Kyler Murray’s fumble costly in Cards’ high-scoring 1st half vs. Miami
A three-and-out by the Miami Dolphins offense to start the game was quite the fakeout for what the Arizona Cardinals’ matchup would eventually become.
Once Kyler Murray fumbled on Arizona’s opening drive, a fumble that was returned 36 yards by the Dolphins’ Shaq Lawson for a touchdown, it was a high-tempo affair that saw the Cardinals trailing 24-17 at the half.
On the Dolphins’ next two drives, the Cardinals’ injury-depleted secondary and penalties killed them, and Miami took advantage. With rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa settling in, the Dolphins went on back-to-back touchdown drives of 75 and 80 yards.
Fortunately, Murray and the Cardinals offense were there to respond each time. It followed the fumble with two consecutive 75-yard touchdown drives of its own, the second of which included a 56-yard strike from Murray to wide receiver Christian Kirk for a score.
After the five straight touchdowns scored, Arizona’s drive in the mid-second quarter stalled out to a 37-yard field goal by Zane Gonzalez near the red zone.
The streak of six scoring possessions in a row was halted by the Cardinals defense late in the first half, after an intentional grounding penalty by Tagovailoa and a sack by Arizona’s Josh Mauro forced the game’s first punt in over 26 in-game minutes since that three-and-out.
After Arizona also punted due to a brainfart by wideout Andy Isabella running behind the first-down marker, Miami was able to manufacture a field goal to close out the opening 30 minutes.
The Cardinals offense was certainly clicking. Despite the turnover and defensive touchdown for Miami, Murray had 151 yards passing and two touchdowns on 11-of-14 passing. The second-year quarterback also rushed five times for 52 yards, with the Dolphins frequently blitzing and Murray having lanes to the outside if he was able to escape the pocket.
Arizona, however, couldn’t get the running game going through Chase Edmonds. The running back starting in place of the injured Kenyan Drake had 12 carries for just 32 yards in the first half.