Arizona Cardinals: Thanksgiving and a season-defining loss on latest 'Hard Knocks' episode

Anyone somehow clinging to hope that the Arizona Cardinals can, at 4-8, still have a successful 2022 season probably shouldn't watch this week's episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks."

In it, the plays that changed last Sunday's game from what looked like a Cardinals win to a win for the Los Angeles Chargers are seen in further painstaking detail. And after the game in the postgame locker room at State Farm Stadium and inside meeting rooms at the team's Tempe facility, a conciliatory tone is taken, one of continuing to play hard over the season's final five games.

"We got five more guaranteed, man. Y'all rest, recover, rejuvenate. Five more. Give it all you got. Five more," team leader Budda Baker says in the locker room breakdown.

Assistant coaches preach staying focused and maintaining status quo over the bye week, which the Cardinals are on now.

"Rest, relax, recharge," says wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson.

"One week at a time, that's all we've got. All we've got is us," defensive backs coach Marcus Robertson says.

Report card: Inconsistency on field results in mixed grades for Arizona Cardinals

Nov 27, 2022; Glendale, AZ, USA;  Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons (9) lowers his head after San Diego Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) scored a touchdown during the fourth quarter at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2022; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals linebacker Isaiah Simmons (9) lowers his head after San Diego Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) scored a touchdown during the fourth quarter at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael Chow-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals report back to work early next week. HBO will have to find ways to make the show more intriguing, given the circumstances.

The episode that aired Wednesday night began with a look back on the firing of offensive line coach Sean Kugler and an apology from head coach Kliff Kingsbury to the players for the circumstances surrounding that decision. The offensive line room is now being co-led by former tight ends coach Steve Heiden, who was in his first week on the job last week.

From there, the show focuses on the return of quarterback Kyler Murray from a hamstring injury, and his friendship with another player back from injury, wide receiver Hollywood Brown.

The highlights from the pair of college teammates at Oklahoma harken back to a more enjoyable time for both in their football careers.

The most heartwarming part of the program is wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins' visit to a Phoenix area residence for women and families who have been victims of domestic violence. Hopkins shares that his own mother was badly hurt in such a situation.

Nov 27, 2022; Glendale, AZ, USA;  Nov 27, 2022; Glendale, AZ, USA;  Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) runs away from Los Angeles Chargers linebackers Kenneth Murray Jr. (9) and Troy Reeder (42) before scoring a touchdown after a catch during the first quarter at State Farm Stadium.
Nov 27, 2022; Glendale, AZ, USA; Nov 27, 2022; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) runs away from Los Angeles Chargers linebackers Kenneth Murray Jr. (9) and Troy Reeder (42) before scoring a touchdown after a catch during the first quarter at State Farm Stadium.

Hopkins, as most who follow the Cardinals know, is as much a giving person off the field as he is a fierce competitor on it. Moments with people who are there for a Thanksgiving meal served by Cardinals players are highlighted.

The show looks back on when cornerback Antonio Hamilton pulled up instead of trying to tackle San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle on his way for a touchdown in Mexico City, and how Hamilton took responsibility and let his teammates know he is accountable for his inaction.

Finally, a look back on the events of the Chargers game, and how the Cardinals seemed to have enough go their way for a win. But it wasn't to be, and players are shown dejectedly walking off the field.

Read more: Cardinals' injury situation has played part in woes

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona Cardinals face reality of potential losing season on 'Hard Knocks'