On the final drive of regulation, A.J. Green had a couple of plays he knows he needed to make. Then he made the one he had to have, and with it, showed not only that he could come through, but perhaps more importantly, that quarterback Kyler Murray kept his trust in the veteran wideout.
For all the criticism Green has endured from the outside, the reality is the Cardinals need him at his size, especially with DeAndre Hopkins and Antoine Wesley sidelined.
"You saw that I kept going back to him and then he ended up making the big play," Murray said. "Those are plays that I know he can make, I know he trusts himself to make. He's put the work in and he beats himself up for not making those plays, but I've got full faith in him, I have to. I have no choice. I believe in him. I believe in everyone out there."
The first play came on third-and-4 at the Raiders 6, the Cardinals trailing by eight and the seconds ticking away. Green seemed to have made a nice sliding grab at the 1 for a first down -- but the ball came out. The Cardinals were lucky to get a first down on a fourth-down defensive hold. On the ensuing first down, Green was open on the end zone near the boundary, but as Murray delivered the ball, Green was stripped.
"It's my second year in this offense, and things happen," Green said. "The defensive back made two good plays on those balls, punched it right out, so I've got to tuck them and be stronger with them. But when it mattered I made the play."
"The play" was the two-point conversion to tie the score and get it to overtime. The video shows how ridiculous Murray's throw was, and Green's catch was equally excellent, even if it took a replay to allow it to stand.
"It's a really difficult catch when you've got a guy there," tight end Zach Ertz said. "You kind of lose the ball and you don't know if he's going to tip it or not. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in that play and AJ found a way to get it done. A.J. was probably the best guy, the best skill player, all of training camp. No one is surprised he made that play."
For Murray, he liked the Green two-pointer more than his own 21-second two-point run.
"I saw him, I was pointing to him," Murray said. "I don't know if he knew I was pointing to him. He probably just saw me waving. I'm glad he listened."
"The play wasn't open," Murray added. " And the trust. A.J. dropped a couple, didn't make the play, to be able to trust him to make the play we needed, it was pretty crucial."