Murray Magic: Cards win on Hail Mary to Hopkins

  • Covered the Cardinals since 2012
  • Graduate of Indiana University
  • Member of Pro Football Writers of America

GLENDALE, Ariz. — After using his legs to pull the Arizona Cardinals back into a game they trailed for the majority of, quarterback Kyler Murray used his arm to win it.

Murray found DeAndre Hopkins for a 43-yard Hail Mary touchdown with 2 seconds left to give the Cardinals a 32-30 win at State Farm Stadium on Sunday afternoon to move the Cardinals into a three-way tie for first place in the NFC West.

Hopkins was draped by three Buffalo Bills defenders — Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde and Tre’Davious White — when he pulled down the unlikely catch on the far left side of the end zone in front of 4,200 socially distanced fans.

The Cardinals needed that last-second touchdown after the Bills scored a go-ahead touchdown with 39 seconds left from Josh Allen to Stefon Diggs that put Buffalo up 30-26.

After betting support for the Cardinals drove the line up over the weekend, Arizona closed as a consensus 3-point favorite at sportsbooks. Hopkins’ touchdown put the Cardinals up by two with no time left. Instead of risking the extra point being blocked and returned by Buffalo for a tying two-point conversion, Arizona elected to kneel down and end the game.

The favored Cardinals attracted slightly more betting action than the Bills at most sportsbooks.

Murray finished with 245 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 22-for-32 passing. For the second straight week Murray did what he could to put the Cardinals in a spot to win.

As the Cardinals struggled to convert in the red zone Sunday afternoon by throwing the ball, leading to a field goal fest in the first 2½ quarters, Murray found the end zone with 5:48 left in the third quarter on a 1-yard run, with the Cardinals down 23-9, to pull Arizona within 23-16. Then Murray showed off more of his brilliance on the ground in the final seconds of the third quarter, when he took off for 28 yards following a Patrick Peterson interception, to move the Cardinals from their own territory deep into the Bills’ side of the field.

Three plays later, Murray ran in for his second touchdown, this one from the 15, barely getting touched, pulling the Cardinals into the lead, their first of the game. Murray’s two rushing touchdowns gave him 10 for the season, the first time a quarterback has reached that mark since Cam Newton in 2011. Murray had 61 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.

Murray also became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to have a rushing touchdown in at least five straight games, with this being his fifth consecutive. He has rushed for a touchdown in eight of the Cardinals’ nine games this season.

Hopkins had 127 yards and a touchdown on seven catches. Kenyan Drake ran for 100 yards on 16 runs.

ESPN’s David Purdum contributed to this report.

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