With the Arizona Cardinals improving to 4-2 on the season, let’s take a look at the big hits and big whiffs from last night’s game.
It’s time for this week’s Winners & Losers! Starting with....
WINNER: Budda Baker
To define Budda’s performance on Monday Night Football in words would be insufficient. So, here’s a selection of tweets about him instead that will speak for me instead:
Remember when we drafted Taco Charlton over Budda Baker...— Cameron Magruder (@ScooterMagruder) October 20, 2020
Budda Baker has one of the coolest names in the history of human civilization AND is an absolute savage.. quite a win-win there for the guy— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) October 20, 2020
The rest of the NFL now understands, if they didn’t already, that Budda Baker is one of the best players in the league!— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) October 20, 2020
Budda's the highest paid safety in the league. Turn on the tape. He's been doing this every year lol https://t.co/5OT5aXTl2a— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) October 20, 2020
Cardinals fans Draft Twitter— Brett Kollmann (@BrettKollmann) October 20, 2020
Undying love for Budda
Also, an honorable mention to Byron Murphy, for his best game as a pro and effectively shutting down CeeDee Lamb until the game went into garbage time.
Budda & Byron Murphy dominating this game. One is 24. The other is only 22. Well done, Jimmy Lake. https://t.co/CW213k8xGA— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) October 20, 2020
LOSER: Jordan Hicks
Ohhhh...so close. Hicks nearly had a Pick 6 of Andy Dalton and it bounced right off his hands before he was able to secure it.
Hicks played fine and even led the team in interceptions last year, but the Cardinals were in need of a big defensive play there and he had the chance to bust the game wide open. Fortunately, Budda Baker’s forced fumble later in the game set the Cards on course to cruise to a Cowboys collapse.
WINNER: Vance Joseph’s Redemption Tour
Soooo...about those #FireVance tweets?
While it could be considered a criticism that Joseph hasn’t been able to maximize the abilities of Chandler Jones and Isaiah Simmons this season....pretty much there’s been very few complaints to have. The Cardinals defense currently is:
- Tops in points allowed
- 2nd in point differential
- Top 5 in total yards allowed defensively
- Excellent in 3rd down and red zone defense
- ...a complete 180 from the 31st defense last year.
At this rate, Joseph’s reputation in the valley will go from being on the chopping block to the block party instead.
LOSER: Mike Nolan’s Prevention Tour of Mike McCarthy’s Redemption Tour
McCarthy was the man Dallas put in charge of righting the ship. He hired longtime NFL DC Mike Nolan to be his defensive coordinator and Nolan, well, he might have made a reeeeally bad hire.
The Cardinals & Christian Kirk had an easy touchdown drawn up, and while it’s hard for ANYONE to contain Kyler Murray, the man completed passes at a clip of 20 yards per catch....and only completed 9 of them as he was inaccurate most of the day. Crazy!
Nolan was fired from the Falcons and the following year their defense was Super Bowl worthy. McCarthy’s got the Cowboys offense humming when Dak Prescott was in charge, but poor Andy Dalton won’t be able to do a thing if the defense gets into a 14-0 hole at the start of every game.
McCarthy’s already got fans looking back longingly at Jason Garrett and that’s not good.
WINNER: Kyler & Kliff in Texas
Kyler Murray might have stayed undefeated in Dallas, but the real MVP here was Kliff Kingsbury. Going for it on 4th down and turning that into points, as well as developing a solid gameplan that made use of Murray’s legs and might have hung 40 on the Cowboys had Andy Isabella been on the same page with Kyler Murray was a masterstroke in how the young up-and-comer was able to outcoach a Super Bowl winning QB. Since he’s left Texas Tech, he’s looked like the real deal.
Also, gotta love how Kyler owns JerryWorld.
LOSER: Andy Dalton’s NFL Future
You gotta feel sorry for Andy Dalton at some point. The Dallas offensive line was terrible, losing 4/5ths of their starters on the season and then the 5th one went out for the year during this very game, but he still played poorly against a good Cardinals defense a week after leading a dramatic comeback against the Giants.
Dalton’s stats in Prime Time and especially on Monday night are abysmal, with an 0-6 record now. But moreover, he looked like a backup QB incapable of being able to lead the offense down the field and if he did, he made a mistake shortly afterwards.
He looks to be on the Joe Flacco track of being a spot starter who wastes away on a terrible team after going to a decent situation as a “good backup” QB.
WINNER: Kenyan Drake
It took a while but we finally got the Kenyan Drake game: 164 yards rushing and two touchdowns, with most of
LOSER: Ezekiel Elliot’s Hands
Last year Ezekiel Elliot signed a 6 year, $90 million dollar contract with the Dallas Cowboys.
He was expected to carry the load for Dallas with Dak Prescott out, and while the offensive line was hampered, he still had open rushing lanes to go through.
But his two fumbles essentially turned the game into a massive blowout and opened it up for the Cardinals after the Cowboys defense managed to keep Arizona scoreless in the first quarter.
Zeke’s going to be in Dallas for a long, long time given that contract and it remains to be seen if he can carry the weight of the offense in Dallas.
Cause if he has to, it will be a loooong season in Big D.
What are your thoughts? Who else won the day or lost big-time? Sound off in the comments section!