On a wet and chilly day at Soldier Field, it was the denizens of the desert that came out on top, as the Arizona Cardinals beat the Chicago Bears 33-22 Sunday afternoon.
Kyler Murray, who had missed Arizona’s last three games with an ankle injury, threw for 123 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 59 yards and two more scores as the Cardinals upped their record to an NFL-best 10-2 on the season.
James Conner rushed for 75 yards, and picked up a receiving touchdown in the game, as did DeAndre Hopkins, who had also missed the team’s last three games with a hamstring ailment.
With Bears quarterback Justin Fields missing his second straight game, Andy Dalton threw for 230 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but also threw four interceptions in the game.
David Montgomery rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort.
The game got off to a rough start for Chicago, with Dalton throwing an interception on just the third play of the game for Chicago.
Four plays and 28 yards later, the Cardinals got on the board, as DeAndre Hopkins, who had missed Arizona’s last three games, hauled in an impressive 20-yard touchdown catch to give Arizona an early 7-0 lead.
The Bears’ second drive ended the same way their first one did, as Cole Kmet failed to haul in a pass and it found its way back to the Cardinals for another pick. Setting up shop at the Chicago 15-yard line, the Cardinals were able to score another quick touchdown, with Murray scrambling in from nine yards out to extend the lead to 14-0.
Montgomery began to flex his might on the Bears’ third drive of the game, and he was the key contributor on a 13-play, 77-yard drive that ended with the running back plunging into the end zone from a yard out to cut into Arizona’s lead.
On their first full-field drive of the game, the Cardinals’ offense still looked unstoppable, scoring for the third consecutive possession to take back a 14-point lead. This time it was James Conner doing the honors, scampering in on a 23-yard touchdown reception to make it a 21-7 game.
Things finally settled down a bit through halftime, and after Matt Prater knocked through a field goal to start the second half, the Bears’ offense got its act together as it scored another touchdown. On third-and-goal from the Arizona 1-yard line, Dalton found Jimmy Graham for a short score, trimming the Cardinals’ advantage to 10 points.
The Bears had another huge chance to seize momentum on their next drive, but with Chandler Jones in his face, Dalton tossed up another ball that was intercepted by Byron Murphy, giving Arizona prime field position.
Even after the momentum-killing interception, the Bears’ defense was still able to stand tall when it mattered most, stopping the Cardinals on three consecutive plays near the goal line. Prater was able to knock through a short field goal, giving Arizona a 27-14 lead.
The Bears’ offense once again faltered badly, with Dalton throwing his fourth interception of the day. An attempted screen pass ended up in the hands of lineman Zach Allen, and Arizona once again set up shop deep in Bears territory.
Two plays later, Murray cruised into the end zone for an easy touchdown, putting the Cardinals up big in the closing stages of the game.
The Bears did claw back another touchdown in the closing stages of the game, with Dalton flinging up a touchdown pass to Jakeem Grant Sr. with less than three minutes to go in the contest. He then found Graham for a two-point conversion, leaving Chicago behind by 11 points with 2:45 remaining.
The Bears failed to convert on the ensuing onside kick, and the Cardinals picked up a game-sealing first down after the Bears used all three of their timeouts before the two-minute warning.
The Bears will hit the national stage next weekend as they'll face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on NBC's Sunday Night Football. That game will kick off at 7:20 p.m., and will air on NBC 5.