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6 Players Who Have Helped the Arizona Cardinals Start 2-0

There's a reason the Arizona Cardinals are one of nine undefeated NFL teams. The Cardinals enter their Week 3 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers on the heels of back-to-back decisive wins against the New Orleans Saints and the Chicago Bears.

Because these teams meet twice annually, you're probably familiar with Arizona's cast of core players. Even so, here is a refresher on six names that you can expect to hear throughout the week and into Sunday's game.

QB Carson Palmer

Go behind the scenes with the San Francisco 49ers as they took on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 of the 2015 regular season.

The fact that Palmer is healthy enough to play football right now is remarkable. The Cardinals quarterback tore his ACL last November, dashing the team's hopes for a Super Bowl run.

In Arizona's two victories in 2015, Palmer has completed more than 64 percent of his pass attempts for 492 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. The seven touchdown passes are tied for the league lead with Tom Brady.

After starting last season 11-3, the Cardinals hope that a healthy Palmer can once again get the team back to the postseason.

WR Larry Fitzgerald

If you're looking for the 32-year old receiver to slow down, you're going to have to keep waiting. After catching six passes for 87 yards in Week 1, Fitzgerald had eight receptions for 112 yards and three touchdowns against the Bears last Sunday.

Those three scores were more than the two touchdowns Fitzgerald posted all of last season.

In 22 career games against the 49ers, the 12-year veteran has caught 117 passes for 1,654 yards and 12 touchdowns. The yardage total is the most Fitzgerald has against any NFL opponent. RB David Johnson

The rookie out of Northern Iowa has wasted no time showing that he belongs on the NFL stage. Per the Arizona Cardinals official Twitter, Johnson is the first player in league history to score a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and kick return touchdown in his first two career games.

Johnson scored on a 55-yard catch and run against the Saints in Week 1. The rookie then went on to return the opening kick 100 yards for a score against the Bears and capped that game with a 13-yard touchdown run.

Cardinals starting running back Andre Ellington is expected to miss this Sunday's game with a knee injury. Backup Chris Johnson will likely get the start, but the rookie's early success means his role will only get bigger.

WR John Brown

Take a look at some of the best photos of the veteran wide receiver's first year with the San Francisco 49ers.

Brown's stats are modest thus far - nine receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown - but the second-year receiver has home run-hitting speed that the 49ers will need to stop. 

In both games this season, Brown has drawn long pass interference penalties to set up a scoring opportunity for the Cardinals. Palmer has always been a quarterback who likes to take shots downfield, and you can expect to see one or two sent Brown's way in Week 3.

In Week 3 of Brown's rookie season, he caught four passes for 52 yards and two touchdowns against the 49ers.

Be sure to note on Sunday that the Cardinals also have a receiver by the name of Jaron Brown.

CB Patrick Peterson

Arizona's top cornerback has made the Pro Bowl in each of his first four NFL seasons. The former fifth-overall pick in 2011 out of LSU already has his first interception of 2015.

In addition to his ball-hawking play on defense, Peterson is also the Cardinals punt returner once again. The cornerback took a year off return duties in 2014 but has produced 1,329 career punt return yards and four touchdowns.

FS Tryann Mathieu

The "Honey Badger," as he's widely known, is quite possibly Arizona's most talented defender. Like Peterson, Mathieu also went to LSU. He was taken by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft. 

Mathieu's three passes defended are the most of any Cardinals defender and the safety's 12 tackles rank second on the team.

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