|Date of game: 10/27/2013
Recap: Arizona vs. Atlanta
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Andre Ellington rushed for 154 yards with a touchdown and the Arizona defense picked off Matt Ryan four times in the Cardinals' 27-13 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Carson Palmer completed 13-of-18 throws for 172 yards, with touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd and one interception for the Cardinals (4-4), who snapped a two-game skid.
Rashad Johnson had two picks of Ryan, while Daryl Washington and Tyrann Mathieu finished with one interception apiece. Arizona has nine interceptions in its last two games against the Falcons.
"I can't say enough about the young guys who stepped up today. Our veterans showed up as well. We won this game on Monday when we came out for practice with pads on. This defense has committed to defending every blade of grass on the field," said Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians.
Ryan completed 34-of-61 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown and Harry Douglas caught 12 passes for 121 yards for Atlanta (2-5), which is off to its worst seven-game start since going 1-6 in 2007.
"Any time you give up explosive plays like we did in the first half we lose leverage and when you can't run the ball, it is a recipe for not playing efficient football, and that was the case today in Arizona," said Falcons head coach Mike Smith.
Atlanta cut its deficit to 7-6 following Matt Bryant's 30-yard field goal midway through the second quarter, but Ellington ripped off an 80-yard touchdown to extend the Cardinals' lead. The rookie was initially bottled up at the line, but bounced out around the left side and raced down the sideline for the score.
Palmer's 15-yard touchdown pass to Floyd 5 1/2 minutes later put Arizona on top by a 21-6 score.
Washington picked off Ryan at the Atlanta 22-yard line early in the third quarter. Despite the excellent field position, Arizona came away with just a filed goal after Palmer's throw on 3rd-and-long fell incomplete. Jay Feely nailed a 39-yarder on the next play to make it 24-6.
Feely's second field goal, a 38-yarder with 8:40 left in the game, just snuck inside the left upright to put Arizona up by three touchdowns.
The Falcons found the end zone on the 14th play of the ensuing drive when Ryan connected with a wide-open Drew Davis in the left corner for a 4-yard score.
Atlanta then recovered an onside kick, but Johnson picked off Ryan with 2:58 left to seal the win.
Asante Samuel intercepted Palmer at the Arizona 31-yard line in the first quarter for the game's first scoring chance. Atlanta picked up a first down, but Ryan's pass on 3rd-and-5 was nearly intercepted and the Falcons settled for a 24-yard Bryant field goal.
A 51-yard completion from Palmer to Teddy Williams got the Cards down to the Falcons 8-yard line on the next drive. Two plays later, Palmer found Fitzgerald wide open in the end zone for a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter.Game Notes
Ellington's 80-yard touchdown run was the third-longest offensive play in
franchise history ... Fitzgerald, 30, became the youngest player to reach 800
career receptions ... Mathieu finished with seven tackles and two passes
defensed ... The Falcons were held to just 27 yards rushing ... Atlanta tight
end Tony Gonzalez was held to just three catches for 26 yards.