Rapid reactions: Cardinals’ 2nd-half woes continue in loss to Seahawks
Oct 22, 2023, 4:58 PM | Updated: 7:04 pm
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Another week, another subpar showing for the Arizona Cardinals offense.
The Cardinals again were unable to put together a complete game offensively, ending up on the wrong side of a 20-10 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Only twice did the Cardinals walk away with points on Sunday, with the other nine drives resulting in five punts, a missed field goal and three turnovers on downs.
It’s an especially tough pill to swallow for the Cardinals defense after winning the turnover battle 3-0.
Arizona Sports’ hosts, editors and reporters gave their biggest takeaways from the Cardinals’ fourth straight loss of the season.
Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley & Marotta: New week. Same story.
Cardinals play hard. Cardinals shoot themselves in the foot offensively. Cardinals allergic to scoring points in the second half. Cardinals lose 20-10 to the Seahawks.
The biggest culprit holding the Cardinals back from scoring on Sunday was the offensive line and its failure to protect Joshua Dobbs (who wasn’t good, either). Dobbs was sacked only four times but was under constant pressure. D.J. Humphries’ ejection for making contact with an official during a skirmish didn’t help matters. Kelvin Beachum was forced into duty for the first time this year and struggled. Elijah Wilkinson’s absence at left guard really made things tough on that side of the line, although rookie Paris Johnson Jr. really struggled at right tackle.
This team wasn’t expected to win many games and they won’t. But the repeating trend of failing to do anything in terms of scoring points after halftime has got to be fixed. Dobbs didn’t look downfield really all day (again, pressure) and everything in the passing game was underneath. Dobbs averaged 4.4 yards per attempt. The Cardinals’ longest pass play was a 21-yard completion to Hollywood Brown, but that came when the game was pretty much decided.
Zach Ertz continues to have plays that “he should have made.” Little things like bad shotgun snaps and poor holds on field goal attempts continue to haunt this team as well.
Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo: That game had all the vibes of one of those late December games, where the season is almost over and you’re just playing out the schedule waiting for the season to end. And we’re not even to Halloween yet.
The offense has lost all semblance of functionality. One touchdown drive in which the offense gained 80 yards. Every other drive combined for 169 yards. Three forced turnovers that generated three total points. It made for a virtually unwatchable brand of football. Whether the cause is the overexposure of Dobbs or the lack of James Conner, at this point all eyes have turned towards Kyler Murray. Not so much as a savior but as a curiosity.
I’m anxious to start getting the answers about Murray, his future, and their decision. Yes, that’s what this season was always about before it even started. But we’re here now. He’s practicing. Games like today only make me want to see him back even more so we can start getting the answers that will truly dictate the future of this franchise.
John Gambadoro, co-host of Burns & Gambo: The good news. The Bears won. The Giants won. The Patriots won. The Broncos won.
The bad news. There isn’t any.
The Cardinals are just where many expected them to be at 1-6 through 7 games. Murray will be back soon and it actually can’t come soon enough. Dobbs is struggling to move the offense, especially without James Conner. He may be a decent backup quarterback in this league but he is not starter material and everyone knows it. This game was actually there to be won with Seattle playing so sloppy. But when you can’t score, you can’t win. Arizona’s defense in the second half had a sensational goal line stand at their own one-yard line stopping Seattle on three straight plays — it resulted in a Seattle field goal for a 17-10 lead. Garrett Williams had a pick in his first game, but the Cardinals had the ball at their own 1-yard line after that and they punted. Geno Smith fumbled a snap and Kevin Strong recovered giving the Cardinals great field position at the Seattle 34-yard line but a fumbled snap that lost them 14 yards played a part in having to attempt a 34-yard field goal that was wide left. Arizona was actually down just a touchdown when they tried to fool Seattle with a fake punt in which Clayton Tune completed a pass to Michael Wilson. Problem was it didn’t fool anyone and while they needed nine yards for a first down, they got four.
In the first half another big play on special teams on a forced fumble gave Arizona the ball at the Seahawks’ 30-yard line, but all they could get out of that was a field goal. Mark this down as another game in which they would have won if they had Murray. But they didn’t and the result was another loss. I do feel bad for the Cardinals defense as they are truly battling and if not for them, these games wouldn’t even be close.
Tyler Drake, Arizona Sports’ Cardinals reporter, Cardinals Corner co-host: The offensive inconsistencies roll on for Dobbs and the Cardinals.
The passing game needs a lot of help after Dobbs turned in another inconsistent and inaccurate game. With every overthrow and missed read, the roar to bring Kyler Murray back sooner than later gets that much louder. Dobbs was fine through the first few games but has since regressed to what a lot of us expected from a free agent who started Week 1 days after getting dealt to the desert.
A depleted offensive line, which lost Humphries to an ejection in the first half, as a whole didn’t do Dobbs or the offense any favors, either.
With that being said, I liked the creativity offensive coordinator Drew Petzing drew up on a few occasions, most notably the screen passes late to Trey McBride. Do more of that! As for Ertz, there is a lot to be desired from the once-trusted veteran.
As for the running game, Keaontay Ingram clearly worked his way out of the rotation this week with a goose egg for touches in Seattle.
Instead, it was undrafted rookie Emari Demercado getting the bulk of the work and proving his Week 5 fill-in performance wasn’t a fluke. The only other running back to see a carry was Damien Williams — literally one rushing attempt. It is clear Petzing and Co. see something in the versatile Demercado.
Defensively, my hat goes off to rookie cornerback Garrett Williams. Activated for the first time in his NFL career after using the offseason to bounce back from a torn ACL, Williams notched his first career interception to go along with two tackles and a pass defensed.
Kevin Strong also turned in one of his best games as a Cardinal behind 0.5 sacks and a fumble recovery. Zaven Collins meanwhile has recorded at least 0.5 sacks in four out of seven games.
And I can’t forget about Dennis Gardeck, who continues to make his presence felt defensively and on special teams.
Kevin Zimmerman, ArizonaSports.com editor: If I may use this opportunity of a relatively competitive game to remain optimistic, the Cardinals’ play-calling remained strong from an offensive perspective even as the product was an absolute dud. It’s certainly a red flag that Arizona scored 10 points with a plus-three turnover differential, but the play and lack of talent cloaked some of the creativeness and off-balance ideas that Petzing put together (the tunnel screen stuff in the second half was a fun counter).
The run game was strong (5.1 yards per carry) with Demercado taking the large share of carries (13 for 58 yards). And that’s with Kelvin Beachum taking over for Humphries in the first half at left tackle.
Dobbs certainly saw plenty of pressure (eight quarterback hits) and struggled with missed throws. Brown and Ertz were culprits on some of those missed opportunities in the passing game. The 3.2 yards averaged per pass play is offensive atrophy than shouldn’t be acceptable. I’m not convinced the coaches should take much blame on that end.
*Cue the Princess Leia hologram*
Help us Kyler Murray, you’re our only hope.