NFL Team Report - Arizona Cardinals - INSIDE SLANT
The Arizona Cardinals are doing their best to avoid talk of various playoff scenarios, choosing instead to focus on Sunday's game at the Seattle Seahawks to measure how far they have come this season.
The Seahawks manhandled the Cardinals early, appearing to play at a different speed and with greater authority than the Cardinals could match.
"We've gotten much better," coach Bruce Arians said. "We've lost a lot of guys in the last few weeks, but we're playing much better, with a lot more confidence."
The Cardinals met the Seahawks on a Thursday night in week seven. Like the Seahawks, the Cardinals held two walk-through practices leading up to the game.
Unlike the Seahawks, the Cardinals looked like they were in another walk-through at game time.
"I don't think we were ready as a good team to handle that type of week of preparation," Arians said. "It will be better, hopefully, this week, but now we are going to their venue, which is a very tough one."
The Cardinals know the challenges they face from the Seahawks defense, ranked first in the league and CenturyLink Field, the loudest stadium in the NFL.
Quarterback Carson Palmer has been successful with some audibles recently, changing from to pass, or directions a run play will be going.
That will be more difficult this Sunday.
"The biggest thing is not feeling like the walls are closing in on you," Palmer said. "That's something that they have done. They have jumped out early on teams, and all of a sudden you feel like you're down 20 points and the score is only 7-0. You have to fight that feeling."
After Sunday's game, the Cardinals close out the regular season by playing host to the San Francisco 49ers, one of the teams they're trying to leapfrog for a wild-card spot.
SERIES HISTORY: 30th regular-season meeting. Cardinals lead series, 15-14. The Seahawks have won the last two meetings and they haven't been close. They beat the Cardinals, 58-0, in Seattle a year ago and 34-22 earlier this season. The game earlier this season wasn't that close. The Seahawks led, 31-13, entering the fourth quarter. The Cardinals weren't able to run the ball effectively, gaining 30 yards on 18 carries.
NFL Team Report - Arizona Cardinals - NOTES, QUOTES
Tennessee Titans defensive end Kamerion Wimbley was fined $10,000 by the NFL for a hit on Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer in last Sunday's game.
The league ruled that Wimbley illegally hit Palmer in the knee area. Wimbley was called for a 15-yard personal foul penalty that set up a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line. The Cardinals scored a touchdown on the next play.
Palmer suffered an ankle injury and is questionable but expected to play in Sunday's game in Seattle against the Seahawks. The Cardinals are battling for an NFC playoff spot.