Kyler Murray admitted that, yeah, he would visualize an undefeated season. It's not surprising, given how hyper-competitive he is and how he feels his team should win every single game. But it's not realistic in the NFL. And let's face it, for much of Thursday night, the Cardinals didn't look like they'd be able to pull it out.
But once they did have that chance – and to be well within field goal range too – it made the end painful. Worst-case scenario seemed to be overtime, if a couple of shots into the end zone didn't work.
OK, that wasn't the worst-case scenario, as we found out.
I do think the pass they ran would've worked. I'm sure this will eat at A.J. Green. But it's also one of 17. If the Cardinals go 16-1, they will be just fine, and yes, it's hard not to think while the Cards should've had this one, they shouldn't have had the Vikings win.
-- Not having DeAndre Hopkins hurt. But I also think Murray was right when he said, "I don't want to make it about that. It wasn't about that. We just didn't play up to our standards." That's true too. The offense was operating fine in the second half. Heck, while Green was in the middle of that final play, it was also his catch on third-and-long with the Cards backed up at their own 1 that even allowed the drive to get going.
-- That said, the Cardinals need a healthy Hopkins. That first 55-yard catch he had (the TD wiped out because Hop was called for a facemask) was a thing of beauty how he worked that cornerback. And Kliff Kingsbury admitted the Cardinals were trying to keep him out of the game after that and he still got back on the field just by running out to the huddle.
"I mean, a couple times," Kingsbury said. "He wants to be out there. He's competitive as anybody I've been around, and he ended up making some plays. But, we also have a lot of games left so we're trying to be smart with him."
-- For the most part, Sean Harlow held up at center, especially in the second half. He had one bad snap, and it almost was crushing – way too high, and Murray was lucky to recover for an eight-yard loss – but then Murray found Chase Edmonds for a wonderful catch-and-run first down on the final drive, and all was well. At least until the final pick.
-- It was a difficult night for rookie Rondale Moore. The muffed punt was bad. The interception off his hands was tough – Murray's throw was high – but he also brought it out of the end zone on a couple of kick returns that he'd probably like back. Every player is going to have such a game though. He's been good so many other times.
-- The brutal collision between running back Jonathan Ward's head to the knee of Packers return man Kylin Hill ended badly. Hill was out with what looked like a serious knee injury, and Ward has a concussion (although he was moving OK after being carted off.) It was a scary moment.
-- Since 2020 began, Aaron Rodgers is now 9-0 in primetime games, with 28 touchdown passes and just one interception. The Cardinals lost to one of the all-time greats Thursday night. And who knows – they may get another shot at him in the postseason.
-- Rodgers certainly thinks he will. In his postgame hug with Kyler Murray, he told Murray he'd see him in the playoffs. That'd certainly be an event. Hopefully it'll be at State Farm Stadium and not Lambeau.
That's all for tonight. Time for the Cardinals to take the long weekend, and reset.