Kyler Murray wakes up Cardinals offense in OT tie with Lions

Sep 8, 2019, 5:26 PM | Updated: 9:02 pm
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray throws during the second half of an NFL football game ag...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray throws during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)
(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — You could hear a wheezing Air Raid siren.

Then, just in time, it began blaring.

The Arizona Cardinals had 100 total yards entering the fourth quarter of their season opener and trailed the Detroit Lions, 17-6. Arizona scored 18 fourth-quarter points, tying the game at 24-all before driving quickly with the first overtime possession for a field goal to take a 27-24 lead.

Detroit answered with its own drive but stalled. The Lions tied it when Matt Prater hit a 33-yard field goal after Arizona’s Tramaine Brock knocked down a third-down deep ball intended for Kenny Golladay in the end zone.

And after Arizona’s ensuing overtime drive died at the Lions 46-yard line, the Cardinals elected to punt with a minute left, and stuck deep in their own territory, Detroit was unable to score, preserving a 27-27 tie.

Kyler Murray, the Cardinals’ No. 1 pick, completed 15 of 19 passes for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth period, forcing overtime. In it, he went 5-of-10 for 84 yards , 45 of which came on a deep strike to Larry Fitzgerald on the field possession.

Murray finished 29-of-54 for 308 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Before all that, first-year Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offense looked like it’d hardly get off the ground Sunday.

It went into full launch mode in the fourth quarter, spreading the field out and working quickly when it counted most.

But the 2019 opener began looking hardly pretty for Arizona, with Cardinals guard J.R. Sweezy trying to jump over rookie quarterback Kyler Murray in the first quarter and then clobbering him to the ground instead. Nervous passes, indecision and poor separation by receivers bit the No. 1 pick and the Arizona offense for the first three quarters at State Farm Stadium.

Then, in the fourth quarter, came a spiral by the Lions, including a blocked punt by Arizona’s Dennis Gardeck and a pre-snap timeout by Detroit head coach Matt Patricia, which blew dead a third-down conversion that looked like a breakdown in the Cardinals in coverage.

A 41-yard ball to Fitzgerald early in the fourth quarter amounted for the offensive excitement on the day to that point, but while the possession ended in only a field goal, it wasn’t a flash in the pan.

The Cardinals rolled out 194 yards — 154 via Murray’s arm — in the fourth quarter alone, tying the game with 43 seconds left on a pass to Fitzgerald and a two-point conversion to Christian Kirk.

Fitzgerald was a key piece of the comeback as well, turning into a deep-ball threat. He finished with eight catches for 113 yards and a touchdown.

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