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Cardinals' Top Plays Of 2018: Offense

The five most memorable moments on the offensive side of the ball this season

The Cardinals' offense was stuck in neutral for the majority of the year, but some memorable moments still emerged. Here is a look at the top five offensive plays of the season:

5. Christian Kirk Takes Screen Pass To The House

The situation: The Cardinals were tied with the Raiders, 7-7, late in the first quarter in Week 11. Both teams were struggling at the time and hoping for a victory to break out of that funk.

The play: Quarterback Josh Rosen saw an overload on the right side and checked to the screen pass. He threw a bullet to Kirk, who shed a tackler and darted up the field. The blockers set up a nice path and Kirk sprinted to the end zone for a 59-yard score.

The aftermath: The touchdown gave the Cardinals a 14-7 lead and further highlighted Kirk's explosive ability. It was Rosen's second of a career-high three touchdown passes on the day, but the Raiders rallied for a 23-21 win.

4. Rosen To Kirk Beats The 49ers

The situation: The Cardinals trailed by five points late in the fourth quarter of this Week 8 matchup when Rosen led a drive inside the San Francisco 10. With goal-to-go, his first pass fell incomplete and the second lost a yard. The Cardinals were down to their final two chances to reach the end zone with only 39 seconds left.

The play: Kirk ran the same route he did earlier in the game, which also left him open. Rosen was pressured too quickly the first time, but had a clean pocket on this play and delivered a strike. Kirk absorbed a big hit in the back of the end zone and held on to the ball for the game's deciding points.

The aftermath: The score and subsequent two-point conversion gave the Cardinals an 18-15 lead, and the defense held for the team's lone home victory of 2018. It was the first fourth-quarter comeback and game-winning drive of Rosen's career.

3. Rosen's Long Bomb To Kirk

The situation: The Cardinals' Week 5 game in San Francisco didn't start well, as the defense allowed the 49ers to score on their opening drive for a 6-0 lead. The offense started at its 25 hoping to respond, and did it ever.

The play: On the first offensive play from scrimmage, Rosen dropped back after a play-action fake and settled into a clean pocket. Kirk separated from cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon with a double move and Rosen hit him in stride. Kirk used a stiff-arm near the goal-line to finish off a 75-yard touchdown, the longest play from scrimmage of the season.

The aftermath: The Cardinals' offense went mostly dormant the rest of the way, but the defense picked it up with five takeaways. The Cardinals secured their first victory of the year, 28-18.

2. Larry Fitzgerald's Touchdown Pass To David Johnson

The situation: The Cardinals fell behind the Rams, 14-3, in Week 16 and pulled out a gadget play in hopes of catching Los Angeles off guard. It came on a first-and-10 from the Rams' 32 with 9:47 left in the second quarter, and couldn't have worked out any better.

The play: Rosen threw a lateral to Fitzgerald, who settled into a makeshift pocket behind the line of scrimmage. Johnson feigned a block and then sprinted to an open area down the field. Fitzgerald's pass was a little wobbly but hit Johnson in stride for a 32-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 14-9.

The aftermath: Fitzgerald has a long list of signature catches during his illustrious career, but this was only his second career completion and first touchdown pass. The Cardinals lost the game, 31-9, but if it happens to be Fitzgerald's final home game, he went out in memorable fashion.

1. Rosen's Third-Down Miracle To Fitzgerald

The situation: The Cardinals played well in Green Bay through three-and-a-half quarters, but faced a third-and-23 deep in their own territory with 4:35 remaining in a tie game. A punt on fourth down seemed inevitable, which would have given Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers the ball in good field position.

The play: Rodgers didn't see the ball for awhile because the Cardinals converted an improbable first down. Rosen was flushed from the pocket and Fitzgerald went into scramble-drill mode, finding an open area. Rosen threaded the needle past safety Eddie Pleasant's coverage and Fitzgerald made a diving catch for a 32-yard gain.

The aftermath: The Cardinals continued churning out yards on the drive, eventually getting into field goal range for kicker Zane Gonzalez, who nailed a 44-yard boot for a 20-17 lead. Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby missed from 49 at the buzzer to give the Cardinals their most unlikely victory of the season.

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