Kyle Odegard of azcardinals.com breaks down the wacky punt return that wasn’t in the Cardinals 14-6 win vs. the Detroit Lions on Nov. 16.
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
It may not be the play that saved the game, but it definitely made sure the game didn't turn.
The Cardinals, who struggled on offense for most of the afternoon, drove all the way to the Detroit 36 before stalling. Leading 14-6, the decision was made to bring Drew Butler in for the punt, hoping to pin the Lions near their goal line. The strategy looked like it may have worked, as Justin Bethel was able to grab the ball just before it reached the end zone.
Aiming to cut the Cowboys’ deficit to one point, Dan Bailey watched Arizona’s Justin Bethel block a 35-yard field goal attempt and preserve the Cardinals’ 14-10 lead. The ball bounced into the hands of the Arizona’s speedy cornerback Patrick Peterson. Peterson took off and ran 60 yards before being tackled at the Cowboys’ 19-yard line by tight end Jason Witten.
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28) blocks a field goal attempt from Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey (5) during the first half of play at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Sunday, November 2, 2014. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News)
Voting has opened for the 2015 Pro Bowl in Arizona! Head to the ballot now to cast votes for Justin to return to the Pro Bowl as a special teams selection. Vote online here.
If football didn't work out at the next level, Justin Bethel wanted to be a cake maker. Turns out, he's doing perfectly just fine as an NFL playmaker.
"Oh, I can make some real good cheesecakes," the Cardinals' third-year cornerback said. "That was the plan, too. I was going to school for culinary art before all this happened. It just worked out where football put me in the position I needed to be, and I'm here now."
Cornerback Justin Bethel (28) breaks to wide receiver Ted Ginn on a play during the Cardinals' minicamp. (Arizona Cardinals)
Just two years into his NFL career, Justin Bethel has found quite a niche with the Arizona Cardinals.
Hungry to find his way onto the field, the Sumter, S.C. native has already developed into one of the league's elite special teamers -- so much so that he was named to the 2013 Pro Bowl as a gunner for the NFC after recording 18 tackles and two blocked field goals during Arizona's 10-6 campaign.
But the 24-year-old is by no means a one-trick pony. In fact, the former sixth-round pick made a name for himself at Presbyterian College as a talented defensive back, recording a team-high 77 tackles in 2009.
Arizona Cardinals' Justin Bethel (28) and Deone Buccanon (36) break up a pass intended for Michael Floyd (15) during NFL football training camp practice on Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
The Arizona Cardinals training camp continues to build toward the first pre-season game, there are a few stand-outs that are turning heads in camp other than the usual suspects. After observing five full days of practice, some guys are showing up on the stand-out list daily. One guy that is looking very good in camp is now corner-back/ special-teams Justin Bethel.
Jul 26, 2014; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel (28) signs autographs for fans during training camp at University of Phoenix. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
We pointed out on Wednesday's podcast that Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has repeatedly gone out of his way to talk up the play of rookie wide receiver John Brown.
No young player in Arizona generated more hype this spring, but cornerback Justin Bethel is giving Brown a run for his money.
After Arians told reporters last month that Bethel had the potential to someday become Arizona's best cornerback, the coach recently touted the third-year cover man as having the "best spring of anybody" on the roster, per Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic.