The Arizona Cardinals had the New York Giants on the ropes as they held a 20-0 lead heading into halftime. It was so bad for the Giants, that they had gone six quarters without scoring a single point, something almost unheard of in the NFL.
Arizona was set to kick off in the second half and by extension, exert total control over their former NFC East rival. One more stop, then the Redbirds only needed one final score to really break the game open.
Then Giants quarterback Daniel Jones dropped back and delivered a strike to rookie receiver Jalin Hyatt for a 58-yard gain. This allowed “Big Blue” to set up shop at the Cardinals 17-yard line, where they scored two plays later.
Turning point of the Arizona Cardinals loss came early in the second half
That one play served as a game-changer, as the Cardinals defense enjoyed an otherwise flawless performance until then. But at this point, the Giants spotted a weakness in the Redbirds game plan, realizing they could pick up huge chunks of yardage after the play and on the ensuing touchdown.
Following the scoring possessions, the G-Men put together four more drives and averaged roughly 7.6 yards per play. The Cardinals couldn’t adjust, and it ultimately led to kicker Graham Gano putting one through the uprights to dash the Redbirds hopes of winning their home opener.
Now, head coach Jonathan Gannon, defensive coordinator Nick Rallis, and their staff must go back to the drawing board and learn from this hard lesson. If they can, then we will look back at this game as a potential turning point for the Arizona Cardinals in a positive light, as it served as a great teacher for this young and inexperienced group. If not, then this young staff needs a lot more seasoning.
(Statistics and data provided by ESPN.com)