Despite a disappointing finish to the season for the Arizona Cardinals offense, the team set off fireworks in several games.
Walk-off wins against eventual division champions were some of the highlights. The Cardinals had two Pro Bowlers on offense, quarterback Kyler Murray and receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who led a unit that scored 30 points in seven games.
1. Week 7 vs. Seattle Seahawks (37-34)
The Cardinals offense managed to stay composed and balanced despite trailing 34-24 with 6:44 left in the game. The Cardinals were able to use the run primarily to move the sticks while going up-tempo to not waste time on a 75-yard touchdown drive. They then got the ball back with under a minute remaining.
Arizona actually ran the ball twice on the drive, both draw plays that each gained first downs. The Cardinals set up kicker Zane Gonzalez for a game-tying 44-yard field-goal attempt , and he drilled it.
In overtime, the Cardinals offense had two cracks at a win.
The first was a six-play, 49-yard drive that got them to the Seattle 23-yard line. But, Gonzalez missed the field-goal try. After a turnover, the Cardinals had new life. Murray completed two passes, and Gonzalez hit a 48-yard kick to end the game 37-34.
That game saw the Cardinals produce their second-highest point total of the year, third-most yards and third-best passing DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average).
It was also the Cardinals' only game with 300-plus passing yards and 150-plus rushing yards.
Murray finished the game 34-for-48 with 360 yards and three touchdowns and one interception. He won NFC Offensive Player of the week for the effort.
2. Week 10 vs. Buffalo Bills (32-30)
The "Hail Murray" will surely be played at State Farm Stadium for years to come, and took the mantle for "play of the year" in headlines at the time.
But, Week 10 was more so a running game for the offense, its second best of the season in yards and yards per rush.
Three Cardinals rushers gained over 55 yards on the ground with running back Kenyan Drake leading with 100. As a team, they gained 6.2 yards per carry.
That game was the Cardinals' only 200-plus yards passing and rushing performance.
Draws up the middle and run-pass options were especially effective, and Murray created a lot of offense through scrambles.
In the fourth quarter, the offense started to struggle, but, similar to the Seattle game, in the final minute, Murray stepped up. Down by four, the Cardinals got the ball back with two timeouts and 34 seconds remaining. Murray completed four passes, including the 43-yard prayer to Hopkins in the end zone to seal the win.
Hopkins, who had seven catches for 127 yards, won NFC Offensive Player of the Week.
3. Week 9 vs. Miami Dolphins (31-34)
Murray set career bests in passer rating at 150.5 and rushing yards with 106 in the game.
Against the Dolphins, who finished with the sixth-best scoring defense in the league, the Cardinals put up one of their top-five performances in total yards, rushing yards and first downs.
Murray was 21-for-26, a career-high completion percentage, plus had a personal best adjusted yards gained per pass attempt at 13.2. He had 283 passing yards, but could have had a lot more since receiver DeAndre Hopkins drew four pass interference flags.
The Cardinals passing game had its highest DVOA of the season.
The Cardinals had 31 points entering the fourth quarter as they showed good pace while Murray found lots of room to run. But, Arizona's production stalled down the stretch, leading to a frustrated Murray in the postgame press conference after a 34-31 defeat.
4. Week 6 at Dallas Cowboys (38-10)
The Cardinals got off to a rocky start with no first-quarter points on Monday Night Football in Week 6. But, the running and short passing games eventually picked apart the Cowboys defense.
A second-quarter 80-yard touchdown bomb from Murray to Christian Kirk helped.
In Dallas, Drake had his best individual performance of the year, with 164 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Murray ran for 74 yards on top of that, and the team finished with 261 rushing yards, 7.5 per carry.
Although Murray had the lowest completion percentage of his career (9-for-24), he still put up 188 passing yards and moved the offense forward with his legs.
In offensive DVOA, Arizona's performance in Dallas ranks third, first in run offense. Plus, this was one of three Cardinals games in which they did not turn the ball over.
5. Week 1 at San Francisco 49ers (24-20)
The 24 points the Cardinals scored to open the season is among the fewest they produced in a game all year.
But, against the defending NFC champions while implementing new pieces into the offense without a full offseason, Arizona showed strong prowess down the stretch.
They scored touchdowns on each of their last two drives (excluding the final kneel-down). Those possessions were 14 and nine plays of 94 and 75 yards gained, respectively. They ran the ball effectively, Murray and Hopkins hooked up often and the Cardinals were too fast for San Francisco in the fourth quarter.
Hopkins finished his Cardinals debut with 14 grabs and 151 receiving yards.