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Week 5 Game Recap: Arizona Cardinals 26, Cincinnati Bengals 23


What you need to know

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals notched their first win of the season, playing a clean game against the struggled Bengals. Kyler Murray’s mobility continues to progress as a legitimate weapon, posting the most rushing yards for the team despite David Johnson running well. Without Christian Kirk the ball was distributed more evenly around the pass catchers instead of an elite volume for Larry Fitzgerald, who posted a tepid performance. Chase Edmonds had his best game of the season and David Johnson popped up with a back injury which is worth monitoring heading into Week 6.

Cincinnati Bengals

-The Bengals were able to move the ball but were forced to settle for short field goals due to passing game miscues inside the 10-yard line, including Dalton missing Eifert open in the end zone and Auden Tate dropping what could have been a short touchdown.

-Dalton engineered a comeback late with two touchdown drives in the final seven minutes to tie the game.

-Boyd did much of his damage late, including a pair of catches for 71 yards and a touchdown on the game-tying drive.

Arizona Cardinals

QB Kyler Murray, 77 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 32 - 253 - 0 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 10 - 93 - 1
Murray’s rushing production has progressed well since the opening two games of the season when he was seemingly stapled to the pocket. Murray had a blend of read option, designed quarterback runs, and scrambles among his team-leading 93 rushing yards. Murray’s touchdown on the ground was an impressive fourth down bootleg in the red zone, diving successfully for the pylon. Murray had four runs of at least 10 yards in the game while still being smart with avoiding big hits as a runner. Through the air Murray made two of his best throws to David Johnson downfield, dropping the ball in the bucket on the sideline late in the game and the other a perfect back shoulder to his running back for a chunk gain. With the Falcons struggling to stop opposing offenses, Arizona will have a matchup to continue their success in Week 6.

RB David Johnson, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 91 - 0, Rec: 3 - 65 - 0 (5 targets)
Johnson missed some of the Bengals game with his back ‘locking up’, but still saw 20 touches and performing well through a strong snap share. Johnson had his best game on the ground of the season, topping 90 yards and logging three different runs of at least 10 yards. Johnson did not find the end zone but showed a quality run on a successful red zone run as his best opportunity for a score. Through the air is where Johnson had his greatest impact with two chunk plays as a downfield receiver, both showing chemistry with Kyler Murray. The Falcons struggled in Week 1 with Dalvin Cook and David Johnson presents a similar two-way skillset for their Week 6 matchup in Arizona.

RB Chase Edmonds, 27 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 68 - 1, Rec: 3 - 18 - 0 (4 targets)
Edmonds had his best game of the young season against Cincinnati logging 11 touches (previous high of six) and 86 total yards. David Johnson had his back ‘lock up’ by reports and hindered his later game snap count as a result. Johnson still saw 20 touches, but Edmonds converted his expanded opportunities into a long touchdown where he turned the corner on the defense to ice the game in the mid-fourth quarter, converted third-and-short on another occasion, and a third-down reception. Johnson’s back is worth monitoring heading into Arizona’s optimistic matchup against Atlanta next week.

WR Larry Fitzgerald, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 58 - 0 (8 targets)
Without Christian Kirk in the lineup against Cincinnati, Fitzgerald did not separate from the pack for work in Arizona’s passing game. On Fitzgerald’s 25% target market share he did not produce any big plays and had three screen receptions either stuffed by the defense or called back by penalty, including one at the goal line. Fitzgerald did convert a deeper crossing route and a third-down opportunity among his tepid highlights.

WR KeeSean Johnson, 73 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 3 - 0, Rec: 3 - 22 - 0 (7 targets)
Johnson saw an expanded opportunity with Christian Kirk out of the lineup in Week 5. However, Johnson’s seven targets were largely squandered with a critical third-down drop and a chunk gain on the ground called back by penalty. Johnson broke a tackle on his notable modest reception as Arizona spread the ball around without Kirk and David Johnson being featured down the field.


Cincinnati Bengals

QB Andy Dalton, 67 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 38 - 262 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0
Aside from a miss in the red zone, it was a good day for Dalton. On one of the key plays of the game, Dalton missed Tyler Eifert for what should have been a 5-yard touchdown. There may have been some miscommunication between the two but for whatever reason, Dalton threw the ball behind Eifert, which allowed the linebacker to knock it down. The Bengals had to settle for a field goal and the four points lost were the difference between a win and a loss. He didn’t get a lot of help from his wide receivers outside of Tyler Boyd. Inexperienced players were forced into more prominent roles due to injury and had some tough drops. Dalton was able to kick it into gear late, leading a pair of touchdown drives in the final seven minutes to tie the game at 23-23. He led an 89-yard touchdown drive in under three minutes. He completed eight passes to six different receivers on the drive, getting the ball out quickly and on target. He capped it off with a 2-yard touchdown pass to Auden Tate on what looked like an RPO play. He pulled the ball back from Mixon and fired it over the middle to Tate, who was wide open in the end zone. After a quick three and out by Arizona, Dalton led an 81-yard touchdown drive that took under two minutes. He put it into a tight window, hitting Tyler Boyd in stride on a crossing route that went for 29 yards. A couple plays later, he hooked up with Boyd again on a 42-yard touch-down pass deep down the left sideline to tie the game.

RB Joe Mixon, 42 offensive snaps, Rush: 19 - 93 - 0, Rec: 1 - 16 - 0 (1 targets)
It was a strong performance from Mixon, who racked up 109 yards on 20 touches. Mixon and the running game came out on fire. On the opening drive, he ripped off runs of 9, 3, 13, 5, 18, and 9 on consecutive carries to get the team into the red zone. With 1st-and-goal at the 8, Mixon received back-to-back carries. After a four yard gain, he was dropped for a loss on the second carry and the Bengals ended up having to settle for a field goal. It looked like Mixon might be on his way to a big game but the Arizona defense tightened up considerably. After the opening drive, Mixon carried five times in the remainder of the first half for a total of three yards. He opened the second half with a 15-yard gain up the middle, bursting through the middle of the line and lowering his pads to finish the run with physicality. He was visibly frustrated when a strong run for 7 yards early in the fourth quarter was called back due to an illegal block above the waist. Mixon has had a lot of solid gains wiped out by offensive line penalties this season. He showed nice vision on a 16-yard reception on a screen to start the Bengals first touchdown drive late but soon gave way to Giovani Bernard as Cincinnati went to the hurrays-up offense down the stretch.

RB Giovani Bernard, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 10 - 0, Rec: 3 - 16 - 0 (3 targets)
As has been the case in recent weeks, Bernard didn’t get a single touch in the first half. Three of his five touches came in the final four minutes when the Bengals went to a hurry-up offense. He slipped through a small hole and carried a defender the final few yards on a nine-yard run, his best of the day.

WR Tyler Boyd, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 10 - 123 - 1 (14 targets)
The Bengals weren’t able to get Boyd going early. He had just one catch for four yards at halftime. He took over for a stretch in the second half, however. With the Bengals playing hurry-up for much of the fourth quarter, Dalton looked to Boyd often. On the game-tying drive in the final minutes, the two hooked up for a 29-yard catch and run on a short post route to get the ball out to midfield. A few plays later, Boyd ran a beautiful deep route for a 42-yard touchdown. He had Budda Baker trailing him and he gave a subtle head fake and jab step towards the middle of the field before cutting back outside, creating a ton of separation and making an over the shoulder grab for the score.

WR Auden Tate, 67 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 26 - 1 (6 targets)
It was a brutal start for Tate. On the Bengals first offensive play, he was open for what should have been an 11-yard catch but he dropped the pass when he went low to try to haul it in. Later in the opening drive, on third-and-goal from the five Tate again dropped the pass on a quick slant. He was open and might have been able to get into the end zone if he had just held on. He didn’t get another chance until the second half. He made a pretty grab for 15 yards on an out route along the sideline. He was targeted in the end zone on a fade route but wasn’t able to get any separation and it didn’t have a chance. Tate ran a nice route on a slant to get wide open in the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown catch.

WR Stanley Morgan, 3 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 6 - 0 (2 targets)
Immediately after Erickson left the game with a concussion, Morgan came in to replace him. He was targeted immediately and made a 6-yard catch along the sideline. He was open on a short comeback two plays later for what should have been a first down but dropped it. He didn’t see the field again after that

WR Alex Erickson, 15 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)
Erickson was the starting Z-receiver in this game but suffered a concussion after being dragged down hard on a 7-yard catch.

TE Tyler Eifert, 18 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 14 - 0 (4 targets)
Surprisingly, Eifert played a season-low 18 snaps in this game but he was a big part of the game plan in the third quarter, getting five targets. He was open in the end zone for what should have been a 5-yard touchdown but wasn’t on the same page with Dalton, who threw the ball behind him. If Dalton would have led him, it would have been an easy score. He made a pair of short catches and drew a pass interference penalty on another short target.