NFL Week 4: Arizona Cardinals pick up much-needed win in Carolina

MATCHUP: Arizona Cardinals (1-2) at Carolina Panthers (1-2). KICKOFF: 1:05 p.m. Sunday, Bank of America Stadium. TV/RADIO: FOX.

The Arizona Cardinals got their offense going in the second half for a 26-16 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

The first half saw the Panthers creep to a 10-3 lead. From that point on, Arizona outscored Carolina 23-6.

Quarterback Kyler Murray accounted for all three of his team's touchdowns. He ran for one and threw for two more. He finished the game 23 of 32 passing for 207 yards. He did throw one interception. He added 27 yards on 11 carries.

Murray's counterpart on the Panthers, Baker Mayfield — who also happens to be a Heisman Trophy winner out of Oklahoma — had similar numbers. Mayfield was 22 of 36 for 197 yards one touchdown with two interceptions.

Murray completed passes to seven players with Zach Ertz and Marquise "Hollywood" Brown leading the way with six receptions and a touchdown each.

Ben Niemann recovered a fumble and Jalen Thompson and Dennis Gardeck intercepted passes for the Cardinals defense.

Still a game

The Carolina Panthers scored their first offensive touchdown of the game with 4:47 to play. The previous touchdown came off a returned interception.

The touchdown brought the Panthers to within 10, 26-16, after a failed two-point conversion attempt.

Baker Mayfield completed six passes on the drive, including the 13-yard toss to Christian McCafferty.

Make that 16 points

Kyler Murray completed a 23-yard pass to Marquise "Hollywood" Brown that put the Cardinals up 26-10 after a failed two-point conversion attempt.

Cardinals kicker Matt Prater left the game with a right hip injury and his return is questionable.

The drive of 31-yards began after the Panthers failed a fourth-down conversion attempt.

Arizona looks to get the ball at least once more. The Cardinals defense has tormented Panthers' quarterback Baker Mayfield. J.J. Watt has gotten his hand on three passes and made one sack.

Cardinals add to lead

Kyler Murray carried the ball 4 yards and gave the Arizona Cardinals a 20-10 lead with 10:26 to play against the Carolina Panthers.

The two-play drive was set up by an interception by Dennis Gardeck, who returned it 24 yards. J.J. Watt got an assist on the play when he deflected the pass by Baker Mayfield. The interception was the first in Gardeck's career.

With the touchdown, Murray now has 29 yards on nine carries.

The Panthers had the ball on their own 25 before the interception. The opened the possession with good field position after kicker Matt Prater was unable to handle the kickoff. Eno Benjamin kicked off in his place.

Benjamin also kicked off following the Murray touchdown. He is the first non-kicker to fill that role since Pat Tillman did so in 2001.

Mayfield is 15-for-25 for 107 yards, two interceptions and no touchdowns.

Cardinals take the lead

The Arizona Cardinals lead in regulation for the first time this season following a 39-yard field goal from Matt Prater.

The field goal, which put the Cardinals up 13-10 with 11:22 left in the game, could be see as a disappointment as Arizona had a first-and-goal at the Carolina 10 before a series of penalties and miscues. (More on that below.)

The Cardinals, who took their only previous lead of the season on the file play of their overtime victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, were the only team in the NFL which had not had the lead this season.

Dust up

Cardinals lineman Will Hernandez was ejected following a confrontation between players from the Arizona and Carolina squads.

Hernandez pushed an official in the back while coming to the defense of a teammate. Such contact with an official is an automatic disqualification.

The Cardinals were facing a first-and-goal at the Carolina 10 when James Conner carried the ball for 3 yards. The Panthers were flagged for unnecessary roughness and Hernandez rushed to step in on Conner's behalf.

Third quarter

The Arizona Cardinals are poised to take their first lead of the season. The fourth quarter begins with the Cardinals facing a second-and-5 at the Carolina 21.

The possession has seen Kyler Murray use his legs a bit with a pair of scrambles. The bulk of the work was done by Murray's arm as he completed passes to Hollywood Brown (16 yards), Greg Dortch (6 yards), and Trey McBride (11 yards).

Tie game

The second half got off to a slow start — reflective of the game overall.

The Carolina Panthers received the kickoff, but end up punting after three plays left them facing a fourth-and-14.

Arizona received the punt and after a penalty faced a first-and-15 at their 11. Arizona was able to pick up a new set of downs with a run by James Conner for 14 yards and a Murray scramble.

Arizona worked its way inside the Carolina 10 thanks to a pass interference call against the Panthers. A false start backed the Cardinals offense up, but didn't stop them. On third down, Murray found tight end Zach Ertz for the 2-yard touchdown. The point after tied the game at 10.

The touchdown was the second of the season for Ertz, who was making his 100 career NFL start.

The nine-play drive covered 89 yards.

At the half

The Carolina Panthers turned the ball over on their second consecutive possession.

This time, Jalen Thompson intercepted a Baker Mayfield pass and gave Arizona the ball on its on 18 with 1:05 left in the half.

Unlike the first turnover which the Cardinals turned into a field goal, the offense could do nothing after the interception. Despite having two timeouts remaining, Arizona gained just 8 yards on three plays in 44 seconds before punting.

Carolina didn't waste any time. The Panthers pushed the ball upfield with Mayfield completing a pair of passes to Tommy Tremble. With just a few second left in the half, they completed a pass to the sideline to pick up just enough to get in field goal range.

Eddy Pineiro's attempt from 54 yards (a career long) was good as time expired for a 10-3 lead at the half.

Turnover

The Arizona Cardinals benefit from the first turnover of the game.

Baker Mayfield fumbled a handoff and linebacker Ben Niemann recovered for the Cardinals. That put Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense on the field at their own 35 with 7 minutes left in the first half.

Hollywood Brown kept the offense on the field with a 16-yard reception along the sideline on third down. The catch moved the Cardinals to the Carolina 21. The drive stalled there and Arizona settled for a 33-yard field goal from Matt Prater.

Carolina leads 7-3 with 3:34 left in the half.

First strike

A Kyler Murray pass resulted in a touchdown for the Carolina Panthers.

Murray's pass was picked off by Frankie Luvu, who returned it 33 yards for a touchdown. The point after made it 7-0 Panthers.

Murray is 5-for-8 for 31 yards and the interception. He will get another chance with the Cardinals offense after the Carolina score.

The Arizona Cardinals, now trailing 7-0, have not led during regulation in any game this season.

First quarter

After 15 minutes, the Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals remain scoreless.

The teams have some serious scoring to do since the over/under for the game sat at 43.5 before kickoff.

The Arizona Cardinals have not scored in the first quarter of any game this season.

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Trading punts

After each team was unsuccessful with a fourth-down conversion attempt, the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers opted for punts the next time.

Carolina picked up 8 yards on three plays before punting. Arizona picked up just 4 yards before its punt. The end result was the Panthers beginning a drive at their own 21 with 5 minutes left in a scoreless first quarter.

Kicking it off

The Arizona Cardinals received the opening kickoff, but didn't make much progress on their possession, which was hampered by a penalty.

Arizona punted to the Panthers, who did no better.

After fumbling (and recovering) the punt, Carolina went to work, but came up short on a fourth-and-1 at their own 39. Christian McCaffrey, who got the carry, was held for no gain by Arizona middle linebacker Zaven Collins.

Eno Benjamin picked up a first down for the Cardinals with a 15-yard run before the team faced a fourth down of its own. One fourth-and-1 from the Carolina 10, Rondale Moore took a handoff, but was hit for a 4-yard loss.

The Panthers begin their second possession on their own 14.

Actives/inactives

Reach the reporter at emily.horos@azcentral.com or 602-444-2426. Follow her on Twitter @ejhoros.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: NFL Week 4: Cardinals vs. Panthers updates, analysis score