GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Tight end Zach Ertz has been with the Cardinals for just nine days and already has the longest touchdown catch of his nine-year career, rumbling 47 yards toward the end zone to put an exclamation point on Arizona’s 31-5 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday.
With a wide grin, Ertz said joining the NFL’s hottest team is quite a thrill.
“I’ve never seen so much green grass in the middle of the field,” Ertz said. “That’s going to happen when you have DeAndre Hopkins and A.J. Green on the outside and a quarterback like Kyler.”
The Cardinals scored 31 unanswered points to remain the NFL’s only undefeated team, improving to 7-0 for the first time since 1974. The Texans (1-6) — who looked totally overmatched for three quarters — have lost six straight games.
Arizona fell into an early 5-0 hole after a slow offensive start, but recovered to win easily. The Cardinals were a 20½-point favorite, according to FanDuel, which is a massive spread for an NFL game.
“It was a game we should have won,” Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons said. “And we did.”
Kyler Murray completed 20 of 28 passes for 261 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The interception was his first since Week 3, but it was one of the rare bad moments in another solid day.
James Conner added an 18-yard touchdown run. Ertz had three catches for 66 yards and a touchdown one week after being acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade.
It was the first time Hopkins and J.J. Watt had played against Houston, which is where both grew into stars before coming to the Cardinals. Watt signed with Arizona during the past offseason while Hopkins was acquired by the Cardinals in a trade in 2020.
Both had good moments on Sunday. Hopkins caught a 1-yard touchdown in the second quarter while Watt added a tackle for loss.
The Texans jumped out to a 5-0 lead after a terrible offensive start for the Cardinals.
Houston earned a safety and a 2-0 advantage late in the first quarter when Murray tried to scramble out of the end zone and was sacked by Jacob Martin. Murray was shaken up on the play and briefly went into the sideline medical tent for evaluation before returning for the next drive.