I’m so impressed with Tyrann Mathieu. I’m not alone. Cardinals fans, players, coaches and members of the front office have been raving about Honey Badger since training camp opened.
But he did it again. His tackle on Nate Burleson on fourth down to clinch Big Red’s first victory of the 2013 season showed his playmaking ability. Watching it on film for the first time solidified my belief this trend will continue.
Honey Badger showed so much football acumen and awareness on that game-deciding play. He was in press man. Burleson was physical on the press and got the inside on a smash-route. But Tyrann knew exactly where Burleson was headed, jumped the route and made the tackle one yard short of the stakes.
But the tackle was special. Mathieu’s body language showed the urgency and desperation of understanding, the understanding of the moment. The force he brought to bare on that tackle told me he knew right where he was on the field and knew if he just made that tackle the game was over! Honey Badger’s size has always been a question, but it certainly didn’t matter on that play. His tackle was strong and sure.
Finally, I asked Bruce Arians Tuesday how the Honey Badger played besides that play.
BA just looked at me, smiled, shook his head and said, “Really well.”