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Trey McBride Takes Star Turn Against Falcons

Second-year man becomes first tight end to gain 100 yards for Cardinals since 1989

Tight end Trey McBride celebrates his first-quarter diving catch in the Cardinals' win over the Falcons on Sunday at State Farm Stadium.
Tight end Trey McBride celebrates his first-quarter diving catch in the Cardinals' win over the Falcons on Sunday at State Farm Stadium.

Trey McBride's performance on Sunday was not just dominant. It was historic.

With the Cardinals down by a point, with less than a minute to play and the ball spotted at their own 42-yard line, McBride called his shot.

And he delivered.

"I told (QB) Kyler (Murray), and I usually don't tell him what to do, but I said, 'If this guy (Falcons safety Richie Grant) has me man-to-man, I've been killing him all night, just give me a chance.'" McBride said. "He did exactly that.

"That was very cool, very special to me. Thankfully, Kyler gave me a chance on that."

McBride hauled in the 33-yard deep ball from Murray that would set up Matt Prater's game winning field goal to give the Cardinals the 25-23 victory over the Falcons. It was the team's second win of the season.

The catch also broke a tight end drought for the franchise. On Nov. 12, 1989, Cardinals tight end Robert Awalt finished with 105 receiving yards in a home win over the Cowboys. No other tight end since then hit the century mark in receiving yards.

Thirty-four years to the day, McBride left no doubt with 131 yards on eight receptions. The Cardinals second-year tight end laughed and said with a smile how it was crazy that Awalt's performance took place a decade before McBride was born.

"I'm very thankful for this organization," McBride said. "I'm very thankful for all these guys, and I hope that drought doesn't last that long again."

If McBride plays as he did on Sunday, he'll have the chance to consistently put up similar numbers. The connection between he and Murray looked seamless.

"There's not many safeties in the league that can probably guard him," Murray said. "He's getting rolling. He's getting his confidence up. He's got all the ability in the world, so I'm happy to see him do what he's doing."

The Colorado State product has hit his stride, having two 90-plus-yard performances over the last three games. Before his 95 yards Week 8 against the Ravens, his career-best had been 78 receiving yards, set last season. That game was also against the Falcons.

Murray said that all afternoon, McBride was "balling." It's not a surprise to coach Jonathan Gannon, who said McBride "lit it up" on Sunday.

"Catch and run and he made some huge plays," Gannon said. "The guy was breaking tackles. I juiced him on the first one, I didn't like his ball security, and he came off and he knew it before I even told him. He had a huge day and he's a really good player."

McBride was critical of himself following a drop against the Ravens in Week 8 and continues to hold himself accountable even when he put up historic numbers. The 23-year-old tight end, who broke a record that was older than he was, hopes this is just the beginning.

"I try to come in every day and try to do the right thing," McBride said. "I try to be the best player I can be. I try to help this team in every way that I can. I think the coaches are seeing that and giving me some opportunity and I'm very thankful for that."