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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Jess Root

‘Madden’ sim has Byron Murphy making INT to set up late TD in win over Rams

In the Arizona Cardinals’ 29-23 overtime win over the Las Vegas Raiders, it was cornerback Byron Murphy who picked up a Hunter Renfrow fumble and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown.

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In a simulation of the Cardinals’ Week 3 matchup at home against the Los Angeles Rams on Madden NFL 23, Murphy comes up clutch again.

With under two minutes remaining in the game and the score tied 13-13, Murphy picks off a Matthew Stafford pass and returns it to the five-yard line. James Conner scores on the next play to give the Cardinals a 20-13 lead and win.

The simulation was a defensive struggle. Both teams punted 10 times and neither quarterback completed half their passes.

The Cardinals took a 3-0 lead on a Matt Prater 58-yard field goal on their second drive of the game.

The Rams answered with a three-yard touchdown run from Darrell Henderson to take a 7-3 lead.

Prater missed a 61-yard field goal on the next possession and then the two teams would exchange nine punts before the Cardinals get a 41-yard field goal as time expired in the first half. The Cardinals trailed 7-6.

Both teams punted to start the second half and then Kyler Murray threw an interception. The Rams could only get a 33-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-6.

After five more punts, linebacker Zaven Collins picked off Stafford and the Cardinals scored their first touchdown of the game, a 23-yard touchdown pass from Murray to Greg Dortch.

The Rams moved down the field but the Cardinals stuffed them at the goalline and the Rams tied the game 13-13 on a 21-yard Matt Gay field goal.

The Cardinals went three-and-out, giving the Rams the ball with under two minutes left in the game and Stafford threw his second interception of the game. Murphy returned it to the five and Conner scored one play later to give the Cardinals a 20-13 lead.

The Rams had just over a minute to try and tie the game but turned the ball over on downs.

Simulation stats

Murray completed 19-of-43 passes for 227 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked once by Aaron Donald.

James Conner led all teams in rushing with 12 carries for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Greg Dortch led the Cardinals with seven receptions for 87 yards and a score. Zach Ertz had five catches for 55 yards.

Dennis Gardeck sacked Stafford twice and J.J. Watt got him once.

Stafford was 18-for-46 for 177 yards and two picks.

Cam Akers had 10 carries for 38 rushing yards.

Cooper Kupp was held to four receptions for 45 yards. Tutu Atwell led the Rams with seven catches for 52 yards.

If this is anything like how the actual game goes Sunday afternoon, it will be a good weekend for Cardinals fans.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

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