Had Murray – who finished 20-of-30 for 214 yards, a touchdown and an interception, along with 51 yards rushing and a score – and the offense been able to carry over its first possession, all would have been perfect.
Murray launched a perfect 48-yard touchdown bomb to Rondale Moore on the game’s first drive, and the crowd was quickly silenced. But the Cards only had three more first-half points, and with the defense playing the way it was, that was trouble.
But Murray weaved his way into the end zone on fourth-and-goal from just outside the 1 in the third quarter, the deficit was trimmed to five, and Stroud was looking human.
“Any stadium, any team, you know you have a chance (with Kyler),” Humphries said.
And indeed, that’s what it looked like would happen, even after the first two fourth-down fails. The Cardinals had the ball at the Houston 29 with a first down and two minutes to go in the game. But a pass to running back James Conner lost five yards, and after a seven-yard pass to tight end Geoff Swaim, two passes to Hollywood Brown were incomplete.
“You can see what you can be,” Swaim said. “We have to consistently be who we are.”
Coach Jonathan Gannon praised his team for going “toe-to-toe” with an opponent who would be in the playoffs right now. Stroud finished with 336 yards passing, and Texans running back Devin Singletary had 112 rushing, but the success was muted by Stroud’s turnovers.
“(DC) Nick (Rallis) called it a little differently, the players executed a little better,” Gannon said. “Thise three turnovers got us back in the game.”
The belief, Gannon said, has been there. It was there before Murray returned and it hasn’t changed.
But Murray was hurting, and his wide receivers sat staring into space after the game.
“There are no moral victories,” Murray said. “This one is going to sting.”
Darren Urban www.azcardinals.com
2023-11-19 22:17:00 , News