Wide receiver Michael Floyd hauls in a 42-yard touchdown against the Lions Sunday.
Michael Floyd admits to some bouts of frustration these past few weeks.
In the three games leading up to Sunday's 14-6 victory over the Lions, the Cardinals' third-year wide receiver totaled only five catches for 47 yards, including a catch-less appearance against the Eagles on Oct. 26.
Before the first quarter had elapsed against Detroit, he surpassed that yardage total and added a couple of touchdowns for good measure.
Floyd finished the game with two catches for 54 yards and the scores, doing all the damage before nine minutes had elapsed in the game.
In coach Bruce Arians' offense, the ball is spread around often – as evidenced by the 10 players who caught a pass against Detroit – which can be an adjustment for players who expect to be big parts of the offense every game.
"Being a wide receiver, it's frustrating not getting the ball," Floyd said. "I go back to the Philly game when I had chances to make a play and I fell short. Since then, practice is where I want to do it at and make sure I do everything right to feel good on Sundays. I think this week I made a big emphasis of making sure that Drew (Stanton) is comfortable with me and comfortable with all our wide receivers too."
On the first touchdown, Floyd saw no safety help over the top so he made a beeline to the end zone, boxed out a cornerback and hauled in a 42-yard score for a 7-0 lead.
"Drew likes to make plays happen," Floyd said. "He's going to give you a chance to go up and get the ball."
He added his second score a few minutes later, darting to the right side of the end zone and pulling in a pass from Stanton. The Cardinals wouldn't score again in the contest but didn't need to as the defense held firm.
While those were the only two catches of the day for Floyd, it was his third-highest yardage output of the season and the first multi-touchdown game in his NFL career.
Floyd has been targeted on a number of downfield shots this year, and the ones that have hit have often resulted in crucial momentum swings. While there was the lull in recent weeks --and his propensity for vertical routes can sometimes lead to boom-or-bust days –Floyd's belief never wavered in himself or the receiving corps.
"Drew gives us a chance to make a play on the ball and we expect every single time that ball is in the air to come down to us," Floyd said.
PETERSON GETS BEST OF MEGATRON
Patrick Peterson told audiences to get their popcorn ready in the days leading up to his matchup against Lions star wideout Calvin Johnson and didn't disappoint on Sunday. Peterson had his best performance in three career meetings against "Megatron," holding him to five
catches for 59 yards and no touchdowns.
"Just want to be physical, just want to make sure I disrupt that timing between him and the quarterback, and I feel like I did a pretty good job of that for the majority of the game," Peterson said.
Johnson had just one catch for four yards at the half and never took over the game. While the coverage sometimes shifted around depending on where Johnson lined up, Peterson guarded him the majority of the contest.
"Am I surprised number 81 didn't get off a little more? Yes, I am," linebacker Larry Foote said. "But Patrick Peterson, that's why he makes the big bucks. You saw the way he was dressed here tonight."
Since vowing to improve his play three weeks ago, Peterson has held Cowboys star Dez Bryant in check, intercepted a pair of passes against the Rams – including a pick-six – and contained Johnson. He played a large role in holding Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford to 18-of-30 passing for 183 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.
"He's been on fire for three weeks," coach Bruce Arians said.
FITZ TO GET MRI ON KNEE
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald hurt his knee late in the first half but returned to start the third quarter. He will have a precautionary MRI
Fitzgerald finished with two catches for 33 yards, including the game-clinching first down on 3rd-and-11 with 2:32 remaining. Fitzgerald became the second-youngest receiver in NFL history to surpass 12,000 receiving yards with his first reception, behind only Randy Moss.
Tight end Troy Niklas aggravated a high ankle sprain in the third quarter and didn't return. He missed three games with the injury earlier this year, returning two weeks ago against the Cowboys.
AENEAS WILLIAMS GETS HIS RING
Cardinals great Aeneas Williams was presented with his Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence during a halftime ceremony. The former star cornerback was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 2 alongside Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed and Michael Strahan.
The ring is the third iconic symbol given to Hall of Famers, in addition to a gold jacket and a bronzed bust.