The Cardinals defense, a true up-and-coming unit last season, was dominant. They recorded three sacks, one forced fumble and one interception, and that included holding Green Bay's talented offense to a mere 223 yards. The Red Birds held Rodgers to 62 yards passing in limited action.
''We have a better all-around defense,'' cornerback Patrick Peterson told yahoosports.com. ''We don't just have a couple guys here, a couple guys there that can play. I believe that entire secondary is guys that have been in the league a while, guys that have been in big games. … I believe that we can compete with the best of them.''
The defensive highlights included a goal-line stand in the first quarter and rookie defensive back Tyrann Mathieu's 12-yard sack and pass breakup during a solid pro debut. Peterson, who has been mentoring Mathieu, was impressed.
''I had no doubt in my mind he would start off where he left off back at LSU and I'm extremely proud of him,'' Peterson told yahoosports.com. ''I can't wait to see what he's going to do to help us out throughout the regular season.''
Rookie running back Stepfan Taylor had a strong pro debut as well, rushing for a game-high 64 yards on 20 carries. Veteran quarterback Carson Palmer went 4-for-6 for 77 yards and a 38-yard scoring strike to Andre Roberts in the first quarter to give the Red Birds a 7-0 lead.
Arizona added its other score on Drew Stanton's one-yard TD pass to Jaron Brown in the second quarter. Stanton played well, completing eight of 14 passes for 107 yards. Ryan Lindley was 3-for-5 for 78 yards.
Charles Hawkins led all Cardinals receivers with four receptions for 92 yards.
Overall, a very nice start to the Bruce Arians era.
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