Quarterback Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals rally to force overtime tie with Detroit Lions
By DAVID BRANDT
AP Sports Writer
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Kyler Murray had already produced a few storybook moments during his first game as an NFL quarterback and seemed on the verge of another in overtime. On third down, the Arizona Cardinals rookie bounced around for a moment and then fired a pass over the middle.
The ball smacked the hand of Lions linebacker Christian Jones.
It fell harmlessly to the turf.
To everyone’s disbelief, all that drama was about to end in a 27-27 tie with the Detroit Lions on Sunday. For the Cardinals, it almost felt like a win, considering how things started.
“I’ve never tied before,” Murray said. “It’s better than a loss, that’s all I can say.”
The Cardinals nearly finished an improbable comeback in the rookie’s debut, rallying from an 18-point deficit in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 24 in regulation.
They had two chances to win in extra time and so did the Lions, but all they could do was trade field goals.
“It’s like a participation trophy,” Arizona offensive lineman Justin Pugh said. “I want to throw it out.”
It was a strange ending to a thrilling game.
Arizona’s new-look offense under first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury was a dud for most of the afternoon before inexplicably coming alive in the fourth quarter. Murray hit David Johnson for a 27-yard touchdown to pull the Cardinals within 24-16 with less than six minutes remaining.
After the defense stopped the Lions, the top overall draft pick was at it again, leading a nine-play, 60-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown throw to Larry Fitzgerald. Murray found Christian Kirk for a 2-point conversion to tie it with 43 seconds remaining.
Murray was 15 of 19 for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Overall, he was 29 of 54 for 308 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Detroit had one final chance to drive for the win with 1:10 left in overtime, but it didn’t go anywhere.
The Lions were in control until midway through the fourth, leading 17-0 during the second quarter and 17-3 at halftime.
Matthew Stafford threw for 385 yards and three TDs for the Lions, but couldn’t put together drives late to stop Arizona’s momentum.
“For us, we got to stay focused all the way though,” Detroit coach Matt Patricia said. “I have to coach it better.”