CINCINNATI – An emotional Michael Bidwill stood in the visiting locker room on Sunday afternoon, game ball in his arms.
The Cardinals’ president lost his father, owner Bill Bidwill, on Wednesday at the age of 88. The team wore helmets with his ‘W.V.B.’ initials emblazoned on them during the game, and coach Kliff Kingsbury presented Michael with the ball moments after the 26-23 victory.
“It meant a lot,” Michael Bidwill said. “It’s been an emotional week, and everybody – the coaches and the players – they all told me they were going to win it for him.”
The Bengals held a moment of silence for Bill Bidwill before the contest.The game came down to the last second, as kicker Zane Gonzalez made a 31-yard field goal as time expired.
“I had a feeling we were going to find a way,” Kingsbury said. “We had him looking down on us. Michael has been phenomenal to all of us. To be able to honor his family and his father that way, to get a win in that style, he’s smiling up in heaven.”
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald knew Bill Bidwill better than any other current player, and brought him up unprompted after the contest.
“It was a highly emotional game, one that was really important to us after losing Mr. B this week,” Fitzgerald said. “We wanted to come out and honor him and his legacy. There is no better way to do that than by getting the win.”
GONZALEZ BOUNCES BACK WITH GAME-WINNER
Gonzalez missed his third field goal in a span of four attempts in the first quarter, but made up for it with plenty of ensuing chances.
He hit from 23, 22, 20 and the crucial 31-yarder for the win. Andy Lee didn’t punt in the game but the Cardinals made him active to be the holder after Gonzalez missed two of his three field goal attempts last week following a 9-for-9 start.
Gonzalez was happy to finish off the win but hopes he isn’t needed for so many short field goals moving forward.
“I try to make the most of the opportunities that present themselves to me,” Gonzalez said. “But the offense is moving the ball fantastic. Once we learn to finish in the red zone it’s going to go a long way. We’re going to be a dangerous team.”
DAVID JOHNSON, TRAMAINE BROCK DEALING WITH INJURIES
Running back David Johnson suffered a back injury in the first half but couldn’t pinpoint when it occurred. He returned to the game and finished with 17 carries for 91 yards and three catches for 65 yards.
He said the back injury should not affect him after some rest on Monday.
Cornerback Tramaine Brock left the game briefly with a knee injury in the second half. He returned, but then hurt his shoulder and didn't play the rest of the way. Rookie safeties Deionte and Jalen Thompson played in tandem with Brock out, which moved safety Budda Baker to nickelback.