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Cardinals overcome turnovers to top Browns, 34-20

The Cleveland Browns (2-6) jumped out to a big lead on Sunday, but the Arizona Cardinals (6-2) kept their cool and reeled off 27 unanswered points for a 34-20 win. Here's what we learned:

  1. Carson Palmer has been a pristine passer all season, but the Cardinals quarterback left two would-be first-half scores on the board with deep overthrows to a wide-open Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald. After an opening-series touchdown, Arizona's next four drives resulted in a fumble, two punts and a fumble before it closed the first half with a field goal. Palmer warmed up from there, though, launching a perfect ball to Floyd for a 60-yard score en route to 27 unanswered points. Finishing with 374 yards and four touchdowns, Palmer showed us Sunday that his Cardinals -- overcoming four turnovers -- can play from behind. It also helped to face a Browns defense that gives up yardage and points in droves and can't get out of its own way.
  1. Facing Arizona's active pass rush, Browns quarterback Josh McCown played through pain to throw for 211 yards and three scores. A painful shot to the chest had an obvious effect on McCown's ability to run an offense that collaped in the second half. He still holds the ball too long against the rush -- and pays for it -- but McCown is the best Browns quarterback since Derek Anderson's early season work in 2007. That's a terrifying thought. 
  1. Chris Johnson cut through one of the worst run defenses in the NFL for 109 yards off 30 carries. The Arizona runner, though, also kept the Browns in the game with two lost fumbles. The first was scooped by pass rusher Armonty Bryant and returned deep into Cardinals territory to set up McCown's first touchdown strike. It was a sloppy day for Arizona's offense, but its too talented to be held down by a team like Cleveland.
  1. With John Brown spending the game on the sideline, J.J. Nelson made an athletic 38-yard catch after beating Tramon Williams down the left sideline. The speedy Cardinals rookie wideout is on our radar after finishing with three grabs for 70 yards. Floyd and Fitzgerald were the stars, though, combining for 190 yards and two scores.
  1. The Browns spent all offseason promising fans a ground-and-pound run game powered by one of the league's better offensive lines. While the air attack has been a surprise, Cleveland lacks anything resembling a run game. Isaiah Crowell can't get untracked and Robert Turbin has yet to separate himself. Duke Johnson is the most interesting of Cleveland's backs, but he's far more dangerous as a pass-catcher. The rookie burned Arizona for a 52-yard catch and finished with 68 yards off two grabs.
  1. McCown missed on his first two attempts to fantasy darling Gary Barnidge, but the Browns tight end hauled in his team-leading sixth touchdown pass on the year to open the second quarter. It's a nice story on a team filled with depressing tales.
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