The Cardinals Soar Past Bears in Chicago


It was a game for the record books.

The game featured more broken, tied, and career highs than any game before, and it ended with 48-23 Arizona Cardinals win over the Chicago Bears.

The scoring began early, when David Johnson took the opening kick-off 108 yards for a Cardinals touchdown. The Johnson run-back broke the Cardinals record for not only the longest kickoff return, but also the longest play in Cardinals history. In the first two weeks Johnson has three touchdowns, one last week against the Saints, and then two today. He is the first player in NFL history to have a rushing, receiving, and special teams touchdown.

Johnson had a great game, but Larry Fitzgerald may have had a better one. Fitzgerald had eight receptions for 112 yards with three touchdowns, which is his first regular season game with three touchdowns. With Fitzgerald and Johnson putting up points left and right, the Cardinals broke the Soldier Field record for the most points the Bears have allowed at home. The offense seemed to move the ball with ease, as Carson Palmer went 17-for-24 with 185 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. It was not a perfect game from Palmer, but it got the job done.

Sep 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) makes a call during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears had a rough day, just when they would catch a break, they found themselves committing a penalty that would put them in a difficult position. The tied their franchise record for the most penalty yards in a game, with more than 110.

Most of the first half was back-and-forth, but the game began to shift after the Bears scored to tie the game at 14 at the beginning of the 2nd quarter. A big pass-interference penalty on second down helped the Cardinals get an eight-yard touchdown pass from Palmer to Fitzgerald to put the Cardinals up 21-14. The Bears proceeding drive changed the course of this game.

On 2nd and nine at their own 21-yard line, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler threw pass that was intercepted by Tony Jefferson and returned for a touchdown. During the return Cutler tried to tackle Jefferson but pissed a landed hard on his right side. He walked to the locker room immediately afterwards. Cutler was ruled out for the rest of the game at the half, with a hamstring injury. Jimmy Clausen came into the game for Cutler as was far from productive, even after JJ Nelson fumbled a punt and Palmer threw an interception in the last three minutes of the first half. The two Cardinals turnovers resulted in only six points for the Bears. At the half Arizona lead 28-20.

Sep 20, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) catches a pass in front of Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller (23) during the second half at Soldier Field. Arizona won 48-23. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

The second half was dominated by the Cardinals, beginning with an interception on the Bears first possession and ending with the Bears turnover on downs.. Arizona followed the interception with Fitzgerald’s second touchdown of the game. The Cardinals defense continued to stop Chicago only allowing three points in the second half while the offense scored 20 for Arizona.

It may have not been the best game for the Cardinals, but they will head home to Arizona in sole possession of first place in the NFC West (pending the Seahawks vs. Packers Sunday Night game) after the Rams and 49ers lost.

The Cardinals will host their first divisional game when the San Francisco 49ers come to University of Phoenix Stadium next week.