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Week 11 Game Recap: Arizona Cardinals 21, Houston Texans 31


What you need to know

Arizona Cardinals

As the injuries on the offense rack up, the disappointing play of the defense has not truly been addressed. What makes the situation even more interesting is the strong play of the teamís two stars, Patrick Peterson and Chandler Jones. Both have played up to their status, but the defense as a whole has failed to coalesce. Even an incredible effort by rookie Budda Baker was not enough to prevent a Tom Savage led offense from scoring 31 points.

Houston Texans

The Texans went with two tight ends for game day with Stephen Anderson and C.J. Fiedorowicz. Anderson had 1 receptions for 22 yards and Fiedorowicz 2 receptions for 22 yards.

DíOnta Foreman was lost for the season after tearing his Achilles on his 34-yard touchdown run. Alfred Blue was out for the game with a hamstring issue. The Texans will be adding a running back this coming weekend.

Arizona Cardinals

QB Blaine Gabbert, 58 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 34 - 257 - 3 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 3 - 13 - 0
Before the last two drives, Gabbert played effectively enough. He never truly challenged the defense, and was high on a lot of passes, but managed to move the offense and find the end zone three times. But Gabbertís last two drives both resulted in interceptions, the first of which effectively put the game out of reach. It is fair for the Cardinals to want an extended look at Gabbert to see how successful he may be as a stopgap, but any expectation beyond that is foolish.

RB Adrian Peterson, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 26 - 0, Rec: 1 - 13 - 0 (1 targets)
Petersonís box score statistics, dismal as they already appear, somehow seem worse with just a bit of context. Petersonís first two carries, both on the teamís first drive, netted him 13 yards. It then took an additional 12 carries for him to gain that much again. Putting the onus on Peterson alone would obviously be unfair. The teamís run blocking was less than stellar to put it kindly, abysmal to put it truthfully. At his age, Peterson is beyond the point of being able to overcome bad blocking, and Sunday was as good an indication of that as any.

WR Larry Fitzgerald, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 9 - 91 - 1 (10 targets)
Sunday was another historic day for the future Hall of Famer. Fitzgerald entered Sundayís contest needing 62 yards to pass Tony Gonzalez for the fifth most all time receiving yards, which Fitzgerald managed to accomplish in the first half. Fitzgerald amassed less than 30-yards in the second half, when the Cardinals offense really began to slow, but the impressive first half was enough to secure his new spot in NFL history. Fitzgerald just recently signed a one-year extension through 2018; making it likely he will have another season to rise further up various all-time lists. Fitzgerald will go down in NFL history as one of the all-time greats, albeit unfortunately one almost certainly to end his career without a ring.

WR John Brown, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (6 targets)
Brownís performance on Sunday hardly warrants mention, but as the second most targeted receiver, his involvement came by default. Brown was an utter non-factor, amassing 18 total yards, showing none of his trademark speed that has eluded him for so long, or the hands necessary to be a teamís number two receiver.

TE Ricky Seals-Jones, 8 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 54 - 2 (5 targets)
It was an exciting day for the young tight end playing in only his third game. Ricky Seals-Jones caught his first career reception, and then tacked on two more, both touchdowns. It is unfortunate the team could not turn Seals-Jonesí breakout performance into a win, but it does not discount the individual accomplishments all the same.


Houston Texans

QB Tom Savage, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 32 - 230 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0
It was a rough start for Tom Savage after leading the Texans to an early touchdown drive in the game. Savage was sacked and fumbled which was recovered by Arizona then soon after threw an interception that was tipped into the hands to Patrick Peterson. Before Savage struggled to gain his composure but then settled down and went to work completing over 70% of his passes in the second half. Savage made the biggest difference in his game completing 70% of his passed in the 10-19 yard range eating up yards. Minus the two turnover, Savage had a very efficient day throwing a touchdown pass to Lamar Miller for 7 yards and DeAndre Hopkins for 28 yards. He also made some play outside of the pocket that has not been seen from Savage. It was a good result and it is interesting to see if he can do it again.

RB Lamar Miller, 52 offensive snaps, Rush: 22 - 61 - 0, Rec: 4 - 22 - 1 (5 targets)
A team high of 61 yards rushing, Lamar Miller continued his streak his streak of 60-or-more scrimmage yards in every game this season and is one of three players with 60-or-more scrimmage yards in each of his teamís games this year. Miller is getting more involved with the passing game with 4 receptions for 22 yards and made the play of the game on a 7 yard touchdown reception on a broken play off the arm of Tom Savage.

RB DOnta Foreman, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 10 - 65 - 2, Rec: 3 - 15 - 0 (3 targets)
It was Foremanís most productive day his rookie season rushing for 65 yards and catching 3 passes for 15 yards. His two touchdown runs keyed the Texans victory and on his first run for the 3 yard touchdown, he showed patience and sifted his way into the end zone. As for his big run of 34 yard where he ran outside to the right and outran everyone to the end zone. The only issue is that he tore his Achilles when he got to the end zone. Which will ultimately end his season and on the injured reserve.

WR Bruce Ellington, 68 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 5 - 0, Rec: 6 - 63 - 0 (7 targets)
Ellington set a career high day with 63 yards on 6 receptions and he made some tough ones in the process. Ellington did most of his work on underneath routes and his biggest reception came on 25-yard crossing route to extend the drive. He also caught passes for 12 and 10 yards to put together one of his more impressive games this season. Averaging 10.5 yards a reception and even had one carry for 5 yards. Also of note, Ellington is now the Texans primary punt returner.

WR DeAndre Hopkins, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 76 - 1 (9 targets)
Hopkins continues to catch passes and touchdowns and had 4 catches for a team hit 76 receiving yards. His 27-yard touchdown catch extended his NFL touchdown lead to 9 for the season. It continues to be the Hopkins show on offense and they will feed the ball him at all costs and they did not shy away from Patrick Peterson covering him. Hopkins had 5 targets of 20 plus yards today and it shows the offense is not afraid to go over the top with him. Hopkins is being moved around and he continues to get the bulk of the targets in the passing game.