Updated Oct 28, 2013 - 9:16 am
Cardinals solve TE mystery in win over Falcons
But the Cardinals held Gonzalez to just 26 yards and three catches on eight targets -- something that went a long way toward limiting the Falcons to 55 percent passing and holding them without a touchdown until the late stages of the fourth quarter in Arizona's 27-13 win Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Opposing tight ends had torched the Cardinals to the tune of six catches and 88 yards per game, and had accounted for eight touchdowns in eight games.
The Cardinals used a mix of cornerback Jerraud Powers, linebackers Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby and safeties Tyrann Mathieu, Yeremiah Bell and Rashad Johnson to slow down the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Gonzalez. In fact, the biggest contribution a Falcons TE made was from Levine Toilolo, who drew a questionable pass interference call in the end zone to wipe out a fourth-and-goal incompletion in the fourth quarter.
Mathieu said the Cardinals were aided by the fact that the Falcons were without their top two receivers in Roddy White and Julio jones.
"Obviously, we knew Matt Ryan was going to target Tony more than he had in their previous games," Mathieu said. "We just took it as a challenge. Everybody stepped up."
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said the defense tried to switch up coverage looks in an attempt to pressure Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and keep Gonzalez in check.
Both worked, as Ryan was sacked four times and threw four interceptions.
"It was a team effort ... playing with great technique, the line getting pressure," Dansby said. "We did it together. That's the only way we can stop or slow down these tight ends."
- Free agent kicker Jay Feely announces he's re-signed with Arizona Cardinals
- NFL Draft '14: Six-round mock draft for the Arizona Cardinals
- Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall calls it quits in Huffington Post article
- NFL writer: Cardinals could turn attention to Jared Veldheer if Branden Albert heads to Dolphins
- PFT: All signs point to free agent tackle Albert signing with Dolphins
- Kent Somers, AZ Central Sports Cardinals beat writer - Monday March 10Kent Somers talks all things Cardinals free agency.
- Kent Somers, AZ Central Sports Cardinals beat writer - Thursday March 6Kent Somers discusses the Cardinals' efforts to sign Karlos Dansby.
- Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com NFL writer - Thursday March 6Pete Prisco of CBS Sports discusses the NFL offseason and the NFL draft.
- Jay Feely, Cardinals kicker - Thursday March 6Would a change to the extra point actually hinder player safety?
- Dave Pasch, ESPN play-by-play announcer - Tuesday March 4Dave Pasch, ESPN play-by-play announcer, discusses UA and ASU basketball.