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Big Red Recap: Cardinals never lead, fall to Seahawks again at home

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Once again, the Seattle Seahawks made themselves right at home at University of Phoenix Stadium. It’s become an all too common occurrence.

The latest happened on Thursday Night Football.

And with the roof open.

Behind a pair of Russell Wilson touchdown passes to Jimmy Graham, the Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals, 22-16, to improve to 4-0-1 in their last five visits to the desert southwest.

The Seahawks (6-3) never trailed.

The Cardinals (4-5) were never able to sustain any kind of offensive momentum. The run game was non-existent and the passing game stalled more times than not by a large number of dropped balls.

Coming off a 37-carry effort four days ago in San Francisco, Adrian Peterson was handed the ball 21 times but gained only 29 yards.

Drew Stanton was 24-of-47 for 273 yards and one touchdown. And as expected, many of his career-high passing attempts went in the direction of Larry Fitzgerald, who had 10 catches for 113 yards.

The Cardinals have not beaten the Seahawks at home since 2012.

THE GOOD

Aided by for four Seahawks penalties, Stanton marched the home team up-and-down the field on a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive. It ended with Jermaine Gresham’s 14-yard touchdown on a tight-end screen to tie the game at 7 at the 14:53 mark of the second quarter. Forty-one of the 75 yards were gained via penalty as the Seahawks were called for a face mask (Michael Bennett), pass interference (Shaquill Griffin), illegal use of hands (Justin Coleman) and roughing the passer (Sheldon Richardson).

Three times in the first half the Cardinals defense sacked Wilson. Olsen Pierre had the first sack, tackling Wilson on 3rd-and-8 on the Seahawks opening possession. Antoine Bethea and Frostee Rucker recorded theirs within three plays of one another in the second quarter; the latter coming on third down. Four times total the Cardinals hit Wilson. Overall, it was a good half of football for Pierre. He got the start, his first of the season, and rewarded his coaches with three tackles, including one for loss.

With his sack, No. 10 on the season, of Wilson in the third quarter, Chandler Jones tied Simeon Rice (1999) and Freddie Joe Nunn (1988) for the most sacks in franchise history through the first nine games of a season. Jones also became just the fifth player in team history with 10-plus sacks in multiple seasons and the first with double-digit sacks in consecutive seasons since Rice in 1998-99. Jones now has recorded at least one sack in five consecutive games, tying the second-longest streak in franchise history.

THE BAD

A pair of Cardinals players were lost in the first quarter due to right knee injuries. Left tackle D.J. Humphries hurt his knee on the team’s fourth offensive snap. He was replaced by John Wetzel. Later, it was Tyvon Branch who exited the game and went straight to the locker room. He got injured defending Graham’s six-yard touchdown catch that put Seattle ahead, 7-0, at the 5:07 mark. On the scoring drive, by the way, Wilson was 5-of-5 for 44 yards.

The first 20 minutes of the game were not kind to Peterson. His first touch, in fact, the Cardinals’ first offensive snap, he fumbled. Kam Chancellor forced the ball out and Sheldon Richardson recovered. Three possessions later, with the Cardinals pinned deep in their own end after a Justin Bethel special-teams penalty, Peterson was tackled by Chancellor in the end zone for a safety, putting Seattle in front, 9-7, at the 10:53 mark of the second quarter.

Luck? Skill? Or Russell Wilson being Russell Wilson? There may not be a better quarterback in the game currently who can make something out of nothing. On 2nd-and-21, Wilson scrambled and with pressure in his face just threw up a prayer that was answered by Doug Baldwin who ran 54 yards to the Arizona 2. The next play was a Wilson to Graham touchdown, extending the Seattle lead to 22-10 at the 12:49 mark of the fourth quarter.

STAT OF THE GAME

133: There were 133 total plays run between the two teams but one play likely decided the game and that was the 54-yard completion to Baldwin to convert a 2nd-and-21

HE SAID IT

“It looks like they’ll all probably go on IR (injured reserve),” head coach Bruce Arians said, referring to the injuries to Branch, Humphries and Ifeanyi Momah.

NOTED

Fitzgerald has now recorded at least one reception in 204 consecutive games, and thus extending the third-longest streak in NFL history.

Fitzgerald has now reached 15,000 career receiving yards, thus becoming the second-youngest player in NFL history to reach that mark.

There have now been 154 accepted false start penalties by Cardinals opponents at University of Phoenix Stadium, the most since 2006.

The seven inactive players: Bryson Albright, D.J. Foster, Will Holden, Ricky Seals-Jones, Max Tuerk, Chad Williams and Xavier Williams.

The loser of the Cardinals’ quarterback bucket-toss challenge was Blaine Gabbert, who dressed as the tooth fairy in pregame warmups.

A day after holding a free concert at Luke Air Force Base, award-winning singer and actress Kristin Chenoweth sang the national anthem.

UP NEXT

Some extra rest, first of all.

Playing on Thursday means the weekend off for the Cardinals, and, more specifically, they’ll have 10 days to heal up before they hit the field again on Sunday, Nov. 19 at the Houston Texans.

Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. with pregame coverage beginning four hours earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

Only one other time have the Cardinals played at NRG Stadium, and that was back in 2005 at what was then called Reliant Stadium.

This will be only the fourth-ever meeting between the two teams.

The Cardinals have won two of the past three matchups, including most recently in 2013, 27-24. In that game, Carson Palmer passed for two touchdowns and Jay Feely kicked two field goals.

Overall, the series is a close one in terms of points scored: Houston 75, Arizona 74.

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