The theme of the Arizona Cardinals 2013 season so far has been "Ugly offense, awesome defense." That certainly was the case this week against the Carolina Panthers.
But the Cardinals (3-2) have won two straight games after defeating the Panthers (1-3) on Sunday, 22-6, so, ugly or not, all that matters is the team is winning football games.
This will be laid out similarly to the player of the game piece. There were not many eye-popping plays on offense in Week 5, but there are plenty of defensive plays from which to choose.
Here are the candidates for Week 5 play of the game.
Calais Campbell sacks Cam Newton for safety
On the play prior to defensive end Calais Campbell sacking Carolina quarterback Cam Newton in his own end zone, starting left guard Amini Silatolu left with an injury. Campbell had to be licking his chops at the opportunity to face replacement Travelle Wharton -- and he made the most of it.
On the play, Wharton ends up sliding to Campbell's right. Center Ryan Kalil attempts to do the same to pick up Campbell, but he fails, leaving No. 93 with a clear shot at Newton. The safety extended the lead to 12-6.
Carson Palmer avoids pressure, completes to Fitz
Say what you will about Carson Palmer's three interceptions on Sunday. They were bad, and the team cannot win many games with mistakes like that.
However, Palmer is fearless under pressure and showed it on this play. Avoiding the rush from outside linebacker Thomas Davis is one thing, but keeping his composure afterward to deliver an accurate throw to Larry Fitzgerald for a first down is another. It was a great play in the midst of a mediocre offensive performance.
Patrick Peterson's interception return
This play had shades of a punt return Patrick Peterson had his rookie season against these very same Panthers. In a tie game at the end of the first half, Newton goes deep to wideout Steve Smith but badly underthrows him.
Peterson picks it off and weaves his way through a host of Carolina players en route to a 43-yard return.
Andre Ellington's fancy sideline grab
Nearing the end of the first half, the Cardinals are driving to take the lead. We all know that did not work out as planned, but it started out well.
Rookie running back Andre Ellington does his best Fitzgerald impersonation on this play, catching the ball while dragging both feet inbounds before hitting the ground out of bounds.
Daryl Washington picks off Newton
It was a great first game back off suspension for inside linebacker Daryl Washington -- I broke it down in depth for Bleacher Report on Monday. He ran away from the competition for ROTB player of the game, but he unfortunately could not outrun Newton after intercepting a pass in the fourth quarter.
More than just a turnover, this pick saved the defense from allowing Carolina to score in a six-point game. It's nice to see him back in there, isn't it?