ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals offense remains astray, defense does all it can in loss to Seahawks

Oct 16, 2022, 6:50 PM | Updated: Oct 17, 2022, 9:52 am

SEATTLE — The Arizona Cardinals snapped their scoreless first quarter streak on the opening drive of Sunday’s matchup with the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field.

A field goal kicked less than five minutes into the contest were the only points Arizona’s offense put up, though, as the Cardinals fell 19-9 to drop to 2-4 on the year.

Their drives after the three points went as followed: downs, punt, punt, punt, downs, fumble, downs, punt, interception, end of game.

Quarterback Kyler Murray felt the offense moved the ball down the field but just didn’t finish drives. While Arizona only netted 315 yards, it breached the Seattle 30-yard line four times after the opening possession and came away empty-handed.

Arizona passed up field goal attempts in Seattle territory three times and failed to convert on fourth down on each occasion.

Head coach Kliff Kingsbury once again blamed himself, his team’s execution and the lack of carryover practice details have had on Sundays.

“I’ve got to do a better job of making sure we’re running things that we can execute at a high level and be efficient and stay on schedule and score touchdowns,” Kingsbury said postgame.

“We’ve just struggled throughout the season. And then execution, routine plays that we make in practice and how we do it in practice has to carry over to the games and right now it’s not.”

The only touchdown Arizona scored came on special teams, as linebacker Ezekiel Turner punched the ball loose from Seahawks punter Michael Dickson in the end zone, and Chris Banjo picked it up for the score. The point after was missed by kicker Matt Ammendola, though. 

Murray said the struggles offensively were self-inflicted. A negative play here and a flag there, as he recalled.

The quarterback was sacked six times on Sunday — twice on third down and once on fourth down — for 51 yards lost. He couldn’t get anything going downfield, going 3-for-12 on passes beyond 10 yards.

Arizona’s longest play of the day was a 42-yard run by Murray, who gained 100 of his team’s 144 rushing yards.

He said his job has not been as difficult as it is now since he was a rookie and the Cardinals went 5-10-1.

“I don’t want to get into details, but it’s tough right now,” Murray said. “Just feels like we moved the ball, we get to a certain area … we’re not doing things right, right now.”

Despite the issues on offense, Arizona was down by single digits for most of the game. Its defense allowed points on five Seahawks drives but held Seattle to four field goals.

The Seahawks only gained 296 net yards, as the Cardinals picked up key third-down stops in the red zone to hold Seattle to 1-of-5.

Arizona’s young defenders made plays.

Zaven Collins picked up his first two NFL sacks on Sunday. Rookie Cameron Thomas sacked Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith on third down in the red zone. Rashard Lawrence had a critical tackle for loss inside the 10-yard line. Rookie Myjai Sanders had the sack which led to the special teams touchdown.

It wasn’t a perfect day for the Cardinals defense, having allowed 146 rushing yards excluding the Dickson fumble and committing multiple costly penalties, but the unit ultimately kept an offense that scored 80 points over its last two games under 20.

The Cardinals have held their last four opponents to 20 points or fewer, and not being able to capitalize on such performances is bothersome to Kingsbury.

“Anytime you have a group playing that hard and playing that good, a bunch of young guys that continue to get better, flying around and offensively, we’re just not able to convert some of those opportunities they’re giving us,” Kingsbury said. “It’s definitely frustrating.”

The offense is about to make a major addition, though, as receiver DeAndre Hopkins returns from his six-game suspension in Week 7.

The Cardinals expect having the All-Pro receiver in the mix will make life a bit easier, but Kingsbury admitted Hopkins is not going to save the offense if it continues to have its current problems.

Health questions loom, as well.

Running backs James Conner and Darrel Williams did not play Sunday due to injuries. Wide receiver Marquise Brown was carted to the locker room late in Sunday’s game with a foot injury and was later in a walking boot — although he said his X-rays came back negative.

Center Rodney Hudson did not play Sunday and left guard Justin Pugh exited the game with a knee issue.

With all the adversity — self-inflicted or not — the Cardinals have faced and will continue to moving forward, the reality is they are very much in the mix for the NFC West. There is not a single team in the division above .500 through six weeks. The other three squads are each 3-3.

Going further, there will be only four teams with winning records in the entire NFC after Week 6.

“We got 11 games left,” safety Budda Baker said. “We’re just preaching on trying to get better each and every day. We lost the day, but we got a game on Thursday. Guys got to recover, guys got to strain more, guys have got to do things better each and every week.”

But Kingsbury said the offense has not been good enough collectively to compete in these types of games, leaving a lot to be repaired in order to keep Arizona in the hunt.

The Cardinals have a quick turnaround this week with the New Orleans Saints coming to State Farm Stadium on Thursday Night Football.

Life Changer Loans
Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury speaks at a news conference after his team's NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) fumbles while sacked by Seattle Seahawks defensive end Darrell Taylor (52) during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. Cardinals offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum, right, recovered the ball. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Seattle Seahawks tight end Will Dissly (89) runs against Arizona Cardinals linebacker Zaven Collins (25) during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz (86) is tackled by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen (27) during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Former Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander is honored into the team's Ring of Honor during halftime of an NFL football game between the Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) scrambles away from Seattle Seahawks linebacker Boye Mafe (53) during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Former Seattle Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander is honored into the team's Ring of Honor during halftime of an NFL football game between the Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) passes in front of Seattle Seahawks defensive end Darrell Taylor (52) during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury watches from the sideline during the second half of his team's NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III (9) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) scrambles against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals running back Eno Benjamin, middle left, runs against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Arizona Cardinals linebacker Myjai Sanders, top, sacks Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz, right, catches a pass in front of Seattle Seahawks safety Ryan Neal during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) fumbles while tackled by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Coby Bryant, right, during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. The ball was recovered by Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Arizona Cardinals' Chris Banjo, middle, celebrates after recovering a fumble for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) cannot catch a pass in front of Arizona Cardinals linebacker Tanner Vallejo during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III (9) runs for a touchdown against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. (7) during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) celebrates a touchdown run by running back Kenneth Walker III during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Seattle Seahawks safety Ryan Neal, left, breaks up a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals tight end Zach Ertz, right, catches a pass in front of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen (27) during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll greets players during the second half of his team's NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) passes against the Arizona Cardinals during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, bottom, reacts after being sacked against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen (27) celebrates with safety Josh Jones after intercepting a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown, left, during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Seattle Seahawks cornerback Tariq Woolen (27) intercepts a pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise Brown, rear, during the second half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Seattle Seahawks defensive end Shelby Harris (93) gestures toward fans during the second half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals tight end Trey McBride reacts on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, left, runs against Seattle Seahawks defensive end Shelby Harris (93) and defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson (77) during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Seattle Seahawks linebacker Uchenna Nwosu (10) celebrates after sacking Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III (9) runs against Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence (90) during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) runs in front of Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt (99) during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith (7) drops back to pass against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Arizona Cardinals defensive end J.J. Watt (99) reacts after a tackle against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) runs against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) runs against Seattle Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs (6) during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Caean Couto) Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) cannot catch a pass against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Byron Murphy Jr. during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr) Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf (14) cannot catch a pass over Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons (9) during the first half of an NFL football game in Seattle, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)

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