Cardinals’ defense stands tough, keys comeback victory in Tampa

Sep 30, 2013, 6:09 AM | Updated: 6:09 am

The Arizona Cardinals’ comeback victory over the Tampa Buccaneers Sunday was summed up succinctly by their head coach after the game.

“We made enough dumb plays to lose the game, but we made enough good plays to win it,” Bruce Arians said.

A lot of those good plays came on the defensive side of the football.

Despite notable players — Sam Acho, Lorenzo Alexander, Alex Okafor and Rashad Johnson — inactive Sunday, Todd Bowles’ unit was fantastic.

The Cardinals’ defense held Buccaneers running back Doug Martin, who rushed for 1,454 yards in 2012, to 45 yards on 27 carries Sunday.

And with Martin virtually a non-factor, Arizona tried to make rookie quarterback Mike Glennon win the game in his NFL debut.

“I think the big thing for us was to stop the run and to make them one dimensional,” said Arians. “Then we could get exotic and blitz [Glennon] and sack him. We were able to do that early and often.

“He’s a tough kid. He hung in there strong right down to the wire. We confused him on the last play and he threw it right into coverage.”

The last play — Patrick Peterson’s second interception on the day — was the third turnover committed by the NC State standout in the fourth quarter and sealed the victory for the Cardinals. And while Glennon looked comfortable in the first half (115 yards passing and a touchdown), over the final 30 minutes of play he saw an increasing number of blitz packages thrown his way and subsequently struggled to manufacture much of an offensive attack (73 yards passing).

With a shaky quarterback behind center and no threat of a run game, Tampa failed to score a single point in the second half.

The second-half shutout marks the second time in three weeks, Arizona has blanked a team over the final 30 minutes of play.

Arizona Cardinals

Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots looks on as Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Bu...
Dan Bickley

Cardinals have chance to save fans from Brady v. Belichick fatigue

It is up to the Arizona Cardinals to keep the Brady vs. Belichick debate on barstools and out of the upcoming Super Bowl.
1 day ago
Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals passes the ball against the Chicago Bears in the first hal...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals’ Kyler Murray has 3rd-best MVP odds after return to action

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is the league leader in completion percentage and yards per attempt.
1 day ago
Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions is sacked by Nate Hall #48 of the Houston Texans during th...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals add LB Nate Hall to practice squad, cut RB Tavien Feaster

The Arizona Cardinals made three roster moves Tuesday afternoon, including adding linebacker Nate Hall to the practice squad.
1 day ago
The Arizona Cardinals celebrates around defensive end Zach Allen after Allen's pass of Chicago Bear...
Arizona Sports

How the Arizona Cardinals can clinch a playoff berth in Week 14

Kliff Kingsbury's squad this week can lock in its first postseason appearance since 2015, possibly without a win against the Rams.
1 day ago
(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...
Character Counts

Cardinals nominate Kelvin Beachum as Walter Payton Man of the Year

Offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum is the Arizona Cardinals' nomination for the NFL Man of the Year award this season.
1 day ago
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury of the Arizona Cardinals on the field before the game against the Seattl...
Tyler Drake

Arizona Cardinals adoption of Buccaneers’ bye-week blueprint pays off

Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury's practice of lifting successful plays or sets from other teams poured over into the bye week in 2021.
1 day ago
Cardinals’ defense stands tough, keys comeback victory in Tampa