Happy Victory Monday one and all.
For the first time this year, we can celebrate a win and while there were some plays that yielded negatives, in a game like this let’s enjoy it and focus on the positives.
Here are five big winners from the Arizona Cardinals win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
Kyler Murray - Murray slept walked through the first half inducing a barrage of terrible takes from fans. While we can continue to watch Murray for the overall decision to sign him to a long-term extension, there is no doubt the second half was everything spectacular you want from him. He was the best player on the field in a game where there were plenty of stars.
Murray’s second half takeover was a sight to behold.
Arizona Cardinals offensive line - After an early sack given up on a poorly schemed play, the Cardinals offensive line banded together and controlled the Raiders pass rush. Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones were good, but they did not have the impact that the Raiders needed and it allowed Kyler Murray to transform into Superman. I can’t just point out one player, so the whole line gets kudos this week.
Byron Murphy Jr. - Davante Adams is quite possibly the best wide receiver in the NFL. On Sunday, he had two catches for 12 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. Murphy was the man assigned to Adams and he did everything you could want from a cornerback one. He struggled in week one, and somehow locked down the leagues best receiver in week two. Oh, and he walked it off with his fumble return.
Zach Allen - Allen being the top player along the defensive line is not ideal. He is good, but when he is getting double teamed he doesn’t have the juice. When there is another guy, who is going to be on the list as well, and it allows him to be singled up and he dominates. Allen had a dominant performance against the run and brought some heat rushing the passer. It was exactly what the team has needed from him.
J.J. Watt and Isaiah Simmons - I put these two together because Watt was on a pitch count after coming back from injury, while Simmons was somehow only playing 15 plays. Yet they had some of the biggest impact on the game and Simmons turned the tide with his forced fumble of Hunter Renfrow.
I am not sure what is going on with Simmons, but he needs to be on the field more. However, I do know what is going on with Watt, and the reality is he is still the most important and impactful defensive player on their roster. This is good when he is on the field, but also a little sad because he is a 32 year old with a long injury history that cannot be counted on. Yet, when he is on the field there is no doubt about what he does for this defense and team overall.