Arizona Cardinals beat the Atlanta Falcons with a last-second field goal
PHOENIX (AP/3TV/CBS 5) — Kyler Murray’s return helped give the Arizona Cardinals a much-needed win Sunday in Glendale against the Atlanta Falcons 25 - 23. Murray was recently activated after sitting out due to a torn ACL in December last year.
Kyler Murray threw for 249 yards and ran for a touchdown in his return from a serious knee injury, Matt Prater made a game-winning 23-yard field goal as time expired, and the Arizona Cardinals snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the Atlanta Falcons 25-23 on Sunday.
Murray made a pair of important plays on the game-winning drive, providing reminders of why he was the No. 1 overall pick in 2019 and also why the Cardinals (2-8) signed him to a $230.5 million contract before the 2022 season.
His 13-yard scramble on third-and-10 — and evading multiple sack attempts — helped keep Arizona’s drive alive. Then he hit tight end Trey McBride on a 33-yard pass that set up the short-field goal.
That made it an easy field goal for Prater, who also connected from 56, 51 and 46 yards.
McBride finished with eight catches for 131 yards, James Conner ran for 73 yards, and Murray completed 19 of 32 passes. Rookie BJ Ojulari had two sacks for the Cardinals (2-8).
The Falcons pushed ahead 23-22 with 2:33 remaining on Desmond Ridder’s 9-yard run to the left corner of the end zone. Atlanta’s 2-point conversion failed, which allowed the Cardinals to play for a game-winning field goal.
The 24-year-old Ridder started the team’s first eight games of the season before losing his job to Taylor Heinicke but was forced into the game in the fourth quarter after Heinicke hurt his hamstring.
Atlanta (4-6) has lost three straight.
Murray — who hadn’t played a game in 335 days — scored his first touchdown of the season with 10 seconds left in the first half, faking a handoff to Conner before keeping the ball himself and running 6 yards into the end zone, cutting the Falcons lead to 14-12 entering halftime.
Backup quarterback Clayton Tune and the offensive line pushed the pile for a 1-yard touchdown with 19 seconds left in the third quarter that gave the Cardinals a 22-17 lead.
Atlanta’s Nate Landman intercepted an off-the-mark Murray pass in the middle of the third quarter, returning it 25 yards to the Arizona 14. The Falcons settled for a field goal on the ensuing drive to take a 17-15 advantage.
Heinicke was 8 of 15 passing for 55 yards and a touchdown. Ridder was 4 of 6 for 39 yards.
Murray — a two-time Pro Bowl selection — tore the ACL in his right knee on Dec. 12, 2022, against the New England Patriots. The Cardinals have had several fill-in quarterbacks, including Colt McCoy, Trace McSorley, David Blough, Joshua Dobbs and Tune.
None of them had much success. The Cardinals had a 1-13 record over that span.
Atlanta’s Bijan Robinson ran for a 5-yard touchdown late in the first half — completing a 13-play, 76-yard drive — to give the Falcons a 14-6 lead late in the second quarter. Robinson finished with 95 yards rushing on 22 carries.
Cardinals starting left tackle D.J. Humphries (ankle) and running back Emari Demercado (toe) were among six inactives. ... Conner (knee) returned after missing the past four games while on injured reserve. ... Atlanta receiver Drake London (groin) returned after missing one game. ... Heinicke was hurt while trying to run for a first down early in the fourth.
Falcons: Host New Orleans on Nov. 26.
Cardinals: Travel to Houston next Sunday.
The first half had some excitement from good plays and bad plays. Though the Cardinals and Falcons couldn’t get through each other’s defense, with the Cards eventually scoring a field goal in the first quarter, the Falcons were able to get a touchdown with an extra point during the second quarter. “The biggest takeaway from the first half. Kyler Murray looks like Kyler Murray. A rushing touchdown to cut the Falcons lead to 14-12″ said Arizona’s Family Sports Director Mark McClune.
This is a developing story. Stay with Arizona’s Family for continuing updates on this story.
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