Christian Kirk had a catch in the opener, but it went for zero yards. Andy Isabella wasn't even targeted. But there they were Sunday, as the Cardinals delivered a WFT loss, with a hint of what they could be.
Kirk made a spectacular 49-yard catch on the sideline, on a nice Kyler Murray pass where I'm still not sure how Kirk got his feet down. Isabella had a 54-yard old-school over-the-top bomb he caught, showing the speed everyone knows he has. I mean, he had to slow down a bit to haul it in; he was three yards behind the defender as Murray aired it out.
Murray smiled when asked about the two. He played a year in college with Kirk before they became pro teammates. He loves him some Isabella, his draft classmate. He wants to include them more. But …
"You want to get everybody the ball and it's hard to do," Murray said with a chuckle. "We just have so many guys, so many weapons. When they touch the ball, something could happen at any moment. It's a good feeling to have when you have everybody that you have faith in and make plays when they touch the ball."
Kirk has already shown that last year. His production feels like a matter of time. Isabella is different, but Sunday, it wasn't the bomb that should've opened eyes but instead his one other catch, in the fourth-quarter to aid the Cards' game-killing drive. It was a skinny slant for a 14-yard grab – a Kyler bullet away from his body that Isabella expertly snared from the air. A catch he never would have made as a rookie. That's the kind of play that gives hope, and makes you wonder, at its top functioning moment, just what this offense can look like.
-- De'Vondre Campbell didn't get a sack, but he was the defensive MVP for this game. He's been all over the field both games.
-- Campbell's play is one reason why Isaiah Simmons isn't playing. I'll have to look tomorrow but it definitely seemed like Simmons played less this week than last.
-- Chandler Jones didn't get a sack but he got four QB hits and the pressure from him helped others. It was nice to see newcomers Jordan Phillips and Devon Kennard get sacks, as well as Haason Reddick, who continues to trend up in his new role.
-- DeAndre Hopkins was inexplicably wide open in the end zone for his 4-yard touchdown catch, and he was asked how exactly he got that wide open. Hopkins smiled at the request.
"I would tell you exactly what I saw and how I'm going to score more touchdowns that way, but we've got a game next week and I can't give you too much," Hopkins said. "Kyler just saw me open."
And that, friends, is how you become All-Pro three years in a row.
-- Hopkins, with his eight catches, has 22 in two games, setting the NFL record for most catches in the first two games for a player with a new team.
-- Larry Fitzgerald wasn't spectacular, but he had seven catches for 50 yards and made one big 12-yard grab on fourth-and-5 in the second half. Classic Fitz, as was him jumping up after the play with the huge screams to energize the crowd that wasn't there. You could imagine the "LAR-RY, LAR-RY" chant.
-- Fitz also topped off the night with a classic ankle tackle takedown of guard Justin Pugh – who absolutely did not see it coming – as they headed to the locker room. Fitz had a huge smile. He's having fun. Winning does that.
-- Zane Gonzalez was perfect on field goals, showing how the opener was an outlier.
-- Kingsbury is gonna go for it. Like when it was fourth-and-1 at his own 27 early in the second half, the Cardinals already controlling things at 20-0. No matter. Chris Streveler in at QB, like last week's fourth-down play, except they ran a risky end-around for Kirk. Picked up three yards. First down. It's what Kliff does.
-- One game at a time. Can't get beyond that. But this schedule (Lions, at Panthers, at Jets, it lines up how you'd want right now. Just sayin'. Then again, "you can't get too confident," Kennard said. And I suppose that's true.