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Murray and 2nd half defense help Cards keep spotless record

Kyler Murray and the Cardinals defense are now 2-0 after Sunday's victory over the Vikings.
Credit: AP
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws against the Minnesota Vikings during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday by one point in their home opener for the 2020-21 season, 34-33.

The Sunday victory comes as a result of the Cardinals' second-half defense, franchise player Kyler Murray and a little bit of good juju favoring the Cards when Vikings kicker Greg Joseph missed a 37-yard field goal at the end of the game.

Kyler Murray 


Murray set team records multiple times as he targeted A.J. Green, Maxx Williams and rookie receiver Rondale Moore, and they didn't fail him. 

Murray had a 77-yard TD pass to Moore -- one of seven receptions adding to a career-high of 114 yards -- and it was his third touchdown pass of 75+ yards in his career. Only three players in franchise history have had more TD passes of 75+ yards, according to the Arizona Cardinals' game notes.

Combining both weeks one and two performances (4 passing TDs, 1 rushing TD), Murray became the first player in the NFL with at least three passing TDs and a rushing TD in each of the first two games of a season, according to the Cardinals.

Since 2019, when Murray entered the NFL, no player has had more games with both a passing and a rushing TD. Murray and Tom Brady (Tampa Bay) are tied for the NFL lead with nine total TDs, passing and rushing.

At the end of the game, Murray completed 29 of 36 pass attempts for 400 yards, three TDs and a passer rating of 117.6, according to the Cardinals.

Defense

The Cardinals defense held firm in the second half and only allowed 10 points after allowing an offense led by Kirk Cousins to put up 23 points.

The Cards' defense also cut the total yards given up in half during the third and fourth quarters. The first half consisted of the Cardinals giving up 292 yards, whereas in the second half they only allowed 127.

The Cardinals are now 2-0 in the regular season and will play again on Sept. 26 at 10 a.m. versus the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. 

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