The Music City Miracle. Wide Right. Thurman Thomas’ helmet. No Goal. Any big Buffalo fan will know exactly what those phrases mean. Moments like these and many disappointing seasons of mediocrity have put Buffalo fans through the wringer. With those phrases comes major disappointment and anguish across the Buffalo sports landscape. Now, there’s a new candidate to join that list: The Hail Murray.
The Bills had a collapse of epic proportions Sunday at the hands of the Cardinals, and it couldn’t have ended in a more painful way. Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins’ 43 yard Hail Mary shook the NFL, as the Cardinals topped the Bills, knocking them to 7-3. The Bills were just 34 seconds away from improving to 8-2 for the first time since 1993, when the Cardinals snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Allen’s strike to Diggs almost certainly seemed to be the game winner, as Diggs blew past All-Pro Patrick Peterson, and Allen threw it right on the money. Allen played one of his worst games of the year, but stepped up when the Bills needed it most, as he has so many times before in his young career. Josh’s late game heroics would be all for naught though, as the Bills defense folded, letting Murray march the Cardinals downfield. With six seconds remaining, Murray escaped from the pocket and threw up a prayer to DeAndre Hopkins. His prayer was answered when Hopkins climbed the ladder to secure the ball in triple coverage, around Buffalo’s 3 best defensive backs. There aren’t any other guys that Sean McDermott would want defending that play than All-Pro Tre’Davious White, Pro Bowler Micah Hyde, and Jordan Poyer. Not one of them could catch it. Not one of them could bat the ball out of the air. Hopkins is one of the league’s elite talents, and is one of very few receivers that would’ve been able to secure that catch. It was an incredible throw by Murray, who had to elude Bills defensive linemen, to get the ball into position where his top target could make a play in the endzone. The Cardinals made an all time great play when they needed it the most. Arizona’s 14 point second half comeback will give Bills fans painful flashbacks of their second half playoff loss to the Texans in 2019.
Murray’s heave won’t soon be forgotten among many NFL fans, and it is a moment Bills fans will never forget. It’s a play Bills fans will likely categorize as one of the more gut-wrenching plays in Buffalo history, even though it happened in the regular season. The play was an epitome of how Buffalo sports have been over the past 20 years. But now is not the time for the Bills to sulk over their disheartening loss. McDermott and the coaching staff have to address many problems heading into the bye, such as figuring out a viable starting offensive line and establishing a run game. The Bills still hold a lead over the Dolphins in the race for the AFC East, but Miami is shrinking the gap.