Raiders vs. Cardinals score: Fumble return in OT caps historic comeback as Arizona overcomes 20-point deficit

The Arizona Cardinals were heading to an 0-2 start and left for dead in the crazy NFC West. Instead, they turned that fortune over to the Las Vegas Raiders — rallying from a 20-point second half deficit to stun Vegas in overtime Sunday.

Byron Murphy capped off the incredible comeback with 59-yard fumble return for a touchdown with 3:51 left in overtime to steal the victory. The Raiders were driving at the Cardinals’ 41-yard line and needing just a field goal to win before Isaiah Simmons forced a fumble off Hunter Renfrow that led to the scoop and score from Murphy.

The Raiders led 20-0 in this game at halftime. The 20-point blown lead is the largest in franchise history. Las Vegas led 23-7 in the fourth quarter before Kyler Murray willed the Cardinals on his back. Murray had a 3-yard touchdown run with no time left on the clock to force overtime, then threw an incredible pass to AJ Green on the two-point conversion attempt to force overtime.

The Cardinals got the ball first in overtime, but Marquise Brown dropped a fourth down reception on a hit from Duron Harmon that would have set up Arizona in the red zone. The Raiders only needed a field goal to seal the win, but Renfrow fumbled in Daniel Carlson’s expected range that led to the Murphy touchdown.

Teams were 2-149 last season trailing by 13-plus points in the fourth quarter, but the Cardinals were able to pull it off. Murray finished 31 of 49 for 277 yards with a touchdown and interception while having five carries for 28 yards and a score. Derek Carr finished 25 of 39 for 252 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

Why the Cardinals won

Give all the credit in the world to Murray, who took a dormant Cardinals offense on his back and led it to victory. Murray had 252 yards in the second half and overtime to bring the Cardinals back, totaling two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) and running and throwing for a two-point conversion (both of which came in the fourth quarter).

Murray put up video game numbers and plays to get the Cardinals back in the game, even though he didn’t make the game-winning play himself. The Cardinals got to overtime because of what Murray did.

Why the Raiders lost

Vegas got conservative on offense in the final quarter, running just eight plays for 14 yards and keeping the tired defense on the field while Murray was running circles around them and bringing the Cardinals’ offense back. The Raiders didn’t trust Carr enough to keep drives sustainable and didn’t get the ball into Davante Adams’ hands enough.

On top of the inconsistency on offense, Murray evaded Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby several times and extended plays against a secondary that couldn’t finish off a play. That’s how the Cardinals erased a 20-0 deficit.

Turning point

With Arizona trailing 23-13 in the fourth quarter, Murray bought enough time on a two-point conversion that seemed impossible to run in. Yet Murray found a way as he backpedaled all the way to the 20-yard line and had a 20.8-second pocket to eventually elude multiple Raiders defenders and run the ball in for the conversion to cut the Raiders’ lead to 23-15.

The play was wildly entertaining and showed the difference maker Murray is when he’s on the field. That run kept the Cardinals in the ball game midway through the fourth quarter — and eventually played a significant role in the comeback victory. Without that play by Murray, Arizona doesn’t have a chance.

The quote

“There were so many do-or-die plays, I lost count.” — Kliff Kingsbury after the game describing the Cardinals’ second-half comeback (via Darren Urban of the Cardinals website).

Play of the Game

Obviously, Murphy’s game-ending fumble recovery for the touchdown takes the cake here. Simmons forced the fumble on Renfrow that led to Murphy picking up the ball and taking it the other way for the 59-yard touchdown.

Murphy almost didn’t make it to the end zone as he appeared to lose control of the ball, but the play wasn’t overturned. Cardinals capped off the comeback after appearing dead in the water several times throughout the game.

Up next

The Raiders (0-2) travel to Nashville to face the Tennessee Titans (0-1) next Sunday at 1 pm ET. The Cardinals (1-1) play host to the Los Angeles Rams (1-1) next Sunday at 4:25 pm ET.

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