CHICAGO – As long as Carson Palmer is in the lineup, the Arizona Cardinals believe they can beat anybody. And they will be tough to knock off if he keeps playing like this.
Palmer threw for four touchdowns to lead the Cardinals to a 48-23 victory over the Chicago Bears, who lost Jay Cutler because of a pulled hamstring Sunday.
Palmer connected with Larry Fitzgerald Jr. for three of his TDs, giving the quarterback seven in two games after returning last week against New Orleans from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that cut short his season after only six games a year ago.
"I've never been around this deep of a team," Fitzgerald said. "I was around Hall of Famers in Anquan [Boldin] and Edgerrin James and Kurt Warner, but besides that, on the offensive side of the ball I've got some guys that really can play over there."
Palmer was 17 of 24 with 185 yards to improve to 15-2 in his past 17 starts. Fitzgerald had 112 yards, and with those three TDs, he matched a career high he set against Philadelphia in the conference final seven years ago.
David Johnson returned the opening kickoff a club-record 108 yards and added a rushing TD, becoming the first player in NFL history with a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and kickoff-return touchdown in his first two games to begin a career.
Chris Johnson ran for 72 yards with Andre Ellington sidelined because of a sprained right knee for the Cardinals (2-0). And, coach Bruce Arians gained a measure of revenge after the Bears (0-2) hired Marc Trestman over him in January 2013.
"I think the running game is so much better," Palmer said. "It just gives us another dimension."