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Cardinals score late, send Buccaneers to 0-4 start

The SportsXchange

TAMPA -- Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer said he knew Sunday could be a tough "trap" game, facing a winless team that was starting a rookie quarterback.

And the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers turned into what Palmer called an "absolute dogfight."

The Cardinals overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Tampa Bay 13-10, handing the Buccaneers their third last-minute loss in a 0-4 opening month of the 2013 season.

"This is a good football team," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said of the Buccaneers. "But they found a way to give it back to us."

Kicker Jay Feely hit a game-winning 27-yard field goal with 1 minute, 30 seconds left, capping off Arizona's final flurry. The Cardinals scored 10 points in the final four minutes, sparked by the first of two interceptions thrown by Buccaneers rookie quarterback Mike Glennon, who was making his first career NFL start.

"It's a very tough game, tough loss, for our guys," coach Greg Schiano said after falling to 1-8 in the past nine games. "We did a lot of things very well, just did too many things wrong, too many mistakes, to win. Certainly we're being tested, but we've got to stick together and we'll win."

Cornerback Patrick Peterson picked off Glennon deep in Bucs territory with just over three minutes left, returning it to the 13-yard line. Peterson said he noticed receiver Vincent Jackson running an inside dig route, and that Glennon telegraphed the pass the whole way.

"We saw that route almost every day of the week this week, and it finally paid off," Peterson said. "(Glennon) was telegraphing the throw, and looking at Vincent pretty much the whole time and I undercut the route and made a huge interception."

One play later, Palmer connected with Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown, tying the game at 10-10.

Said Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby said. "We knew we had them right where we wanted them."

After a punt, Palmer put Arizona in field goal range with a sideline pass to Jaron Brown, and an unsportsmanlike penalty on Bucs safety Dashon Goldson, who could be suspended after another high hit. It was the fourth personal foul penalty this season for Goldson, who has been fined $130,000.

"I'm trying to win a game for my football team," Goldson said. "I don't know what they expect me to do."

Glennon, the third-round pick out of North Carolina State, completed 24-of-43 passes for 193 yards and a touchdown, giving the Bucs a 10-point halftime lead, but his late-game blunders proved costly. The second interception, coming on the Bucs final drive in the last minute, was also by Peterson.

"It's just an unfortunate way to end the game," Glennon said. "It's definitely a learning experience but also a tough one to swallow."

The Buccaneers' defense did its part, forcing three turnovers. Defensive tackle Gerald McCoy recovered a Rashard Mendenhall fumble on the second, setting up a Bucs score. Taking over on Arizona's 41-yard-line, Glennon led the Bucs on a 41-yard scoring drive, capped by an 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Williams with just over six minutes left in the first quarter.

The Cardinals appeared focused on stopping Pro Bowl running back Doug Martin, who was held to just 45 yards on 27 carries. Glennon managed the game in the early going, leading the Bucs to 13 first-half first downs.

Glennon moved the Bucs 61 yards in 13 plays near the end of the first half, setting up a 50-yard field goal by Rian Lindell, making it 10-0 with 32 seconds left in the half.

The Cardinals looked like they were going to battle back in the second half, but two interceptions by Palmer in Buccaneers' territory proved costly. The Cardinals put their best drive together in the third quarter, featuring three catches by Fitzgerald and 82 yards passing by Palmer, getting inside the Bucs 15-yard-line.

But Bucs rookie cornerback Johnthan Banks made a spectacular, leaping interception in the end zone, the first of his career, to thwart the threat. The Cardinals were again driving late in the third quarter, at the Bucs 33-yard line, when Darrelle Revis picked off a Palmer pass intended for Fitzgerald near the left sideline. The Cardinals finally got on the scoreboard four minutes into the fourth quarter, with a 42-yard field goal by Feely, set up by a Martin fumble near mid-field.

As well as the Bucs' defense played for most of the game, once again they couldn't close it out.

"It's heartbreaking, man," Revis said. "We just have to stick together. We have to find a way to win."

NOTES: Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman, benched this week in favor of Glennon, was inactive for Sunday's game. ... Buccaneers S Mark Barron left the game with a hamstring injury and didn't return. ... Cardinals LB Vic So'oto left in the first half and was getting evaluated for a potential concussion. ... Cardinals DT Dan Williams missed the second straight game due to the death of his father. Cardinals S Rashad Johnson, who lost the tip of his left middle finger in last week's game, was inactive Sunday.
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