GLENDALE, Ariz. — The last time the Cardinals met the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona coach Bruce Arians wound up with a torn rotator cuff that forced him to give up his golf game for six months.
The injury came courtesy of one of Arians’ own players, star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
After the Cardinals kicked 43-yard field goal on the final play of the game for a 34-31 victory at CenturyLink Field last December, Fitzgerald celebrated by leaping into Arians and bear-hugging the coach so hard it cracked Arians’ shoulder.
“He owes me a car,” Arians would say later.
After a sluggish start to the season, Arians would prefer a victory instead for his Cardinals (4-4) when they meet the Seahawks (5-3) on Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium. Arians is 3-1 against the Seahawks in Seattle but 0-3-1 against them at home since becoming the Cardinals’ coach in 2013.
Arizona rebounded from a 33-0 rout at the hands of the Los Angeles Rams in London to defeat the San Francisco 49ers 20-10 on Sunday.
Seattle is coming off a 17-14 loss to Washington in which Kirk Cousins drove the Redskins 70 yards in 35 seconds, capped by a 1-yard touchdown run by Rob Kelley with less than a minute to play.
“We have to bounce back,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “It’s really crucial that we turn the corner and get right back on track and get ready to play some football. It’s a long season. This (loss to Washington) has nothing to do with the rest of the season at this point. There’s a lot going on and a lot to be done.
“We have to make sure that we come back out of this strong and I do a good job and get us on track and keep us from getting in our own way.”
One big way the Seahawks can do that is by playing smarter football and taking fewer penalties. They were flagged a season-high 16 times versus the Redskins — one shy of the franchise record — and they lead the league in accepted penalties with 82 and penalty yards with 682.
In the past three games, the Seahawks were penalized 41 times.
“We are going to keep working at it,” Carroll said. “We’ve got a number of things that we are going to do. … We think it’s a group thing, obviously, when you have a bunch like this. But it comes down to individual choice and making good decisions and doing things right.”
What’s been going right for the Cardinals recently is finding a renewed rushing attack led by Adrian Peterson. The veteran running back rushed for 134 and 159 yards in two of his first three games for Arizona since being acquired in a trade with the New Orleans Saints. Peterson looks as if he is still in his prime, not a soon-to-be washed-up 32-year-old.
He ran a career-high and franchise-record 37 times Sunday. Arians, asked how many carries Peterson could get against Seattle on just three days’ rest, replied, “I would think the same as last week. He runs in the walkthrough. He’s amazing. I wouldn’t challenge him in any form or fashion by saying, ‘You’re only going to get 20 (carries)’ because I’d probably have to fight him on the sideline.”
When Arians used to call plays for the Steelers as offensive coordinator, it wasn’t a surprise to see him dial up a slew of carries for another veteran running back, Jerome Bettis.
“Yeah, but I don’t think Jerome ever had 37,” Arians said, laughing. “He’d have been tapping out in a heartbeat and we’d be getting Willie Parker in there.”
Peterson needs 102 rushing yards to pass Hall of Famer Marcus Allen (12,243) for 13th place on the NFL’s all-time rushing yardage list and 105 yards to pass Edgerrin James (12,246) for 12th.
“It felt good to get in there, to get into a groove and keep pounding the rock,” Peterson said. “I kind of felt like I was getting up there in the 30s (in carries), but I felt good, felt fresh, and the guys were doing a great job up front. It was like, ‘Whatever it takes to get the ‘W.'”
If the Cardinals hope to beat the Seahawks, they likely will need a turnover-free game from their new starting quarterback, Drew Stanton, who is filling in for Carson Palmer (broken leg arm). Stanton is 7-3 when starting in Palmer’s place.
Stanton was a pedestrian 15 of 30 for 201 yards with two touchdowns and one interception against the 49ers. He has won each of his past four starts, however, and is 3-0 when starting at home for the Cardinals.
“When Drew steps in the huddle, there is total confidence in the other 10 guys,” Arians said. “They know he knows this offense inside and out, and when he gets a hot hand, he can really light you up. We’ve just got to keep him clean. We didn’t keep him clean enough in that game.”
The Cardinals expect to be near full strength for this game, but the Seahawks are dealing with a slew of injuries to several key players, including safety Earl Thomas (hamstring), cornerback Richard Sherman (Achilles), tight end Jimmy Graham (ankle), guard Luke Joeckel (knee), running back Eddie Lacy (groin) and receiver Paul Richardson (groin).Let's