All three of the Arizona Cardinals’ back-up quarterbacks outgunned starter Carson Palmer on Sunday, while Brian Hoyer ensured the New Orleans Saints’ poor form continued.
Logan Thomas, Drew Stanton and Phillip Sims were all solid for the Cardinals, helping them overcome the Oakland Raiders 30-23 after Palmer started dreadfully.
Palmer’s performance was typified by the fact his best move was a run, with the 35-year-old finishing eight-of-22 for just 103 yards at an average of 4.7.
Palmer threw two interceptions and was sacked three times, with Raiders second-year linebacker Khalil Mack dominating the veteran QB.
Mack stalked Palmer relentlessly, coming up with two sacks, while Palmer’s best moment was an awkward-but-effective 10-yard run.
Luckily for the Cardinals, Palmer’s back-ups played much better.
Stanton (eight-for-nine, 58 yards, one TD), Sims (three-for-four, 29 yards, one TD) and Thomas (three-for-five, 65 yards) all led scoring drives as Arizona held on for the win.
Meanwhile in New Orleans, Hoyer celebrated being installed as the Houston Texans’ starting QB with a strong performance in the visitors’ 27-13 win over the Saints.
Hoyer (seven-for-11, 82 yards) led the Texans on two scoring drives to give them a 10-3 lead at the end of the first quarter, while the Saints were left to rue 11 penalties in their 14-point defeat.
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Saints defensive tackle Ashaad Mabry was a disruptive force, racking up six total tackles (five solo), including two for a loss.
Cardinals quarterback Sims completed three-of-four passes for 29 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown pass to Kerwynn Williams to give Arizona a 23-15 cushion.
Sims, the undrafted free agent from Division II Winston-Salem State, continues to push 2014 fourth-rounder Thomas for the Cardinals’ third-string spot.