The Cardinals' offense was more inconsistent than hoped in 2020, but there were still plenty of memorable moments. Unsurprisingly, quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins were heavily involved. Here are the top five offensive plays of the season:
5. Two Jets Defenders Can't Stop Hop
The situation: The Cardinals had a first-and-15 from the New York 37, leading 24-10 with 8:42 left in the fourth quarter.
The play: DeAndre Hopkins streaked down the left sideline, and even though the coverage was pretty good, Kyler Murray gave him a chance with a nicely-thrown pass. Hopkins' right arm was held, so he corralled the pass with only his left and absorbed a huge shot in the end zone without losing possession.
The aftermath: The touchdown wrapped up a win over the Jets, and it was a precursor to myriad memorable catches for Hopkins the rest of the way. The Pro Bowler finished the year with 115 receptions for 1,407 yards and six touchdowns, living up to the billing after the Cardinals traded for him in the offseason.
4. Kyler Murray Likes What He Sees Against Seattle
The situation: The Cardinals had a third-and-2 on the Seattle 35, trailing 10-0 with 2:45 remaining in the first quarter.
The play: This touchdown pass began with the Cardinals' offense looking toward the sideline, pretending like the play was changing. Center Mason Cole snapped the ball quickly, which helped catch the Seahawks off-guard. Murray threw a strike toward Hopkins, and the NBC cameras caught him with a broad smile on his face when he cocked back to unleash the throw. Murray passed the ball without grabbing the laces, and Hopkins did an impressive job of catching it and staying in-bounds for a 35-yard score.
The aftermath: The big play brought the Cardinals back to within a field goal, and the game had plenty of twists and turns in the ensuing few hours. The Cardinals ended up winning by a score of 37-34 in overtime, and Murray finished the contest with 360 passing yards and three touchdowns.
3. DeAndre Hopkins Saves The Day Against Eagles
The situation: The Cardinals had a third-and-2 from the Philadelphia 20, tied at 26 with 7:24 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The play: The offense was in field goal range, but three points would have made for an extremely uneasy final stretch against Philadelphia. Hopkins helped assuage those fears by making a terrific back-shoulder catch for a 20-yard touchdown. Three different Eagles defenders signaled incomplete, but Hopkins' preternatural hand strength made sure the ball did not pop loose as he hit the ground.
The aftermath: The touchdown put the Cardinals ahead and ended up being the game-winner, as Philadelphia drove into Arizona territory on its final possession but was unable to score before time ran out. The victory improved the Cardinals to 8-6, and it ended up being their final win of the year.
2. Christian Kirk Dusts The Cowboys
The situation: The Cardinals had a first-and-10 from their 20, leading the Cowboys 14-0 with 4:53 left in the second quarter.
The play: Christian Kirk faked an out route and then shot up the field. He had plenty of separation, but needed to hit full speed to catch up to Murray's throw. Kirk got there – barely – and hauled in the pass with his fingertips, staying on his feet and cruising to the end zone for the longest touchdown of the season.
The aftermath: After a bit of shaky start, the rout was officially on against the Cowboys. The Cardinals cruised to the win, moving to 4-2 on the season. Kirk was in the midst of a hot six-game stretch in which he averaged a touchdown per game, but he tailed off at the end of the season.
1. The Hail Murray
The situation: The Cardinals had a first-and-10 at the Buffalo 43 with 11 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, trailing 30-26.
The play: The odds of winning looked slim, but then the Hail Murray happened. Kyler Murray made an excellent move to escape the pocket and avoid a sack. As he neared the sideline, the Cardinals quarterback fired an excellent against-his-body throw toward DeAndre Hopkins. Even though there were three defenders draped on him, Hopkins timed his jump perfectly and used arguably the best hands in the NFL to secure the football as he hit the ground.
The aftermath: It was pandemonium after the officials signaled touchdown, as teammates mobbed Hopkins and mouths on both sidelines were left agape. The Cardinals snatched victory from the hands of defeat, moving to 6-3 on the year after the incredible play. This wasn't just the best play of the season for the Cardinals; it's hard to name a better one throughout the NFL in 2020.