Skip to main content

Arizona Cardinals Home: The official source of the latest Cardinals headlines, news, videos, photos, tickets, rosters and game day information

Cardinals Top Plays Of 2023: Offense

Conner's one-handed grab in Philadelphia most memorable of season

Now that the Cardinals 2023 season has come and gone, there's no better time to reflect on some of the team's top plays of the season. Multiple standout plays were critical in securing victories while other jaw dropping moments simply had fans saying, "how did he do that?" Over the course of the next few weeks, let's recap the team's top offensive, defensive, and special teams plays of the season.

Here are the Cardinals 2023 Top 10 offensive plays of the year.

Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) makes a one-handed touchdown catch in front of Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Nicholas Morrow during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

1. James Conner One-Handed TD Grab In Philadelphia

The situation: Down 21-13 with a little over two minutes to go in Philadelphia, the Cardinals had the ball at the 5-yard line on first-and-goal.

The play: Facing pressure, Kyler Murray did what Kyler Murray does best and made magic with his legs. He escaped a potential sack by Josh Sweat, backpedaled to the 20 and found Conner in the end zone for the touchdown. Murray was spectacular, but Conner's ability to make the incredible one-handed reception made the sequence more memorable.

The aftermath: Wide receiver Michael Wilson converted the two-point attempt to tie the game at 21. The Cardinals and Eagles would trade scores the next possessions, but in Jonathan Gannon's return to Philadelphia, the visitors would have the final say. Greg Dortch had a huge 36-yard reception that set up a Conner game-winning touchdown run, giving the Cardinals the 35-31 victory.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the Week 10 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Nov 12, 2023 in Glendale, AZ.

2. Kyler Murray's Scramble Against Atlanta

The situation: With 1:50 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals were down 23-22 to the Falcons. On third-and-10, the ball was at the Cardinals 42.

The play: In Murray's 2023 debut following his ACL recovery, the Cardinals quarterback had the ball with the game on the line. After two straight incompletions seconds following the two-minute warning, Murray had incredible pocket presence, first evading pressure and then breaking free for a first down. The play sheet will show that Murray gained 13 yards, but according to Next Gen Stats, K1 covered 69 total yards on the run. The Cardinals quarterback ran from sideline to sideline and symbolically passed the area where he tore his ACL the previous season.

The aftermath: The Cardinals would pick up their second win of the season courtesy of a Matt Prater game-winning field goal.

Arizona Cardinals tight end Trey McBride (85) during the Week 8 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, Oct 29, 2023 in Glendale, AZ.

3. His Teammates Help Trey McBride Finish Off A TD Catch

The situation: With a third-and-15 inside the red zone in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals saw themselves down by 17 points.

The play: This play was the definition of teamwork making the dream work. Josh Dobbs completed a pass to McBride four yards short of the goalline. The tight end kept his feet moving despite being held up by four Ravens defenders, and since the whistle wasn't blown, the offensive line pushed McBride into the end zone for the touchdown.

The aftermath: The Cardinals were able to trim the lead to eight, but the fourth-quarter comeback wasn't enough in the 31-24 loss.

Arizona Cardinals running back Michael Carter (22) during the Week 17 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Dec 31, 2023 in Philadelphia, PA.

4. Michael Carter Breaks Ankles Of Eagles

The situation: Near the start of the third quarter, the Cardinals were faced with another halftime deficit.

The play: Michael Carter, the Cardinals shifty running back, did his best Allen Iverson impersonation, crossing up Eagles cornerback Eli Ricks. The run gained 16 yards and had every member of the Cardinals sideline on their feet.

The aftermath: A few plays later, Carter had his first career receiving touchdown and shifted the momentum in favor of the Cardinals in the middle of a hostile environment.

The Week 3 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sep 24, 2023 in Glendale, AZ.

5. Rondale Moore Races 45 Yards For A Score Against the Cowboys

The situation: On second-and-2 at the Cowboys 45, the Cardinals held a 9-3 lead in the second quarter.

The play: Wide receiver Rondale Moore is known for his explosive play ability. Against the Cowboys, Moore lined up in the backfield as the running back and dashed 45 yards down the field for the touchdown run. It was Moore's first touchdown of the season.

The aftermath: The Cardinals picked up their first win of the Gannon era, beating the Cowboys 28-16. Offensive coordinator Drew Petzing would continue to have Moore involved in the running game throughout the season.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) during the Week 11 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Houston Texans on Sunday, Nov 19, 2023 in Houston, TX.

6. Rondale Moore Collects A Bomb In Houston

The situation: Not even two minutes into the game, the Cardinals had the ball placed near midfield.

The play: It must have been something about Texas because Rondale Moore had another spectacular play against a team from the state, this time against the Texans. Showcasing his speed, Moore created enough separation for Kyler Murray to find Moore deep in the end zone for a 48-yard touchdown.

The aftermath: The downfield bomb had Murray, Gannon, and the Cardinals sideline pumped up. Unfortunately, the team couldn't hold the early lead, falling to Houston 21-16.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Greg Dortch (83) during the Week 16 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Dec 24, 2023 in Chicago, IL.

7. Greg Dortch Weaves His Way For Six At Chicago

The situation: It was Third-and-5 from Chicago's 38, and the Cardinals were down 14 in the fourth quarter.

The play: Greg Dortch ran a simple crossing route with a little under seven minutes to play, but his speed is unmatched, and the Bears learned that firsthand. It appeared as if Dortch was about to be stopped at the 30, but after stopping on a dime, forcing the Bears cornerback to slip, he kept going. After another juke move later, Dortch dove his way into the end zone.

The aftermath: Dortch's touchdown showed that despite being down by 21, the team didn't give up. But the Cardinals couldn't execute the two-point conversion and had their comeback cut short.

Arizona Cardinals running back James Conner (6) during the Week 13 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Dec 3, 2023 in Pittsburgh, PA.

8. James Conner Delivers A Straight-Arm In Pittsburgh

The situation: With less than 1:30 to go in the second quarter, the Cardinals were driving down the field tied 3-3 against the Steelers.

The play: James Conner made the most of his return back to Pittsburgh. Conner cut towards the Steelers sideline and when he was met by Patrick Peterson, the Cardinals running back gave him one of the nastiest stiff arms of the season. The play was ultimately negated due to a penalty, but the run made shock waves throughout the entire NFL. GMFB's Kyle Brandt named it his "Angry Run of the Week."

The aftermath: Mixing in Conner's return with the multiple weather delays, the game against the Steelers featured tons of emotion. Conner continued to put on a display, finishing the game with 105 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns, leading the Cardinals to the 24-10 win.

Arizona Cardinals tight end Trey McBride (85) during the Week 10 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, Nov 12, 2023 in Glendale, AZ.

9. Trey McBride's Game-Saving Catch Against Atlanta

The situation: Coming out of a timeout with under a minute to go, the Cardinals were down by a point.

The play: Two snaps after Murray's memorable scramble, history was made at State Farm Stadium. Murray connected with Trey McBride for a 33-yard reception that put the Cardinals in territory for Matt Prater's game-winning field goal in the 25-23 victory. McBride's diving reception put him over the 100-yard threshold, becoming the first Cardinals tight end in over three decades to have a 100-yard performance.

The aftermath: A month later, McBride had another 100-yard game, finishing with 102 in Week 15 against the 49ers. Performances like these helped McBride emerge as one of the NFL's best young tight ends.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown (2) during the Week 5 regular season game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, Oct 8, 2023 in Glendale, AZ.

10. Hollywood Brown's 25-yard Touchdown And Bird Bath Versus The Bengals

The situation: Down by 10 on third-and-9, the Cardinals had the ball just outside the red zone early in the second quarter.

The play: On a straight fadeaway route, Josh Dobbs threw a great ball to the streaking Hollywood Brown to break the scoring open for the Cardinals. Yes, it was a nice play and one that the Cardinals needed, but the celebration is what helps make the play more noteworthy. Once Brown crossed the goalline, he leaped into the State Farm Stadium crowd to celebrate with the fans.

The aftermath: At that point in the season, Brown had scored in each of the Cardinals home games. This touchdown continued the streak for Hollywood and gave the Bird Gang a memorable and picture worthy moment.

Related Content