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After First Loss, Cardinals Ready To Regroup After Mini-Bye

With 7-1 record, still leading NFC West over Rams

Running back Chase Edmonds (2) and wide receivers Christian Kirk (13), A.J. Green (18) and Antoine Wesley (85) stand for the national anthem before Thursday's game.
Running back Chase Edmonds (2) and wide receivers Christian Kirk (13), A.J. Green (18) and Antoine Wesley (85) stand for the national anthem before Thursday's game.

The Cardinals have lived by the 1-0-mentality all year, only this time, the team is fresh off a loss.

With a mini-bye over the week, the players attended meetings Friday and began to regroup with their 7-1 record. For the first time, the Cardinals have been hit with adversity, at least in the standings. Now, the players have a fresh motivation heading into Week 9 with the 49ers.

"It's a hungry group," coach Kliff Kingsbury said. "We didn't put our best foot forward (Thursday) night, and we feel we can be a lot better. We're going to play a division opponent on the road – we've had great matchups with – the last couple of years. Our guys will be on edge and ready to go."

Kingsbury called the loss "probably our sloppiest game overall." The Cardinals' offense had a slow start before picking up rhythm later in the game. The defense struggled to stop the Packers' run game, which kept Kyler Murray and the offense on the sidelines. There were three costly turnovers, including Rondale Moore's muffed punt.

"We've got a ways to go," Kingsbury said. "The way we practice needs to translate over to the field. That will be an ongoing work in progress as we continue down the road."

The Cardinals are still leading the NFC West regardless of what the Rams do this weekend, thanks to their head-to-head win. But there are injuries that can cause problems. Murray was down on the field after the final play of the game and multiple reports said he was in a walking boot after the game. Kingsbury said the quarterback was sore and hopefully will improve over the next couple of days.

Kingsbury had the same response with DeAndre Hopkins and Zaven Collins. Hopkins played on-and-off Thursday with a bad hamstring that bothered him. Collins suffered an injured shoulder.

Kingsbury added that center Rodney Hudson has made significant progress, and the team will determine if he can play next week. Backup center Max Garcia also could return, while Kingsbury was impressed with third-string center Sean Harlow's performance on Thursday.

"Just how he handled himself; being put in that situation," Kingsbury said. "He's gotten reps but not a ton. So, to be able to lead the offense on primetime – I thought he did a tremendous job."

Kingsbury didn't have any more insight to the game's deciding play, the Murray interception on which wide receiver A.J. Green did not turn around. Packers' cornerback Rasul Douglas made the game-sealing interception.

"It was a miscommunication," Kingsbury said Friday. "I wish I had a better answer for you, but that's what it was. Two great players weren't on the same page, and unfortunately, it didn't work out for us."