A Debut for the Ages
Cardinals move to 1-0 after an incredible opener against Detroit
After a 2-2 preseason, a long offseason, and an arduous training camp, it’s finally time for the regular season, and what an absolutely heart stopping way to kick it off. The Arizona Cardinals sit at 1-0 after a 37-36 victory over the Detroit Lions in Arizona, after a fantastic debut from rookie quarterback Kyler Murray, and a spirited performance from a defense many have counted out.
The first quarter was one of feeling each other out, as teams do to begin a season. Rocky first drive from the Cardinals, and the Lions responded with one of their own. Through the first half, the Cardinals defense was terrific, holding the Lions to 3 total points. The Cardinals scored their first touchdown of the season on a David Johnson run, then blocked a field goal to end the half, and D.J. Swearinger returned it for a score.
The second half got wild, most notably the fourth quarter – between the Lions and Cardinals, there were 42 points scored. Kyler Murray accounted for 3 touchdown passes (all in the 4th quarter) and 454 total yards, leading the Cardinals on back to back drives to take the lead in the ball game.
With two minutes to play in the game, Matthew Stafford fired into double coverage, and the ball ricocheted to a wide open Kenny Golladay, who walked into the endzone….then the Matt Prater extra point was shanked, giving the Cardinals a 37-36 victory. Special teams blunders aside, the Cardinals victory was due to the play of their superstar young quarterback.
‘I’m so proud of him, we unleashed the playbook to him and he responded with the best football we’ve seen him play. Those extra hours in film study, on the field, they paid their dividends today. I couldn’t be happier coaching Kyler.’
-Coach Adelmann on the play of his quarterback
Defensively, the group allowed 33 points in the second half – an eye-popping number, but showed flashes of some strengths they have. They limited the Lions to just 61 yards rushing on 17 carries, 40% on 3rd down conversions, and had two takeaways (including a Byron Murphy interception). The run defense is going to be a strength of this unit, and the pass defense needs some work.
The Cardinals are 1-0, and now travel to Baltimore next week for the first road contest of the season, as Murray will meet Lamar Jackson.