that ranks in the top five in both total offense and total defense.
- Arians is 30-13 as Cardinals head coach. He reached 30 wins faster than any head coach (43 games) in franchise history. Including his 9-3 record as interim head coach of the Indianapolis Colts in 2012, Arians is 23 games over .500 as an NFL head coach (39-16). Only three NFL head coaches have more wins in their last 55 games: Bill Belichick (44), John Fox (41) and Pete Carroll (40).
- Arians has a .709 win percentage in 55 games as a head coach. Among active head coaches with a minimum of 50 career games, Arians’ .709 win percentage is the best in the NFL.
- When Palmer took Arizona on their game-winning drive late on Sunday afternoon, it was his 29th career game-winning drive. Eight of those have come with the Cardinals. Sunday’s game was the first time in Palmer’s career that he ended one of those game-winning drives with a rushing touchdown.
- Palmer’s touchdown run was his eighth career rushing touchdown, and his first since 10/21/12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, when he was a member of the Oakland Raiders. The eight-yard run was the longest touchdown run of his career. His previous long was four yards (10/23/05 vs. PIT). Before Sunday, Palmer had scored just five rushing touchdowns in the previous nine years (2006-14), and all five came from one-yard out.
- Sunday’s win ups Palmer’s record to 22-4 in his last 26 starts dating back to Week 8 of the 2013 season. His .846 winning percentage in that span is the best in the NFL.
- Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught 10 passes for 66 yards on Sunday. Fitzgerald now has at least one catch in 174 straight games. In addition to it being a franchise record, it’s the longest active streak in the NFL (Rams wide receiver Wes Welker is second at 140 games).
- Fitzgerald came into Sunday’s game tied with Randy Moss at 12th place on the NFL’s all-time receptions list. He surpassed him and sits all alone at 12th with 992 receptions.
- Fitzgerald also passed Hall of Fame wide receiver Steve Largent (13,089) for 16th place on the NFL’s all-time receiving yardage list. Fitzgerald came into the game with 13,077 yards, and needed 13 to pass Largent.
- Sunday’s game was the second time this season – and 10th time in his career – that Fitzgerald’s caught at least 10 passes in a game. This season marks just the second time in his career (2, 2007) that Fitzgerald has had at least 10 catches in multiple games in a season.
- Johnson’s one-yard touchdown run was his team-leading eighth touchdown of the season. Johnson now has a team-high four rushing touchdowns, three receiving touchdowns and a kickoff return for a touchdown this season. Johnson’s eight touchdowns are the most by a rookie in the NFL this season.
- Johnson is two touchdowns shy of tying the franchise rookie record for touchdowns in a season (10, Ottis Anderson in 1979, and Tim Hightower in 2008).
- Safety Tyrann Mathieu led the defense on Sunday with 13 tackles, one interception, two passes defensed and a tackle for loss. Mathieu now has a career-high four interceptions on the season, and is tied with fellow safety Rashad Johnson for the team lead.
- Mathieu’s four interceptions this season are more than the total of his first two seasons (3) combined. He’s the only player in the NFL this season that has at least 70 tackles and four interceptions.
- In four division games this season, Mathieu has all four of his interceptions (one touchdown), 30 tackles, eight passes defensed and a forced fumble.
- Coming off his four-catch, 142 yard, one touchdown performance against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football, rookie J.J. Nelson had two catches for 53 yards against the 49ers, including a 34-yard catch that set up Palmer’s game-winning gallop into the end zone.
- Nelson now has nine catches for 265 yards and a touchdown. He’s averaging 29.4 yards per catch. Nelson’s nine catches this season have covered 38, 20, 12, 23, 64, 36, 19, 19 and 34 yards.