Cardinals GM Steve Keim hands out kudos from Sunday’s win over Colts

Sep 18, 2017, 8:25 AM | Updated: 3:42 pm

Rookie safety Budda Baker was one of a handful of players who received praise from GM Steve Keim fo...

Rookie safety Budda Baker was one of a handful of players who received praise from GM Steve Keim following the team's 16-13 overtime win over Indianapolis Sunday. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals GM

In 20 years, very few people will remember the details of the Arizona Cardinals’ 16-13 overtime win over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The reason for that is clear: it wasn’t a pretty game.

The Cardinals trailed 13-3 in the fourth quarter before tying the score and eventually winning in overtime on Phil Dawson’s 30-yard field goal. No style points earned, but Arizona got a much-needed road win in the Eastern time zone after failing to do that in Week 1 against Detroit.

General manager Steve Keim acknowledged the game wasn’t beautiful, but he’ll take it.

“Luckily, we were able to scratch out a win and that’s the goal,” Keim told Doug and Wolf on 98.7 Arizona’s Sports Station Monday morning. “We know it’s hard enough to win on the road regardless of who you play, so the fact that we scratched out a win on the road and we’ll get back home — and it seems like it’s been two years since we’ve played at University of Phoenix Stadium — I know all of us are looking forward to that.”

Keim admitted the film session after such a game can be frustrating, but the end result is the most important part.

“When I look back and see since I’ve been here, we’ve won 10, 11 and 13 games, and those years where we’ve had success, I don’t remember really how we won the games. I just know we won,” he said.

In terms of players that stood out in Arizona’s first win of the season, Keim mentioned several key contributors.

“Looking back last week to the Detroit game, I couldn’t pinpoint a lot of guys who had strong performances,” he said. “This week was a little different.

“I thought J.J. Nelson stepped up in his opportunity and was excellent with five catches for 120 yards. Chris Johnson did some nice things in his first game back. A couple times he stuck his foot in the ground and got downhill and showed the acceleration and burst that I thought, quite frankly, he was missing in the preseason.”

Keim also took time to recognize those who stood out on the other side of the ball.

“Defensively, (there were) several guys. Chandler Jones really played exceptional, in my opinion,” he said. “Seven tackles, two sacks, a strip and caused a couple holding penalties that were crucial in terms of field position. I thought Chandler was off the charts.

“And Budda Baker continues to impress me, not only on special teams — Andy Lee had a 55-yard punt that not many guys would have covered grass and showed the kind of burst that he did to make that open-field tackle. And then also on that critical third-down stop when he was playing the high post, he drove on a crossing route and he looked like he was shot out of a cannon and made a phenomenal open-field tackle.”

It hasn’t been quite two years since the Cardinals played on home turf like Keim joked about, but it has been a while. In fact, when the Cardinals host Dallas on Monday Night Football in Glendale, it will have been 35 days since their last home contest — a 24-23 preseason loss to the Chicago Bears on Aug. 21.

Monday’s matchup will kick off at 5:30 p.m. and can be heard on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station beginning with pregame coverage at 1:00.

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Cardinals GM Steve Keim hands out kudos from Sunday’s win over Colts