Cardinals 25, Falcons 23: Kyler Murray leads game-winning drive in 1st game back

Kyler Murray’s return for the Arizona Cardinals was a successful one. Making his first start since tearing his ACL last December, the Cardinals snapped a six-game losing streak with a 25-23 last-second win over the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Prater hit an 18-yard field goal as time expired.

Murray was picked off once and did not throw a touchdown pass but had 249 passing yards and rushed for 33 more and a touchdown.

More importantly, after the Falcons took a 23-22 lead with 2:33 left, Murray led them down the field, made a big throw and got them the win.

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Surprise start at left guard

D.J. Humphries was out with an ankle injury so Kelvin Beachum started at left tackle. However, Carter O’Donnell got the start at left guard in place of a healthy Dennis Daley, making him the fourth starting left guard this season.

Kyler's 1st drive three-and-out

The Cardinals got the ball first but Murray was not able to lead the Cardinals to any first downs. He misfired on a throw to Hollywood Brown, James Conner had a one-yard run and Murray had to throw the ball away on third down after having run to avoid getting sacked.

Cardinals 3, Falcons 0

The Cardinals forced a three-and-out and then their offense was good. Trey McBride had a fantastic 19-yard catch and Murray had a 16-yard completion to Michael Wilson. However, a false start and then a holding penalty on center Hjalte Froholdt forced the Cardinals to kick a 51-yard field goal to take the lead.

Falcons 7, Cardinals 3

The Cardinals thought they had stopped the Falcons on third down but Dennis Gardeck was flagged for a questionable roughing the passer penalty. It extended the drive and the Falcons got a two-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Heinicke to Scotty Miller to finish a 12-play, 75-yard drive.

Falcons 7, Cardinals 6

Trey McBride had a 28-yard reception on the Cardinals’ next drive but Murray’s deep throw to the end zone to Marquise Brown was just a little too much on third-and-4 and the Cardinals’ scoring drive ended with a 46-yard field goal.

Falcons 14, Cardinals 6

A penalty on Starling Thomas extended the drive and Taylor Heinicke’s 16-yard scramble on third down set up Bijan Robinson’s five-yard touchdown run to make it 14-6.

Falcons 14, Cardinals 12

Kyler Murray rushed six yards for a touchdown but the Cardinals failed on the two-point conversion with 10 seconds left in the half to trail by two.

The drive was nine plays and went 75 yards. The drive was highlighted by a 28-yard pass play to Hollywood Brown.

Cardinals 15, Falcons 14

After halftime, the defense forced a three-and-out and the Cardinals took the lead on Matt Prater’s 56-yard field goal. Trey McBride had three big catches but consecutive holding calls and a drop by tight end Elijah Higgins made it third-and-30. Rondale Moore’s 12-yard catch got them into field-goal range.

Kyler Murray picked off!

After the Cardinals forced a punt, Kyler Murray’s first throw of the drive was picked off by linebacker Nate Landman and returned 25 yards down to the Arizona 14.

Kevin Strong gets hurt

On the second play after the interception, Strong had to be helped off the field with a lower-body injury.

Falcons 17, Cardinals 15

The Cardinals held on defense after the turnover with Dennis Gardeck picking up his fifth sack of the season on third down. Younghoe Koo made a 36-yard field goal to give the Falcons the lead again.

Big Greg Dortch punt return

The Cardinals forced another three-and-out and rookie linebacker BJ Ojulari picked up his second sack of the game. The ensuing punt went 59 yards and Dortch took it back 49 to the Atlanta 21.

Cardinals 22, Falcons 17


Three plays after the big punt return, Clayton Tune came in the game for a quarterback sneak for a one-yard touchdown.

Murray had a six-yard run and then had a 14-yard pass to Michael Wilson that looked like was a touchdown. It was overturned on review and Tune scored his first NFL touchdown on a “tush push” play.

Heinicke hurt

Taylor Heinicke exited the game with a hamstring injury.

Fourth-down stuff

Desmond Ridder was tackled short of the line to gain on fourth down when the Falcons were in field-goal range.

The Cardinals took over at their own 21.

Falcons 23, Cardinals 22

The Falcons took the lead on a Desmond Ridder nine-yard touchdown run. They were helped by a questionable pass interference call on Antonio Hamilton that put the ball in the red zone.

The two-point attempt was no good so the Cardinals were down one points with 2:33 left in the game.

Cardinals 25, Falcons 23

Kyler Murray picked up a game-winning drive. He threw a 34-yard pass to Trey McBride and then they played with the clock, setting up an 18-yard field goal that Matt Prater hit as time expired.

The Cardinals snapped their six-game losing streak.

Story originally appeared on Cards Wire