Cards win division! 3 big takeaways from victory

Posted at 10:10 PM, Dec 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-21 10:14:49-05

The Arizona Cardinals wrapped up the NFC West division title on the same night they set a franchise record for victories in the regular season.

The Cards improved to 12-2 -- the first time they've ever won 12 games in regular-season play -- with a dominating 40-17 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles.

With their eighth straight victory, the Cards have clinched at least the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs and can clinch a first-round postseason bye with a home victory over the Green Bay Packers next weekend.

Here are three big takeaways from the Cards' historic win.

1. David Johnson is a grown man.

Some Cards fans may have panicked a bit when veteran running back Chris Johnson suffered a likely season-ending injury. 

Fear not: Rookie David Johnson is here.

The third-round pick put up some ridiculous stats Sunday, and he did things that no Cards running back has done in 47 years.

Altogether, David Johnson put up 229 yards on 33 touches, including this absurd 47-yard run in the second quarter.

2. Defense does its job.

For the second straight game, the Cardinals dominated in the turnover department, forcing four takeaways of the Eagles, all in the second half. Safety Deone Bucannon's pick-six in the fourth quarter -- his first-ever touchdown at the NFL or collegiate level -- sealed the victory.

3. Holding our breath on the Honey Badger.

The Cardinals dodged a couple bullets Sunday when David Johnson and quarterback Carson Palmer were able to return to the game after suffering an injury.

Cards fans hope safety Tyrann Mathieu will have the same good fortune. The Honey Badger, who is a bona fide Defensive Player of the Year candidate, left late in the fourth quarter after appearing to tweak his knee and/or ankle immediately following an interception.

It goes without saying, but we'll say it anyway: Losing Mathieu for any period of time would seriously damage the Cardinals' postseason chances. Here's hoping for some good news on the Honey Badger front.