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Palmer returns to guide Cardinals past Redskins

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Carson Palmer's return to the lineup helped spark the Arizona Cardinals to a hard-fought 30-20 victory over Kirk Cousins and the visiting Redskins at University of Phoenix Stadium. Here's what you need to know:

1. Our first look at Carson Palmer in over a month was encouraging. The Cardinals quarterback found 10 different targets for 250 yards and two scores. Palmer and his wideouts combined for a string of gutsy grabs in both halves, leaning generously on bunch formations that set John Brown and his peers free for chunk yardage. Palmer threw for just 5.7 yards per attempt -- and his arm isn't at full strength -- but the veteran continues to fit well in this Bruce Arians attack.

2. Kirk Cousins remains a project. His best work came courtesy of white-hot DeSean Jackson, who pulled down a 64-yard scoring dart to tie the game at seven. D-Jax flamed Cardinals Pro Bowl corner Patrick Peterson on the touchdown before later lashing Arizona for another 42-yard grab. With all three of his touchdowns going for 60-plus yards this season, Jackson looms as one big-money free-agent signing Washington won't regret.

3. When Cousins wasn't finding Jackson, he was finding the wrong-colored jerseys. Two weeks after slinging four picks against the Giants, Cousins threw three interceptions down the stretch capped by a game-clinching pick six to Rashad Johnson on Washington's final drive. Cousins also had problems with Jerraud Powers, the Cardinals corner who chalked up one interception and forced a fumble that led to an Arizona field goal.

4. Playing for the first time since the opener, Redskins tight end Jordan Reed was a revelation, leading the team with 11 targets that he turned into 92 yards off eight grabs. Washington still gave plenty of work to the productive Niles Paul, but it's a boost for Jay Gruden's offense to have options. We often saw two -- even three -- tight ends used all over the field.

5. Larry Fitzgerald scored his first touchdown of the year with a 24-yard dart from Palmer that saw the wideout scratch and claw his way through defenders to the end zone. Fitzgerald feasted on rookie cornerback Bashaud Breeland and played his best game of the year against a Washington secondary that lost David Amerson to a concussion.

6. With $22 million tied up in Brian Orakpo and Jason Hatcher, Washington -- with just one sack on Sunday -- needs more from its expensive pass-rushing duo. There was no lower moment for the 'Skins than Hatcher draping himself over Palmer for what seemed like a third-quarter sack, only to see the quarterback flip the ball to Robert Hughes for a first down.

We recap all the Week 6 action on a jaunty edition of the "Around the NFL Podcast." Find more Around The NFL content on NFL Now.

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