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The Setup
Cards rebounded from a bitter loss to Miami where they fell victim to the Tua Tagovailoa Show. (a seesaw affair with Miami grabbing an early lead and the two teams exchanging scores well into the 2H, and the Cards finally grabbing a lead late in the 3Q but unable to hang onto it when Gonzalez's 11th-hour FG attempt fell short

Cards played well enough to win it...but they didn't. Good teams don't let Lady Luck determine their future. The irony is that Gonzalez was predictable in being unpredictable (but that's why they play the games). Important was tha

Both the Bills win and the previous week's loss to Miami were similar in that they were see-saw affairs that were close up to the end of the 4th quarter.

Meanwhile the Seahawks were in their own seesaw contest with the Rams, and were unable to come back from a 23 - 13 deficit entering the 4Q - walking away losers, but still in a 3-way tie for an NFC-West division lead.

Cards are enjoying friendly media and a piece of the national spotlght. Their challenge will rest in how well they handle all the love from the national press and not lay an egg in Seattle. The Seawhawks have to be staggering from their recent losses within the division - Heroic performances by Russell Wilson and Metcalf notwithstanding

Lede
"Super-Heroics by Murray Lead Cards to 0:02 win vs. Bills."


The Bottom Line:
"Hail Murray."The Bills are a good football team (positioned to replace the NE Patriots as King of the Hill atop the NFC East). They solid football from top of their 53-man roster to the bottom. Josh Allen is kind of like" Kyler Murray only taller, a year or two more experienced and not quite as fast.

Buffalo won the toss and deferred. Cards - as is their trademark started out sloppy-unwise and penalty-- foolish. Yet the Cards somehow were allowed to stick around - down 7 - 3 at the end of the 1Q; down 16 to 9 at halftime - they pulled ahead of the Bills 26 - 23 by the end of the 3Q but couldn't prevent QB Josh Allen from putting together a long TD drive that ended a 21-yard TD pass completion by Diggs (who had shaken himself free in coverage from Cardinal standout CB Patrick Peterson. This put the Bills up 30 - 26 with 0:34 left to play.

If you were to warn me that 0:34 was too much time to leave the ball in the hands of kyler Murray to play around with, I'd label you "insane."

Well, Mr. (or Ms.) Crazy Person, on hindsight, those 0:34 loomed as lomg as a century - Murray rolled left...pulled up just before the sideline...twisted his body and heaved 'er up for grabs to Hopkins in the end zone. No probem - D-Hop outfaught 3 defenders and came down with the football for a game-winning TD with just 0:02 on the clock.

We won. we beat a good team. We came from behind. We're in the thick of things. Can't expect much more than that.

We still don't know whether the Cards have the juice to compete against the very talented teams on the back end of their schedule But what this game proved is - win or lose - the Cardinals are capable of rising from the proverbial ashes.

Cards proved Sunday that "they can do it." Question is: "Will they?"


Scoring Summary

1st Quarter
Ari 5:07 FG Zane Gonzalez 23 Ari 3 - Buf 0
Buf 8:37 Josh Allen 12 pass from Isaiah McKenzie (Tyler Bass Kick) Buff 7 - Ari 3

2nd Quarter
Buf 0:58 FG Tyler Bass 54 Buff 10 - Ari 3
Ari 6:15 FG Zane Gonzalez 42 Buff 10 - Ari 6
Buf 9:15 FG Tyler Bass 55 Buff 13- Ari 6
Ari 13:36 FG Zane Gonzalez 21 Buff 13 - Ari 9
Buf 15:00 FG Tyler Bass 58 Buff 16 - Ari 9

3rd Quarter
Buf 5:08 Cole Beasley 22 pass from Josh Allen (Tyler Bass Kick) Buff 23 - Ari 9
Ari 9:16 Kyler Murray 1 run (Zane Gonzalez Kick) Buff 23- Ari 16
Ari 11:55 FG Zane Gonzalez 45 Buff 23- Ari 19
Ari 14:52 Kyler Murray 15 run (Zane Gonzalez Kick) Buff 23- Ari 26

4th Quarter
Buf 14:26 Stefon Diggs 21 pass from Josh Allen (Tyler Bass Kick) Buff 30- Ari 26
Ari 14:58 DeAndre Hopkins 43 pass from Kyler Murray (Run Failed) Buff 30- Ari 32

Final Score - Cardinals 32 - Bills 30



Notable Game Stats.

  • First Downs Buffaol 22 - Cards 26
  • Passing: Murray 22 for 32...245 yds... 3 TD, 1 Int...88.7 Rating
    ................Allen 32 for 49, 284 yds, 1 TD...2 Ints...0 sacks...77.3 Rating

    Sacked By: Cards 0 - Buffi 3

    Rushing: Cards - Drake 16 for 100...Murray - 11 for 61 (2 TDs)...Edmonds - 8 for 56
    .................Buff - Allen - 7 for 38...Moss 7 for 20.

    Receiving: Cards - Hopkins - 7 of 12 for 127...Arnold...4 for 4 34 yds...Kirk 4 of 6 Kirk for 27 yds
    .................. Buffalo- - Beasley 11 of 13 for 109 yds...Diggs - 10 of 11 for 93 yds, J Brown 6 of 8 for72 yds

    Tackles - Cards - Baker 9....Hicks. 8 ..J Thompson 7
    ................Buff - Klein 11...T Edmunds 1....T Jojnson 9

    Sacks - Cards - 0
    ..............Buff- Zimmer and Klein 1 apiece

    Interceptions By - Cards - 0... Buff 0

    Fumbles Lost - Cards 0 of 3 - Buff 0 of 0

    Penalties - Cards 7 for 40 - Buff - 9 for 69

    Time of Possession: Cards 29:40- Buff 30:20

The "Bright Side"

  • We beat a Top 5 NFL team.
  • We didn't fold when we had every reason to do so.

    We're at the top in the NFC West.

  • Defense turned around a mediocre 1H performance and, in key situationsin the 2H, forced Buffalo to punt.
  • Drake racked up 100 yds.
  • Three-pronged running attack (Drake, Murray, Edmonds) gained over 200 ground yds
  • J Thompson rejoins Bubba at safety

The Dark Side

  • Slow start (again)!
  • Weak play calling in 4Q.
  • Sloppy defensive play

Short-yardage running plays seemed designed to lose yardage 50% of the time.

We remain exposed at CB2 (opposite PP21).

Last Word:
Gotta be happy with an upset win over a potential contender, but must caution against overreaction.(Pundits are annointing the Cards "Dark Horse Challangers of the Year"). Cards are at a crossroads - Will they rest on their laurels? Or will the surprise win over Buffalo give the entire team a dose of confidence.

We can't allow that to happen and expect to win.

Missed tackles. Dumb penalties - hardly the formula for winning enough games to reach the playoffs. On the same day Seattle lost still another game (this time to Buffalo) the Cardinals failed to sniff blood in the water and take advantage of a gimme.

Cards face Seattle Thursday night, followed by New England and then the Rams. We will all be waiting to see which Cardinal team suits up Thursday night and the weeks that follow.


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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 11/26/2012