Kyler Murray, Cardinals mount incredible rally, earn tie with Lions in season opener

The Cards couldn't quite complete the comeback
KNXV Cardinals Lions Larry Fitzgerald
Posted at 5:27 PM, Sep 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-08 21:33:09-04

He struggled for a full three quarters, but the Cardinals' No. 1 pick came to life in overtime and mounted an incredible rally -- one that nearly resulted in a win.

Instead, Kyler Murray the Cards settled for a 27-27 tie with the Detroit Lions in their regular-season opener at State Farm Stadium on Sunday.

The Cardinals trailed 24-6 in the fourth quarter, but Murray rallied the Cardinals to a 24-24 tie thanks in part to heroics from -- who else -- Larry Fitzgerald. The Cardinals tied the game with a TD toss from Murray to Fitzgerald, followed by a two-point conversion from Murray to Saguaro High School alum Christian Kirk, with less than a minute to play.

In overtime, Murray drove the Cards down the field -- thanks again to a great catch by Fitzgerald -- but had to settle for a field goal by ASU alum Zane Gonzalez, his fourth of the game. The Lions responded with a field goal of their own, and the Cardinals weren't quite able to reach field-goal range again on their second possession. Cardinals cornerback Tramaine Brock dropped a potential interception in the final seconds that would have given the Cards a chance to win.

It was the 41st tie in Cardinals history, but just their second since moving to Arizona in 1988. Their last tie came in a game that ended 6-6 vs. the Seattle Seahawks in 2016.

Kliff Kingsbury became the first head coach to not lose his Cardinals head coaching debut since the team moved to Arizona in 1988.

"Unfortunately we didn't get the win, but a tie's better than a loss, I guess," Murray said after the game. "I never tied before, but it's better than a loss. That's all that I can say."

"It would've been nice to be able to win it. It would've been nice to be able to play better in the first half. But, you know, a tie is a hell of a lot better than a loss. We're still undefeated, and that's a positive," Fitzgerald said.

The Cardinals managed just 100 yards of total offense in the first three quarters but gained 287 in the fourth quarter and overtime. Murray completed 29 of 54 passes for 308 yards and two touchdowns. Larry Fitzgerald had eight catches for 113 yards and a touchdown and David Johnson had 137 total yards and a touchdown catch in the fourth quarter to trim Detroit's lead to 24-16.

Up next for the Cardinals: a matchup at the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday. The Ravens scored 59 points against the Miami Dolphins in their season opener.