Arizona Cardinals’ early offensive issues continue in 1st half vs. Panthers

Oct 2, 2022, 2:32 PM | Updated: 10:58 pm
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray passes against the Carolina Panthers during the first ha...

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray passes against the Carolina Panthers during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

(AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

Another week, another lethargic start for the Arizona Cardinals offense.

While Arizona’s defense has answered the call for the most part early on against the Carolina Panthers, the same couldn’t be said for the offense after a 10-3 first half.

For a fourth straight week, quarterback Kyler Murray and Co. looked completely out of sorts right out of the gate, accounting for just one first down and 45 yards of total offense through a quarter of play.

The last time the Cardinals offense scored a touchdown in the opening frame was back in Week 16 of last season. They have yet to hold a lead on an offensive snap this season.

That’s not to say there weren’t opportunities, though.

After the Cardinals defense forced a turnover on downs on Carolina’s 39-yard line, Arizona was in a great spot to put some kind of points on the board. Using a combination of Darrel Williams and Eno Benjamin, the Cardinals managed to move the chains all the way down to the 10-yard line.

But much like the previous three first quarters of play, the Cardinals could not get out of their own way.

Instead of going north and south with running back James Conner, head coach Kliff Kingsbury opted to go to Rondale Moore behind the line of scrimmage on fourth down.

He never had a chance, as the Panthers blew up the play for a loss of four yards and the turnover on downs.

Things didn’t get much better early on in the second quarter.

Getting the first possession of the quarter, the Cardinals found success right off the bat through the air to pick up a quick first down.

Then came the ugly.

Following a seven-yard run by James Conner, Murray was tackled for a three-yard loss before completely wrecking the drive altogether thanks to a pick-six to linebacker Frankie Luvu.

The ensuing drive wasn’t much better, with Arizona going seven plays before turning the ball over on downs yet again, this time due to a bad snap by Rodney Hudson.

But while their first quarter scoreless streak remains intact for yet another week, the Cardinals were able to score before halftime thanks to a 33-yard field goal from Matt Prater.

Jalen Thompson stepped up in the ensuing Panthers drive with an interception in Cardinals territory to keep it a seven-point game heading into halftime.

Arizona won the ball game 26-16 after putting up 23 points in the second half.

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