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Watt A Win In Las Vegas, And Raiders Aftermath

Did you see J.J. Watt got a sack? And that he made an impact in his first game back?

There are so many things that can be part of the postgame analysis after that crazy Cardinals' win in Las Vegas. Maybe Watt isn't the first thing that jumps to mind (look, it's not the first thing for me either, but bear with me.) The Cardinals looked bad for two quarters Sunday, but I did notice Watt get his first sack on his second play, and now that it's over, it's undeniable that he makes a difference. Not 2014 J.J. Watt-makes-a-difference, but he matters.

And big picture, that's what these guys have to figure out. A lot of guys make a difference. A.J. Green makes a difference, and it's not going to be the kind of difference he made in Cincinnati at the height of his career. He isn't going to make every play. But he needs to make enough, and he did Sunday by hanging on to that ball for the two most important points of the season.

Justin Pugh makes a difference. Isaiah Simmons needs to make a difference. I'm not sure what this team is or what it will be, but it's not the one that was getting steamrolled the first six quarters of the season. It's just not.

-- And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why you pay Kyler Murray more than $200 million in an extension. Because he can do things like that, because he can carry you to a comeback that, as a team, you probably shouldn't have had. I liked how Murray directed the team, how he managed to stay cool until he didn't need to anymore (the postgame celebration), how he smartly took the painful delay of game on the last two-point conversion knowing five more yards was less harmful than rushing the play.

-- I will say, I think the game turned in part because Kyler started running. I know he'd rather not, but that's what scares the bejeebus out of defenses, that's what tires them out, and that's what gives the Cardinals' offense that extra edge. You don't want him getting hurt, but that part of his game – to me – is crucial for them to have any kind of success.

-- Math: Teams that start 0-2 in the last 20 years have made the playoffs a little more than 11 percent of the time. Teams that started 1-1 get to the postseason 42 percent of the time. Sunday's result mattered.

-- Lost in the win is the possible loss of James Conner. Conner left with an ankle injury, and you wonder how quickly he can return from that. That said, Darrel Williams, who is a beefier back and always made sense as a Conner replacement if something happened to Conner. Both Williams and Eno Benjamin played well in the late comeback, and of all the positions the Cardinals have, they are probably best equipped to deal with an injury in that room if Conner has to miss time.

-- Inside this cool video shot by Channel 12 is some idiot whacking Murray in the face, which was ridiculous. Kyler obviously was upset, but teammates stepped in, and Murray still got the last word, er, numbers, at 29-23. (UPDATE: Police are looking into it.

-- In their history, the Cardinals have managed to win a game trailing by 20 or more at halftime just four times before Sunday. The last time was in 1999 when they were down 21 at Philadelphia and won.

-- Hollywood Brown made an absolutely unreal catch to set up the Cardinals' second touchdown. For that, he gets all the credit. In overtime, the fourth-and-1 deep throw to Brown was wide open, and he made the catch – until he was drilled by Raiders safety Duron Harmon. Would have been a hell of a play to hang on, truthfully. But as a receiver, you have to know a big hit could be coming at any time.

-- Speaking of overtime, Simmons is the hero, but Zaven Collins almost got his turn. Two plays before Simmons made his big strip, Collins too knocked the ball loose from Hunter Renfrow (not a good OT session for Hunter), but after a scramble, the Raiders fell on it.

-- He had a one-yard TD catch, yes, but to hold Davante Adams to two catches and 12 yards, that's a hell of a game plan for Vance Joseph. I'm sure he gave up things in other areas, but Adams was a non-factor.

-- Kliff Kingsbury continued on his roll of quality press conference quips, which is always easier when you win in such dramatic fashion.

"Usually I've just lost and I'm super hungover on Sundays in Vegas, so this was a good changeup," he said.

That's enough for tonight. What a trip to Vegas.