NFL Week 8 made its presence known from the jump with a powerhouse of a Thursday night showdown between Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (6-1) and Kyler Murray and the host Arizona Cardinals (7-0).
The Packers had won six straight since opening the season with a 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Jacksonville, Florida. Meanwhile, the Cards owned the prestigious distinction of being the only undefeated team in the NFL.
Historically, Green Bay had dominated the series but Arizona had won the past three meetings between the franchises. The series also had no shortage of excitement, as two of the past three games (including postseason) between the teams had gone into overtime.
This time around, Rodgers -- despite playing without his favorite target WR Davante Adams (COVID-19/reserve list) -- was able to outduel one of the NFL's best defenses this season. From the first touchdown to the game-ending end zone interception, here's what went down to ensure the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins can enjoy their champagne early this season:
Arizona went to the Wildcat for the first score of the night, which also happened to be Chase Edmonds' first touchdown of the season.
The touchdown came on the heels of a huge DeAndre Hopkins' play -- his 61-yard touchdown was nullified by a face mask penalty (15 yards), but the way he played the defensive back and got wide open was masterful nonetheless.
To state the obvious, DHop is different.
Then we had ourselves a game. The Packers didn't wait long into the second quarter (12:54 to be exact) to even the score behind an elite effort from running back Aaron Jones, who rushed for 2-yards up the middle for the touchdown.
No Adams, no problem? Rodgers found another familiar target to extend Green Bay's lead in the third quarter: Randall Cobb. The 2-yard grab marked Cobb's 44th career touchdown catch as a Packer.
Arizona answered back and made it a three-point game thanks to James Conner's seventh rushing touchdown of the year. The running back had six rushing touchdowns all of last season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Conner's seven rushing touchdowns this season are the second-most in the NFL (Derrick Henry, 10).
Some duos never go out of style. Rodgers found his old friend Cobb for another touchdown to extend Green Bay's lead to 10 points. Cobb has multiple games with two receiving touchdowns this season. Prior to this season, he hadn't scored two receiving touchdowns in a game since 2015.
Make that eight rushing touchdowns this season for Conner. The Cardinals' offense got it going and made it a three-point game (again) in the fourth quarter with Conner's second TD of the night.
Shield your eyes, Cardinals fans. With one well-timed end zone interception -- Murray's first red zone INT of the season -- Rasul Douglas and the Packers effectively put an end to Arizona's chances for an undefeated season and secured a 24-21 win on the road. It was the first game this season where Murray did not record a touchdown (passing or rushing).