Well! I didn’t expect it, but from the very first drive I saw a whole lot of heart, as the team jumped out to a 14 point lead en route to a 34-31 win in Seattle. It being the holiday season, I’m going to be awfully generous with my winners. Maybe it’s the holiday cheer, maybe its the spiced eggnog, who knows! Here’s the winners and losers from the exciting Christmas Eve matchup!
Calais Campbell- He may have just had half a sack on the stat sheet, but watching the game showed he was unblockable all day. He’s making it hard to let him walk.
Chandler Jones/Markus Golden/Alex Okafor- With CC eating up blocks, the rest were able to fly around and harass Wilson. Jones had a 1.5 sacks, Golden had 2, Okafor had 1.
David Johnson- 100 yards from scrimmage again, 3 TDS, and he abused Chancellor on that final drive.
Carson Palmer- Despite suspect protection, Palmer honestly balled out. Under pressure throughout the game, Palmer often hit hot routes, navigated the trash, and made plays where there didn’t seem to be one.
Special Teams- Yes, you read that right. Punt coverage was solid. Blocked punt. Forced that missed field goal. Oh, and running onto the field, getting set, and nailing that game winner? Call that an appearance by the Catman.
Justin Bethel- Stood out and made quite a few plays. Not convinced he’s solid enough to be the locked in #2, but it was promising.
JJ Nelson- The kid can play. Just three catches, but all were huge plays. That quick slant from Palmer was a great read from Palmer, and once Nelson made that cut, Sherman never stood a chance.
Tony Jefferson- Injured early in the game, and on the sidelines with crutches. Not a good end to a solid season from him.
Brandon Williams- When i saw #26 in coverage, it typically wasn’t a good play. He was a weak link and got beat off the line a few times.
Draft Slot- The Cardinals slide back to the #11 pick. If the Bengals win tonight, they will also be 6-8-1, and (if my math is right) push the Cards back into the 10 spot. Yeah, we could have possibly snuck earlier, but honestly, at the moment, I’m much happier playing spoiler than worrying about a couple draft slots.
That’s my list, what’s yours? Thanks for reading, its been a fun season writing this year and I hope you all have a great holiday weekend, made sweeter by a win in Seattle!