Raiders vs. Cardinals Score: Fumble Return to OT Caps Historic Comeback As Arizona Overcomes 20-Point Down

The Arizona Cardinals went to a 0-2 start and left for dead in the crazy NFC West. Instead, they handed that fortune over to the Las Vegas Raiders — who gathered from a 20-point deficit in the second half to overwhelm Vegas in overtime Sunday.

Byron Murphy capped off the incredible comeback with a 59-yard fumble for a touchdown with 3:51 left in overtime to steal the win. Riding on the Cardinals’ 41-yard line, the Raiders only needed a field goal to win before Isaiah Simmons forced a fumble from Hunter Renfrow, leading to Murphy’s scoop and score.

The Raiders led 20-0 in this game at halftime. The 20-point inflated lead is the largest in franchise history. Las Vegas led 23-7 in the fourth quarter before Kyler Murray wanted the Cardinals on his back. Murray had a 3-yard touchdown run with no time left to force overtime, then threw an incredible pass to AJ Green on the two-point conversion attempt to force overtime.

The Cardinals got the ball first in overtime, but Marquise Brown dropped a fourth on a Duron Harmon hit that would have sent Arizona into the red zone. The Raiders only needed a field goal to seal the win, but Renfrow fiddled in Daniel Carlson’s expected range, triggering the Murphy touchdown.

Teams trailed 2-149 last season with 13 plus points in the fourth quarter, but the Cardinals pulled it off. Murray finished 31 of 49 for 277 yards with a touchdown and interception while having five carries for 28 yards and a score. Derek Carr finished 25 of 39 for 252 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

Why did the Cardinals win?

Give all the credit in the world to Murray, who took a sleeping Cardinals attack on his back and led it to victory. Murray had 252 yards in the second half and overtime to bring the Cardinals back, totaling two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) and running and throwing for a two-point conversion (both came in the fourth quarter).

Murray set up the numbers and games of video games to get the Cardinals back in the game, even though he didn’t make the winning game himself. The Cardinals had to work overtime because of what Murray did.

Why did the Raiders lose?

Vegas became conservative on offense in the last quarter, making just eight plays for 14 yards and keeping the tired defense on the field as Murray ran laps around them, bringing the Cardinals’ charge back. The Raiders didn’t trust Carr enough to keep the drives durable and couldn’t get the ball into Davante Adams’ hands enough.

On top of the inconsistency on offense, Murray dodged Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby several times and extended play against a secondary who couldn’t finish a game. That’s how the Cardinals cleared a 20-0 deficit.

Turning point

With Arizona trailing 23-13 in the fourth quarter, Murray bought enough time on a two-point conversion that seemed impossible to rush in. Still, Murray found a way when he kicked back to the 20-yard line and a 20.8 second pocket to eventually dodge multiple Raiders defenders and rush the ball in for the conversion to narrow the Raiders’ lead to 23-15.

The play was hugely entertaining and showed Murray is the difference maker when he is on the pitch. That run kept the Cardinals in the game midway through the fourth quarter—and ultimately played a key role in the comeback win. Without Murray’s game, Arizona doesn’t stand a chance.

The Quote

“There were so many do-or-die games, I’ve lost count.” — Kliff Kingsbury after the game describing the Cardinals’ comeback in the second half (via Darren Urban of the Cardinals website).

Game of the game

Clearly Murphy’s game-ending fumble recovery before the touchdown is the crown here. Simmons forced the fumble on Renfrow that led to Murphy picking up the ball and taking it the other way for the 59-yard touchdown.

Murphy almost didn’t reach the end zone as he appeared to lose the ball, but the game was not undone. Cardinals put an end to the comeback after appearing dead in the water several times during the game.

Next one

The Raiders (0-2) travel to Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans (0-1) the following Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. The Cardinals (1-1) will face the Los Angeles Rams (1-1) next Sunday at 4:25 PM ET.

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