The Arizona Cardinals win back to back games for the first time since the last two weeks of the 2017 season, beating the Atlanta Falcons 34-33.
The Cardinals had the Falcons numbers to start the game off, leading by as much as 17 at one point. Though the Cardinals took their foot off the gas and allowed the Falcons to come back, the Cardinals went back to business when the game was tied 27-27 and immediately scored the game winning touchdown. The Falcons countered with their own touchdown but a missed extra point from kicker Matt Bryant and a run by rookie sensation Kyler Murray sealed the Cardinals win.
There’s a lot fans and the team could be upset about and if the Cardinals lost, this is a completely different article. Yet that’s the thing, the Cardinals won. The team showed a lot of guts and character after allowing the Falcons to crawl back into this game. It takes a mentally tough team to recover from a blown lead and take control of the situation.
A lot of that goes to Murray, who torched the Falcons’ secondary for 340 yards passing, three touchdowns and key runs that extended drives. He looked like a man possessed throughout the game and even when the Falcons tied it, he didn’t get nervous. He quickly led the team down for a touchdown, making one of the best throws I’ve ever seen.
On perhaps the biggest play of the game, the Cardinals faced a 3rd and five with less than two minutes remaining. Murray was called on to get the first down. On a naked bootleg, Murray showed his speed and ability by picking up the first down to nail the game away. The team has struggled throughout the season, but Murray has shown himself to be the superstar you’d expect from the first overall pick.
Now this isn’t to say the team had no flaws. The Cardinals defense allowed the Falcons to put up 17 unanswered point in the second half. In those three scoring drives, the Falcons had drives of 49 yards, 93 yards and 83 yards, giving up numerous third downs and allowing the Falcons to stay in. The defense couldn’t collect a turnover, the pass rush rarely got to quarterback Matt Ryan and the secondary got torched against the pass, specifically the tight end, once again.
Atlanta had every reason to win this game but they didn’t. The Cardinals, thanks to clutch plays by the offense and a missed extra point, were able to run the clock and secure the win. The team has won two in a row and have a lot of momentum coming into next week’s road game against the New York Giants. The best news is that all-pro cornerback Patrick Peterson is finally returning this week after serving his six game suspension. The secondary has been an issue for the team these last six games but with the return of Peterson, it will stabilize itself. Peterson’s presence forced offenses to look away from him and if they try him, he could end up with a pick.
The Cardinals started the season 0-3-1 and people were wondering if the team made a mistake with their offseason decisions. Though the Cardinals have beaten two teams with one win in-between them, they’re still wins and Cardinals are on a two-game winning streak. They shouldn’t question how they won and focus on taking advantage of the momentum they have right now.