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Arizona Cardinals offense sparks to life early against Carolina Panthers

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) warms up prior to an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Through the first two games of the season, the Arizona Cardinals offense took time to get going, but that wasn’t the case Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Chandler Jones stripped the ball out of Kyle Allen’s hands to stop the Panthers’ first drive of the game.

When the Cardinals took over, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray led the offense 74 yards on 14 plays to put Arizona on the board first.

Murray flexed his legs on the drive, running the ball on three possessions for 28 yards.

Through his first two games, he had just six carries for 17 yards.

Once the Cardinals were within the 10-yard line, Murray dumped off a pass to Christian Kirk for four yards. Then, he gave it to David Johnson for another three yards.

With the offense knocking on the door, Murray found the end zone the earliest he has all season when he connected to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald for a touchdown.

At the end of the first quarter, Murray was 7-of-8 for 28 yards.

“I felt like we did a good job of mixing it up,” Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury told 98.7 FM Arizona Sports Station’s Paul Calvisi postgame. “Once we got behind is when we struggled, and we got to keep from being one dimensional.”

Despite another drive into the red zone before halftime, the Cardinals had to settle for a 34-yard field goal from Zane Gonzalez to take a 10-7 lead, but the Panthers answered with a 52-yard touchdown run by wide receiver DJ Moore to take a 14-10 lead.

Murray finished the day completing 30-of-43 passes for 173 yards. He had two touchdowns and threw two interceptions.

The Cardinals went on to lose 38-20.

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