Fresh off an east coast trip and handling of the Chicago Bears, the Arizona Cardinals provided plenty of wow moments as they marched to a victory 48 - 23. So what were the plays that popped out during the game, and which deserves to be the play of the game? Let's take a look at the nominees below.
Setting the tone:
How about the first play of the game for perhaps the play of the game? On the opening kickoff rookie RB David Johnson wove through Bear defenders, going 108 yards on the return and a score. Just watching Johnson run is a thing of beauty, as on display are great vision, an easy gait and noticeable breakaway speed. As a separate tidbit for all those record buffs, Johnson's 108 yard return is the longest play in Cardinals' history.
Brown scores, no, the other Brown:
Carson Palmer was sharp on the day, throwing four touchdowns, the first was to Jaron Brown, the lesser known of the Browns on the team, but an accomplished WR threat in his own right. The entirety of this play was brilliant. The Cardinals fooled the Bears, with Jaron blocking on the line before turning to catch a quick strike from Palmer. Once he had the ball, Jaron made a great read off a Jared Veldheer block and picked up 6 yards and 6 points.
Larry Fitzgerald breaks out, part one:
I mentioned earlier that Palmer had four touchdown passes on the day, what I haven't mentioned yet is that Fitz had 3 of the 4. The first was an 8 yard strike on a play action pass, with Fitz working the middle of the field and Palmer throwing a laser strike.
A pick, a stiff arm, and a TD:
Behind the play of Jay Cutler the Bears seemed to match the Cardinals point for point, however, the knock on Cutler always has been his accuracy and that was the case on this play when he threw the ball behind his receiver, into the welcoming grasp of Tony Jefferson. Smelling the end zone, Jefferson shed a tackle attempt by Cutler with a solid stiff arm and then finished off the 22 yard return by tiptoeing down the sideline and into the end zone.
Larry Fitzgerald breaks out, part two:
Nobody speaks of Larry Fitzgerald like they did while he was in his prime, but #11 for the Cardinals showed everyone exactly why he's a sure fire hall of famer and true professional when it comes to the wide receiver position. Off a sweet 'Flea Flicker' Palmer finds Fitz in the end zone for a 28 yard strike. What made this play was the focus on display as Larry made the catch while Shea McClellin was draped all over him.
Have you met David Johnson yet:
Johnson showed both speed, vision and power on an edge sweep. Cutting inside after Jared Veldheer put a defender into the ground, Johnson broke an arm tackle from Adrian Amos with a stiff arm and turned on the burners to score from 13 yards out.
Larry Fitzgerald breaks out, part three:
Not content with 2 touchdowns on the day Fitzgerald took a quick pass from Palmer on the 9 yard line, meeting Bears' defender Terrance Mitchell at the 4 yard line with a stiff arm that sent the DB bowling over backwards and then leaping and reaching out with the football to cross the goal line.
So, which play is the play of the game? Cast your vote blow for the most worthy.