The Cardinals routed the Buccaneers 40-7 yesterday, restoring the Super Bowl aspirations for many Cardinals fans with an impressive bounce back offensively, defensively and on special teams.
With so many great plays in the game, which stood out as the play of the game?
I was tempted to go with another fantastic David Johnson run, or another Larry Fitzgerald catch to add to his resume, but decided to go against the grain this week and focus on one play by the offense and one play by the defense.
For the offense, here is the situation: the Cardinals have just scored a touchdown off of a Jameis Winston Interception, and they end up getting the ball back with some time left before the half.
Here is the play:
As you can see, the first thing that stands out about this play is the space created for Palmer in the pocket. Offseason acquisition Evan Mathis picks up the stunt and Humphries and Veldheer push their upfield rushers past Palmer, giving him time to step up in the pocket.
On the route side, the safety, Chris Conte, hesitates a second in coverage and Brown blows by him on the post route, making a perfect over-the-shoulder catch for what was basically the death knell to any momentum that the Bucs might have been able to scrape together and turned the game into a blowout.
For the second play, we take a look at the fast reactions by the defense on an overthrow by Jameis Winston that cost the Bucs dearly:
Here the majority of the work can be seen done by Deone Bucannon, who sniffs out the pass and closes in on the receiver just as the ball is arriving. The ball bounces off the intended receiver's hands and Cooper shows the awareness to grab it and break for the end zone.
This is what you look for in a Cardinals outside CB--ball skills.
While Brandon Williams has played pretty well in man coverage the first two weeks as far as mirroring his man, where he has struggled is in awareness to not just find and see the ball, but make a play on it and make the interception.
Cooper benefitted here from Jameis's overthrow and so did the Cardinals, and this play, Cooper's 2nd INT of the day, was the icing on the cake for a great day in his first playing time as a Cardinal, and the cherry on top for a Cardinals victory.
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