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Cardinals shine early, fall to Raiders on last-second field goal

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Early, it looked like the Arizona Cardinals were set to break out against the worst team record-wise in the NFL.

Then they went into hibernation until running back David Johnson busted them out of a slump, setting up a come-from-behind, 21-20 lead on the Oakland Raiders that looked like it would hold.

It didn’t.

Oakland used a nine-play, 63-yard drive in 1:53 to set up a 35-yard Daniel Carlson field goal at the buzzer as Arizona fell 23-21 Sunday at State Farm Stadium.

With the Cardinals trailing 20-14 midway through the fourth quarter, Johnson busted a 53-yard run from the Arizona 30-yard line, setting up the second touchdown pass of the day from quarterback Josh Rosen to Larry Fitzgerald that gave Arizona the one-point lead with 5:02 to play.

Arizona got two defensive stops from there. It didn’t get the needed third.

Johnson finished with 100-plus total yards for the third time in three games under offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich, rushing 25 times for 137 yards and hauling in a 17-yard reception.

It was a boom-or-bust game for the Arizona offense. It led 14-7 after the first quarter before accumulating 46 net yards and three first downs in the second and third quarters combined.

Meanwhile, Oakland’s first two scores of Sunday came on short fields off turnovers.

Minutes into the game, a lofting pass into no-man’s land by Rosen turned into a pick, and from that, a bite by Cardinals cornerback Jamar Taylor in coverage against Raiders tight end Jared Cook allowed Oakland to take a 7-0 lead at the 12:36 mark of the first quarter.

Arizona responded with a nine-play, 64-yard drive that included seven rushing plays and ended with an 18-yard pass from Rosen to Fitzgerald to tie the game with 6:14 left in the first.

Scoring the Cardinals’ second touchdown, receiver Christian Kirk broke a tackle on a screen pass out of an empty-set and broke loose for a 59-yard touchdown on the final drive of the first quarter, giving Arizona a 14-7 lead with 16 seconds left in the period. Then came the two-quarter-plus dry spell.

The Raiders tied the game by feasting upon another Arizona interception. A tipped Rosen pass turned into an interception at midfield, and Oakland drove 50 yards in just under four minutes to tie the game, 14-all, at the 8:20 mark in the second quarter.

And to set up the Arizona defense, a key defensive stop kept the Raiders’ lead from becoming 10 points.

Seven Raiders plays of a 12-play, 64-yard drive toward the end of the third quarter came inside the Arizona 10-yard line, but the Cardinals held, forcing a field goal that made it a 20-14 Oakland lead heading to the fourth quarter.

The Cardinals offense would get back into the end zone in the final quarter with Fitzgerald’s second score of the day to take the 21-20 lead, but the defense would not be able to hold the Raiders for the final 1:53 as Oakland hit the game-winning field goal to take home the 23-21 win.

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The Cardinals will travel to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers.

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