Studs and duds in Cardinals’ Week 4 victory over Carolina Panthers

Following the first half of the game between the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers, it didn’t seem like there would be any studs to talk about.

Flash forward to Sunday night and Cardinals fans can finally celebrate a victory over the Carolina Panthers, something they haven’t been able to do since 2013.

The Cardinals had a dominant second half and ended up winning the game 26-16. They now get back to .500, which was so crucial given their next opponent is the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles.

Who were the players to stand out as studs and who were the duds of the game?

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STUD: DL J.J. Watt

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Days after having to be put under and have his heart shocked back into rhythm, J.J. Watt put on a clinic in Charlotte.

Watt had three tackles and batted down two passes. He also had a near sack on Baker Mayfield that ended up a short completion behind the sticks.

The turning point of the game was one of those batted passes, which dropped right into the waiting arms of Dennis Gardeck. It resulted in a Kyler Murray rushing touchdown that effectively ended the game.

Watt was emotional in his postgame press conference and expressed how much this win means to him and the team.

STUD: DL Zach Allen

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

The latter of what some Cardinal fans are calling J.J. Watt and Baby Watt, Zach Allen had himself a day on Sunday.

The former 2019 third-round pick is turning into an integral piece of the Cardinals’ defense. He and Watt have been sensational to this point.

Against Carolina, he had six tackles, a sack, a tackle for loss, two quarterback hits and three tipped passes at the line of scrimmage.

It’s a welcome sight for Allen and the Cardinals, as they’ve been high on him since he came out of Boston College in 2019. He and fellow 2019 defender Byron Murphy are earning themselves lots of money so far.

If the Cardinals can stabilize the edge rusher position, either with the guys they have or via a trade, this pass rush could be elite.

DUD: WR Rondale Moore

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Rondale Moore had his first game, yet didn’t make much of an impact. The second-year playmaker had three catches for 11 yards and one rushing attempt for a four-yard loss.

The lack of catches might not be entirely on Moore, as Kliff Kingsbury was using him almost exclusively on screen passes that were doomed from the start. He and the coaching staff need to use Moore as a deep threat and intermediate route runner moving forward.

Moore did have one deep target, where he caught the ball out of bounds on a throw that Kyler Murray likely wishes was a bit better. It was a good sign to see him targeted deep, however,

STUD: WR Hollywood Brown

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Another week, another standout performance from Marquise Brown. April’s trade to acquire Brown, particularly given their woes at the wide receiver position, has been a lifesaver.

Brown had 6 receptions for 88 yards and an incredible touchdown reception to put the game away for the Cardinals. He also drew a 37-yard pass interference penalty.

Teams have been playing off coverage against Brown, due to the threat of his speed. When DeAndre Hopkins returns, however, the deep passing game may open up more for him, which sounds very promising.

Still, Brown is working out just fine as the team’s No. 1 receiver through four weeks. The team is going to need another standout performance next week, with the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles coming to town.

STUD: LB Dennis Gardeck

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Gardeck had himself a game. His numbers exemplified what the Cardinals envisioned from him when he was given a three-year contract this offseason.

He produced on defense and on special teams. He led the team with three special teams tackles and then added two tackles, a sack and an interception. It was his first sack since 2020 and his interception put the game away for the Cardinals.

Story originally appeared on Cards Wire