Cardinals running back David Johnson was hard to corral for the Tampa Bay defense.
Maroon 5 may need to come out with a sequel for "Moves like Jagger" soon, this time featuring David Johnson.
The Cardinals' second-year back continued to defy the agreed-upon parameters of what a big man can do in space, jump-cutting and stiff-arming his way to another big performance against the Buccaneers on Sunday. Johnson had 12 carries for 45 yards and added three catches for a team-high 98 yards to help spark the 40-7 win.
"I think (my style) is a little unorthodox," said the 6-foot-1, 224-pound back. "My size makes it a little different for most teams. They don't think I am as elusive as I am. I like that because it keeps defenders on their toes."
Johnson, a former wideout, showed off his receiving skills, first with a 58-yard catch-and-run and then a 24-yard, over-the-shoulder grab down the left sideline in the third quarter.
"That's a catch that a lot of receivers, the guys that play receiver, don't make," wideout Larry Fitzgerald said. "He's making those kind of plays and also getting 15, 16 carries a game too and breaking out big runs. The sky's the limit for him and what he's capable of doing. We don't want him to get too comfortable in the passing game, but when it's there for him, we want him to make his plays."
It wasn't a perfect night, as Johnson ran the wrong route which almost resulted in an interception near the goal-line following his longest catch. He was given an earful from coach Bruce Arians and called it a "boneheaded" mistake.
"I know the play," Johnson said. "I just did not do it right."
The Cardinals also got backup running back Chris Johnson more involved in this one after he received one carry in the opener. Chris Johnson finished with 16 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown, and believes a consistent 1-2 punch will help both players in the long run.
"It helps me and David out tremendously," Chris Johnson said. "He runs a lot of routes, a lot of downfield things, so me and him both have to stay ready, stay in shape. I think we help each other a lot, mixing it up. It keeps defenses on their heels."
A BUSY AFTERNOON FOR PETERSON
There were games last year when opposing quarterbacks barely even looked at cornerback Patrick Peterson.
The Buccaneers tested him often on Sunday as quarterback Jameis Winston tried to feed the ball to his star wideout, Mike Evans. Peterson won the matchup for the most part, intercepting a pass early – a "SportsCenter Top 10" pick, he said -- and drawing an offensive pass interference penalty.
Evans finished with six catches for 70 yards and beat Peterson for a touchdown, but he was targeted a whopping 17 times. Coach Bruce Arians thought Peterson played "extremely well," but lamented a second interception he dropped preceding the Tampa Bay score.
"It cost us a touchdown because that drive led to a touchdown," Arians said. "Usually when you drop an interception, bad (expletive) happens after that."
Peterson was excited to get challenged by Winston and Evans.
"He trusts '13'" Peterson said. "I knew it coming into the game and wanted to make sure that I gave him different looks. I wanted to make him uncomfortable as much as possible."
JEFFERSON EXCELS AGAIN
Safety Tony Jefferson was one of the few Cardinals defenders to play well in the opener, and that carried over against Tampa Bay. He had a team-best 11 tackles and added two tackles for loss, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hit.
Jefferson, in his fourth season, has assumed a starting role after the departure of Rashad Johnson and is making the most of it.
"Once you're the starter, you get to be on the field all the time," Jefferson said. "You don't have to worry about some games you get 12 snaps and all that. I'm at 100 percent. It takes a lot of studying, but it's giving me the opportunities to make plays, and I'm doing it."
REPLAY CALL STUNS ARIANS
A replay on the big video board inside University of Phoenix Stadium made it clear Buccaneers punt returner Adam Humphries stepped out of bounds earlier than called in the second quarter.
Arians challenged since the evidence was so clear. However, the officials may not have had the same angle to review and didn't reverse the call. It cost the Cardinals a timeout and had Arians flummoxed after the game.
"Me and 75,000 other people saw his foot was on the line," Arians said. "I still can't believe it."
Arians said he wasn't told whether or not the officials had the same clear angle as inside the stadium.
DAVID JOHNSON THE GUEST AT BIG RED BREW HAUS
David Johnson will be the featured guest at this week's "Monday Nights at the Big Red Brew Haus" inside University of Phoenix Stadium. Doors open at 5 p.m.