Cardinals pull away to easy 40-7 win over Bucs
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jameis Winston had five turnovers and the Bucs defense struggled as the Arizona Cardinals cruised to a 40-7 victory Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Winston threw two interceptions early, but the Bucs trailed just 10-0 with three minutes left in the half. Then Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer passed for 142 yards and two scores in those three minutes, taking a 24-0 lead into halftime.
Tampa Bay (1-1) returns home to face the Rams this week, but having lost much of the momentum of their season-opening win at the Falcons. The 40 points is the most the Bucs have allowed in more than a year, since the Titans scored 42 in the 2015 season opener.
Down 10-0 in the second quarter, the Bucs had driven to the Cardinals' 29-yard line when Winston had the ball knocked loose by running back Charles Sims, with Arizona (1-1) recovering the fumble. Getting the ball with 3:06 left in the half, Palmer would throw a 1-yard touchdown to Michael Floyd and a 51-yard score to Jaron Brown for a 24-0 halftime lead.
Winston threw for 77 yards on the opening drive of the third quarter, including a 19-yard touchdown to Mike Evans. But the defense then gave up a 58-yard pass to David Johnson on the ensuing drive, and a Winston pass was tipped twice and was intercepted by Arizona's Marcus Cooper, who returned it 60 yards for a touchdown and a 33-7 lead.
The Bucs lost four players to injuries during the game -- RB Doug Martin left early in the second quarter with a hamstring injury, and DE Robert Ayers (ankle), TE Luke Stocker (ankle) and WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) were injured and did not return. The severity of the injuries was not immediately known.
Palmer finished with 308 yards and three touchdowns, building enough of a lead that backup Drew Stanton took over midway through the fourth quarter. Winston played to the end, finishing 27 of 52 for 243 yards, resetting his career high for attempts, previously 50 against the Rams last season. His fourth interception came on the final play of the game.