Picks galore! Cardinals defense rattles off 4 interceptions in win over Bears

Dec 5, 2021, 2:11 PM | Updated: 4:33 pm
Arizona Cardinals free safety Jalen Thompson celebrates with teammates his interception of a Chicag...

Arizona Cardinals free safety Jalen Thompson celebrates with teammates his interception of a Chicago Bears quarterback Andy Dalton pass during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)

(AP Photo/David Banks)

The Arizona Cardinals defense is a big fan of playing on the road.

It couldn’t have been more evident in Sunday’s 33-22 win over the Chicago Bears in Week 13.

The unit gave quarterback Andy Dalton fits early and often, ripping the signal caller to the tune of four interceptions and three sacks.

The QB, who was filling in for the injured Justin Fields, had little to no time to settle in amid the inclement conditions at Soldier Field.

It all started on his first passing attempt of the day.

After handing off to David Montgomery twice, Dalton stepped back to pass staring at a 3rd-and-6. But instead of finding the open receiver for a first down, the signal caller found a waiting Jalen Thompson.

Not taking the chance for granted, Arizona needed just four plays to go 28 yards for its first touchdown of the day, a 20-yard connection from quarterback Kyler Murray to wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

The sequence would be a sign of things to come for the Cardinals.

“I thought all week we had great energy at practice,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury told Cardinals sideline reporter Paul Calvisi on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station after the win. “Great focus, we were really competing at an high level in practice so I knew we would come out and play hard. … Really proud of the effort and finding a way to get another road win.”

Chicago’s next drive started out a lot different but turned out to be about the same as the first.

Driving down the field, the Bears seemed to have their offense figured out. That was until another 3rd-and-6 look on Arizona’s 20-yard line.

Dalton appeared to have found his man in tight end Cole Kmet, but instead of reeling in the pass, the Kmet lost his handle on the football, tipping it in the direction of a waiting Budda Baker.

And much like the first turnover, Arizona wasted little time converting it into points, needing five plays to go 15 yards for the touchdown.

Arizona’s ball-hawking didn’t stop there, either.

With the Bears showing some kind of life, trimming the Cardinals’ lead to 24-14 at one point early on in the fourth quarter, Arizona had Chicago down deep in its own territory to start its drive.

The Bears managed to get out from the shadow of their own goal post, but did themselves no favors on a first-down look after Dalton flung a duck up in the vicinity of cornerback Byron Murphy.

The interception might be Murphy’s easiest pick of the season, who currently paces the team with four.

Capping off the takeaway tape, though, was none other than defensive lineman Zach Allen.

Watching Dalton the whole way, Allen jumped the signal caller’s pass later in the fourth quarter, picking up his first career interception and extinguishing any kind of momentum Chicago may have had brewing.

“I know I got to start working on my speed. I gotta learn how to turn that corner, but I’ll definitely be working with (special teams assistant coach Devin Fitzsimmons) on ball security and all that,” Allen told Calvisi after the game.

“It’s definitely a special moment and especially in a game like today, just with everything, everybody playing well,” he added. “It was definitely a cool experience I’ll have forever.”

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