GLENDALE, Ariz. — Carson Palmer didn’t throw a pass in practice all last week, then completed practically every one he tried Sunday. So much for that sore right elbow.
Palmer completed 27 of 32 passes, 12 of them to Larry Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals ended an eight-game losing streak against NFC West foes by beating the St. Louis Rams 30-10.
It was the second-highest completion percentage (84.4) in franchise history. Only Kurt Warner‘s NFL record of 92.3 percent (24 of 26) against Jacksonville in 2009 was better.
The Cardinals also lost rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu in the third quarter to what Arizona coach Bruce Arians said “appears to be an ACL” injury to his left knee. Mathieu, the “Honey Badger” having a terrific rookie season, was hurt after returning a free kick following a safety in the third quarter. He jogged toward the Arizona bench, but his knee buckled and he collapsed. He was carted off the field.
Palmer hurt his throwing elbow in last week’s loss at Philadelphia. From Monday on, trainer Tom Reed decided there would be no passing in practice. Palmer said Sunday that he had no idea what his statistics were, just that things were working at a nice clip.
“When the plays were coming in I knew exactly where to go with the ball,” he said.
Palmer threw for 269 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions as the Cardinals (8-5) won for the fifth time in six games. He was sacked once.
“I can’t say enough about where he is right now,” Arians said. “The level he’s playing is extremely high.”
Arizona had not beaten an NFC West opponent since downing Seattle in the 2012 opener. The Cardinals lost three in a row this season, including 27-24 at St. Louis in the opener.