The San Francisco 49ers came to UoP Stadium for a friendly inter-division game against the Arizona Cardinals. When it was all said and done, the Cards had amassed a bevy of points and made the contest seem very one sided, in their favor. With all that production, there were many notable individual performances on the field. So, who are the candidates for player of the game? Let's take a look at the list below:
Aging like fine wine:
Carson Palmer continue to defy time and critics with his play for the Arizona Cardinals, and yesterday was no exception. He saw the field quickly, made excellent decisions with the football and ended the day with a stat line of 20/32 in attempts for 311 yards and two touchdowns. That's what type of performance teams expect from the person running their offense, and it's enough to place Palmer's name into the mix this week for player of the game.
23 touches, 150 all purpose yards:
Happy belated birthday Chris Johnson, and thank you for having a great impact in the game yesterday. Another of Steve Keim's fantastic off-season moves, Johnson touched the ball 23 times in the game, racking up 150 all purpose yards. But let's delve a little deeper into those numbers. 22 of those touches were for carries, and he galloped to a 110 yard day. That's a 5 yard per carry average folks, and a back that went for over 100 yards in a game. He also added 2 touchdowns on those 22 carries. His one catch out of the backfield was an example of patience, burst, and change of direction when he broke NaVorro Bowman's ankles on that cutback from the sideline. That's a game worthy of a birthday present.
Still giving them Fitz:
One of the best in the game ever, continued to be so with another example of just how Larry Fitzgerald is mentally dominant. 9 receptions for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns is the stat line. Anyone watching the game knows it was much more than that. His first score came with a vicious hit from Jaquiski Tartt in the back of the end zone that planted Fitz in the ground and supposedly shook Tony Siragusa, who was nearby announcing, but Fitz held on. That's an iron will.
Set the defensive tone:
Justin Bethel stepped up in a big way against the 49ers, opening the first defensive series with an interception of Colin Kaepernick that Bethel returned 21 yards for a touchdown. Add in a forced fumble, and Bethel had himself a great game.
DPOY = Honey Badger?
Tyrann Mathieu has been touted as the wild card for the Cardinals, and his play this year has been exactly that, the wild card that shows up and makes things happen en route to another victory. His contributions yesterday? 2 interceptions, with 1 being returned 33 yards for a score. Add in 5 tackles and the Honey Badger is a force to be feared.
So, who is this weeks player of the game? Make your voice heard in the poll below.