After six quarters of the 2022 season, the Arizona Cardinals looked dead in the water.
Trailing 20-0 at halftime of Sunday’s battle with the Las Vegas Raiders, the Cards offense couldn’t find any traction, generating just five first downs and 86 total yards with a Kyler Murray interception. And the defense couldn’t get off the field, allowing the Raiders to score on each of their first four possessions.
Then the Cards came to life in the second half. Murray created magic as Arizona stormed back to force overtime. In OT, corner Byron Murphy Jr. scooped up a Hunter Renfrow fumble and returned it for a game-winning score for the 29-23 victory.
“I had to take over,” Murray said, via the team’s official website. “That was my mindset.”
After halftime, Murray made plays with his arms and legs, generating 188 yards and a TD through the air and scampering five times for 28 yards and a TD on the ground. He also converted one two-point conversion with a long scramble and squeezed a ball to A.J. Green in the back of the end zone on a second two-point attempt to force OT.
The defense also showed up after halftime, allowing just 66 yards in the second half and overtime.
“We started playing a lot better. That’s what changed,” defensive end J.J. Watt said after his first game back from a calf injury. “A game like this tells you a lot about yourself. It tells you a lot about the guys in the room.”
It wasn’t pretty, but the Cardinals avoided a depressing 0-2 start to the season with their furious comeback.
“The numbers might not be great,” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said, “but we don’t care about numbers.”