Once again what started as another ugly, defensive battle that would come down to the wire changed into a monumental, one-sided show of how amazing the Cardinals defense can be in the 4th quarter.
What turned out to be the play of the game? Here are some options.
Larry Fitzgerald 14-yard gain from Carson Palmer
Context is everything. It was second and nine on the St. Louis 17 and Palmer had just marched down the field with Fitz. He had been sacked twice already and it looked like his third is upon us. However, Palmer brushed off the hit, stepped up into the pocket and hits Fitzgerald for another first down. On the very next play, the Cardinals tied the game 7-7.
Calais Campbell's second sack
The drive of the above play ended on Palmer's interception. It was third and 11, the Rams were in field goal range. Campbell blew by the line and notches an 11 yard loss, pushing the Rams out of field goal range and making sure the sole turnover doesn't turn into any points.
John Brown's 49 touchdown catch from Drew Stanton
Does anything need to be said? Palmer went down injured and Stanton came in and threw two first downs, essentially the Cards saying Stanton had as much ability to win this game as Palmer. Stanton just slinged this ball almost too far. Only for John Brown to continue his fourth quarter heroics, make a jaw-dropping catch and completely change the momentum.
Patrick Peterson's 30 yard touchdown interception
A feat of unadulterated athleticism and practice. Unlike his first INT, this is all Peterson. He saw the ball, tipped it in the air, caught it himself and ran in for the score, putting the game away and taking any remaining wind out of the St. Louis sail.
Kareem Martin's forced fumble/8 yard sack, Antonio Cromartie's 14 yard touchdown
With Ed Stinson making the coaches swoon, Martin made some noise, wisely keeping one hand towards the ball knocking it up before Davis made a forward motion. Cromartie, knowing this could still be a live ball, scooped it up and runs in for the final touchdown while Rams lineman all give up assuming it was a forward pass.
Ted Ginn Jr's 15 yard catch from Carson Palmer
Third quarter, 1st and 10. The Rams call a two-man blitz and only Bobby Massie has a solid block. Palmer knows he is going to get hit, yet still he steps up into the pocket throws a floater to a wide open Ted Ginn. Fantastic example of Palmer's awareness of both the pass rush, how the DB's were playing off the receivers and the mental toughness to step into a hit.
Patrick Peterson's first interception (no gain)
This is all about redemption and ability. Peterson notches his only penalty of the day marring an otherwise good game. First off, this was all Austin Davis's fault, Peterson was beat from a sly pick play and if the pass is accurate that might even be a Rams' touchdown. That said, because Peterson plays with his eyes on the QB, he doesn't try to chase after his man, instead he continues watching Davis while recovering stopping the drive. If Peterson had panicked and chased the receiver this is just another incomplete pass. Sweet redemption.
It was tough this week. This list ignores all the sacks and passes that ended drives and kept them alive. This might be my favorite game of the year (so far).
Time to vote!