To precisely capture a true emotion, words are often hard to find.
The difficulty to express those, directly after having your season suddenly crash and burn in epic fashion to a division rival on Monday Night Football may make it even tougher.
The Arizona Cardinals, losing 34-11 to the Los Angeles Rams and bouncing out of the playoffs after one game, leaned on one word when trying to sum up their feelings about either the game or general outcome of the season: Disappointing.
“Disappointed," answered quarterback Kyler Murray when asked how he would describe how Monday night went.
"(We) prepare all week, all season to be where we are, and then again weren't competitive at all. It’s disappointing that we didn't make it a game and come out and play the football we know we're capable of playing. That's really the most disappointing part.
"Losing is one thing, but when you don't even make it competitive, it's another thing. So, that's just disappointing."
The Cardinals quickly let any possible control of the game slip from their grasp, as the Rams built a comfortable 28-0 lead that the Cardinals could never come close to recovering from.
Perhaps it was a fitting end for Arizona to burn out in similar fashion to which they ended the regular season, losing four of their last five games and skidding into the playoffs.
"Obviously just losing (is what's frustrating at the end of the season), I haven't really thought about the future or anything like that," Murray said. "Trying to soak all this in. There's a lot of emotions.
"Proud of the team, proud of the way we fought. Like I said, it was definitely a lot of disappointment, failure throughout the season and to end the season. But there's definitely a lot to build on as well. Like I said, I'm proud of the guys. It's just unfortunate. We didn't play our best tonight.”
Head coach Kliff Kingsbury echoed the same message when speaking to reporters following the game.
“You come out against a really good team and don't do anything right for the first two quarters, that's what's going to happen," he said. "We got to give them credit. They played a great game and we didn't do much right coaching or playing the first half."
As for the message he delivered to the locker room following the game, Kingsbury said, "Obviously, it starts with just appreciation for the season. It's a great group in that locker room that worked really hard and made some steps in this organization, but we're all just disappointed that we didn't play up to our potential. And once again, you got to give L.A. a lot of credit. They handled that game well and the atmosphere – you take your hat off to them.”
Kingsbury tipped his hat to the Rams more than once following the loss, speaking about what the Cardinals need to go further.
He said, "I think experience is a big part of it. There’s only one way to experience playoff football and that's to go through it. And unfortunately, we didn't play our best game and I thought L.A. played a great game, had a great plan, and outplayed us, and outcoached us. But I think you just got to go through these moments and learn from it and grow from it and use it as motivation."
We'll see exactly what changes moving forward for the Cardinals, and exactly how the team will use their playoff loss as motivation heading into 2022.
However, the loss will sting around the team for a while, and will be a source of self-reflection for everybody involved, starting with Murray.
“Obviously, I put a lot on my shoulders, put a lot on myself," he said. "Like I said, to dream of this moment and then to be in the first game of the playoffs and then to play the way I did play, the way we did, it's like I said, it was disappointing."