The Arizona Cardinals never seem to be able to blow a team out and win comfortably. But in dramatic fashion, they managed to scrape out a close win in the end.
Defensively, well, nothing has really changed. The first drive of the day, like last week’s Bengals game, was way too easy as the opponent drove down the field for a score, although this was a 9-yard touchdown to Calvin Ridley, and following that up with a field goal after a stalled drive was peak 2019 Cardinals.
The second half was brutal, with the inability to cover a tight end rearing its ugly head again, and the Cardinals defense giving up 23 straight points to Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons after taking a 24-10 lead into the second half.
But the offense?
We hadn’t seen yet was an offensive game like that for YEARS in the desert.
Over 300 yards at the half, 5/6 on 3rd down, with Kyler Murray passing for 340 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, something that’s only been done by 5 rookies since 1950.
The team’s offense scored over 30 points for the first time since 2017 against the Bucs (the Adrian Peterson game) for 442 total yards and finally finished drives inside of the redzone, scoring 4 out of 5 times in the red zone despite a controversial decision from Kingsbury to kick the field goal on 3rd down with :07 seconds left at the half.
The Falcons caught up but Kyler threw a clutch touchdown to David Johnson to take a 34-27 lead. But Matt Ryan wasn’t finished, and they closed on a long, too easy drive to score a touchdown and were an extra point away from tying the game and giving it back to Arizona with just over a minute left on a pass to Davonta Freeman.
And then...Matt Bryant summed up the Falcons season this year by missing the extra point wide left! Unbelievable.
The Cardinals took over and while Murray looked short on a run, it wasn’t overturned on review and they took a knee and celebrated a win for the second week in a row.
While Bryant’s miss will loom large, the wonder rookie was the story of the game, and now the Cardinals will go on the road to face another rookie quarterback in Daniel Jones for a chance to get back to .500.