It was a game played during a global health crisis in unhealthy air. There were no fans at 68,500-seat Levi’s Stadium on Sunday and smoky skies from Northern California wildfires enhanced the surreal atmosphere as the 49ers’ opened the NFL’s first regular season played in a pandemic. And this was weird, too: The 49ers, the NFC champions who arrived as seven-point favorites, lost 24-20 to the Cardinals, who went 5-10-1 and occupied the NFC West cellar last year. The 49ers, hoping to avoid a Super Bowl hangover, emerged with a splitting headache inspired by Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, last year’s cat-quick No. 1 pick who rallied the Cardinals from an early 10-point hole. Murray gave the Cardinals a 17-13 lead with 10:26 left on a 22-yard touchdown run. However, the 49ers answered less than two minutes later on Jimmy Garoppolo’s 5-yard touchdown pass to running back Jerick McKinnon. No problem. Murray responded by directing a game-winning, 75-yard touchdown march. He had a 15-yard scramble on the drive and a 33-yard pass to wideout DeAndre Hopkins that set up running back Kenyan Drake’s 1-yard scoring run on the next play that give Arizona a 24-20 lead with five minutes left. The… Read full this story
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