Rondale Moore is a smart kid. That's come across whenever he's talked since being drafted, his thoughtfulness part of the package (besides his excellent combo of strength and speed) that will make him a good draft pick.
His impact hasn't been quite the same the last couple of games, but the wide receiver will only say he's blessed to be in his position. Asked if he has hit the rookie wall, he says "I don't know what a rookie wall is," and it's in the context that he shouldn't be allowed an excuse of such things.
Moore hadn't talked since before the Packers game, and to hear how he dealt with the muffed punt that night – a night that didn't go well for him overall – was illuminating.
"It sucks, man," Moore said. "I'm human. I'll be honest, I didn't sleep that night. That weekend was terrible, it sucked. But the main part is to get back in the facility, get back to work and realize it's a new week and there's nothing I can do about it. It wasn't on purpose.
"I'm supported by great teammates who cheered me up when it happened. Everyone hated it, no one more than myself. But as a ballplayer, you have to realize things like that happen, and you have to flush the toilet."
Obviously, Moore was talk directly about the punt. But that's what the Cardinals have had to do this week after the Panthers disaster. I have no doubt, regardless of who is at QB, the Cardinals will play well Sunday. We'll see how that works out on the scoreboard.
-- To QB, or not QB? For that is the question for Kyler Murray. Again. This time, given the circumstances, I think there is a good chance Murray goes, but then again, I won't be shocked if he does not play. He's worked hard to get back (although I don't know if he's rehabbing 19 or 20 hours a day) but the pull to get two extra weeks of rest on it may be great. Murray said he'll play if he can play. So we wait.
(Which I know kills the fantasy football folks out there, but alas, it was inevitable.)
-- Excuses are excuses, but in the game notes this week the Cardinals pointed out they have used 72 different players in a game this season. Only the Titans (82) have used more. Interesting that they are both first-place teams.
-- Speaking of quarterbacks, do the Seahawks try and go heavy run to protect Russell WIlson? Certainly that's what the Cardinals have to expect. It'll be Alex Collins, with the Seahawks officially shutting down Chris Carson for season. If the Cardinals can lock down the run and force a lot of Wilson passes, history says it'll turn out well for them.
In his career, Wilson has thrown at least 40 passes in a game 17 times, according to ProFootballReference.com. The Seahawks are 4-13 in those games (and even when the Seahawks have won, it's been close – by 2, 6, 3 and 7 points.) All but five of those games have actually happened in Seattle. The Cardinals have done it once, in the emotional 34-31 win there on Christmas Eve, 2016, when Chandler Catanzaro booted a field goal on the final play. (The Cards had six sacks that day too.)
-- It'll be nice to be back in Seattle with a crowd. Being there last season with absolutely no one in the stands, for a night game no less, was one of the strangest games I've ever witnessed. Even up in the press box, you could hear guys yapping at each other more clearly than you'd think. The sounds coming off the field reminded me of the times when I was younger and a bunch of youth teams would be practicing in a part on a chilly winter day. You'd hear everything on those nights too.
"It was bizarre," linebacker Jordan Hicks said of the 2020 Seattle game. "All of last year was bizarre."
-- Don't forget to vote for the Pro Bowl.
-- The Cardinals had regular practice all week, even Wednesday. If you recall , the Cards didn't practice a week ago Wednesday. Kingsbury was asked about that this week.
"Based on Sunday's result, we will never do that ever again," he deadpanned.
(Of course, not having practice had to do with how many guys the Cardinals had hurt, and if they get that beat up again – let's hope not, especially with a bye here to rest up – they will undoubtedly do it a second time.)
-- With the Patriots winning in Atlanta Thursday night, road teams actually have won more often than home teams (76 to 75) this season. The Patriots have tied the Cards with the best road record (5-0), with the Cards getting a chance to gain a half-game Sunday in Seattle.
-- This is a great year for the Cardinals to be good on the road, since they actually have an extra road game – nine in total.
-- The Cardinals, in 10 games, have committed just 10 "drive-stalling" penalties. Last year, they had a league-most 34. This year, only the Chargers, Rams and Buccaneers (9 each) have fewer. It was something Kliff Kingsbury harped on last year as an area that needed to improve. It also points to the greatness of Kyler Murray, who has kept alive multiple drives this season after penalties led to third-and-long.
-- With the news Amari Cooper likely will miss the next two games for the Cowboys after going on the Covid list – and he's only the most recent star to end up on the list – there is the reality that Covid is going to impact the NFL down the stretch. Games won't be lost or even moved, but key players will miss key games. That's just part of it, just like Kyler's ankle.
-- The last word comes from Kyler Murray, who felt some kind of way having to sit and watch the Cardinals struggle in their 34-10 loss to the Panthers last week.
"Being on the sideline for a loss is weird," Murray said. "I kind of felt like, this is what it feels like when things are going bad. I felt like a fan, watching it and thinking, 'This does not look good.' But I get it. I play the game. Things happen."
See you Sunday.