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CARDS WIN! 3 big takeaways from their nail-biting victory over the Washington Redskins

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Posted at 5:56 PM, Dec 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-05 08:14:27-05

The Arizona Cardinals got the win they desperately needed in order to keep their thin playoff hopes alive.

Thanks to another incredible set of performances by David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals held off the Washington Redskins on Sunday for a 31-23 victory at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Patrick Peterson's interception of Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins with less than a minute to play sealed the win. It was Cousins' first interception since Oct. 30.

With the win, the Cardinals improved to 5-6-1 on the season. But they'll likely have to win each of their last four games in order to have a chance to make the postseason.

Here are three big takeaways from Sunday's victory. 

1. Cards risk it, get biscuit.

The Cardinals had the ball while clinging to a 1-point lead with two minutes to play. All they needed was one more first down to put the game on ice. 

But Cards coach Bruce Arians doesn't know how to play it safe. Rather than attempting a run or a short pass, quarterback Carson Palmer went deep, and it paid off, as he hit wide receiver J.J. Nelson for a 42-yard touchdown with 1:56 to play to give the Cards an 8-point advantage. Peterson's pick on the Redskins' final possession preserved the victory.

Palmer arguably had his best game of the season. Despite playing behind a shaky offensive line, the 36-year-old completed 30 of 46 passes for 300 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions, and he made a number of outstanding passes on third downs to keep drives alive.

2. David Johnson, blah, blah, blah...

We know this is getting old since we mention David Johnson's performance after every Cardinals game, win or lose. But his work on Sunday once again told much of the Cardinals' story, as he collected 177 total yards (84 rushing, 91 receiving) and scored two touchdowns vs. Washington.

The second-year pro now has 28 touchdowns in his first 28 NFL games, and he has accrued over 100 total yards in each of his first 12 games of the season, one short of matching the NFL record. He's also just two TDs away from tying the single-season franchise touchdown record.

Something to keep an eye on: Johnson is within striking distance of becoming just the third player in NFL history to gain 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. Marshall Faulk and Roger Craig are the only two players who have done so.

3. Fitz keeps rewriting the record books.

Larry's legend just continues to grow. Future Hall of Fame receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught nine passes for 91 yards on Sunday, moving him to No. 3 on the NFL's all-time receptions list and No. 10 in all-time receiving yards.

Fitz earned respect from Cris Carter, one of the receivers Fitzgerald passed on the receptions list.

Congrats, Larry -- even though we know the only thing you really care about is the victory.