Coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Drew Stanton discuss things during Sunday's loss in Seattle.
The Cardinals still are in first place in the NFC West.
They still have the best record in the NFC.
The loss in Seattle Sunday went poorly on multiple levels, sure. One loss, even to the Seahawks, does not mean the season is crumbling, although coach Bruce Arians acknowledged for some, "it is easy to look at it that way sometimes."
The Cards themselves won't be among them.
"When we lost to Denver, we lost pretty bad, but we bounced back, won six straight," Pro Bowl special teamer Justin Bethel said. "We
knew going into Seattle it would be a tough game. It's one of the hardest places to play in the NFL. The two teams we lost to were in the Super Bowl last year, so …
"We'll come back and regroup. I just feel like it'll give us more fuel to get ready for the next game and continue what we were doing before. There is definitely no panic."
The Cardinals (9-2) will see the Seahawks (7-4) again in a month, Dec. 21 on "Sunday Night Football." A lot can happen between now and then in terms of where the teams are within the division, especially since the Seahawks have two games against San Francisco (7-4) in that span.
Still, in the light of Monday, after watching the video and well past the sting of the loss, Arians said it's now about his team's corrections "because we have to play them so soon."
"The biggest thing is just to use (the Seattle loss) as a learning tool," tackle Jared Veldheer said.
Two of the Cardinals' next three games are on the road, but both are against teams with losing records – at Atlanta this weekend, and Dec. 11 in St. Louis. In between is a home game against Kansas City.
Those are games that are imminently winnable for the Cardinals, but cleaning up issues that were apparent against the Seahawks are paramount. The Cards struggled mightily to run the ball for a third straight game – take out the 23 yards quarterback Drew Stanton had on four attempts, and the Cardinals gained just 41 rushing yards on 16 carries, or 2.6 yards per attempt.
Arians felt the running game did enough in terms of setting the Cardinals up in enough third-down-and-6-or-less situations, which is the
goal. That's where the inefficiencies of the pass game reared up, whether it was some Stanton misfires, broken protection or dropped passes. Arians even took blame, saying he should have had better designs in place to get wide receiver Michael Floyd the ball easier, especially with Larry Fitzgerald sitting out with a knee injury. Stanton only had 149 yards passing, and the 204 yards of total offense was the lowest total of the Arians era.
"There is some stuff that falls on my shoulders and we need to correct it," Stanton said. "We just have to swallow this one. It's difficult but we knew it was going to be difficult. This was no surprise to us. We just didn't play as well as we would have liked."
The defense held up most of the game against Seattle, although quarterback Russell Wilson got loose too many times for Arians' comfort.
But that is where Arians' confidence in his team and the confidence within the locker room shows up. No touchdowns the last seven quarters? Not a problem. The work ethic to correct errors? He sees it there.
Monday was the first "Victory Monday" the Cardinals' veterans didn't have in a while, but even though Arians had been giving them days off he said they had all still been showing up to work out and then to watch video on their own.
Nothing changed this time either, other than the Sunday result.
"The one thing about our guys, they know and they respond to accountability," Arians said.
They know they are still 9-2 as well. That's a position of strength with which to deal with their issues, regardless of a single result.
"(People) kind of go off how the Cardinals used to be, 'Oh, here we go, lost a game,' " Bethel said. "It's hard to win every game in the NFL. Some losses will come. The best thing to do is learn from it. We play them again."
NO CHANGE WITH FITZGERALD
It will be wait-and-see on wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald this week, Arians said. Fitzgerald sat out Sunday with a knee sprain, his first missed game since 2007. Arians said had there been practice Monday, Fitzgerald would not have been able to go. He'll be reevaluated daily. …
Linebacker Kenny Demens (hamstring) could miss a game or two, Arians said. …
Arians said new defensive lineman Josh Mauro would have gotten a game ball had the Cardinals won.
Images of the top 10 images from the game in Seattle