The Arizona Cardinals got a jolt of life with Kyler Murray’s return this week, and it helped fuel the Bird Gang in their 25-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
The star quarterback had been out up to this point rehabbing a torn ACL suffered late last season. in his return, Murray threw for 249 yards and an interception. He also rushed for 36 yards and a touchdown.
It was something tight end Trey McBride could feel in the week leading up to the game.
“We knew this was a good game for us,” McBride said after the game. “Kyler is coming back. We were playing at home. We wanted to play good for him. He’s been grinding. He’s been working hard to get back and we wanted to play hard for him.”
The often-stoic quarterback also felt the extra emotions that come with this start, his first since December 12, 2022.
“I was trying to calm it down because we obviously have to play a game and can’t be too ramped up,” Murray said. “It was kind of inevitable. But I thought I did a good job not letting the emotions and everything get to me throughout this week. Obviously, it was a big week, but at the end of the day, just trying to come in here and get a win.”
Murray and McBride helped set the tone for that win offensively. McBride nabbed eight receptions for 131 yards, including a 33-yard completion on the game-winning drive to set up for Matt Prater’s fourth field goal of the game. It was the first time a Cardinal tight end had cleared the 100-yard mark in a game in exactly 34 years. For context, “Look Who’s Talking” was the No. 1 movie in America the last time that happened.
“It’s very special to me,” McBride said. “I’m very thankful for this organization. I’m thankful for all of these guys and I hope that drought doesn’t last that long again.”
Now it seems like the are ready to shift into another gear with Kyler Murray at the helm. It’s a crucial eight-game stretch to evaluate where the quarterback – and the rest of the roster, really – fits into Monti Ossenfort’s and Jonathan Gannon’s plans long-term.
Kyler Murray, ladies and gentlemen 🤯 pic.twitter.com/yVmXaQVgn1
— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) November 13, 2023
Hyperbole can come from either side on Game 1. There’s a lot left to figure out with this team. But for Murray, taking the field and getting a win was all that mattered on Sunday.
“It feels good to win,” Murray said. “That’s the icing on the cake. It would have been a sh**ty night to come in and lose. It would have been all this build-up for what? I’m just happy for us and the team.”
Bijan Comes Home
On the other side, Tucson native Bijan Robinson had a great game against the hometown team, rushing for 98 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. In 10 games, he’s accounted for 820 yards and four total touchdowns in his rookie season.
The Cardinals now head to Houston to take on the Texans, who are 5-4 and have rattled off two straight high-scoring wins.