The Steelers and Cardinals met in Arizona on Sunday, although given the crowd split it was effectively a home game for Pittsburgh, with the Steelers looking to stay in an AFC Wild Card spot and the Cardinals simply seeking some positives towards the end of the season.
In the fourth quarter, a pair of perplexing plays on successive drives ended up, ultimately, resulting in Cardinals points to draw within three points late, at 20-17 Steelers. The first was a fourth down attempt from the Cardinals inside the Pittsburgh 10, in which Kyler Murray chose to throw the ball rather than scramble for what appeared to be an easy first down. His pass went directly into the waiting arms of T.J. Watt, who fell down for a touchback.
TJ Watt with the clutch end zone pick 👀 @_TJWatt
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 8, 2019
On the ensuing drive, the Steelers weren’t able to do much and punted after one first down. However, either by design or by their punter going rogue after a slightly low snap, disaster struck in the form of one of the worst fake punts you’ll see this year. Now, that’s a high bar given some of the terrible fakes that have been attempted this season, but a straight punter draw that loses 12 yards and ends in him being buried under two defenders certainly merits that inclusion.
Our fake punt > Their fake punt pic.twitter.com/yY0gxkFGHN
— Arizona Cardinals ⋈ (@AZCardinals) December 8, 2019
I’m not sure what Berry was thinking, but the Cardinals could’ve had a scoop and score if they’d noticed the ball pop loose rather than flexing post-tackle. Still, Arizona was able to capitalize a few plays later with a Murray to David Johnson touchdown pass to make it a tight game, and it’ll be very interesting to hear what exactly happened on what may become a very crucial play after the game. If by design, that one probably gets burned out of the playbook. If by punter decision, he’ll probably get a stern talking to about never doing that again.