Arizona Cardinals tie Detroit Lions 27-27 in season opener


Jesse Tannous

State Farm Stadium in Glendale, AZ

Adin Vilasevic, Reporter

A new Arizona Cardinal’s era began on Sunday at State Farm Stadium against the visiting Detroit Lions ending with a rare NFL tie 27-27.

This first one didn’t come easy for the Cardinals.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s up-tempo offense wasn’t working and the No.1 overall draft pick, Kyler Murray, struggled by completing only 6 of his 16 attempts for 41 yards in the first half.

The Cardinals were down 24-6 in the fourth quarter when Murray started to demonstrate the talent that won him the Heisman and threw the very first touchdown of his career to running back David Johnson to boost Arizona to 24-16 with six minutes left to go in the game’s final quarter.

Bob McManaman, of talked about Murray’s second half performance.

I thought he eventually settled in and got comfortable once he got on the same page with Kingsbury. Looked like a totally different QB in the fourth quarter. Lions helped him out by playing a little soft defensively and because they looked a little winded,” McManaman said.

But the Cardinals got more than a little help from a winded Lions defense when Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford appeared to put the game on ice with a first down conversion on third down before shockingly, Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, called a timeout before the snap and ultimately led to a third-down stop by the defense with 2:40 left to go.

Arizona’s special teams came through with linebacker Dennis Gardeck getting his hand up and blocking a Sam Martin punt.

This set the Cardinals up on their 40-yard line.

After a couple of great throws, the Cardinals were at a first and goal on the 4-yard line.

The ball would eventually find 16-year veteran Larry Fitzgerald playing in his 235th career game. Fitzgerald scored and cut the lead down to 2.

The two-point conversion was successful, and the game was tied at 24 going into overtime.

Cardinals won the toss and scored a field goal on the first possession of OT.

Detroit came out on offense and kicked a field goal to tie it up once again.

With seven seconds to go, Tremaine Brock Sr. dropped the potential play of the game with an interception that would have set the Cardinals up in prime field goal range.

The final, 27-27.

“Thought the defense woke up when the offense finally showed it wasn’t going to keep getting pushed around. Safeties played really well, and two new starting corners held their own about as well as could be expected. Thought the pass rush was just OK. Loved the play of middle linebacker Jordan Hicks though, “said Arizona Republic sports writer McManaman. 

Cardinals go on the road next week to battle Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens are coming off a 59-10 victory over the Dolphins.