Today the Arizona Cardinals officially dropped their 3rd straight game in a row after rolling off three straight games.
The game started with a bang: Byron Murphy notched his first interception, picking off Jameis Winston on the 3rd snap .
However, the Cardinals were not able to capitalize, with two high throws from Kyler Murray and had to kick a field goal.
The Bucs came back down the field, completing multiple screen passes on 3rd and long to keep moving the chains and punched it into the End zone.
The second drive had the team drive into Bucs territory, only for another drive to stall with two false start penalties on 3rd down by tackles Humphries & Pugh (starting in place of an injured Justin Murray)
The Bucs kept driving and had a wide open T.J. Logan but Winston overthrew him.
All in all the story of the first half was disastrous possessions on offense by Arizona, having multiple three and outs with Murray missing guys like he hasn’t since the start of the season. Justin Pugh struggled on the edge after having a good game last week against the Niners defensive line.
The teams traded a few three-and-outs and the offense started up with a nice pass from Murray to Andy Isabella to get to midfield, and Kliff decided to go for it on 4th and 5 after Suh sacked Murray trying to run for the first down.
He did it with a pass to Larry Fitzgerald with a catch that...has to be seen to be believed.
ARE YOU SERIOUS, @LarryFitzgerald?! pic.twitter.com/slWzayTvFx— Arizona Cardinals ⋈ (@AZCardinals) November 10, 2019
The 2nd half came to a pair of possessions that showcased the entirety of the 2019 Cardinals.
Backs against the wall after that Fitzgerald 4th down play, Kyler threw for a long TD to Christian Kirk and there were 66 seconds left.
All the Cardinals had to do was stop them...and this was too much for them.
Buccaneers drove down with a tight end touchdown and there was nobody on the team making a play.
The 3rd quarter started with the Cardinals driving down off of a 55-yard catch and run by Andy Isabella (involve him more, maybe?) and going for it again on 4th down.
Maxx Williams was wide open and....dropped the ball. Oof.
The Bucs followed up with a field goal after Byron Murphy missed an end zone INT of a Jameis Winston pick in which his receiver couldn’t hang on and the Cardinals were down by 7.
The 4th quarter got off to a heck of a slow start for the Cards, giving up a huge run to Jameis Winston and made a terrible mental error on the ensuing field goal by having Patrick Peterson jump offsides.
Gay made the 2nd kick after the penalty.
The next possession the Cardinals drove down and missed a throw and then went to punt it back to the Bucs in the fo...no, wait they faked it.
A first down and the Cardinals kept moving the chains. Kliff gambled and...it paid off.
Cardinals ended the drive with a Christian Kirk TD, and he ended up with 3 on the day, the most for a Cardinals wide receiver since Week 2 of the 2015 season against the Chicago Bears.
The next play Ronald Jones fumbled the ball back to the Cardinals and they had a chance to end it...but...the Cardinals threw the ball back to the Niners.
In the end, the Buccaneers drove down and with under 2 minutes left, the game turned on two VERY controversial DPI calls...
- (Arians made a stink to the refs as he does) And despite a lack of a timeout on a ball that was originally ruled uncatchable on 3rd down was overturned and ruled as DPI, which was a surprise given that other calls hadn’t
- The end of the game Pharoh Cooper looked clearly interfered with but no flag was thrown and there was no call from the booth to review
It felt unfair overall with both calls going the way of the Bucs, and perhaps it’s less the final score but more the overall lack of quality of officiating this season that’s been the real story, even in this NFL season.
If that call goes for Arizona both times, you could argue that it’s just as unfair as a Buccaneers fan and the lack of clarity about the nature of calls seems to be what took a fun, changing game and made it something brutally controversial.
All in all, Murray was fantastic, throwing for 324 and 3 touchdowns, but with one costly interception while Jameis only put up 1 TD amidst a ton of yards. The Cardinals struggles on defense remained while they only rushed for 32 yards on the day, meanwhile the Buccaneers were able to complete multiple 3rd and longs that they stayed in the game despite the turnovers.
All in all, the Cardinals have to turn around, move on and gear up for a team they just played in the San Francisco 49ers on the road next Sunday.