Rapid reactions: Arizona Cardinals offense lackluster in loss to Seahawks

Oct 16, 2022, 5:52 PM | Updated: Oct 17, 2022, 9:51 am

The Arizona Cardinals did not score an offensive touchdown in the 19-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

The offensive performance was the worst of the year for an Arizona team that saw star wideout Hollywood Brown go down with an injury late in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Kyler Murray finished the ball game going 21-for-35 for 209 passing yards and one interception. He added 100 rushing yards on 10 attempts.

There were a lot of questions that left unanswered in Seattle on Sunday as the Cardinals gear up for a Thursday Night Football tilt against the New Orleans Saints.

Arizona Sports reporters, editors and hosts reacted to the loss in Seattle:

John Gambadoro, co-host of Burns & Gambo:

So let me get this straight. The Seahawks defense came into this game ranked second to last in points allowed per game at 31 and the Cardinals offense put up a whopping three points against them. Seattle also had the worst defense in regards to yards per play, yards per game, rushing yards per game and passing yards per game. Take Kyler Murray out and the combination of Eno Benjamin and Keaontay Ingram rushed the ball 18 times for 44 yards. Zach Ertz has no targets in the first half but 10 in the second? Kyler Murray got sacked six times vs. a defense without much of a pass rush.

I would guess the only person laughing right now is Erik Burkhardt, the agent that just negotiated long-term lucrative extensions for Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury. That man deserves a higher percentage! Look either Kyler is not seeing/understanding what Kliff is designing, or Kliff is designing packages so bad that it’s leaving Kyler without a snowball’s chance. Or both. Either way, if Kliff was the offensive coordinator instead of head coach he would be Mike McCoy right now. Even still as the head coach who seems incapable of getting a Bugatti to drive past 55 mph, this incredible ineptitude on offense will fall squarely on his shoulders. We can keep hoping things change but the reality is this is a business and if he can’t get it done they will try someone else — regardless of how many years he has left on his shiny new contract.

Amazing to think that a few days ago all the talk was about adding — could Arizona get Brian Burns or Bradley Chubb? Lose to New Orleans on Thursday and the Cardinals are going to be the ones subtracting not adding. Anyone want a J.J. Watt or James Connor? Maybe a Justin Pugh, Kelvin Beachum or Rodney Hudson? Might be a fire sale in Arizona if this team falls to 2-5.

Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley & Marotta: Sunday should have been a “Get Right” game for the Arizona Cardinals’ stagnant offense. Instead, it turned out to be another 60-minute slog.

The good news is that the Cardinals finally got points on their first drive of the game on a 23-yard field goal by Matt Ammendola. It’s also the last points the offense would muster in an ugly, discouraging 19-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Kliff Kingsbury’s offense is not only bad, it’s also boring. The only fun in the offense is when things break down and Kyler Murray makes something happen with a scramble. But even that broke down on Sunday. Murray scrambled for a first down late in the third quarter and fumbled, losing the ball on the Seattle 19-yard line.

Murray’s passing didn’t exactly inspire, either. He was inaccurate on a number of occasions, but he was also under immense pressure, getting sacked five times. The patchwork offensive line, playing without Rodney Hudson and losing Justin Pugh to injury during the game, was awful.

Defensively, the Cardinals played very well again. They harassed Geno Smith all day, sacking the Seahawks quarterback six times. The potent receiving duo of D.K. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett was held to four combined catches for 51 yards. Vance Joseph’s defense has totally exceeded any expectations since getting skewered in Week 1 by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Arizona has three losses in which they’ve held opponents to 19 or 20 points on the season. That wasn’t supposed to happen.

We’ve got six weeks of offensive evidence that this unit is not good. Yes, DeAndre Hopkins will be back on Thursday night, but Hollywood Brown likely won’t be on the field after suffering an apparent ankle injury late in the game. If Hopkins is indeed the ingredient that this offense has been missing, that, to me, is a further indictment on Kingsbury and the coaching staff. They knew he’d be gone for the first six weeks of the season, and this is the best that could be schemed in his absence?

We’ve also had six weeks of “we’ve got to be better” or “we’ve got to figure this out” or “I need to call better plays” from the head coach.

Sometimes, things aren’t fixable by the same people trying to solve the problem. I think that’s the case with the 2022 Cardinals.

Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo: Ever since it was announced that DeAndre Hopkins would miss the first six games, most assumed a position of survival; ride it out until he comes back. After Sunday’s inept performance, this offense looks so broken, so inept, that one cannot expect the return of Hopkins simply fixes it. It’s that far gone. What was once an expectation has now been reduced to a desperate kind of hope that he can do something to inject life into the lifeless.

What should have fixed that Cards offense was the Seahawks defense and not Hop’s return. This was (allegedly) the Cardinals “Get Right” game against a defense that gave up big plays, big yards and big points. But the narrative zigged and didn’t zag.

Instead, the unit that “Got Right” was a Seattle defense that was probably looking at the Cards’ offensive struggles and thinking they were the perfect tonic. They were. A defense that gave up 84 points in its last two games combined allowed only three points to the Cards. The banged-up offensive line crumbled. Kyler Murray’s throws were off. His running was welcome early but by itself wasn’t nearly enough. This was only the second game in his career that he ran over 10 times in a game in a loss.

The general manager felt good enough to keep a kicker the head coach clearly had no desire to actually use. And Hollywood Brown’s ankle has the potential to put a pause on seeing him and Hopkins on the same field. The shame of it is that once again the defense balled out and Vance Joseph has set himself up well for another head coaching gig, either here or elsewhere.

There have been too many disasters since December to mention with this football team; rank ’em how you want but this one is up there. High. And were it not for dubious contract extensions for the head coach and GM, their seats would be hot enough to melt a Terminator. Based on social media reaction, the extensions seem irrelevant to this fan base. They’re angry. They’re embarrassed. Maybe all that dissipates with a triumphant return by Hop on Thursday. That solves the short-term problem but think about it: A team that spent all that money on their offense, coach and GM is that reliant on one receiver? I have no idea how good it will be with him, but it should never be this bad without him.

Tyler Drake, Cardinals reporter and co-host of the Cardinals Corner podcast: Ugly. Atrocious. Unbelievable.

That about sums up the Arizona Cardinals’ offensive effort against the worst defense in the NFL. That’s not an overstatement, either. Seattle flat out sucks defensively.

But even the worst defenses can look like darlings against this current version of the Cardinals. They finally gave us some first-quarter points, only to be held scoreless the rest of the way. Arizona’s lone touchdown came courtesy of Chris Banjo on a punt block, not from the offense.

Like it or not, the theme of this Cardinals team six weeks in has centered around treading water until DeAndre Hopkins’ return in Week 7. This matchup was Arizona’s steppingstone into next week, when the offense can finally see what it truly has on the roster.

Instead, the Cardinals’ ship is taking on water with no real way to plug the holes. How confident is anyone in this offense even with Hopkins back in the mix? Even the All-Pro might not be enough to right the wrongs of this unit.

On the defensive side of things, there were a few points of growth to take home. Zaven Collins is quickly becoming that anchor in the middle after yet another strong showing. Rookie edge rushers Cameron Thomas and Myjai Sanders also flashed in Seattle with a sack apiece, while Markus Golden also notched the first sack of his season.

At the end of the day, this team’s issues stem from the offense, not the defense.

This was one of those games that was absolutely must-win for the Cardinals. Beat the lowly Seahawks and enter Week 7 tied for first in the NFC West. Instead, the Cardinals look like the bottom of the barrel in the division.

They might have gotten extended this past offseason, but Kliff Kingsbury’s and Steve Keim’s seats should at least be warm after a loss like the one we just saw. No excuses for that debacle.

Alex Weiner, editor: Kyler Murray said postgame Sunday his job is as difficult now as it was when he was a rookie. For a team that has preached progress over the past three seasons, that’s a very dire evaluation on where the offense stands.

The Cardinals did not have one drive end in a touchdown Sunday against a team that allowed 39 and 45 points in its last two contests, respectively.

Kliff Kingsbury said their showing during practices are not translating. There is a clear disconnect. Execution isn’t there from blitzes not being picked up, throws not being made and miscommunications on play calls. Murray was sacked six times and produced 100 of Arizona’s 144 rushing yards Sunday.

DeAndre Hopkins is coming back in Week 7 and the Cardinals are one game behind the other three teams in the NFC West. Their chance to win the division is still there, but it won’t be for long if the offense continues as is.

Arizona’s defense bent but didn’t break all game to keep Arizona in it. The Cardinals have allowed 20 or fewer points in four straight games and are 1-3. That’s who they are at this point.

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