Packers inflict first loss on Cardinals after Kyler Murray and AJ Green confusion over INT
Kyler Murray was intercepted in the end zone with 12 seconds remaining after a confusion with AJ Green, and the Green Bay Packers survived for a 24-21 win to end the Arizona Cardinals’ run as the last unbeaten team in the NFL. The teams are tied atop the NFC at 7-1 after Green Bay’s victory, their seventh in a row.
After leading the Cardinals to 94 yards in 12 games from his own 1-yard line, Murray pitched for Green in the right corner of the end zone, but Green was not looking. Rasul Douglas, who the Packers signed with the Cardinals training team earlier this month, turned the ball around and caught it for interception to seal the Packers’ victory.
When asked what happened to the game afterwards, Murray replied, “Honestly, I don’t know. He and coach Kliff Kingsbury both said there was a communication glitch on the game, which Kingsbury said was meant to be a safer pitch.
Murray, the league MVP favorite at the start of Week 8, was slow to get up after play and limped off the field. He said after the game that he was fine after being rolled up. He still greeted Aaron Rodgers for a post-game handshake, and the pair spoke for a few moments.
“He’s so talented, talented on the arm, obviously he’s running around,” Rodgers said of Murray on the Fox show after the game. “I said, ‘We’ll see you in the playoffs.'”
The Packers had run for 74 yards in 13 plays to kill at 7:22 off the clock in the fourth quarter, and they seemed to put the game out of reach with a three-yard touchdown from Aaron Jones. But Jones was ruled short after scrutiny, and the Cardinals’ defense stiffened. Devon Kennard reversed Rodgers’ pass in the fourth and goal from the 1-yard line to give the ball back to Arizona with 3:23 remaining, setting up Arizona’s long haul that ended in the interception of Douglas.
Without wide receivers Davante Adams and Allen Lazard due to COVID-19 protocol and Marquez Valdes-Scantling due to injury, the Packers also lost tight end Robert Tonyan to a knee injury in the third quarter. . Green Bay ran the ball 34 times for 151 yards, including 16 carries for 78 yards by AJ Dillon and 15 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown by Jones.
Rodgers finished 22 of 37 for just 184 yards, but had two touchdowns and no interceptions. Murray finished 22 of 33 for 274 yards without touchdown and was intercepted twice, the first on a downhill pass deep into his own territory.
The Cardinals spent much of the game without wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who worsened a hamstring injury midway through the first quarter after a 55-yard reception. He did come back in some situations – Kingsbury said Hopkins ran alone on the field at times – but only caught one more pass for 11 yards.
Hopkins entered the questionable list Thursday to play with a hamstring injury. He’s arrived with 33 receptions for 420 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
(Photo: Christian Petersen / Getty Images)