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Cardinals Defense Locks Up Seahawks

Dominant performance loses some shine as game ends in tie


Cardinals linebacker Markus Golden and the rest of the defensive front pressured Russell Wilson throughout the contest.

From verbal taunts to Marshawn Lynch crotch grabs, the Seahawks were quick to let the Cardinals know about their superiority in past games at University of Phoenix Stadium.

While Sunday's final score may have ended 6-6, it was the Cardinals defense which deserved to do a little crowing after a wild 75 minutes.

The Seahawks only amassed 257 total yards in five quarters of football, and 127 of that came in overtime. The only points the Cardinals gave up in regulation came as the result of a blocked punt, when the Seahawks got a 40-yard field goal from Steven Hauschka on a drive that amassed zero yards.

 "We knew what those guys were going to try to do to us," safety Tyrann Mathieu said. "Pick and screen us all night. They're not better players than us, so they had to pick and screen us. We understood that going into the game. We got caught slipping a couple times, but for the most part, they couldn't do nothing. They had 100 yards (at the end of regulation)."

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson finished the game 24-of-37 for 225 yards and no touchdowns. He was only sacked once but there were numerous holding penalties called and Wilson was constantly under duress.

Outside linebackers Chandler Jones and Markus Golden did the work on the edge, while defensive tackles Calais Campbell and Corey Peters consistently caved the pocket from the interior.

"We've never had two edge rushers like Chandler and Markus," Mathieu said. "Let's call it what it is – their offensive line is not that good. So we felt like we could get pressure on them, which we did a bunch of times tonight."

The Cardinals gave up only 11 first downs in the game and held the Seattle rushing attack to 52 yards rushing on 19 carries. The biggest lament defensively was the lack of a turnover. That can be somewhat attributed to bad luck, as Jones and Golden each forced Wilson to fumble, but the Seahawks recovered them both.

The Cardinals still blamed themselves for not making enough impact plays.

"We could have had some turnovers; we could have scored ourselves," safety Tony Jefferson said. "We kind of pride ourselves on doing that."

In the past, the Seahawks have come in and dominated the game at the point of attack on both sides of the ball. The Cardinals matched their physicality from the outset in this one, and they had a fun time doing it.

"You live for games like that," Golden said.

Cornerback Patrick Peterson played hurt, running around with a balky back, but still allowed next to nothing in coverage.

"We left every ounce of blood, tears, sweat – everything is on the field right now," Peterson said.

The Cardinals have now only allowed nine points in their last two games, and have quickly put the NFL on notice that they boast one of its stingiest defenses. The unit it did everything it could, and quarterback Carson Palmer wished the offense could have put up more points to pull away.

"I just hate that it ended that way with the way our defense and offensive line played," Palmer said.

The Cardinals were one of the best offenses in the NFL a season ago and picked up the defense on occasion, so Jefferson was happy to return the favor.

"This is a team game," Jefferson said. "Sometimes the offense may need us. Sometimes we may need the offense. That's just the way it was."

It still didn't wipe away the bitter taste of the tie.

"It feels like a loss," Golden said.

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