Cardinals vs Falcons: Play of the Game

Scott Cunningham

In a game as offensively pathetic as the Cardinals just lost, one would expect, and rightly so, that most of the plays of the game would be defensive. And that person would be very correct. At least from a Cardinals standpoint, the highlight package from this game would consist of the defense featuring Larod Stephens-Howling. Here are your week 11 plays of the game, and make sure to vote for your favorite in the poll.

1. Greg Toler fumble-pitch to Rashad Johnson - Jason Snelling catches the pass in stride, but with Sam Acho close on his tail. Acho punches the ball out, and it looks as though it will bounce out of bounds (and remain as Atlanta's ball) until Greg Toler leaps for the ball, does a half flip in the air, and pitches it to Rashad Johnson for an Arizona recovery. Absolutely spectacular play, and had the play been legally challenged, it likely still would have held up.

2. Stephens-Howling for 40 - Cardinals are on their own thirty, Skelton is in shotgun, and hands off to the Hyphen on the draw. LSH runs hard through a big hole between Bobby Massie and Adam Snyder and then just flat out runs past the Falcons defenders before finally being pushed out of bounds at the thirty. Cards offense would move a net zero yards after that, and settle for the field goal.

3. The Hyphen sets a new, new career long run - Lindley under center with Sherman and Stephens-Howling lined up in I-formation. Once again, LSH runs between Massie and Snyder, this time with Sherman leading the way. Sherman blows up LB Akeem Dent, LSH jukes right and is off to the races, with Fitz and Sherman close behind. LSH slows up to let them lead block and scampers forward for a gain of 52. Bittersweet, as Cards have to settle for three again, but had LSH cut back to the sideline at the Cards 45, he would have been gone for the touchdown.

4. D-Wash stuffs Snelling - Cards are up 10-0, but Atlanta is driving. They set up in a with three tight-ends, and Jason Snelling in Single back with one yard to pick up. Daryl Washington is lined up over the right guard, bursts through on the snap, and meets Snelling for a huge stop of -1 yard on third down. Falcons are forced to settle for the field goal.

5. D-Wash picks off the Mattural - The indisputable defensive MVP does it again, this time in pass coverage. Ryan rolls out to his right, pressured by Walker and Talley, and tries to get the ball to Jason Snelling. However the ball never gets their as Washington picks it off in stride and gives the Cardinals offense great field position, which the offense can only muster...three points again. Re-watching the play, Washington only had Ryan to beat for the TD, and had he ran back into the field of play, rather than the sideline, he likely would have scored.

There were some great plays on Sunday, despite the loss, but once again the Cardinal's game was a story of missed chances. Turning great plays and field position into only three points is not a recipe for success, and had even one of these plays gone all the way for a touchdown (which some of them very well could have) the game would have been very different.

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