It’s always nice when the weekly studs and duds post has only studs.
The first half of the game against the Las Vegas Raiders, the Arizona Cardinals collectively were terrible. There wasn’t any finger-pointing or single performance that was lacking – the whole team played poor.
On the contrary, the second half featured a complete turnaround, in which everyone appeared to play better. Even A.J. Green, who was trying his hardest to make this list, clutched up to secure the game-tying 2-point conversion.
Let’s take a look at the studs from Sunday.
CB Byron Murphy
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While he almost gave out heart attacks by dropping the ball a millisecond after he crossed the plane, Byron Murphy was phenomenal on Sunday.
Davante Adams, the consensus top wideout in the league right now, was held to two catches for 12 yards. He did score a touchdown on the goal line, but Adams was a complete non-factor for the rest of the game.
The Raiders’ offense was non-existent in the second half and Murphy was on the spot to score the game-winning touchdown. The Cardinals’ front office has always been very high on Murphy and this was an excellent game to back them up.
LB Isaiah Simmons
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
After a poor outing in Week 1, Isaiah Simmons found himself benched.
Simmons received little playing time on the afternoon but came through when he did see the field. It was Simmons who stripped the ball from Hunter Renfrow, which would lead to the scoop-and-score touchdown for the win.
It’s hopefully a sign to come for Simmons, who is clearly at his best when in an inside linebacker/safety hybrid role. The Cardinals must figure out how to effectively use him, as he’s proven to be a clutch playmaker in crunch time.
WR Greg Dortch
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Once again, the Greg Dortch show is on full display.
Following a slew of injuries (and a suspension) to the wide receiver room, Greg Dortch has been exactly what the Cardinals needed.
While Dortch was quiet late, he was instrumental in gaining some momentum for the team on their first touchdown drive. He got them down the field early after a broken tackle and scored a touchdown on 3rd-and-goal.
Quietly, Dortch leads the Cardinals receiver room in yards with 118. When the Cardinals get their full receiver room back, they are going to have one of the top groups in the league.
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This list would be incomplete without noting the incredible performance put on by Kyler Murray.
Murray, who has been questioned by the media repeatedly in regards to his leadership, completely willed the Cardinals to victory. The consistent fourth-down conversions and the absurd two-point play that has since gone viral highlight a signature game for Murray.
This win means so much to the Cardinals. Had they lost, they’d be looking at an 0-2 start with the Rams coming to town this Sunday. Teams in recent memory have roughly an 11% chance of making the postseason at an 0-2 start, compared to 45% at 1-1.
It was arguably Murray’s best win in which he carried the Cardinals. It was an incredibly positive sight to see for the fans.