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Cardinals Can't Escape Offensive Drought In Loss To Seahawks

Defense plays well but can't overcome 19-9 defeat

Defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence celebrates after a big third-down stop during the Cardinals' game in Seattle Sunday.
Defensive lineman Rashard Lawrence celebrates after a big third-down stop during the Cardinals' game in Seattle Sunday.

SEATTLE – Kyler Murray ran for 100 yards. The Cardinals scored on their opening drive. And the defense was solid again against an offense that had been lighting up the scoreboard.

Yet there was Murray standing in front of his locker after a 19-9 loss to the Seahawks at Luman Field Sunday, quietly talking again what had gone wrong.

"Probably rookie year, that's probably the last time (expletive) has felt this hard," the Cardinals quarterback said.

The only touchdown the Cardinals scored against a struggling Seahawks defense came on special teams. There is a short week coming before a Thursday night home game, and yes, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be back. But likely lost – at least for one game – will be fellow wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown, who hurt himself leaping to make a play on Murray's lone interception in the fourth quarter.

Brown said his x-rays were negative – "We'll go forward (Monday) and see the next steps" -- but he was walking with a limp and wore a boot on his left foot. Starting left guard Justin Pugh had a brace on his right knee and said he wouldn't know his status until after an MRI.

Those situations were the shrapnel that came out of a loss that left everyone without answers.

"You've got to stop them," said linebacker Zaven Collins, who had the first two sacks of his NFL career. "We have to do better as a defense. We can help the offense more. We can all do more. We have to figure it out.

"That's what it comes down to. Someone told me before, when (expletive) is hitting the fan, figure it out."

The Cardinals outgained the Seahawks (3-3), 315 to 296. Star Seahawks receivers DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett combined for just four catches and 51 yards.

But as much as the Cardinals are struggling offensively – and basically playing without a kicking option – the Seahawks didn't need much.

"It begins with me," coach Kliff Kingsbury said, adding that he's never been through such an offensive drought as a head coach. "New to me."

"We will see how we can move things around personnel-wise and scheme-wise and see how we can get better," Kingsbury said. "It's a six-game view and it hasn't been good enough."

Driving easily on the first possession of the game, the Cardinals got to the Seattle 1 before eventually being force to kick a short field goal for their first first-quarter points of the season. And that was it -- the only other score didn't come until the end of the third quarter when the special teams recovered a fumble by Seahawks punter Michael Dickson in the end zone.

Three times the Cardinals were in field-goal range and chose not to use Matt Ammendola, and three times the fourth-down play didn't work. Ammendola, who had missed the game-tying kick the week before against the Eagles, missed an extra-point attempt.

"With our kicking situation, that played into it some," Kingsbury said. "We are normally aggressive on fourth downs. If (regular kicker Matt) Prater was here, at least a couple of those would've been kicked."

The first fourth down came early, with the score knotted at 3. Rondale Moore was open for the yards to gain, but Murray's throw was low and Moore, while sliding, still had it go through his hands.

"That fourth down hurt," Kingsbury said. "It felt like we needed to convert that and for whatever reason after that we lost some confidence and didn't play well from that point on."

Murray ended up sacked a season-high six times with Pugh missing most of the game and Sean Harlow starting in place of injured center Rodney Hudson, but Kingsbury defended the group's play saying the issues "are on all of us."

It was the first time in Murray's career the Cardinals have lost when he has had 10 rushing attempts in a game.

Murray said he didn't want to get specific on some of the issues he thinks the offense was having. He didn't dispute Kingsbury's comment that plays the team makes in practice aren't translating to game day.

But, Brown said, "The situation in practice isn't the same as the situation in games. All of us have to look in the mirror and get stuff right."

Hopkins' return may provide a spark, but he alone can't solve all the offensive woes.

"It's tough out there right now," Murray said. "And a lot of it is self-inflicted. We've got to be better."

Game action photos from the Cardinals' 19-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks during Week 6 of the 2022 NFL regular season