The Arizona Cardinals were the recipients of some favorable calls and good fortune during their triumph this past weekend
On several occasions this past Sunday, a victory for the Arizona Cardinals was hanging in the balance. When the smoke cleared, Kliff Kingsbury‘s crew had defeated the Atlanta Falcons by the slimmest of margins. If any one of several calls had gone against the club, however, the Cards 34-33 triumph may not have come to fruition.
The first stroke of good luck for Arizona occurred on the first play of the second quarter. Wide receiver Damiere Byrd appeared to lose control of a 58-yard pass that had set the offense up at the Atlanta one-yard line. The play was challenged, the reception was somehow upheld, and Chase Edmonds would find the end zone on a passing play three plays later.
With 7:27 to play in the fourth quarter, a 35-yard punt by the Falcons’ Kasey Redfern appeared to strike the foot of kick returner Pharoh Cooper. Fortunately for the Cardinals, Atlanta’s Sharrod Neasman was penalized for fair catch interference. After avoiding what could’ve been a disaster, the Cards would capitalize by scoring the go-ahead touchdown just two minutes later.
The next bit of good fortune took place with less than two minutes to go in regulation. Things were looking grim for Arizona after the Falcons had climbed to within a point of them following a Devonta Freeman score. But luck was once again on the Cardinals side when placekicker Matt Bryant botched the game-tying extra point.
Then, with just 1:45 left, the Cards were faced with a crucial third down and five from their own 30 yard line. Quarterback Kyler Murray took off running, and appeared to come up inches short of the first-down marker near the sideline. The play review went in Arizona’s favor, however, and the team emerged victorious after running out the remaining time on the clock.
Kingsbury told his players following the contest that “the ball did not bounce our way” during the first month. Anyone who watched the Cardinals prevail this past weekend may feel that the tide has turned for the organization. If it has, then the final 10 games of 2019 could be a joy for the Cards and their fans alike.