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Murray runs for 2 TDs, Cardinals roll past Washington 30-15

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By DAVID BRANDT
AP Sports Writer

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) runs for a touchdown as Washington Football Team free safety Troy Apke (30) misses the tackle during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


Washington Football Team head coach Ron Rivera and strong safety Landon Collins (26) stand during the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


Washington Football Team running back Antonio Gibson (24) looks to run against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)


Arizona Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake (41) is tackled by Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young (99) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)


Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andy Isabella, right, celebrates a first down with teammate Dan Arnold during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Andy Isabella (17) pulls in a pass as Washington Football Team free safety Troy Apke (30) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)


Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) pulls in a touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)


GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Kyler Murray's slippery, spectacular touchdown runs for the up-and-coming Cardinals are becoming a common occurrence.

So are the Arizona wins.

Murray's dual-threat skills were on full display Sunday during the Cardinals' dominant 30-15 victory over Washington. The second-year quarterback threw for 286 yards and a touchdown, but the jaw-dropping moments came when Murray tucked the ball and ran, scrambling for two touchdowns that went for 14 and 21 yards.

Cardinals linebacker Devon Kennard enjoyed Murray's show. He's also happy to watch it from the sideline.

''I'm glad I don't have to worry about that,'' he said with a grin. ''He causes a lot of problems.''

The Cardinals (2-0) jumped to a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. They led 20-0 by halftime and 20-3 following the third. DeAndre Hopkins caught eight passes for 68 yards and a touchdown. Zane Gonzalez made three field goals.

Murray alleviated any doubt who would win early in the fourth quarter when he darted through the middle of the field - dancing right past safety Troy Apke in the process - for a 21-yard touchdown that pushed Arizona's advantage to 27-3.

''As soon as I leave the pocket I survey the field,'' Murray said. ''Seeing how the blocks were set up, they were set up pretty perfectly.

''Once I get a guy 1 on 1, I like my chances.''

Washington (1-1) finally scored a touchdown with 12:20 left in the fourth quarter when Dwayne Haskins hit Terry McLaurin for a 24-yard score. It scored again when Antonio Gibson ran for an 11-yard touchdown to pull within 27-15 after the 2-point conversion failed.

By then it was too late for a rally. Washington came back from a 17-0 deficit to beat Philadelphia last week, but waited much too long to get going on Sunday. Haskins completed 19 of 33 passes for 223 yards and a touchdown.

''A new offense, a new scheme,'' Haskins said. ''Basically, on offense the whole team is under 25. It is a work in process. The biggest thing is come to work every day with your lunch pail and try to get better.''

In front of a fan-less State Farm Stadium, the Cardinals continued to look like a contender in the NFC West after finishing 5-10-1 last year. Kenyan Drake ran for 86 yards on 20 carries. Murray finished with 67 yards rushing.

''There was never a doubt in our mind that we'd start like this,'' Hopkins said. ''The team in the locker room we have is a lot of veterans, a lot of good young guys. To be 2-0 is what we expected.''

Arizona outgained Washington 244 yards to 96 in the first half as it built its 20-0 lead.

The Cardinals' revamped defense had a big day, holding Washington scoreless until Dustin Hopkins hit a 24-yard field goal late in the third quarter. Arizona gave up the most yards in the NFL last season, but the defense has been solid in both wins. Free-agent signings linebacker Devon Kennard and defensive lineman Jordan Phillips had a sack each.

''It's night and day,'' Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury said of the defensive improvement.

The teams traded turnovers in an eventful first quarter. Murray's pass into coverage was picked off by Landon Collins, giving Washington great field position at the Arizona 19. Three plays later, Haskins fumbled after getting hit on the arm by Phillips and Chandler Jones snagged the ball out of the air.

Arizona went three-and-out and had to punt, but got the ball right back when Steven Sims fumbled on the return. The Cardinals followed with a six-play touchdown drive capped by Murray's 14-yard run.

The shifty second-year quarterback got some good blocking on the right side and then slipped between two would-be tacklers to coast into the end zone.

''We played two teams today, them and ourselves. That's the truth of the matter,'' Washington coach Ron Rivera said. ''We hurt ourselves in that first half. We get into third-and-long situations and give up big plays. We take the ball away and we give it right back. We force a punt, we fumble the football. We can't do those things.''

Hopkins caught his first touchdown pass with the Cardinals on their opening possession. He was completely alone in the back of the end zone on third down and Murray hit him for the 4-yard score to make it 7-0.

RAZZLE DAZZLE

Kingsbury further solidified his reputation as an innovative play caller with a gutsy move in third quarter.

The Cardinals faced fourth-and-1 at their 27 and called timeout. Backup quarterback Chris Streveler took the snap, faked a handoff and then ran to his right before flipping the ball to Christian Kirk, who reversed field and gained 3 yards.

INJURIES

Arizona RB D.J. Foster (quad) left in the first quarter. ... Washington right guard Brandon Scherff (knee) was hurt just before halftime and gingerly walked off the field with the help of medical staff. He didn't return.

ANTHEM

The Cardinals stayed in the locker room for the national anthem, as they did last week. Washington stood along the sideline and a handful of players - including safety Collins - had a fist raised.

UP NEXT

Washington: plays second straight road game against Cleveland next Sunday.

Cardinals: stays at home and faces Detroit next Sunday.

Player Notes
Tevin Coleman Oct 31 5:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman (knee) has been activated off the IR and will be available for Sunday's game against the Seahawks. Coleman last played in Week 2 against the Jets, where he suffered a knee sprain that kept him out until now. It's anyone's guess as to who leads this backfield after head coach Kyle Shanahan pulled a fast one on us all last week. The best guess is that Coleman leads the backfield, with JaMycal Hasty mixing in as a change-of-pace option and Jerick McKinnon operating as the third-down back. Coleman and Hasty are probably the best plays of the bunch, though they're hard to look at as anything more than flex plays against Seattle.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Oct 31 4:50pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green will face the Titans in Week 8 fresh off two of his best games of the season. Green has at least 80 receiving yards in two straight games and has seen 24 targets over the last couple of weeks. That's elite-level volume that he may not be able to sustain with Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins both playing great football, though it's clear that he and Joe Burrow are developing a strong connection. Tennessee struggles to defend opposing wide receivers, as they've surrendered the fourth-most fantasy points to the position. Green can be started as a high-end WR3 with upside for more.

From RotoBaller

Latavius Murray Oct 31 4:40pm ET

New Orleans Saints running back Latavius Murray gets a seemingly tough matchup against the Bears in Week 8. Chicago has allowed the ninth-fewest fantasy points to running backs but ranks 23rd in the NFL against the run. Murray has seen at least 10 touches in all but one game this season and could see some more opportunities in this one with the Saints down a couple of pass-catchers. Look for Murray to see around 10 touches again and check-in as an RB3 for Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Joe Burrow Oct 31 4:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow gets a middle-of-the-pack matchup against the Titans in Week 8. Burrow is coming off the best game of his young career, with 406 passing yards, three touchdowns, and one interception against Cleveland. Tennessee ranks 18th in fantasy points allowed to enemy passers, though they've allowed at least 250 passing yards and two touchdowns to each of the last three quarterbacks they've faced. Burrow is coming into this one hot with a full stable of weapons, so keep him in your lineups as a solid QB1.

From RotoBaller

Julian Edelman Oct 31 4:10pm ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee) has been placed on the injured reserve. Edelman had surgery on his knee and is expected to miss at least the next three games, though head coach Bill Belichick seemed optimistic about the veteran receiver returning at some point. It's safe to drop Edelman in all formats. With starter N'Keal Harry (concussion) also out, the Patriots will have to turn to Jakobi Meyers, Damiere Byrd, and Gunner Olszewski for three-wide receiver sets. Meyers and Byrd can only be used by the most desperate of fantasy managers, as the matchup against Buffalo is tough.

From RotoBaller

Sterling Shepard Oct 31 4:00pm ET

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard (shoulder, toe) doesn't have an injury designation and will take the field heading into a tough matchup against the Buccaneers. Shepard was limited all week in practice after sustaining a turf toe injury in Week 7 against Philadelphia in addition to the shoulder ailment- though he's evidently shown the Giants enough to be confident in his health. It won't be an easy matchup for Shepard against Tampa Bay, as they've allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts. Still, Shepard's eight targets from Week 7 indicate that he'll be a big part of the offense moving forward. Look at him as a solid WR3 option in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Scott Miller Oct 31 3:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski (shoulder) and wide receiver Scotty Miller (hip, groin) are both good to go for Sunday. Both Gronkowski and Miller were limited on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, though they have no injury designations after both were full participants on Friday. Without Chris Godwin (finger), both players could potentially see more looks in the passing game. Look at Gronkowski as a solid TE1 and Miller as a risky WR4 against the Giants Defense on Monday night.

From RotoBaller

Devonta Freeman Oct 31 3:30pm ET

New York Giants running back Devonta Freeman (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This was expected, as Freeman was not able to take the practice field all week. He suffered the injury during the Giants' Week 7 contest against the Eagles on Thursday night, though the added time didn't help him heal any quicker. The Giants will turn to Wayne Gallman- who looked good in spurts against Philadelphia- as their lead back. He'll get enough touches to be started as a flex option, though it's hard to envision him finding much success against Tampa's league-best run defense.

From RotoBaller

Stephon Gilmore Oct 31 3:30pm ET

New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore (knee) is out for a key Week 8 divisional clash against the Bills. There was a glimmer of hope on Thursday when Gilmore was able to get a limited practice session in, though Friday's DNP made his status for Sunday grim. New England doesn't have much depth behind last year's Defensive Player of the Year and is inconveniently about to face Stefon Diggs. Diggs was already a must-start based on his previous production and is now arguably a top-five wide receiver this week.

From RotoBaller

Phillip Lindsay Oct 31 2:40pm ET

Denver Broncos head coach Vic Fangio said that running back Phillip Lindsay (concussion) will go for one more post-concussion evaluation on Saturday, but the team expects him to play in Week 8 against the Chargers, barring a setback in that test. It's bad news for Melvin Gordon, who will now share touches in the backfield with Lindsay, making him more of a low-end RB2/high-end RB3/flex. Lindsay was the better runner in Week 7, too, racking up 79 yards on nine carries. He's averaging just under five yards a carry and Gordon lost two costly fumbles against the Chiefs. Lindsay will be an RB3/flex option in PPR leagues if he can pass his final concussion test.

From RotoBaller

Andy Dalton Oct 31 2:30pm ET

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Andy Dalton (concussion) has been downgraded from doubtful to out for the Sunday night game against the division-rival Eagles in Week 8. This was the expectation all along after Dalton was unable to clear the concussion protocol or practice all week. Owner Jerry Jones thinks that the signal-caller will be ready to go for Week 9 against the Steelers, but we'll have to keep a close eye on his progress in the league's protocol. If he is available next week, he'd be a low-end QB2 against a tough Steelers Defense. Rookie Ben DiNucci will make his first career start against Philadelphia this Sunday, but he's also a low-end desperation QB2 in superflex leagues.

From RotoBaller

Ryan Succop Oct 31 1:40pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Ryan Succop makes for a good play in a Week 8 matchup against the New York Giants. Succop has made at least five kicks in four straight games and has at least five extra points in two straight. There's no reason to doubt Tampa Bay's offense against the Giants, even though their defense has shown signs of improvement. Fire up Succop as a solid starting option this week.

From RotoBaller

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Oct 31 1:40pm ET

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Defense has been one of the best options for fantasy this year. They get their best matchup of the year in Week 8 against the Giants, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses. The Giants' offensive line ranks dead-last in adjusted sack rate while Tampa Bay's defensive front ranks second in sack rate. This is a dream matchup for the Buccaneers' defense, so expect more than a few sacks and a couple of turnovers forced at the expense of Daniel Jones. The Buccaneers are probably going to be the highest-scoring defense of the week.

From RotoBaller

Rob Gronkowski Oct 31 1:30pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski faces a semi-tough matchup in Week 8 against the Giants. Gronkowski has at least six targets and 50 yards receiving in each of his last three contests and has scored a touchdown in two straight games. The Giants are not the soft spot they used to be for tight ends- they've allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy points per game to the position. Still, Gronkowski is too hot to bench right now, especially with how thin the tight end position is for fantasy. He has a good chance of putting up top-12 numbers at his position in Week 8.

From RotoBaller

Alshon Jeffery Oct 31 1:30pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (calf) has been ruled out for Week 8's Sunday night matchup with the division-rival Cowboys. Jeffery still has yet to make his 2020 season debut and missed practice all week. The 30-year-old miss the start of the season after having offseason foot surgery, but the calf injury is what's holding him back of late. The oft-injured veteran might not even have much of a role once he finally does return, so he's not a very attractive stash in standard-sized leagues at this point. The Eagles will be getting tight end Dallas Goedert (ankle) and rookie receiver Jalen Reagor (thumb) back in Week 8 as well. Jeffery has become a fantasy afterthought.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Johnson Oct 31 1:20pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Tyler Johnson will take the place of the injured Chris Godwin (finger) in Week 8 against the Giants. Johnson got the start in Week 5, playing a season-high 79 percent of the snaps and putting up a 4-61-0 line. With Brady currently rolling, it's fair to consider starting a player such as Johnson. There is some risk here, as the game script may tilt this towards a more run-heavy gameplan for the Buccaneers. Still, Johnson can be started by managers who are struggling with injuries or bye weeks.

From RotoBaller

Damien Harris Oct 31 1:20pm ET

New England Patriots running back Damien Harris (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 8 against the division-rival Bills. Harris was a limited practice participant all week, so he should be able to suit up on Sunday against Buffalo, barring any setbacks. New England will need as much help as possible from their backfield this weekend with both receivers Julian Edelman (knee) and N'Keal Harry (concussion) out, but the Patriots crowded backfield and their stagnant offense are both big concerns for Harris' potential upside. Harris has seen double-digit carries in two of his three games this year, but he'll need positive game script to reach his ceiling this weekend, and that might be tough going against a strong Buffalo offense. With just two catches in three games as well, Harris is an uninspiring RB3/flex in this crowded backfield picture.

From RotoBaller

Mo Alie-Cox Oct 31 1:10pm ET

Indianapolis Colts tight end Mo Alie-Cox (knee) and center Ryan Kelly (knee) are both questionable for Week 8 against the Lions. Alie-Cox didn't practice on Wednesday, but he was limited both Thursday and Friday. He sat out of the team's Week 6 game and rested up during the bye last week. The 27-year-old has a decent shot at playing this Sunday against Detroit, but his moment in the fantasy sun appears to have come and gone in 2020. Alie-Cox went over 100 yards receiving in Week 2 and scored in back-to-back games in Weeks 3 and 4, but he failed to haul in his only target in Week 5 when he was injured, and he's expected to take a back seat to Trey Burton moving forward.

From RotoBaller

Bryan Edwards Oct 31 1:10pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders rookie wide receiver Bryan Edwards (ankle, foot) is listed as questionable for Week 8 against the Browns. Edwards was limited in practice all week, so he definitely has a chance to return for the first time since Week 3. The third-rounder has caught five of his six targets for 99 yards in the first three games of his career, but he won't carry any fantasy appeal if he returns to action against Cleveland, as rookie Henry Ruggs III, Hunter Renfrow and Nelson Agholor should operate in three-receiver sets this Sunday. The Browns are an enticing matchup for wideouts; they've allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to them this year. Edwards might be able to make a splash play if he's active, but you can't trust him in fantasy lineups.

From RotoBaller

Allen Robinson Oct 31 1:00pm ET

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson II (concussion) has cleared the league's concussion protocol and is expected to play in Week 8 against the Saints. Robinson missed practice all week, making it seem unlikely on Friday that he would be able to suit up on Sunday. But it looks like fantasy managers can return him to their starting lineups for this weekend. Chicago's offense has been stagnant the last two weeks, though, which has limited A-Rob to nine receptions for 123 yards on 13 targets in that span. The Bears need to make their top receiver a bigger part of the game plan to get back in the win column, but the 27-year-old will be a WR2 for fantasy managers against New Orleans.

From RotoBaller