Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said it best after their 33-22 victory over the Chicago Bears in Week 13.
“We knew it would be grimy, wet, windy, cold, but I thought our defense played tremendously,” said Kingsbury.
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That they did. Four interceptions came from Bears QB Andy Dalton, who looked in disarray throughout the day. The Cardinals took advantage of Dalton and the weather and would proceed on every interception offensively inside the 30-yard line, which led to three quick and easy touchdown drives.
The Cardinals defense is a big fan of playing on the road. They’re now 7-0 away from State Farm Stadium and continue their season-long streak of winning road games by more than 10 points.
It goes without saying, but the 10-2 Cardinals are out for blood.
Mammoth Defensive Day
This is the second-straight season of Andy Dalton providing a stinker against the Cardinals defense, who threw two interceptions in October of 2020 against Vance Joseph’s crew.
Cardinals reporter Darren Urban said it best on Dalton’s showing, whose life was made “miserable” on December 5.
On Dalton’s first pass attempt of the day, a misfire to Darnell Mooney went into the hands of safety Jalen Thompson.
The Bears had more yards than the Cardinals and were getting their way running the football. David Montgomery had 90 yards on 21 carries for a touchdown and also had 51 receiving yards out of the backfield.
“There were a couple of times it was frustrating,” linebacker Jordan Hicks said, “because, in our minds, they shouldn’t have scored.”
Despite the yardage, All-Pro safety Budda Baker and third-year corner Byron Murphy Jr. would catch Dalton’s second and third interceptions of the day. One was dropped by Cole Kmet and the other was tipped from the defensive line.
Dalton was hoodwinked on his fourth interception, with Zach Allen capturing his first career pick on a screen pass.
Allen was tackled by Dalton and after the game commented on what he needs to improve on.
“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 spoke to Cardinals reporter Paul Calvisi on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station after the game.
As for Dalton, who displayed his fifth game of throwing four interceptions or more, this was unacceptable to the veteran quarterback.
“You can’t do that,” Dalton said. “You can’t turn the ball over four times and expect to win the game. That hurt us. There’s a lot of factors that go into it, but you can’t do that and expect to win, especially against a really good team.”
Twitter Reacts to Dalton’s Performance
Dalton has been filling in for rookie Justin Fields, who’s out with a ribs injury.
But that didn’t stop social media from getting their whacks at the 34-year-old, who’s getting comparisons to Bobby Boucher from The Waterboy.
Bears fans need Fields back expeditiously.
Fantasy football analyst Ian Hartitiz provided his usual comedy.
Dalton was tied for sixth-most tackles on the Bears with Xavier Crawford, Jaylon Johnson and DeAndre Houston-Carson.
Dalton acknowledged the truth after the game.
“I had two tackles today,” said Dalton after the game. “Unfortunately. So.”