EditorsNote: tweaks “career-high” in lede; makes 2nd graf 2 sentences; two tweaks in 3rd graf; a few other minor changes
Rookie Kyler Murray passed for 340 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, and David Johnson had 102 yards of total offense while scoring on a catch and a run as the Arizona Cardinals won their second straight with a 34-33 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.
Murray completed a 14-yard TD pass to Johnson with 5:18 left to break a tie at 27. Matt Ryan’s 12-yard scoring pass to Devonta Freeman with 1:53 remaining put the Falcons in position to tie, but Matt Bryant pushed the extra point attempt wide left.
The Cardinals (2-3-1) blew a 17-point third-quarter lead before Murray guided them to their second straight game-winning, fourth-quarter drive. Murray ran for 5 yards on third-and-5 with 1:38 remaining after the Falcons (1-5) used all their timeouts, enabling the Cardinals to run out the clock.
Ryan completed 30 of 36 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns, Freeman had a season-high-tying 88 yards rushing and two touchdown grabs, and Calvin Ridley and Austin Hooper had scoring receptions for the Falcons, who have lost four in a row and fell to 1-5 for the first time 2007.
Ryan’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Hooper capped an 83-yard drive and tied the game at 27 with 10:50 remaining.
Chase Edmonds and Maxx Williams had touchdown catches for the Cardinals, who had 442 yards of total offense to Atlanta’s 444. The Falcons are giving up an average of 31 points per game and have allowed 87 points and 1,034 yards in their last two games.
Murray completed 27 of 37 passes and added 32 yards rushing. He entered the game as the first player in NFL history with at least 1,300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards in his first five games.
Ryan completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ridley on the Falcons’ first possession before the Cardinals scored 17 straight points on a 39-yard field goal by Zane Gonzalez, Murray’s 2-yard scoring pass to Edmonds and Johnson’s 1-yard run.
Bryant and Gonzalez traded field goals in the final two minutes of the half as the Cardinals took a 20-10 lead. Murray’s 20-yard scoring pass to Williams made it 27-10 before Bryant’s 44-yard field goal and Ryan’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Freeman cut the deficit to seven entering the fourth quarter.
—Field Level Media