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Murray Slings for 400, Vikings Miss Wide Right in Cardinals’ 34-33 Win

In a game where both highs and lows were in plentiful supply, the Cardinals survived a seat-gripping 34-33 Sunday finish at home over the Minnesota Vikings.

For the second straight week, quarterback Kyler Murray put the Cardinals on his back, flinging the football for 400 yards and three touchdowns. Murray also ran for a score as rookie receiver Rondale Moore caught for 117 yards and a touchdown. Matt Prater contributed with a critical 62-yard field goal before halftime.

Things did not start well for the Bird Gang, on just the second play of the game, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins air mailing a 64-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Osborn, the wideout’s first-ever in the NFL. 

Murray would respond with a thread to DeAndre Hopkins who was covered by Patrick Peterson, the longtime former Cardinal. A.J. Green also got some time, grabbing his first touchdown as a Cardinal in the third quarter.

Overall, the Cardinals persisted and despite two interceptions from Kyler Murray, snuck ahead with a fourth-quarter field goal. But the Vikings marched down to the 19-yard line with four seconds left. Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury stood pat and did not freeze Greg Joseph, who proceeded to pull the field goal right.

400 Yards of Fury

Kyler Murray fought back all game long. K1 facilitated the passing game while also giving time to allow the rush to get moving. Murray attacked the Vikings’ secondary and it paid off with a career second-best 400 yards passing.

Unfortunately, Murray’s day was not always pristine, K1 suffered two picks as previously mentioned, including a pick-six thrown to Nick Vigil at the start of the third quarter. Plus, Murray also faced the wrath of a persistent Danielle Hunter, all three sacks on Murray coming exclusively from the defensive end.

But Kyler Murray did not crumble, from his 77-yard touchdown pass to Rondale Moore to a gutsy fourth-down throw to Christian Kirk, Murray came through. Whether Murray has seen a Star Wars movie or not is debatable, but there is little doubt the Force was strong with him Sunday.

Defense Withstands The Rush

For as well as Arizona’s offense managed to keep matching the Vikings offense, the Cards’ defense was tested frequently. In the first half alone, the Vikings only had two third downs and were stopped in both instances. Minnesota’s top two receivers in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson scored, but the main focus was on the ground.

The Minnesota offensive line was rock steady in the rush, slowing down Chandler Jones and allowing Dalvin Cook to rush for 131 yards. But the likes of Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson stepped with key outings, both grabbing eight tackles each.

Cook, despite his progress, never scored but still proved to be frustrating to stop at times. The running back chipping away all game, even after exiting twice due to apparent injuries.

Up Next

The Cardinals head into Jacksonville next week to face Trevor Lawrence and the still-winless Jaguars. Coach Urban Meyer‘s foray into the NFL is not going as planned and the Jags are coming off a 23-13 loss to the Broncos at home.

For those who enjoyed Gus Johnson on the TV screen, good news. It will reportedly be a double dose of Johnson next week.

Kickoff at TIAA Bank Field is set for 1 PM ET on FOX.

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