From the time DeAndre Hopkins arrived in trade in March, the Cardinals knew they were acquiring a wide receiver that would annually make the Pro Bowl.
With Kyler Murray throwing him passes, it seemed reasonable to think the quarterback would have his first Pro Bowl coming soon.
And Cheap Budda Baker Jersey was well on his way to becoming a Pro Bowl mainstay at safety, with the way he has played at safety.
So it made sense that the Cardinals’ trio each were named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad Monday afternoon, as the Cards make their push to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
Hopkins and Baker were named starters. Because there is no actual Pro Bowl game this year due to COVID-19, no alternates were announced.
With the game canceled as an understandable outcome of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the league partnered with EA Sports and the video game Madden NFL ’21 to take the rosters and play out the game virtually, which will be available to watch by fans on a variety of platforms.
Hopkins, who was a Pro Bowler four times while playing for the Houston Texans, is second in the NFL with 103 receptions and leads the NFL with 1,324 yards, along with six touchdowns. He also led all NFL wide receivers in fan votes up until the final tally, when he was overtaken by Seattle’s DK Metcalf.
Hopkins already has seven 100-yard games this season and needs just seven more catches to set a franchise record – Cheap Larry Fitzgerald Jersey has had 109 twice. He becomes the fourth Cardinals Pro Bowl wide receiver in the last 20 years, joining Fitz (11 times), Cheap Anquan Boldin Jersey (3) and Cheap David Boston Jersey (1).
Murray, a Pro Bowl alternate as a rookie, makes his first Pro Bowl during a season in which he already has set the NFL record with nine games in which he had both a passing and rushing touchdown. With 26 touchdown passes and 11 rushing touchdowns so far, he is only the second player in NFL history – along with Cam Newton in 2015 – to have at least 25 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season.
He has improved on all his statistics of his rookie season, when he was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He has completed 336 of 497 passes with two games left, for 3,637 yards, the 26 TD passes and 11 interceptions. He also has 741 yards rushing, averaging six yards a carry.
More importantly, the Cardinals already have eight wins, after getting just five when Murray was a rookie.
“Every win is my favorite,” Murray said after Sunday’s defeat of the Eagles. “I can’t say that enough.”
Baker makes his second straight Pro Bowl as a safety and his third overall in the middle of his best season as a pro. He was the leading vote-getter in the league at strong safety among fans. He becomes the second Cardinal to make it to three Pro Bowls before the age of 25. (Cheap Patrick Peterson Jersey did it four times.)
Baker has 104 tackles this season – 79 solo – with two sacks, two interceptions, 11 tackles for loss and two pass breakups.
The Cardinals let Cheap Isaiah Simmons Jersey roam on Sunday.
The top-10 pick has played mainly inside linebacker as a rookie but displayed his versatility in the 33-26 win over the Eagles.
Simmons began the game at free safety – nearly securing an interception on the first Eagles pass – and moved all over the field the rest of the way, the clearest example yet of the trust he is garnering from the coaching staff.
“He’s continuing to improve, and that’s what we wanted to see,” coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “We felt like it was a game where we could use him in multiple positions. He’s starting to have a better understanding of the defense, so he can handle that type of assignment.
“When you have a dynamic quarterback like Jalen (Hurts), it allows you to put him in position where he can see ball and go get ball at times. I thought he continued to improve his understanding of what we’re looking for, and he continues to make plays out there.”
Simmons had four tackles in the contest but missed Hurts a few times in the backfield. The pass that could have been intercepted was tipped by receiver Greg Ward before it got to him, but Simmons pounded the turf afterward, upset he couldn’t corral it.
Pro Football Focus saddled Simmons with a negative grade on Quez Watkins’ 32-yard bubble screen touchdown in the first quarter, but otherwise did not tag him with a catch allowed in 32 coverage snaps.
According to PFF, Simmons played 65 snaps on defense – 26 at outside linebacker, 17 at inside linebacker, 13 in the slot, five at strong safety, two at outside corner and two at free safety.
Simmons often paired with Cheap Haason Reddick Jersey at outside linebacker, giving the Cardinals an edge duo with unparalleled speed and athleticism.
“Jalen really hurt New Orleans by getting outside, making plays outside of the pocket, getting out and running,” Kingsbury said. “We knew we wanted to try to avoid that and make him step up, or try to contain him in the pocket. When you have two guys that can basically run with any player on the field in Haason and Isaiah, it definitely gives you the ability to chase those guys down when they do get out and try to make a play.”
BALL SECURITY MUST IMPROVE
The Cardinals lost the turnover margin by three to the Eagles but were still able to secure a 33-26 win because of some strong offensive play.
Kingsbury said he’s not interested in tempting fate like that again. Quarterback Cheap Kyler Murray Jersey lost a fumble deep in Arizona territory and threw an end zone interception. Wide receiver Cheap DeAndre Hopkins Jersey lost a fumble inside the Philadelphia 10 and fumbled again later in the game, though the Cardinals retained possession.
“We have to improve,” Kingsbury said. “I saw a stat where if you turn it over three times and the other team has zero, you have an eight percent chance of winning the game. It was pretty remarkable we were able to win that game. But we have to be better in that. You get those opportunities in the red zone on first or second down, you just can’t turn it over. We’ve got to get points out of that. Our guys understand that. The margin for error is getting smaller and smaller as we wrap up the season, and we’ve got to get better in that area.”
NO INJURY UPDATE ON GARDECK
Cheap Dennis Gardeck Jersey continued his unbelievable season with two more sacks against the Eagles on a career-high 24 defensive snaps. However, the outside linebacker left the contest late with an unspecified injury and was carted to the locker room.
Kingsbury did not have an update on the injury, but hopes to know more by Monday evening or Tuesday.
CARDINALS MAKE PRACTICE SQUAD MOVES
The Cardinals signed safety Chris Miller and cornerback Picasso Nelson to the practice squad. Defensive lineman Daylon Mack was released from the practice squad to make room.