GLENDALE, Ariz.: Kyler Murray threw for 286 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores to lead the Arizona Cardinals over the Washington Football Team 30-15 on Sunday.
The Cardinals were dominant in their push to a 2-0 record, jumping to a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. They led 20-0 by halftime and 20-3 following the third. DeAndre Hopkins caught eight passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Zane Gonzalez made three field goals.
Murray alleviated any doubt about who would win early in the fourth quarter, when he darted through the middle of the field dancing right past safety Troy Apke in the process for a 21-yard touchdown that pushed Arizona’s advantage to 27-3.
Washington (1-1) finally scored a touchdown with 12:20 left in the fourth quarter when Dwayne Haskins hit Terry McLaurin for a 24-yard score. It scored again with 6:38 left when Antonio Gibson ran for an 11-yard touchdown to pull within 27-15 after the 2-point conversion failed.
But by then it was too late for a rally. Washington rallied from a 17-0 deficit to beat Philadelphia last week, but waited much too long to get going on Sunday. Haskins completed 19 of 33 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown.
In front of a fan-less State Farm Stadium, the Cardinals continued to look like a contender in the NFC West after finishing 5-10-1 last year. Kenyan Drake ran for 86 yards on 20 carries. Murray finished with 67 yards rushing.
Arizona outgained Washington 244 yards to 96 in the first half as it built its 20-0 lead.
The Cardinals’ revamped defense had a big day, holding Washington scoreless until Dustin Hopkins hit a 24-yard field goal late in the third quarter. Arizona gave up the most yards in the NFL last season, but the defense has been solid in both wins. Free-agent signings linebacker Devon Kennard and defensive lineman Jordan Phillips had a sack each.
The teams traded turnovers in an eventful first quarter. Murray’s pass into coverage was picked off by Landon Collins, giving Washington great field position at the Arizona 19. Three plays later, Haskins fumbled after getting hit on the arm by Phillips and Chandler Jones snagged the ball out of the air.
Arizona went three-and-out on the ensuing possession and had to punt, but got the ball right back when Steven Sims fumbled on the return. The Cardinals followed with a six-play touchdown drive capped by Murray’s 14-yard touchdown run.
The shifty second-year quarterback got some good blocking on the right side and then slipped between two would-be tacklers to coast into the end zone.
Hopkins caught his first touchdown pass with the Cardinals on their opening possession. He was completely alone in the back of the end zone on third down and Murray hit him for the 4-yard score to make it 7-0.
Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury further solidified his reputation as an innovative play caller with a gutsy move in third quarter.
The Cardinals faced fourth-and-1 at their 27 and called timeout. Backup quarterback Chris Streveler took the snap, faked a handoff and then ran to his right before flipping the ball to Christian Kirk, who reversed field and gained 3 yards.
Arizona RB D.J. Foster (quad) left in the first quarter. … Washington right guard Brandon Scherff (knee) was hurt just before halftime and gingerly walked off the field with the help of medical staff. He didn’t return.
The Cardinals stayed in the locker room for the national anthem, as they did last week. Washington stood along the sideline and a handful of players including safety Collins had a fist raised.
Washington: plays second straight road game against Cleveland next Sunday.
Cardinals: stays at home and faces Detroit next Sunday.
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