Four big catches and a Kyler Murray endless scramble make the listCraig Grialou
Injuries to quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receivers Hollywood Brown and Rondale Moore plus the early-season suspension of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins made things very difficult on the Cardinals' offense. The revolving door along the offensive line did not help either.
Still, the unit did provide several highlight-worthy, memorable plays during the season.
5. DeAndre Hopkins' 33-yard TD catch, spinning away from a Chargers defender at the 20-yard line
The situation: The Cardinals had a third-and-5 at the Chargers 33-yard line at the 2:41 mark of a scoreless first quarter
The play: Lined up in the slot to the left of the formation, Hopkins catches the pass from Kyler Murray in the middle of the field at the 20-yard line. He then spins away from safety J.T. Woods and outraces linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. into the end zone.
The aftermath: It was Hopkins' longest touchdown since 2020 and put the Cardinals in front 7-0. He finished the day with a game-high 87 receiving yards on four catches and ultimately finished the season with a team-best 717 receiving yards despite playing only nine games.
4. Hollywood Brown makes a one-handed fourth-down catch in Las Vegas with a Raiders defender in his face
The situation: The Cardinals faced a 4th-and-4 at the Raiders 25-yard line, trailing 23-7, with 8:41 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The play: From the slot, Brown immediately breaks right toward the wide side of the field. He looks over his shoulder, tracks down Murray's pass and makes the catch as he 1) is interfered with by cornerback Amik Robertson and 2) is falling backwards near the goal line.
The aftermath: Initially ruled a touchdown, the replay official reversed the call which placed the ball at the 1-yard line. On the very next play, Darrel Williams ran up the middle for the touchdown. The Cardinals successfully went for two to make it a one-score deficit. The game would eventually go into overtime, when the Cardinals earned their first win of the season.
3. A.J. Green hauls in a 77-yard TD catch after a throwback from Pharoh Cooper to David Blough in San Francisco
The situation: It is the first possession of the game, and the Cardinals had a 2nd-and-7 at their own 23-yard line.
The play: Out of a pistol set, Blough took the shotgun snap and pitched the ball to Cooper. After a handful of steps to the right, Cooper turned and threw the ball back to Blough, who was now at the 10-yard line. Blough took a step-and-a-half up field and-as linebacker Samson Ebukam was bearing down on him-wound up and launched the ball high up in the air. Green, who was inside the 40-yard line, jumped and caught the ball between two defenders. With the ball cradled in his left arm, he stiff-armed safety Tashaun Gipson and held off cornerback Deommodore Lenoir on the way into the end zone.
The aftermath: It was the longest scoring play of the season and by far the longest play from scrimmage for the Cardinals, who had not recorded a touchdown on their opening possession since Week 9. For Green, it was just his second touchdown of the season but the 70th of his career; quite the highlight in what may have been Green's final NFL game.
2. DeAndre Hopkins makes a one-handed TD catch on 3rd-and-goal in Minnesota
The situation: The Cardinals had a 3rd-and-2 at the Vikings 6-yard line, trailing 14-3, with 50 seconds remaining in the first half.
The play: As the outside receiver on the left side, Hopkins runs forward and fakes a move to the inside. Safety Harrison Smith did not bite and stayed glued to Hopkins. Despite the tight coverage, Murray threw the ball towards the end zone. Hopkins, with Smith in his face, looked for the ball, extended his left arm and made yet another one-handed catch for the touchdown.
The aftermath: The score made it 14-10 in favor of the Vikings. Hopkins had quite the day. He finished with 12 catches for 159 yards -- season-bests in each category -- in just his second game back from suspension. The touchdown was also the 100th of Murray's career.
1. Kyler Murray covers nearly 85 yards in 20 seconds to convert a 2-point play in Las Vegas
The situation: Trailing 23-12 after a Darrel Williams touchdown, the Cardinals decide to go for two with 8:13 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The play: Out of an empty backfield, Murray took the shotgun snap. He initially looked right, but finding Brown covered turned his attention towards the middle of the field. And that's when the fun began. Chased out of the pocket by defensive tackle Andrew Billings and then forced all the way back to the 22-yard line by defensive end Isaac Rochell, Murray reset to throw. He danced along the 20-yard line, pointing with his left hand. Again, no receivers were open, so he took off. Running free, Murray made his way downfield. At the 10-yard line, he angled towards the left to avoid linebackers Divine Deablo and Chandler Jones. Murray then sprinted past a late-charging cornerback Nate Hobbs into the end zone.
The aftermath: According to Next Gen Stats, Murray covered 84.9 yards on a play that took 20.8 seconds to complete. It was the first to two successful two-point conversions, marking the first time in franchise history the Cardinals had more than one successful conversion attempt in a single game. On the season, the Cardinals went 5-for-9 when going for two points.