first_imgSeattle Seahawks running back Bryce Brown (36) is pushed out of bounds by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson (21) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Credit Arians for recognizing this and not letting ego and pride get in the way of the bigger picture.“It was planned ahead of time,” Arians said.You can make the argument that Arizona gave Seattle playoff momentum with Sunday’s win, but the Seahawks need no help in navigating the NFL’s playoff waters. They’ve been there; done that.The only thing that really changed on Sunday was fickle perception, but that’s as common as wind shifts on open water. It’s the nature of a game where teams only play once a week: Too many conclusions are attached to too little data.New England lost its second straight game to close the season on Sunday and suddenly some analysts are ready to rule out the NFL’s most experienced team. It’s ridiculous.The simple reality is this: The Cardinals will have one home playoff game in two weeks to earn a shot at the NFC Championship game. They have proven repeatedly this season that they are up to the task. They have proven repeatedly that they are an elite team with no significant weaknesses and an arsenal of weapons. They should be afforded the benefit of the doubt if a minuscule payoff wasn’t worth the considerable physical and mental investment this week. While he wasn’t excusing the effort, receiver Larry Fitzgerald compared this loss to a 33-7 loss to Green Bay to close the 2009 season after the Cardinals had clinched the NFC West. Arizona rebounded the following week and beat the Packers in the first round of the playoffs.One lackluster performance doesn’t change a fact the Cardinals have driven home all season: they are every bit a Super Bowl contender. If Arians has his way after this loss, this minor setback might actually help the cause.“We’re not going to hang onto this one very long,” Palmer said. “We’re excited about the opportunity ahead of us and we’ll bounce back and be ready to roll in a couple weeks.“We’re not, in any way, panicking or freaking out. Whoever comes here, we’ll be ready.”Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter – / 39 Seattle had a chip on its shoulder after an embarrassing home loss to the Cardinals in Week 10. The Cardinals would have preferred chipping golf balls to Sunday’s glorified exhibition game.The only potential significance attached to this game was removed quickly when Carolina opened up a huge first-half lead over Tampa Bay to secure the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. That left Arizona exactly where it started, as the No. 2 seed with a bye and plenty of time to refocus, rest up and turn this loss into a motivational tool.“This was a valuable lesson,” Arians said. “You could see it coming all week. I think coaches, players, everybody fell into that reading the press-clippings thing, anointing us Super Bowl champs. This was a nice wake-up call.“You’d like to go in with a 10-game winning streak but sometimes getting the hell beat out of you is better.”When Chandler Catanzaro’ 51-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright as a fitting end to the first half of a 30-6 Seattle whipping, it was time to sit quarterback Carson Palmer and other key players to make sure the Cardinals didn’t get the physical hell beat out of them as well. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Top Stories Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact GLENDALE, Ariz. — You could see this one coming from miles away.Despite Bruce Arians’ bravado about playing to win and keeping the foot on the gas pedal, it was clear in practice this week and from the get-go on Sunday that the Cardinals had pulled into a rest stop immediately after last week’s bye-clinching win over the Green Bay Packers.Maybe it bothered you that Seattle had its way with the Cardinals in a thorough 36-6 rout at University of Phoenix Stadium, but let’s not attach false significance to this game. There was none.last_img read more