Sept. 23, 2012; Glendale, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) throws while under pressure from Arizona Cardinals defensive back James Sanders (39) during the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals beat the Eagles 27-6. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
The Arizona Cardinals didn’t make many big plays in 2012 but there were enough of them to compile the best five. Sure, some of the biggest were on defense. Still, in a year where the Cardinals couldn’t find a quarterback who could consistently deliver, there were some really nice plays. Here are the top five, in my opinion, ranked in order.
1. James Sanders 93-yd fumble return for touchdown, week three against the Philadelphia Eagles.
You could see this play developing. With the hard hitting defense and the way Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was being battered around, it was just a matter of time before a huge play would take place. Vick was trying to get his team into the end zone, deciding not to go for a end of the half field goal. His previous pass play was stopped short of the goal line. Vick took the snap and never saw it coming. He was hit from behind and Sanders scooped the ball up at the seven yard line and turned what was shaping up to be a 17-7 halftime lead into a 24-0 halftime lead. They never looked back that day.
2. Andre Roberts 6-yd touchdown pass from Kevin Kolb, week one against the Seattle Seahawks.
You might ask why this play? In my opinion, it finally put to rest the whole John Skelton vs. Kevin Kolb debate that had been going on since late July. Kolb, who came in for the injured Skelton, took his team right down the field for this important score on opening day. He kept the starting position until…his own injury, which put him out for the season unfortunately.
3. Andre Roberts 15-yard pass touchdown pass from Kevin Kolb, week four against the Miami Dolphins.
With just 22 seconds left in regulation, on fourth down, it appeared the Cards were going to give up a home game to the Dolphins. Then a beautiful connection sent the game to overtime and allowed the Cards to come away with the victory and complete the month of September undefeated at 4-0.
4. Greg Toler 102-yard interception return, week 15 against the Detroit Lions
You could have also put Rashad Johnson’s 53-yd interception return on this list from the same game, however Toler’s return capped what was the Cards first victory after starting 4-0 in September. It was also their last. It was a phenomenal return under any circumstances though.
5. Jay Feely 61-yard field goal, week six against the Buffalo Bills.
I couldn’t resist. The fact the Cards even had a chance to make overtime against the Bills was amazing, considering how poor they had played on offense most of the day. Feely came in and drilled the longest field goal of his career to send the game to an extra quarter. Sure, he missed on in overtime, however they would never had been there in the first place without him.