A candidate for the game of the year this season, the Buffalo Bills traveled to Arizona to battle the Cardinals. A back and forth affair all afternoon saw Sean Mcdermott’s team jump out to a 16-9 halftime lead. Battling back on offense after a slow start, Kyler Murray would orchestrate three scoring drives in the second half to take a 26-23 advantage late in the fourth quarter. Making a case for the MVP award, a thirteen play 62-yard drive by Josh Allen and the Bills offense would look to seal the deal for the team’s eighth win of the season. However, it would prove not to be as Cardinals receiver Deandre Hopkins would catch a hail mary from Murray in the end zone to seal the victory in one of the craziest finishes in recent memory.
Opening up the game on offense, Murray and the Cardinals would move the ball into Buffalo territory after a key third-down scamper by the second-year quarterback to move the chains. After a 25 yard run, followed by a nine-yard reception by running back Chase Edmonds, the team would be faced with first and goal from their opponent’s seven-yard line. Ultimately failing to find the end zone after back-to-back incomplete passes, a 23-yard field goal by Zane Gonzalez would put Arizona up 3-0.
Looking to remain hot after a 44 point onslaught at home last week to knock off the Seahawks, the Bills offense would get a boost from their special teams unit. After a 40-yard kick return by Andre Roberts, the team would be set up at the Arizona 37-yard line. Making quick work off the friendly field position, Allen would find tight end Dawson Knox and receivers John Brown and Stefon Diggs to set up shop in the red zone. Scoring on a trick play, the third-year quarterback would receive a pass on a jet sweep throwback from Isaiah Mckenzie to give Buffalo a 7-3 lead.
Following a three and out by the Cardinals, the Bills would get the ball right back. Opening up the quarter with a nine-yard completion to wide receiver Cole Beasley, the drive would ultimately stall out, leading to a 54-yard field goal by rookie kicker Tyler Bass to extend the lead to seven. Able to connect with DeAndre Hopkins to open up their next possession, a 28-yard pass play from Murray would set up his team to cut into the lead.
Spreading the ball around on the drive, once again, Arizona would stall deep inside Buffalo territory after a sack on third and five by linebacker A.J. Klein. A 42-yard field goal by Gonzalez would cut the margin back down to 10-6. On the move once again, a nine-yard scramble by Allen, followed by a 14 yard run by running back Devin Singletary and a 13-yard catch by Diggs, would set up the Bills third field goal of the opening half, bringing the score up to 13-6.
Looking to pull even before the break, back to back runs by Kenyan Drake would kick start Kliff Kingsbury‘s group. Able to chance Murray down on a third and six from midfield, the Cardinals would ultimately convert the ensuing fourth down, with tight end Dan Arnold hauling in back to back receptions. Set up with goal to go just a few plays later, the team’s first-half quest to find the end zone would continue as back to back incompletions would lead to yet another field goal. Able to put points on the board in the final 90 seconds of the quarter, a 58-yard kick by Bass would tie Dan Carpenter for the second-longest field goal in franchise history while giving the Bills a seven point halftime advantage.
Opening up the third quarter with the football after deferring on the opening kickoff, Allen’s four straight completions would ultimately lead to a Corey Bojorquez punt after Diggs’s reception for no gain third and 10. Forcing a turnover to get the ball right back, a fumble by running back Drake would give the Bills the ball at the Cardinals 36-yard line. Making their opponent pay off the turnover, a 22-yard strike from Allen to Beasley would give his team a 14 point advantage at 23-9. Finally able to punch it in for six on their next possession, Murray’s 35-yard strike to Hopkins, followed by a seven-yard reception by Christian Kirk, would set up a one-yard touchdown plunge by the Arizona signal-caller to cut the lead to seven.
Gaining no yardage on their next possession, a 12-yard punt by Bojorquez would set the Cardinals up to score again with the ball at the Bills 30-yard line. Holding steady, Murray and company would fail to gain a first down and settle for three points in a major stand for Leslie Frazier‘s group. Forcing a turnover of their own on the next Buffalo drive, an interception by cornerback Patrick Peterson would let his team set up shop at their own 44-yard line. Needing just three plays to punch the ball in, Kyler’s second rushing score of the day would give his team their first lead since the opening quarter.
A defensive battle to open the games final quarter, the Bills would gain just one first down on their opening drive before ultimately punting the ball away. Looking to add points to the board, three straight runs by Drake would give the Cardinals the ball at midfield. However, an interception by safety Jordan Poyer on a poorly thrown pass by Murray would keep his team within striking distance. Hit with multiple penalties as they tried to retake the lead, an illegal shift, followed by a false start penalty, would give Buffalo 1st and 20 from their own 29-yard line.
Unable to get out of their own way, Beasley’s 12-yard reception would again be called back due to an unnecessary roughness call, ultimately leading them to punt the ball away. Mustering just three yards deep inside their own territory, a short kick by punter Andy Lee would give Mcdermott’s team excellent field position to strike.
Adding to the theme of the second half for the Bills on offense, a diving interception by cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick would give Allen a rare two turnover day and look to put his team in serious jeopardy. Again standing strong, a sack by nickel cornerback Taron Johnson would end the Arizona drive with just 55 seconds of clock taken off. Provided one last chance to play hero, Allen would lead a fourth-quarter comeback drive to give the Bills a late lead. Faced with a crucial third and four to open the possession, an incredible one-handed grab by Beasley would extend the drive. Finding the former Dallas Cowboy twice more to put him over the century mark for the game, a 21-yard strike by Allen to Diggs would put Buffalo up 30-26 and look to send them to their eighth win of the season.
With just 34 seconds to work with to mount a game-winning drive, madness would ensue in the desert. After finding Andy Isabella and Larry Fitzgerald to bring his team to midfield, Murray made a signature game-winning throw with just eleven seconds left in the game. Evading pressure, the former Heisman Trophy winner would heave up a 43-yard bomb that was ultimately hauled in by Hopkins over three defenders to give the Cardinals a walk-off touchdown and hand the Bills a heartbreaking loss.
JOSH ALLEN JUST CAUGHT A TD! @buffalobills
— NFL (@NFL) November 15, 2020
And the @BuffaloBills take the lead!
— NFL (@NFL) November 16, 2020
— NFL (@NFL) November 16, 2020
Looking to build off their come from behind victory, the Cardinals will travel to Seattle to battle the Seahawks on Thursday Night Football. Out for revenge after being handed their first loss of the season in Arizona in Week 7, Seattle remains in a three-way tie for first place in the NFC West with the Cardinals and the Rams, leading to massive playoff implications in this one. Looking to bounce back after a heartbreaking loss, the Bills will head into their bye week before playing host to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 11.