While the Arizona Cardinals lost in controversial fashion to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, 24-21, there were still a handful of highlight-reel plays from which to choose for this week's column. The offensive plays have done very well here this season, but pay close attention to the defensive plays this week.
One in particular is the second-best play I've seen from a Cardinals defender this season given the situation -- the only better play was Tyrann Mathieu's forced fumble of St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook (not to sway any votes).
Here are the plays of Week 13.
Floyd's toe-tapping touchdown
Quarterback Carson Palmer struggled throughout the game at delivering accurate passes, but this was his best. It was a perfect strike at the back of the end zone to a wide-open Michael Floyd, who made a toe-tapping catch to pull the Cardinals to within 10 points in the third quarter.
The bond between Palmer and Floyd is obvious and growing each week. It has led to Floyd being the team's leading receiver each of the past three games. This is yet another example of that connection they have.
Defending the tight end screen
This is about the only thing the Cardinals did well against tight ends on Sunday. It takes teamwork to win games, and the team of Daryl Washington and John Abraham combined to make quick work of rookie tight end Zach Ertz on this third-down play.
Watch Abraham flow down the line in pursuit of Ertz. Then, watch Washington shed rookie right tackle Lane Johnson to finish off the rookie tight end. This great play led to the next play.
Larry's physical touchdown
We've seen this type of play from Larry Fitzgerald dozens of times throughout his Hall of Fame career. He not only makes these routinely, he makes them look easy while doing so.
On 3rd-and-20 in the second quarter, Palmer targeted Fitz over the middle and into double coverage, trusting his All-Pro receiver would make something happen. What happened was Fitz breaking two tackles simultaneously, leaving no one in front of him en route to a 43-yard score.
Alameda blows up Philly's entire run game
If you can't tell from the title, this is the play to which I alluded at the outset. Young nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu is a strong man, and he did not mess around with Eagles center Jason Kelce with the game on the line.
Ta'amu timed the snap perfectly and drove Kelce back five yards straight into running back LeSean McCoy, who was forced to redirect. Ta'amu made the tackle a yard downfield, forcing a third down and, in the end, a punt.
Floyd jumps out of the building
He may not have the largest vertical leap in the league, but there are few receivers better at going up and getting a contested ball in traffic than Floyd. He has demonstrated that ability a lot of late, and this was among the best of the bunch.
A poorly thrown ball from Palmer forced Floyd to come back and adjust as he leaped. With safety Nate Allen draped on his back, Floyd reached up and snagged the pass out of the air, completing a 34-yard reception. Palmer would hit tight end Jim Dray just three plays later to bring Arizona to within a field goal -- and the final score of 24-21.