Arizona Cardinals overcome halftime deficit on the road, move to 3-0

The Jaguars’ historic day on special teams was not enough to derail the still-undefeated Cardinals


Joe Glorioso (All-Pro Reels)

Kyler Murray completed 28 passes for 316 yards and ran for a touchdown in Sunday’s win at Jacksonville.

The Arizona Cardinals entered week three of the 2021 NFL season looking for their first 3-0 start in six years.

Thanks to a big second half performance on both sides of the ball, the Cardinals were able to rally after a slow start to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 31-19 on Sunday. 

Arizona got the scoring going early, thanks to a one-yard touchdown run from quarterback Kyler Murray midway through the first quarter. Jaguars rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence responded, connecting with wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. on a 12-yard touchdown pass with 21 seconds left in the half. 

After a quick drive, Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury sent out kicker Matt Prater to attempt a 68-yard field goal to end the half. But the kick came up short, and Jacksonville’s Jamal Agnew brought it all the way back for a 109-yard touchdown — tied for the longest play in NFL history.

Matt Prater connected on a 34-yard field goal to make the score 13-10 midway through the third quarter, and Jaguars running back James Robinson extended his team’s lead with a rushing touchdown to make it 19-10. Kicker Josh Lambo missed his second consecutive extra point attempt, and Jacksonville would not score again.

The Cardinals closed the game with three unanswered touchdowns. Running back James Conner scored two, and a 29-yard interception return from cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. completed the scoring.  

Aside from his rushing score, Murray threw for 316 yards with an 82 percent completion rate and one interception. Veteran wide receiver A.J. Green had his first big game for the Cardinals, as he finished with 112 receiving yards from five catches. 

Linebacker Jordan Hicks led the Cardinals’ defense with 12 combined tackles and a sack. Cornerback Murphy came away with four tackles and two interceptions of Lawrence, including the crucial pick-six near the end of the third quarter. 

“(The pick-six) was huge, you could feel the momentum change on that play,” Kingsbury told reporters after the game. “We had our hands on balls earlier and we weren’t able to put them away and that really changed everything. I think everyone felt like we had it under control at that moment.” 

The Cardinals have not started 4-0 since 2012. They will look to carry their momentum into next Sunday’s game against the 3-0 Rams in Los Angeles. Kickoff is slated for 1:05 p.m. local time.