LAS VEGAS — Arizona Cardinals linebacker and Olathe North grad Isaiah Simmons saw his role decrease in Week 2, but made the game-winning play in the team’s overtime victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.
Simmons, after playing 87% of snaps Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs, was only on the field for 22% of the defensive snaps.
“It wasn’t quite the snap count I was looking forward to, and that’s disappointing,” Simmons said. “But I was able to keep my head in the game and being ready when the time comes.”
The Cardinals forced overtime after coming back from 23-7. They would then turn it over on downs after winning the coin toss.
The Raiders needed just a field goal to win the game. Quarterback Derek Carr completed a pass to wide receiver Hunter Renfrow right at the target field goal range line.
Simmons came in and tackled Renfrow and forced the ball loose in play.
His teammate Byron Murphy Jr. recovered the ball and ran it back to score the touchdown and win the game.
“It’s a great feeling,” Simmons said. “Most importantly, we got the win, and being able to come in and make a game-changing play, that’s always a plus.”
Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury said they told Simmons he needed to practice better and earn back his starting role.
“He had the best week of practice as a pro, and it showed up,” Kingsbury said. “He made the biggest play of the game, and I’m really proud of him for attacking that challenge like he did.”
Simmons and the Cardinals return home to face the defending Super Bowl champions Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Sept. 25.