Cards win 34-33 thriller after Vikings miss last-second FG
Kyler Murray threw for 400 yards and three touchdowns, and the Arizona Cardinals topped the Minnesota Vikings 34-33 on Sunday after Greg Joseph missed a 37-yard field goal wide right in the final seconds.
It was a fitting ending to a seesaw game that saw the lead change hands eight times. The dizzying offensive pace — Arizona had a 24-23 halftime lead — slowed considerably in the final minutes, and there were no touchdowns scored in the final quarter.
Murray also ran for a touchdown and threw two costly interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.
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The Cardinals (2-0) looked as if they were about to lose before Joseph’s last-second miss. He made two 52-yard field goals earlier in the game, giving no indication he’d have trouble pushing the Vikings to a win.
It’s another dispiriting setback for the Vikings (0-2), who lost in overtime at Cincinnati last weekend. Kirk Cousins threw for 244 yards and three touchdowns while Dalvin Cook ran for 131 yards on 22 carries.
Minnesota’s Nick Vigil returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown on the second play of the third quarter, jumping in front of a pass Murray intended for Rondale Moore. It gave the Vikings a 30-24 lead.
Murray shook off the mistake and led the Cardinals on an eight-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 9-yard touchdown pass to veteran A.J. Green. It was Green’s first touchdown for the Cardinals and gave them a 31-30 lead.
The teams traded field goals in the fourth, with Matt Prater’s 27-yard kick giving Arizona a 34-33 lead with 4:25 left.
It looked as if another field goal would decide the game, but Joseph’s kick drifted right as the Cardinals celebrated.
Arizona led 24-23 at the break after Prater booted a franchise-record 62-yard field goal as time expired in an action-packed first half.
Murray scampered out of the pocket late in the second quarter, spinning away from two defenders before finding a wide-open Moore for a 77-yard touchdown pass, giving the Cardinals their first lead at 21-20.
The Vikings’ secondary moved toward the line of scrimmage when Murray started scrambling and didn’t see Moore, who had settled behind the defense and didn’t have a defender within several yards. Moore — a rookie who was a second-round draft pick out of Purdue — finished with 114 yards receiving.
Minnesota responded with a quick drive downfield that was capped by Joseph’s 52-yard field goal.
The Vikings scored on just the second play of the game when Cousins connected with a wide-open K.J. Osborn for a 64-yard touchdown. There appeared to be a miscommunication in the Cardinals secondary on the play: Cornerback Byron Murphy stayed with Osborn for a few moments before stopping, Osborn kept going, and there wasn’t any help from the safeties deep.
DeAndre Hopkins caught a touchdown pass for the Cardinals. Osborn led the Vikings with 91 yards receiving.
Prater’s 62-yard field goal just before halftime nearly matched his NFL record of 64 yards that he set in 2013 while with the Denver Broncos.
The 37-year-old, two-time Pro Bowl kicker was acquired in the offseason as an upgrade for Zane Gonzales, who made some big kicks in 2020 but was also inconsistent.
Prater’s kick on Sunday had plenty of distance in the indoor setting, spitting the uprights with some room to spare.
Patrick Peterson returned to the desert after signing with the Vikings during the offseason. The three-time All-Pro played his first 10 seasons with the Cardinals and had 28 interceptions.
Peterson had a fairly quiet game, finishing with two tackles.
Vikings: Minnesota was without a handful of defensive contributors, including linebacker Anthony Barr (knee) and defensive end Everson Griffen (concussion).
The Vikings play at home for the first time this season when they host the Seattle Seahawks.
The Cardinals travel to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. Three of Arizona’s first four games this season are on the road.