Despite the defense battling hard until the end, the Arizona Cardinals lost to the Houston Texans 21-16 at NRG Stadium on Nov. 19.
Right off the bat, the Cardinals began the game offensively-determined.
At Houston’s 48-yard line, Murray fired a pass to Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore in the end-zone for a touchdown.
Kicker Matt Prater’s extra-point conversion was good and Arizona took a 7-0 lead.
Without wide receiver Noah Brown due to injury, questions arose as to who Houston quarterback C.J. Stroud would target today.
Brown had 325 yards from 13 receptions in his last two games for the Texans and was a huge miss for head coach Demeco Ryans’ offense.
Instead, wide receiver Tank Dell and running back Devin Singletary emerged as the players who, along with Stroud, showed up and showed out for the Texans today.
Then, Stroud would launch a 20-yard throw to Dell at the ARZ 41.
A few plays later, Stroud found Houston tight end Dalton Schultz open for a 20-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7 with 5:48 remaining in the first quarter.
During Arizona’s next series, a 35-yard scramble attempt by Murray was called back due to a penalty.
All of a sudden, the next drive saw Murray lose control of the ball as it was loose during a fumble.
Luckily for Murray, running back James Conner pounced on it to keep possession.
Soon, the Cardinals’ field goal unit came out and Prater’s 57-yard attempt was good as Arizona went up 10-7 with 1:21 left.
After running for 28 yards in the first half, Singletary continue to frustrate the Cardinals’ defense.
While two Arizona defenders desperately tried to tackle him, Singletary powered his way into the end-zone for an 11-yard touchdown as the score would be 14-10 Texans.
Now down in the game, Murray would attempt to pass to wide receiver Marquise Brown.
Down the field, however, it was intercepted by Texans cornerback Derek Stingley at the HOU 25.
Houston regained possession and got themselves back into the redzone, but the Cards’ defense came in clutch.
Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson would pick-off Stroud in Arizona’s end-zone to avoid being down even more.
With time dwindling, Houston possessed the ball once more before Dell slithered his way towards the end-zone
Dell dived to catch a 40-yard pass by Stroud for a touchdown.
To conclude the first half, Arizona were trailing 21-10.
Singletary continued his dominance into the second half as he ran for another 31 yards on the first three drives.
Following a 21-yard run by Singletary, Stroud would be sacked for -9 yards and struggled to get up.
In pain, the Texans medical staff attended to Stroud before he was able to go to the sidelines and return soon after.
On 4th & 6, Houston kicker Matt Ammendola tried to convert a 48-yard field goal, but missed wide.
Murray and the Cardinals had 12 plays on the next series.
Inching closer and closer, Murray ran into the end-zone for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 21-16 Texans.
However, the Cardinals went for a two-point conversion, but failed with 2:52 remaining in the third quarter.
Fourth Quarter and Recap
Both teams would begin the final quarter of the game trading the ball back and forth.
Yet again, Stroud threw another interception, but this time it was after the intended receiver, Robert Woods, let the ball slip through his hands.
At the right place at the right time, Arizona linebacker Krys Barnes caught and returned the ball to the ARZ 49 after running for 46 yards.
The Cardinals then got a third interception after losing the ball on 4th down.
Stroud tried to pass to Dell near the sidelines, but Arizona linebacker Antonio Hamilton Sr. desperately dived to catch it.
Despite the catch, Hamilton Sr. couldn’t get up after holding his leg before his teammates helped him get off of the field.
With the ball, the Cardinals couldn’t string together another offensive drive that was threatening as the Texans went on to win 21-16.
The Cardinals’ defense were resilient and kept their team in it, but the offense was ice-cold for the majority of the game.
Furthermore, the Cardinals made three interceptions on Stroud which was the most he has thrown in a game this season.
Still, Stroud passed for a whopping-336 yards and completed 27-37.
After both scoring a touchdown, Singletary rushed for 112 yards on 22 carries and Dell had eight receptions for 149 yards, respectively.
On the other side, Murray threw for 214 yards and went 20-30.
Now, the Cardinals fall to 2-9 on the season and 0-6 away from the valley.
Next up, the Cardinals host the Los Angeles Rams at State Farm Stadium on Nov. 26 at 2:05 p.m.