He’d been silent, virtually a non-factor both on offense and special teams during his first seven quarters in an Arizona Cardinals’ uniform.
But then it happened.
That spark, that elusiveness, that sheer speed, that ability to change the complexion of a game in the blink of an eye.
With the Cardinals trailing the New York Giants 14-13 with 10:22 remaining in contest, Ted Ginn, Jr. fielded a low punt from Steve Weatherford at his own 29-yard line.
From there, the eight-year veteran broke free from the outstretched arms of Zack Bowman, cut back toward the middle of the field, eluded Nat Berhe at the Cardinals’ 40-yard line, juked his way past Weatherford at the Giants’ 45-yard line before going untouched the rest of the way for a 71-yard score — one that put Arizona on top for good.
“I just played the play,” Ginn, Jr. told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM’s Paul Calvisi after the win. “I just play the game. That’s the biggest thing. That’s how I was taught coming up. You’re not going to be able to break every one. But the ones that you can, you just make sure that you do it.
“I just went out there and played hard and waited my time — like last week I had all fair catches. Coming out there today, we had two short ones earlier in the day. I just told my team, ‘Block it up. We can’t go out there and take those short lines drive and not make a play out of it.’ And that’s what we did.”
It might not have seemed like it from his aforementioned lack of production earlier in non-divisional affair — two kick returns for 28 yards and one punt return for five yards — but Ginn, Jr. was simply waiting for his time to make a big play, taking inventory of the Giants’ punt coverage in the process.
“You have to be a student of the game,” said Ginn, Jr. “Like I said man, [Weatherford] had two line drives earlier in the day. It was just a good feel that he was going to come back with another one.
“I just hit it, and the rest is history.”
For Ginn, Jr., the punt return touchdown was the fourth of his career.