Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles isn't quick to anger, but there apparently are at least two things that set him off: a listless performance by his players and allowing an opponent to score in less than 30 seconds at the end of the half.

Both happened in the first half Sunday against Washington, and Bowles ripped his unit at halftime.

"He didn't even pull up any drawings or nothing," cornerback Jerraud Powers said. "Pretty strong, and I think we might have broke a few things in the room. I think it was a side of Todd Bowles that nobody's ever seen."

The only adjustment made was in attitude, and it showed in the second half. The defensive yielded only a touchdown in the second half and collected four turnovers in the fourth quarter to help the Cardinals win, 30-20.

While the major story line of the game was quarterback Carson Palmer playing for the first time in more than a month, the performance of the defense in the second half was the key to the Cardinals winning for the fourth time in five games.

And that turnaround began with Bowles at halftime.

Nose tackle Dan Williams couldn't confirm that any tangible items were broken at halftime but said Bowles "probably broke a few egos in that room, but other than that, it's good.'

What set Bowles off was a sequence in the last 30 seconds of the first half. A touchdown pass from Palmer to Larry Fitzgerald gave the Cardinals a 14-10 with 31 seconds left.

In the next 29 seconds, Washington moved 55 yards in just three plays and kicked a 43-yard field goal.

It was a different Cardinals defense that emerged from the locker room at halftime. Washington (1-5) gained only 27 yards in the third quarter and committed four turnovers in the fourth.