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Seahawks-Cardinals: What we learned

The SportsXchange

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Bruce Arians said he wasn't going to buy into any of the hype about the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers being the class of the NFC West.

After his team suffered consecutive losses to the Seahawks and 49ers by a combined 24 points, including a 34-22 setback to Seattle on Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, the Arizona Cardinals coach might have no choice but to admit that he could have been wrong.

The Seahawks got a productive game from quarterback Russell Wilson and outgained the Cardinals 344 yards to 234 in improving to 6-1, the best record in the NFC.

Wilson tossed three touchdown passes, matching his total from his past three games, and he completed 18 of 29 passes for 235 yards and no interceptions.

"I don't know where we'd be without him," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.

Marshawn Lynch rushed 21 times for 91 yards and a score against an Arizona run defense that ranked among the stingiest in the league. The Seahawks gained 135 yards on the ground.

"Can anybody be any tougher?" Wilson said of Lynch, noting how many times it took the Cardinals multiple defenders to bring down the running back. "You really think about how tough he is, how he runs the football, his mentality, and he's got great hands, too -- there can't be too many guys any better."

The Cardinals (3-4) continue to have problems making anything happen offensively. They couldn't run the ball, and Carson Palmer threw two more interceptions, giving him 13 through seven games.

Only the New York Giants' Eli Manning, with 15 picks, has been intercepted more times this season.

Palmer completed 30 of 45 passes for 258 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked seven times.

Arians was asked if he considered making a quarterback change and inserting Drew Stanton.

"No," he said. "It's the reasons for the interceptions. Is it his decision-making? If it's his decision-making, then we will make a change. The first one to me was obvious pass interference, and the safety makes a great play. The second one was just a poor decision. Those are the ones we have to look at."

The Seahawks broke the game open in the third quarter when, after Wilson found tight end Kellen Davis for a 1-yard touchdown, Brandon Browner intercepted a Palmer pass and returned it 49 yards to the Arizona 4-yard line.

Two plays later, Lynch spun his way into the end zone for a 31-13 lead with 3:52 left in the third quarter.

What the Seahawks said

"We have a lot further to go. This wasn't our cleanest ballgame. We haven't played our best ball yet. We're far from where we want to be. We can play more disciplined. We can play more sound." -- Cornerback Richard Sherman.

What the Cardinals said

"I thought we came out sluggish. No excuses as far as 'Thursday Night Football' and all that crap. We didn't break a sweat all week, so we should have been fresh. We didn't play at the speed of the game that they did in the early part of the ballgame." -- Coach Bruce Arians.

What we learned about the Seahawks

1. Seattle clearly isn't satisfied with a 6-1 start, and the players say their best football is yet to come, which is a mark of a potential champion. "We just want to go 1-0 every week, that's it," quarterback Russell Wilson said. The Seahawks might to do a little trash-talking now and again, but they are saying all the right things when evaluating themselves, which is important.

2. The Seahawks are about to get even more dangerous. Coach Pete Carroll confirmed that wide receiver Percy Harvin would return to practice at some point next week after missing the first seven games with a hip injury. Carroll said the Seahawks won't rush Harvin into the system, but rather will have him grow into it. "It won't all come out the first time we get him on the field," Carroll said. "We're not changing what we're doing. We're just going to fit him in and welcome him to be a part of it when the timing is right."

What we learned about the Cardinals

1. Arizona still can't neutralize tight ends. Zach Miller got separation and hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Later, Kellen Davis caught a 1-yard touchdown, marking the seventh and eighth scores Arizona allowed to a tight end this season. Combined, opposing tight ends have 30 receptions for 496 yards in addition to the eight scores.

2. The Cardinals can't run the ball. They entered Thursday's game ranked among the worst in the NFL, and things got worse. Arizona finished with 30 rushing yards on 18 carries for an average of 1.7 yards per carry.
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