It isn’t said enough how crucial it was for the Arizona Cardinals defense to step up in their 17-10 victory against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 5. The defense stopping the 49ers’ offense four times on fourth-down, one of them for a touchdown, is almost unheard of.
The offensive side of the ball wasn’t as dominating for the first three quarters, mustering just 10 points. But in the second quarter, rookie wide receiver Rondale Moore made one of the best catches you’ll ever see.
Former NFL punter and over-the-top personality Pat McAfee has so many words when it comes to Moore’s abilities.
“On the offensive side of the ball, I think Rondale Moore is option three, option four,” said McAfee on the Pat McAfee Show. “He’s filthy. He was a terrible interview on this show. I think he hates us. It was a bad conversation. That means absolutely nothing at this point watching him play football in the NFL. He’s fast. He’s gritty. He makes plays and it seems like he always shows up.”
DeAndre Hopkins got the game ball after the 17-10 win, who caught the last touchdown in the fourth quarter and had six catches for 87 yards. While we all know about Hopkins and his plays to get the Cardinals the clinching touchdown, you shouldn’t let Moore go unnoticed.
Expect Moore’s Usage to Increase
Kingsbury wasn’t candid when it comes to Moore’s attributes.
“We know what he’s going to do when the ball is in space,” said Kingsbury. “He doesn’t carry himself like a rookie. He’s got to keep working. We’ve liked what we’ve seen so far. He’s always dialed in. He’s one of the smartest players you’ll be around.”
So now with Maxx Williams likely out for the season, Moore should expect even more targets. And Kingsbury knows Moore should be used more.
“He probably needs to touch the ball more. He goes out there and wants to be in every play,” Kingsbury told Cardinals correspondent Paul Calvisi after the game. “He stands right by me like a little puppy dog, like, ‘What are you doing’, while looking at me. But he is a tremendous football player.”
Moore can be used in a plethora amount of ways. In order to get the first Cardinals touchdown, Moore was used for a run play that accumulated 26 yards. In their field goal in the second quarter, Moore made that highlight-reel play. Yesterday, Moore matched teammate Christian Kirk in routes for the first time this season. Expect his production to uptick.
How Moore Compares to the Rest of the League
No late second-round rookie wide receiver should be doing what Moore’s doing currently. He’s second in yards after the catch, even with his limited amount of target usage.
“We are seeing some of these young wide receivers establish themselves as some of the best in the business.”
If you’re a Cardinals or have a fantasy team, you know Moore hasn’t been used as frequently in the last two weeks. Moore had only five catches in the Jaguars and Rams games. But don’t get it twisted.
Like Burleson said, “Can I just get a little more of Moore?” I think that’s what the world might get very soon again.