The Arizona Cardinals, despite a disappointing 8-8 finish, were responsible for a few of the NFL’s most exciting moments of last fall’s schedule. Players like Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and Budda Baker provided fans with some outstanding play throughout what was an incredibly strange season. The coronavirus certainly made it’s presence known, but even COVID-19 was unable to prevent the league from giving it’s followers five glorious months of professional football.
Faced with the challenge of coming up with some interesting offseason programming, the NFL Network has elected to assemble the 10 greatest games of the 2020 campaign. To their credit, the Cards participated in 20% of those extremely exciting matchups. Even more impressive is the fact that Kliff Kingsbury’s squad emerged victorious in both of the team’s contests that were included in the channel’s list.
Ranked as the fourth-best clash of ’20 was Arizona’s week-10 win over the playoff-bound Buffalo Bills. The Redbirds triumphed by a score of 32-30, in a game that had viewers on the edge of their seats to the very end. It was also a meeting that featured one of the most surprising endings in the long and storied history of the National Football League.
The Cardinals, trailing 30-26, had the ball at the Buffalo 43-yard line with 11 seconds left in regulation. Murray, evading would-be tacklers while scrambling to his left, heaved a pass downfield that miraculously found the hands of a triple-covered Hopkins in the Bills end zone. The Cards had prevailed 32-30, and the “Hail Murray” would be remembered for years to come.
Three weeks earlier, Arizona was involved in another pulse-pounding encounter. With 6:44 to play in a matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, Big Red found themselves in a 34-24 hole. Murray and company would produce 10 unanswered points, however, leading to an overtime period that would be difficult to forget.
Things appeared grim for the Cardinals when Zane Gonzalez botched a 41-yard field-goal attempt with 2:41 left in OT. But moments later, rookie linebacker Isaiah Simmons picked off a Russell Wilson throw, giving the beleaguered Gonzalez an opportunity to redeem himself. The fourth-year placekicker obliged, booting a 48-yarder through the uprights that gave the Cards a 37-34 triumph over Seattle.
There’s one additional play from the matchup with the Seahawks that has been a huge favorite among the highlight reels. In the second quarter, on a first and goal from the Cardinals three-yard line, Wilson lofted a pass that Baker snatched out of the air. The Pro Bowl safety returned the interception 90 yards to the Seattle eight-yard line before he was somehow caught by streaking wide receiver D.K. Metcalf.
Two fantastic clashes that the NFL’s followers had the privilege of witnessing. Kudos to NFL Network for recognizing two phenomenal Arizona accomplishments from last season.