The Arizona Cardinals headed back east last Saturday and while the offense, notorious for its' slow starts did not shock anyone, the Cards improved defense also was sluggish out of the gate, allowing the Cincinnati Bengals the opportunity to take one away from the Cards.
After halftime adjustments, the defense came back out focused and dominated the Bengals in the second half. And while the final outcome of the game was a loss, there were some positives on the defensive side.
Hit the jump to see my top five defensive plays from the game.
Without further ado, the top five:
- The first defensive play comes late in the second quarter with approximately thirty-five seconds left til halftime. The Bengals have the ball at the Cardinals twelve yard line with a first down. Andy Dalton takes the snap and Calais Campbell powers through to pick up the first Card's sack of the game, an eleven yard loss that leads to a field goal.
- The second play comes in the third quarter, the thirteen minute forty-five second mark. The Bengals have crossed midfield. Cedric Benson takes the toss and is tackled for a two yard loss by Daryl Washington. This set up third and long, which eventually led to a punt.
- The next play doesn't come until a third of the way through the fourth quarter. This was first and ten from the Cinci thirty-seven yard line. Andy Dalton drops back and rookie Sam Acho notches his sixth sack of the year. The Cards got a steal in the fourth round with this guy.
- And the next defensive play comes right after Acho's sack on Dalton. Now faced with second and seventeen and wanting to grind the clock, the Bengals turn to powerhouse Cedric Benson. He runs to the right for a nice gain. He's tackled by Adrian Wilson and A.J. Jefferson, and Wilson punches the ball out, which is recovered by Kerry Rhodes.
- The last defensive play comes with the last few minutes left on the clock. Down seven after the FG, the Cards kick to the Bengals. First and ten from their twenty, Benson gets the hand off again. This time Calais Campbell lights him up and pops the ball loose, which Kerry Rhodes once again recovers.