The way this game was headed, there may not have been enough players to put on the ballot for player of the game. Through three quarters, the Arizona Cardinals had been shut out -- and shut out in six straight quarters dating back to the New Orleans game.
But then, things started to click. After six punts and three turnovers had them down 10-0 in the fourth to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the defense helped the offense get on the board with critical turnovers and stops on third down.
Two fourth-quarter turnovers led to 10 points to tie the game, and a 3-and-out deep in Tampa territory gave the ball back to the offense with two minutes remaining with great field position. A Jay Feely 27-yard field goal and a game-sealing pick later, and the Cardinals (2-2) were winners.
Here are the player of the game nominees.
Stats: 6 receptions, 68 yards, 11.3 YPC, 1 touchdown
He wasn't even targeted in the first half, but Larry Fitzgerald made one of the biggest plays of the afternoon when he beat Bucs All-Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis for the game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Quarterback Carson Palmer drilled Fitz in the middle of the end zone after No. 11 did things to Revis not many do (it's a play-of-the-game nominee).
Imagine what kind of day Fitzgerald and the offense could have had if Palmer looked at him in the first half.
Stats: 9 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended, 1 QB hit
One of these days, Karlos Dansby is going to intercept a pass. It's going to happen. Each of the past three weeks, he's been inching closer to a pick, but he's come up short each time.
We can poke fun at Dansby, but the truth is the inside linebacker played a great game Sunday, helping hold star running back Doug Martin to a career-low 1.67 yards per carry. Daryl Washington returns next week, so the already stout run defense is about to get better.
So is that shoddy coverage in the middle.
Stats: 4 carries, 29 yards, 7.3 YPC; 3 receptions, 22 yards, 7.3 YPC
Once again, rookie running back Andre Ellington is up for the player of the game award. And, once again, he did it by doing a little bit of everything for the offense.
Ellington has 11 carries for 68 yards (6.2 YPC) on the season to go with nine receptions for 113 yards (12.6 YPC) and a touchdown. Isn't it about time he receives more carries?
Stats: 3 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 sack, 2 QB hits
You may know the name Dontay Moch from his days at Hamilton High School, where he played football and ran track. In his first NFL game on defense Sunday, he provided a play-of-the-game nominee with his third-down sack of rookie QB Mike Glennon. The play set up the game-winning field goal from Jay Feely.
Moch may have found a regular spot on a defense in desperate need of outside linebacker depth after the ravaging the position took last week. If he keeps making plays like he did in Tampa, it will be difficult to keep him off the field.
Stats: 5 receptions, 87 yards, 17.4 YPC
Four of Michael Floyd's catches resulted in a first down, and a big chunk of his yardage -- 35 yards, by my count -- came after the catch. He was targeted a team-high 10 times, marking the second consecutive game he led the team in targets (tied with Fitz and Andre Ellington with six last week).
He has yet to score a touchdown this season, but he's well on his way if he keeps making plays after the catch. He is becoming a great threat to defenses every week.
Stats: 2 tackles, 2 passes defended, 2 interceptions
When the star cornerback has only two tackles the whole game, it likely means he had a superb day covering receivers. That certainly was the case Sunday, as Patrick Peterson held Vincent Jackson to just two receptions for 27 yards (13.5 YPC).
Then, there are the interceptions. Both came in coverage of Jackson -- the first of which is a play-of-the-game nominee.