James Conner felt due for a breakout game this season.
It finally happened in the Cardinals' 25-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday at State Farm Stadium.
"I was just trying to be a spark for the offense," Conner said quietly, "and all I can do personally is build from that.
"We lost the game, so it's tough. It wasn't enough."
Yes, the Cardinals' lead vanished with seconds left in the fourth quarter after Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert found tight end Gerald Everett on a two-point conversion. But it shouldn't overshadow the production of Conner.
The running back ran over and through defenders for 120 yards on 25 carries. It was his first 100-rushing performance as a Cardinal and the 10th of his career.
Conner also contributed to the passing game with 20 receiving yards on three catches, including a the fourth-quarter touchdown which had given the Cardinals their final lead.
Kliff Kingsbury said the plan was to feature their run game heavily against the Chargers, who allow 151.4 yards per game to the run, third-worst in the NFL behind Detroit and Houston.
The head coach thought Conner answered the bell with his performance, aside from a fumble in the first quarter.
"We know it would be a big factor in the game if we could do that," Kingsbury said. "I thought he ran well. We would like to have the fumble back, but when you get him going early, it's a good sign for our offense."
Murray echoed Kingsbury in praising Conner's production on Sunday.
"It was huge," Murray said. "He played his ass off. We just got beat. It was a step in the right direction for the run game."