Arizona Cardinals vs Cincinnati Bengals: Game Balls


The Arizona Cardinals had struggles on both offense and defense but there were some shining stars Sunday night

We all knew the Cincinnati Bengals would not just come in and lay down, despite losing their first game of the season last Monday night.  The Arizona Cardinals fell behind early but never trailed by more than seven points.

After trailing at halftime 14-7, they outscored the Bengals 21-0 in the third quarter and held on for victory 34-31 on Sunday night.  Here are the game balls for the now 8-2 Cardinals.

Game ball #1:

J.J. Nelson

Nelson scored his first touchdown of the season and his career Sunday night.  He ran a cross pattern for a 64-yard catch and run and as fast as he runs, no one was catching him.  It was also quarterback Carson Palmer’s longest touchdown pass of the season.

Nelson caught four passes for 162 yards against the Bengals.  None though may have been bigger than his 19-yard reception on the game’s final drive to put the Cardinals in scoring position for kicker Chandler Catanzaro and his game-winning 32-yard field goal.

Deone Bucannon

The second-year safety may have played his best game as a pro yet on Sunday night.   Bucannon had eight tackles, two of them for a loss, including one sack of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.  Bucannon also recovered a fumble for the Cardinals.

Larry Fitzgerald

Fitz came up big when the game was on the line.  In addition to Nelson’s big catch in the final drive, Fitz had two huge receptions on that final drive as well.  Fitz got himself open and was able to create separation from the Bengals secondary to help the Cardinals get into field goal position.  He ended up the evening with eight receptions for 90 yards.

Honorable mentions: Carson Palmer (20-32 four touchdowns), Kevin Minter (10 tackles), Frostee Rucker (six tackles, one pass defensed)