Fri, 27 Nov 2020

Cardinals Work Overtime To Topple Seahawks

Arizona Cardinals
26 Oct 2020, 18:03 GMT+10

Another 'Sunday Night Football' classic results in 37-34 win Darren Urban

NBC moved the Cardinals-Seahawks game to "Sunday Night Football" out of necessity, but they got a show they never could've imagined.

A near 100-yard interception return by Budda Baker instead becoming an internet sensation because Baker was chased down by DK Metcalf. Russell Wilson throwing perfect touchdown bombs, but the Cardinals also doubling the Seahawks quarterback's season interception total. Kyler Murray looking every bit the NFL rising star with 427 yards of total offense, accounting for four touchdowns.

There was a 10-point rally by the Cardinals in the last three minutes of regulation. Overtime. A missed field goal and a game-saving interception by little-used rookie Isaiah Simmons.

And there was an unlikely Cardinals' win headed into the bye, 37-34, at State Farm Stadium, in a game they never led until Zane Gonzalez' 48-yard field goal went through the uprights with20 seconds left in the extra period.

"I don't think I've ever been part of a game like that," Murray said. "That was a crazy game."

It was the first time the Cardinals (5-2) had beaten the Seahawks (5-1) in Arizona since Wilson's rookie season of 2012, and there was a cost. Among a handful of injuries was running back Kenyan Drake, who was seen on the broadcast crying after coming off the field and was carted to the locker room with an ankle injury.

But the way the Cards managed to rally despite multiple moments where it seemed like the Seattle-in-Arizona dominance would continue speaks to the improvements the team has made under coach Kliff Kingsbury.

"You know Seattle is going to be playing in January," running back Chase Edmonds said. "Everyone knows they are going to be in the playoff hunt. This is that type of games where you really find out, 'How real are we?' "

The reality is that Edmonds, if he has to step in for Drake, is ready - his 87 yards on seven catches and another 58 on five runs crucial, especially in the waning moments of regulation and in overtime. Murray is certainly real, completing 34-of-48 passes for 360 yards and three touchdowns. (He had a bad interception, giving the ball away after Patrick Peterson had just picked off Wilson, but it was his lone mistake of the night.)

DeAndre Hopkins had a 10-catch, 103-yard, one-score game that seemed quiet when it was all said and done, and Larry Fitzgerald grabbed the 1,400th reception of his career en route to his season-best eight catches.

Offense wasn't going to be an issue. It was holding back the Seahawks' offense. Wilson was great (388 yards, another 84 rushing), but that's where the interceptions came in.

"It's about takeaways because they'll get their yards," Kingsbury said.

Baker's pick stopped what was a sure touchdown drive, and Peterson's too prevented points.

Still, Seattle wide receiver Tyler Lockett had a career-day (15 catches, 200 yards, three scores) and the last of his touchdowns seemed to end Cardinals' hopes, a fourth-down toe-drag in the back of the end zone.

First, Murray executed a touchdown drive - extended only after a Seattle penalty negated a Gonzalez field goal and gave the Cardinals a first down - with a touchdown pass to Christian Kirk with 2:28 left. And incredibly, the Seahawks never could score again.

The defense forced a punt to allow Murray, starting from his own 20, to engineer a field-goal drive in 52 seconds. Gonzalez drilled a 44-yard field goal at the end of regulation to tie the game.

Another stop to begin overtime set the Cardinals up perfectly. But Kingsbury decided to have Gonzalez try a 41-yard field goal on second down, and then iced his own kicker with a timeout with the play clock winding down. Gonzalez missed left.

"It was pretty bad," Kingsbury said. "Pretty much a complete debacle. Luckily those guys bailed us out. I got conservative. ... About as bad of a coaching job as possible by me."

It could've been a killer - until Simmons, who played all of five defensive snaps, picked off Wilson for a third time, equaling the number of interceptions Wilson had in the first five games.

"I told him before the game, 'This might be the game where you break that seal,' " Peterson said. "And I'll be doggoned, he made that play."

Added Edmonds, "I was in disbelief when Isaiah got that pick."

This time, the Cardinals didn't waste the chance, and Gonzalez capitalized.

"We usually win games like this," Wilson said. "That's the reality. We usually win these close matchups. We've done it for years."

This time, it was the Cardinals that made the miracles happen.

"These are the games you honestly dream about," Murray said. "To be part of these, you've got to win and keep winning."

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