Sunday's 29-23 win was never pretty, but no less emotional for the Arizona Cardinals.
Once down 20-0 on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders, the Cardinals recovered from a brutal offensive start to force overtime on the final play of regulation, then pulled a win out of nowhere in overtime.
Arizona opened overtime with the ball and crossed into Raiders territory, but a possibly ill-advised pass from Kyler Murray to Marquise Brown on fourth-and-1 led to a turnover on downs after the deep throw got knocked out of Brown's hand.
The Raiders took over and ran into even more nonsense when Hunter Renfrow fumbled after a catch from a Derek Carr pass. Fortunately for Las Vegas, the ball bounced forward and actually put the Raiders around field-goal territory when they recovered it. Unfortunately for Vegas, Renfrow had one more fumble in him.
Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons, Renfrow's college teammate at Clemson, hit the receiver hard, forced the fumble, then watched cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. run the ball back 59 yards for the win.
— NFL (@NFL) September 18, 2022
The end of the game was delayed for a few minutes as the officials appeared to review whether or not Murphy had pulled a DeSean Jackson and dropped the ball before entering the end zone. Further replay showed Murphy had not ... but it was close enough to be a lesson learned.
Kyler Murray led an incredible comeback
The Cardinals didn't score until midway through the third quarter, but Murray had woken up by that point. The recently paid quarterback got the ball with his team down 23-7 and led two consecutive touchdown drives and accompanying two-point conversions.
The first conversion was a miracle in itself, as Murray was pressured about 2 seconds in the play, but scrambled and scrambled and scrambled until the Raiders finally left a hole open for him to run in the score.
Per Next Gen Stats, Murray ran 84.9 yards before finding the end zone:
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) September 18, 2022
Before that first touchdown drive, Murray was 8-for-15 for 55 yards and an interception. Over the final quarter and a half plus overtime, he was 23-for-35 for 222 yards and a touchdown, and could have had even more had Brown held onto that fourth-down throw.
This was absolutely a game the Cardinals should have lost. Their offense was in a shambles for the vast majority of it, then they needed to cross the end zone four times to just tie the game. There were multiple times when the Raiders could have put the game away, but they squandered them.
Instead, the game ended in just about the oddest way possible. Such is life in this season of the NFL.