ARIZONA’S DOWNFIELD ATTACK
Veteran QB Carson Palmer is rebounding from last year’s knee surgery in fine style. He ranks second in the NFL in passer rating (106.3) and TD passes (29) and third in passing yards (3,693), aided by three standout wide receivers:
The slot man: Larry Fitzgerald Jr. After an injury-hampered season in 2014, the Minneapolis native should surpass his career high for receptions (103) this season. He has 91 catches for 1,047 yards and seven touchdowns in his 12th season, and last week became the youngest player in NFL history (32) to reach 1,000 career receptions. At 6-3 and 218 pounds, he has become a possession receiver in the mode of Cris Carter, who taught Fitzgerald a few tricks when Fitzgerald was a Vikings ball boy in his teens.
The young speedster: John Brown. Brown was a third-round draft pick in 2014 out of Division II Pittsburg (Kansas) State. He had 48 catches during his rookie season, and this season has 51 for 817 yards and four scores. Ran a 4.34-second 40-yard dash coming out of college, and at 5-10 was projected as a return man but has emerged as much more.
The leaper: Michael Floyd. The former Cretin-Derham Hall standout has more than 100 receiving yards in three of the past four games. Floyd was the team’s first-round pick in 2012 out of Notre Dame. At 6-3 and 225 pounds he’s known for his ability on jump balls. Only in 2013 (65 catches, 1,041 yards) has he passed the 1,000-yard mark. He has 35 catches for 550 yards and five touchdowns this season after starting slowly because of broken fingers.