Cardinals’ McSorley falls short in NFL starting debut
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Trace McSorley had the unenviable task of facing Tom Brady in his first NFL start.
Arizona’s young quarterback, like so many before him, could not match one of the best to ever play the game.
Unable to lead the Cardinals to a score in overtime, McSorley watched from the sideline as Ryan Succup kicked a 40-yard field goal to give the Buccaneers a 19-16 victory Sunday night.
“Losing the game is what’s going to sting the most in a game we had opportunities to win,” McSorley said. “We didn’t make the plays and execute enough to do to that.”
McSorley was pressed into duty when Colt McCoy, who replaced Kyler Murray (knee), suffered a concussion last week against Denver.
The 27-year-old couldn’t rally the Cardinals against the Broncos and got his first NFL start when McCoy didn’t clear protocols in time for Sunday night’s game.
That meant McSorley would have to face Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion and the NFL’s career passing leader.
McSorley had some good moments while the Cardinals (4-11) frustrated Brady through most of three quarters, yet couldn’t lead them to the win.
McSorley led Arizona on two first-half scoring drives that stalled out, resulting in field goals and a 6-6l tie at halftime. The third-year quarterback also lost a fumble in the first quarter when he was blindsided by an unblocked Anthony Nelson at Tampa Bay’s 23.
McSorley’s biggest mistake of the night came in the fourth quarter when Keaontay Ingram couldn’t handle his pitch, putting the Buccaneers (7-8) in position to kick a tying 42-yard field goal.
He also had trouble finding DeAndre Hoplies and Marquise Brown downfield, if it all.
Hopkins had one catch to extend his streak with a catch to 145 games and that didn’t come until the fourth quarter. Brown had three catches for 53 yards.
McSorley finished with 217 yards on 24-of-45 passing and an interception on a Hail Mary at the end of regulation.
“I thought he battled,” Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “He made enough plays to keep us in the game. There’s some things he’d like to have back, no question, but he played hard and we had our opportunities.”
McSorley led Arizona on a drive that resulted in Matt Prater’s third field goal, from 42 yards, early in the fourth quarter and another capped by James Conner’s 22-yard.
That gave the Cardinals a 16-6 lead, but will too much time left for Brady, the NFL’s greatest comeback artist.
Brady had been frustrated most of the night, throwing passes intercepted by Marco Wilson while being limited mostly to throws underneath.
The game on the line, Brady delivered — as he usual does.
The Buccaneers pulled within three on Brady’s 3-yard TD pass to Rachaad White and tied it on Succup’s 42-yard field goal with 2:31 left.
Arizona got the ball first in overtime and got a first down on a diving catch by Brown. Three plays later, they punted the back back to Brady and the Bucs.
Brady worked Tampa Bay down the field quickly, completing all six of his passes for a winning field goal that kept the Bucs in the NFC South lead and sent the Cardinals to their fifth straight loss.
“We know who is across the ball from us,” McSorley said. “We know with that much time left, that is a lot of time left for him to operate and for him to do what he did.”
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