Kyler Murray got crushed on the second drive of Thursday night's game, getting squished by L.J. Collier and Carlos Dunlap into the turf, with the latter falling directly on his throwing shoulder. Murray was never the same in the 28-21 loss to Seattle.
The Arizona Cardinals quarterback never exited the game, but repeated sideline shots showed Murray wincing in pain and trying to keep the sore shoulder loose, particularly in the first half.
The Seahawks didn't register a QB hit in the first meeting between the division rivals. Thursday night, Seattle ensured things would be different from the start.
"They definitely played for me in certain situations but like I said, we put up 21, had a chance to win the game at the end, but throughout the game, we started slow and kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Murray said, via the Associated Press.
Led by Dunlap, who sealed the game with his second sack of the night, Seattle compiled seven QB hits and three sacks.
Murray insisted after the game that his shoulder felt fine, saying, "I'm good."
More than just battering the 5-foot-10 QB, Seattle didn't allow Murray to do damage with his legs. Leading all signal-callers in rushing yards entering the game, the QB scampered just five times for 15 yards. Whether the shoulder injury adjusted Kliff Kingsbury's play-calling, Murray was more hesitant to run, or the Seahawks D never allowed the opportunity, it's the first time this season the speedy QB didn't get loose on the ground. Murray snapped a streak of five straight games with a rushing score.
The Cardinals entered the game leading the league in rushing. Seattle's defense held the ground game in check, with Murray, Kenyan Drake and Chase Edmonds combining for 57 yards on 18 carries and one touchdown with a long run of 12 yards.
"I think it was just flow of game," Murray said. "I don't think we had a lot of rushing yards anyway -- that's just the way they were playing it. We had what we had and like I said, we had our chances, we just didn't play well enough to win the game."
Part of how the Cardinals shot themselves in the foot, as Murray said, was penalties. Kingsbury's crew compiled 10 flags for 115 yards. It's the most penalty yards by an Arizona team since Week 16, 2016 versus Green Bay (119). The Cards lead the NFL with 79 penalties entering Sunday's games.
"You're not going to win in this league doing that, especially against a quality team against Seattle," Kingsbury said of the penalties. "That's unacceptable to have that many and we got to clean that up. Just got to refocus and be better moving forward. The guys, when that occurs, they're always feeling bad about the situation and so you just try to make sure we get past it and not allow it to happen against and not allow it to affect us moving forward."
The biggest penalties of the night were a J.R. Sweezy holding in the end zone that caused a safety; a taunting penalty on Dre Kirkpatrick that gave the Seahawks a first down on fourth down; and a 46-yard pass interference flag on veteran corner Patrick Peterson.
In a close game, the flags were enough to wipe out the chance of a comeback bid, and now Arizona faces an uphill climb to reclaim the top spot in the NFC West.