ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — On a day quarterback Carson Palmer threw four interceptions and safety Tyrann Mathieu couldn’t field a fumble and kicked the ball out of bounds, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians saved his bluntest critique on long snapper Kameron Canaday.
This, after all, wasn’t the first time a bad snap from Canaday has cost the Cardinals (1-2) three weeks into the season.
“Grow the hell up,” Arians said following a 33-18 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. “It has nothing to do with anything but what’s between his ears.”
Canaday’s latest blunder came in the third quarter with Arizona trailing 23-7 and kicker Chandler Catanzaro lining up to attempt a 32-yard field goal. Canaday’s snap sailed high and through the hands of holder Drew Butler. The ball was recovered by Buffalo safety Aaron Williams, who returned the fumble 53 yards for a touchdown.
Two weeks earlier, Canaday’s bad snap resulted in Catanzaro missing a 47-yard attempt wide left in the final minute of a 23-21 season-opening loss to New England.
Canaday had very little to say following the game.
“It’s tough,” he said. “It was just high.”
And when asked what Arians had told him, Canaday responded: “Nothing.”
Whatever pride the Cardinals took in not turning the ball over in their first two games went out the window against Buffalo.
Palmer closed the game by throwing an interception on each of Arizona’s final four possessions. Three of the interceptions came when Arizona had the ball inside the Buffalo 30.
The costliest one came with 2:25 left and after Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters tackled running back LeSean McCoy for a safety to cut Buffalo’s lead to 33-18.
Three plays later, facing third-and-16 from the Buffalo 20, Palmer sailed a pass into the end zone that was easily picked off by Stephon Gilmore.
“Disappointed in myself and the way I played,” said Palmer, who finished 26 of 50 for 287 yards and was sacked five times.
It marked the fifth time he’s thrown four interceptions in one game, and first since a 49-15 loss to Carolina in last season’s NFC championship game.
The miscues weren’t limited to offense and special teams.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Mathieu burst into the backfield and batted down quarterback Tyrod Taylor’s backward pass intended for Robert Woods. Mathieu, however, failed twice in attempting to scoop up the ball and instead kicked it out of bounds at the Arizona 40.
“Yeah, it’s frustrating. I’ve been making that play since I was 4 years old,” Mathieu said. “But like I said, it was just one of those days. The ball just didn’t bounce our way at all.”
The Cardinals entered the game with a NFL-leading seven takeaways — four interceptions and three fumble recoveries. They forced just one against Buffalo with Patrick Peterson intercepting Taylor.
“A lot of it was self-inflected,” receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. “Our defense gave us some opportunities that we never ever capitalized on, unfortunately.”