Crucial fumble marred career game by Cardinals wideout Brown

John Brown had 10 catches for 196 yards in Sunday's loss at Pittsburgh.
Jason Bridge/Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

John Brown put up monster numbers Sunday, but the second-year wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals was fixated more on what he failed to do.

Brown’s third-quarter fumble turned the momentum and led to the go-ahead touchdown in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ come-from-behind, 25-13 victory over the Cardinals. It ruined an otherwise magnificent performance by Brown, who established career bests with 10 catches for 196 yards.

“There’s nothing to appreciate about it,” Brown told reporters after the game. “I feel like, at the end of the day, once the fumble happened, the Steelers, they fed off that. And they were on a roll from there on out.”

Arizona carried a 10-3 lead into the third quarter despite a staggering 279-59 edge in total yards at the half. After allowing a long field goal on the opening drive of the second half, Brown fumbled on the second play of the ensuing drive and Pittsburgh recovered at the Cardinals’ 32-yard line.

Brown was upset because he said he initially recovered the fumble but lost it during in a scrum. “I had it, but all the guys, they jumped on me and they were in the pile fighting for it," Brown said. "So I can’t say too much about that.”

Third-string quarterback Landry Jones replaced Michael Vick and quickly converted the miscue into a touchdown pass to give the Steelers a 12-10 edge. The Cardinals could manage only a field goal the rest of the way despite a string of big catches by Brown, including receptions of 12 and 19 yards before Carson Palmer threw a killer interception in the end zone.

“Got to quick giving games away if we want to get to where we want to go," Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. "Can’t turn it over on the road. We had a chance to put them away early.”

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