GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Arizona Cardinals labored through a tie game against Seattle in the desert last season.
They struggled again Thursday night, but this time in a loss.
Plagued by a pair of fumbles – one on their first play – and a multitude of dropped passes, the Cardinals may have put their slim playoff hopes completely out of reach with a lackluster 22-16 loss to the Seahawks.
The Cardinals (4-5) bounced back from an ugly loss to the Los Angeles Rams by riding Adrian Peterson heavily in a 20-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers last week.
Peterson ran a career-high 37 times for 159 yards against the 49ers, but was ineffective against Seattle’s imposing defense.
He fumbled on Arizona’s first play from scrimmage and was tackled in the end zone for a safety – both plays made by Seattle linebacker Cam Chancellor. Peterson finished with 29 yards on 21 carries.
It wasn’t all his fault.
Arizona’s offensive line was outmatched by Seattle’s front most of the night, unable to give Peterson many lanes to run through. The Cardinals also lost starting left tackle D.J. Humphries to a right knee injury in the first quarter, exacerbating their ineffectiveness.
Drew Stanton, making his second start in place of injured Carson Palmer, played well at times, but got little help. He threw for 273 yards and a touchdown on 24-of-47 passing, a night that would have been better had the Cardinals not dropped at least five passes. Larry Fitzgerald had 10 catches for 113 yards for the Cardinals.
Andre Ellington also lost a fumble without being hit – the ground caused it – on a catch that would have put the Cardinals in field-goal range just before halftime. Russell Wilson hit Paul Richardson on a 43-yard pass on the next play and Blair Walsh kicked his second field goal in the closing seconds, a 43-yarder that put Seattle up 15-7 at halftime.
Arizona’s defense shut down Seattle’s run game and pressured Wilson all night, sacking him five times. The Cardinals had a hard time corralling him on one play with the game close in the fourth quarter, when Wilson weaved his way around two rushers twice, threw up a ball up for grabs and completed a 54-yard pass to Doug Baldwin.
That set the Seattle up for Wilson’s second touchdown pass, 2 yards to tight end Jimmy Graham to put the Seahawks (6-3) up 22-10. Wilson also threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Graham in the first quarter, finishing the night with 238 yards on 22-of-32 passing.
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