National Football League

Murray, Hopkins Dominate 49ers

September 13

Three games filled out the NFL's afternoon slate on Sunday, featuring Tom Brady's first trip to the Superdome, San Francisco's quest to control the NFC once again, and Joe Burrow's debut for the Bengals. 

Here are the key takeaways from midday Sunday:

1. The Cardinals' duo is indeed dynamic

It didn't take long for Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins to prove that their union would be a success.

Murray and Hopkins were lights out against the defending NFC champion San Francisco 49ers on Sunday in the Bay Area, with Hopkins setting a new career-high in receptions with 14.

His previous career-high was 12 back in 2018 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and he had only caught 10+ passes in a regular-season game nine times in his 7-year career.

Sunday also represented the second time in Murray's career that he surpassed 90 rushing yards. During his rookie season last year, he rushed for 93 yards at Cincinnati in Week 5. 

Prior to Sunday, the Cardinals hadn't won a season-opener since 2015, a 31-19 win over New Orleans. 

The Murray-Hopkins era is officially upon us.

2. Brees 1, Brady 0

After a single drive, it looked like Tom Brady was poised to take over the crown as the NFC South's top dog.

Oh how quickly the tide can change.

Tampa Bay took a 7-0 lead early in Sunday's matchup with division-rival New Orleans, but it was mostly downhill from there.

The Saints scored 24 unanswered after trailing by 7, capped off by a pick-6 by Janoris Jenkins in the beginning of the third quarter, Brady's second interception of the day. 

The Bucs would score 10 straight to cut New Orleans' lead to 7 late in the third, but the comeback was short-lived after Drew Brees found Emmanuel Sanders for a 5-yard score at the beginning of the final frame, and the Saints finished off Tampa Bay shortly after.

Brady finished the day 23-for-36 passing for 239 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and a rushing TD. Brees completed 18-of-30 passes for 160 yards and 2 TDs.

Round 1 goes to Brees. The two will face off once again in Week 9.

3. Welcome to the NFL, Joey B

No. 1 pick Joe Burrow got his career started with a bang.

Unfortunately, it ended with a thud. 

After marching the Bengals down the field, with 11 seconds left, Burrow hit superstar wide receiver A.J. Green for a touchdown from the Chargers' 3-yard line, but Green was called for offensive pass interference, nullifying the potential game-winning TD.

Still, with 7 seconds to go, Cincy was in field goal range, but Randy Bullock missed a 31-yard field goal that would have tied the game and presumably sent Cincinnati into overtime with the Los Angeles Chargers.

Burrow's final drive began at the Cincy 18-yard line, and it included 14 plays and covered 69 yards. 

He ended the day 23-for-36 for 193 yards and an interception. He rushed for 46 yards and a TD on 8 carries. 


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