SAVING THE DAY
The rundown: Buccaneers 10, Cardinals 3, 4:23 left fourth quarter. Tampa Bay with 2nd-and-6 from its 11.
The situation: The Cardinals were stagnant offensively all game and were on the precipice of losing at Tampa Bay.
The play: The Cardinals were fooled by play-action, since most expected the Buccaneers to run the ball with the lead and a rookie quarterback. Arizona blitzed five but got no pressure. Quarterback Mike Glennon had a perfect pocket and threw for wide receiver Vincent Jackson, but
The aftermath: It was a huge momentum shift, and the Cardinals tied the game on the next play on a touchdown pass from
THE DIRTY BIRD FINDS PAYDIRT
The rundown: Cardinals 17, Colts 3, 8:07 left second quarter. Indianapolis with 2nd-and-10 from its 20.
The situation: The Colts had started slowly but were looking for a fruitful drive to cut into the deficit.
The play: Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was pressured heavily by defensive tackle
The aftermath: The score gave the Cardinals a three-touchdown lead and they cruised to a 40-11 victory. It was the first of Dansby’s two pick-sixes on the season.
The rundown: Cardinals 10, Panthers 6, 5:34 remaining third quarter. Carolina with 1st-and-15 from its 5.
The situation: The Cardinals scored on their first possession of the second half and an offensive pass interference call on Steve Smith backed up Carolina deep in its own territory.
The play: The Panthers decided to pass on first down, and defensive end
The aftermath: The Cardinals continued to dominate, sacking Newton seven times and picking him off three times in the contest. The Cardinals won, 22-6.
HONEY BADGER DOES CARE
The rundown: Cardinals 0, Rams 0, 2:41 remaining first quarter. St. Louis with 1st-and-10 from its 45.
The situation: The regular season was just getting started, but it didn’t take long for a Cardinals rookie to make a huge impact.
The play: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford hit tight end Jared Cook in stride at the Cardinals 35. Linebacker Karlos Dansby was beaten badly, and Cook seemed poised to score a touchdown. Safety
The aftermath: Mathieu was out of football for a year following his dismissal from LSU, but picked up right where he left off in college. Mathieu flashed his game-changing ability less than 13 minutes into his NFL career and quickly became one of the team’s best players.
The rundown: Cardinals 21, Rams 3, 9:15 remaining third quarter. St. Louis with 3rd-and-6 from its 5.
The situation: Punter
The play: It was a perfectly designed and executed rush. Defensive end Calais Campbell bulldozed two linemen while linebacker
The aftermath: The Cardinals had been dominating already but this was icing on the cake. Abraham was in the midst of another big game and it helped him garner a Pro Bowl selection. The job by Campbell was indicative of the under-the-radar things he does to help the team win.
Here is how we ranked the top five defensive plays of the 2013 season: