Blame the rain? Sloppy Cards lose to Dolphins, 26-23
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Reviews on the weather were mixed Sunday at the Miami Dolphins-Arizona Cardinals game.
''Every time we got the ball it seemed like it was pouring, like a monsoon,'' Cardinals receiver J.J. Nelson said. ''I've never played in anything like that.''
Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry found the rain fun.
''When you think about football, you dream about this type of game,'' he said.
Guess which team won.
Frequent heavy showers made for a sloppy game, and the Cardinals were unable to overcome four turnovers in the first 20 minutes, losing 26-23 .
Carson Palmer threw two interceptions and lost a fumble when he bobbled a snap . David Johnson also lost a fumble. A slick ball contributed to all four giveaways by a team accustomed to desert conditions, not monsoons.
''We practiced with a wet ball on Wednesday and didn't have any problems,'' Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. ''But when it continually pours when you have the ball, which was kind of odd, it's tough.''
Palmer agreed the timing on the passing showers was weird.
''Every time we had the ball, it just started turning on and staying on,'' Palmer said. ''Then it would stop.''
Turnovers are a big reason the Cardinals (5-7-1) will likely sit out the playoffs. They have 26 turnovers this year, two more than in 2015, when they went 13-3.
Road missteps have been a chronic problem too. Arizona is 1-5 away from home, including 0-4 in games in the Eastern time zone. Last season the Cardinals went 8-1 away from home.
In Miami, turnovers were far from the only issue. Palmer threw for only 145 yards. Larry Fitzgerald had just 12 yards receiving. Johnson, who came into the game leading the NFL in touchdowns, was kept out of the end zone.
Chander Catanzaro missed a field-goal attempt and two extra points, with one blocked PAT returned for a 2-point conversion by Walt Aikens , who didn't mind the weather a bit.
''What weather?'' Aikens said. ''Football weather. Perfect. Not so much for the offense, but for the defense. Reminds me of my childhood.''
The blocked kick and Aikens' score with 7:05 left represented a three-point swing, which turned out to be the difference in the game.
So it has gone in 2016 for the Cardinals.
''The ball,'' Palmer said, ''has not bounced our way once.''
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