Arizona Cardinals did more than enough to emerge victorious in Week 18

The Arizona Cardinals once again played better than their opponent during a season-ending loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals
Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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The Arizona Cardinals headed into their Week 18 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks with absolutely nothing to play for. That mattered very little to the feisty Redbirds, a collection of hungry individuals who performed as if a playoff spot was on the line.

Unfortunately, Arizona ended up on the losing end of a 21-20 decision to Seattle. The only one who stood in the way of a season-ending triumph for the squad was Matt Prater, the veteran placekicker who had been fairly reliable all year long. That wasn't true on Sunday, however, when the 39-year-old's two shanked field-goal attempts in the matchup's final three minutes prevented Arizona from winning.

Once again, Cards quarterback Kyler Murray was magnificent. Following an underwhelming first half, the two-time Pro Bowler came up huge in the final two quarters. When all was said and done, Murray had completed 73.3% of his throws for 262 yards and a touchdown, and added another 33 yards on the ground.

James Conner, the Cardinals' battering ram of a running back, enjoyed another outstanding outing versus the Seahawks. The 6 foot 1, 233 pounder rushed for 150 yards and a score, and contributed another 54 yards on four receptions. The big news was that Conner reached the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the first time in his NFL career during the season's final contest.

Fantastic performances by several Arizona Cardinals should've resulted in a Week 18 triumph

Wide receiver Michael Wilson ended his rookie season with a bang, hauling in six passes for 95 yards. Arizona's promising tight end duo, Trey McBride and Elijah Higgins, combined for five catches, 66 receiving yards, and a touchdown. The offensive line was once again terrific, opening crater-sized holes for Conner, and allowing just one sack of Murray.

The Cards defense showed up as well, holding its own against a vaunted Seattle scoring attack. Safety Budda Baker had one of his best performances of the campaign with 10 tackles. Coordinator Nick Rallis' undermanned unit held a Seahawks offense featuring D.K. Metcalf, Kenneth Walker III, Geno Smith, and Tyler Lockett to just 327 total yards.

It was a darn shame that an Arizona victory was wiped away by the miscues of a kicker. In reality, "Big Red" topped Seattle in just about every statistical category. The scoreboard would disagree, but this past Sunday's clash with the division rival certainly felt like a win for our gutsy band of Cardinals.

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(Statistics provided by ESPN.com)