Arizona Cardinals ‘Hail Murray’ for the win, again
The Arizona Cardinals won once already with the ‘Hail Murray’ in November, defeating the eventual AFC East Champion Buffalo Bills 32-30. Quarterback Kyler Murray’s heave to the end zone was miraculously caught by receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
The catch was all anyone could talk about the Monday after the game and for much of the week. People couldn’t decide which was better, the throw by Murray to escape Buffalo defenders while throwing against his body off balance or the fact Hopkins caught the ball among three Bills defenders?
Well on Saturday night at the annual NFL Honors event, the play was named the 2020 Bridgestone Clutch Performance Play of the Year. Apparently earlier in the week people still thought it was the second-best play of the year.
The right call was made here. There was no better play in the NFL this season. Hail Mary’s are always exciting to begin with. However this was in a whole other category.
The pure athleticism involved in the play was amazing. Not only did Murray throw against his body, once he threw it, he was turned around and had to watch the result of the play on the opposite side screen, his back turned to the ball by the time Hopkins caught it.
The play will forever be enshrined in the Cardinals franchise highlight reel. That play also probably helped keep the Cardinals in the playoff race until week 17 as they proceeded to lose their next 3 games after. A loss to the Bills puts the Cardinals at 5-4 instead of 6-3 and the Cardinals are out of the playoff picture in weeks 16 and 17.
The game seemingly was over with 34 seconds remaining after Bills quarterback Josh Allen hit receiver Stefon Diggs for a go-ahead touchdown. The Bills lead was 30-26.
In three plays Murray got the Cardinals from their own 25-yard line to the Bills 43-yard line. Then the magic play happened. The rest was history.