Marquise Brown had himself quite an afternoon, but Budda Baker kept the Arizona Cardinals in the game with a big play at the goal line.
Despite a pedestrian effort from the Arizona Cardinals offense and decision-making leaving many to wonder why the they extended head coach Kliff Kingsbury in the first place, the Redbirds somehow kept this game a one-possession affair. Though it should have been 27-9, not 20-12.
With 6:46 remaining in the contest, Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers coughed up the ball thanks to none other than Budda Baker at the one yard line. Baker’s potentially game-changing play gave the Cardinals a new life, even if that new life was short lived.
With the Cardinals offense showing absolutely no urgency, Baker’s forced fumble was nothing more than a wasted effort, but at least someone showed enough to play like the team was about to go down by three scores.
Budda Baker continues to be the face of the Arizona Cardinals secondary
Despite a middle-of-the-road PFF grade of 63.1, Baker was once again all over the field, No, he wasn’t fast enough to catch Cooper Kupp on the receiver’s touchdown run, but he also received little help from corner Marco Wilson, who didn’t realize Kupp had the ball until it was too late.
Overall, if Baker doesn’t make a touchdown-saving forced fumble on Akers, the game would have gotten out of hand. And while luck didn’t shine down on the Cardinals during the game’s final six and a half minutes, you can attribute that to the head coach and an overall lack of urgency.
Through three games, Baker remains a force in the Cardinals defensive backfield. He may not made many plays in the backfield this season, but that hasn’t stopped him from coming on strong when needed.
If Baker continues to show that he has a nose for finding the ball carrier and making the occasional game-changing play, he will be well on his way to yet another Pro Bowl, or Pro Bowl Games, and perhaps another All-Pro honor.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)