Tyrann Mathieu sets up Cardinals’ first win of 2017 season with INT in OT
The Arizona Cardinals needed a big play when they were trailing the Indianapolis Colts 13-3 in the fourth quarter.
They got that play when wide receiver J.J. Nelson caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer to make it a three-point game with under eight minutes to go.
After three more points and a couple of crucial defensive stops, it all came down to a Phil Dawson 42-yard field goal to win the game.
Dawson missed, and with the Cardinals losing the coin toss to begin overtime, they needed either another big stop by the defense or another one of those aforementioned big plays.
Never fear, because the Honey Badger is here.
On the first play of overtime, Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett faked a handoff and threw a short pass over the middle to Kamar Aiken.
Karlos Dansby, the other Cardinal in the area, looked to have a decent chance at an interception himself, but Tyrann Mathieu came streaking in out of nowhere to pick the ball off and give the Cardinals a golden opportunity to win the game.
Mathieu revealed after the game his eyes were closed at one point during the play.
“On that play, I just seemed to get a great break on the ball,” Mathieu said to Arizona Sports’ Paul Calvisi. “I actually closed my eyes when I caught it because I thought ‘Los was about to hit me. And then I caught the ball and I looked up and I started to stumble.”
Mathieu showed great awareness of the current situation, as he slid down after picking up 15 more yards after the catch with the Cardinals only needing a field goal to win.
“He needs more plays like that,” Arians said of Mathieu’s big interception.
After a few plays by the offense, Dawson had another chance to win the game from 30 yards out. Dawson redeemed himself, giving the Cardinals their first win of the season and a 1-1 record instead of facing a 0-2 mark with two terrible losses to start the season.
“Great, great job by Phil coming back and making that last kick,” Nelson said to Arizona Sports’ Paul Calvisi. “That’s why he’s the captain, he’s the veteran.”