Kliff Kingsbury explains how Cardinals defense got overtime interception

Jess Root
·2 min read

The Arizona Cardinals were able to intercept Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson three times in their 37-34 overtime win on Sunday. The third and final pick came in overtime, setting up the Cardinals’ game-winning field goal.

It was rookie Isaiah Simmons who snatched the ball out of the air, but it was an odd play because there was no receiver in the area.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury explained that defensive coordinator Vance Joseph’s sequence of play calls up to that point led to confusion and miscommunication between Wilson and his receivers.

“I thought that was a brilliant sequencing of calls by Vance,” he told reporters on Monday. “He’d gone zero blitz, zero blitz and then lined up and it looked like it again, then he bailed those guys out underneath it.

“The receiver saw them bailing and they didn’t look hot and Russ thought it was hot and Isaiah did a great job getting underneath it. I thought in a crucial situation VJ had some great calls.”

As noted by Touchdown Wire’s Mark Schofield, the Cardinals had used a defensive front with no defensive linemen and mixed up where the pressure came from.

Simmons gave Wilson a look like he was going to blitz, so Wilson was going to throw to a “hot” read in the area where Simmons was going to leave. He did not see Simmons drop into coverage instead. The receiver did and didn’t make the hot read, so when Wilson threw the ball, there was no one there.

Simmons made a great play, jumping up and grabbing the ball out of the air. Had he not made that play, though, it is still very likely the Cardinals would have gotten the turnover. Safety Deionte Thompson was also in the area.

Joseph has been criticized a lot this season despite getting surprisingly good results statistically. With All-Pro pass rusher Chandler Jones out for the rest of the season, he will have to dial up more surprising calls on defense. to keep giving them chances for success.

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