Murray throws TD, Cards end 3-game skid, beat red-hot Giants

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Arizona Cardinals' Kenyan Drake (41), top right, leaps over New York Giants defenders to score a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – There's more to the Arizona Cardinals than Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins and a potent offense.

Kliff Kingsbury and the Cardinals are back in a playoff spot with three weeks left in the regular season because of a franchise-record performance by linebacker Haason Reddick and the play of his buddies on the defense.

Reddick had a franchise-record five sacks and three forced fumbles as the Cardinals ended a three-game skid and spoiled the return of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones with a 26-7 victory over New York on Sunday.

“Hopefully it sparks something,” said Reddick, who broke the team record of 4 1/2 sacks set by Curtis Greer in 1983 against the Eagles. “When you looked at us in practice, the energy was different. The intensity was crazy. I felt like everybody knew this was a game that we needed. The fact that we came out here, played hard and got the W is hopefully a spark for us, and it pushes us for the rest of the season so we can we can continue to the goal we set out, to get into the playoffs”

After opening the season 6-2, the Cardinals lost four of five to fall out of a playoff spot. Coupled with Tampa Bay’s 26-14 win over Minnesota (6-7), the Cardinals are back in a wild-card berth.

Murray, who went 24 of 35 for 244 yards and a touchdown, said safety Budda Baker talked to the team this week, saying to look at themselves if they want to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

“At this point. we have to go out there and execute,” said Murray, who ran 10 times for 47 yards. “Every game for the rest of the season matters for us. We know what we’re striving for. We’ve got to keep grinding, work hard, practice hard and translate that to the game.”

The loss ended a four-game winning streak for the Giants (5-8), who were coming off a win over Seattle that was their best performance of the season.