Cardinals WR J.J. Nelson jets past Dolphins for 56-yard touchdown

Dec 11, 2016, 11:48 AM | Updated: 4:00 pm

The offense was moving when bad luck cut into early success.

On the first drive of the game, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer’s pass tipped off Larry Fitzgerald’s fingers and was intercepted by the Miami Dolphins. Quickly, the Dolphins scored to go ahead 7-0 with 9:29 left in the first quarter Sunday, and it was on Arizona to reclaim momentum.

That the Cardinals did early with the legs and late with the hands of J.J. Nelson.

The third play of their second possession saw Palmer hand the ball off to the speedy second-year wide receiver, who looped along the right side of the field and made one decisive cut to head upfield and blow past the rest of Miami’s secondary for a touchdown.

Arizona would trail 7-6 after kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed the ensuing extra point, and the score would hold through the first quarter of a game that saw the Cardinals commit three turnovers and the Dolphins add two more as a steady rain made for less-than-ideal playing conditions.

As Arizona rallied from 21-9 down, Nelson’s 8-yard touchdown catch with 3:01 left in the fourth quarter brought the Cardinals within 23-21 before a successful two-point conversion tied it up.

Nelson entered the game with just three rushing attempts for 27 yards. He has 315 receiving yards on the year and is coming off a big performance against the Washington Redskins — Nelson caught a deep ball from Palmer that gave the Cardinals an eight-point lead that would be enough for Arizona to hold off Washington 31-23.

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