Defensive tackle Frostee Rucker (92) makes sure everyone knows it's a safety after Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is trapped in the end zone after a fumble during the Cardinals' 39-32 win Sunday night.
SEATTLE – The Seahawks offense resembled a Marshawn Lynch run on Sunday night.
It took some time to get going, but once it did, the momentum looked impossible to stop. But as Lynch and his teammates discovered, this year's Cardinals don't back down from the fight.
The Seahawks scored 29 of their points in a 19-minute span in the middle of the game, but once Carson Palmer led a scoring drive to retake the lead, the defense wasn't going to give it up. The unit forced a punt while clinging to a three-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, setting up Andre Ellington's game-sealing score in the 39-32 victory.
"The key thing for us, it wasn't one of those things (like) in the past when we let those guys keep scoring touchdowns," safety Tyrann Mathieu said. "We were able to put a stop to it."
While the Seahawks scored the second-most points of their season, one touchdown came on a fumble return and another on a 3-yard run by Lynch one play after a fumble recovery.
For the most part, the Cardinals defense won the battle. Quarterback Russell Wilson was 14-of-32 for 240 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He ran six times for 52 yards but it wasn't an ongoing issue.
Defensive tackle Frostee Rucker got a sack for a safety after Wilson fumbled the ball in the second quarter, and the defensive line pressure consistently harassed Wilson.
"We kept him moving around and rushing," Rucker said. "We didn't get sacks – because that's all people care about – but we think we did our job. We were effective in getting him out of the pocket and containing him for the most part."
Lynch had only eight carries, amassing 42 yards and the score, while Jimmy Graham was held to three catches for 41 yards. The only player who really hurt the Cardinals was Doug Baldwin, as he accumulated seven catches for 134 yards and a touchdown.
It wasn't a perfect outing, but when the game was on the line, the defense held firm.
"We shouldn't have been in that position in the first place because we let them back in to get that way, but guys stepped up and made some plays," Rucker said.
MIKE IUPATI AVOIDS SERIOUS INJURY
Pro Bowl guard Mike Iupati was placed on a stabilizing board and taken out of CenturyLink Field by ambulance after a collision with Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor in the second quarter. Iupati ducked his head down and injured his neck while making a pull block on a run by Chris Johnson.
He went to the hospital for evaluation but was with his teammates after the win and flew home with the team.
"More than the win, the best news is that Mike Iupati is back in the locker room," Arians said postgame. "He's fine. He's been cleared. He's OK and good to go (back to Phoenix), so that's the best news."
Earl Watford replaced him the rest of the way. Watford has been floating between being a backup and an inactive on game day the past few weeks but was needed in the primetime affair.
"You always have to be ready," Watford said. "Be a professional and show up every day. (Sunday) my number was called and I was able to play in a big game. Hopefully I earned some respect from the players on this team."
Defensive tackle Cory Redding left the game with an ankle injury in the second half and didn't return. The severity of it isn't yet known. Arians said the Cardinals would be missing "a couple of guys" against the Bengals next week, but did not say who.
JARON BROWN EXCELS WHEN PUSHED INTO ACTION
Wideout Michael Floyd had another memorable game in Seattle, catching seven passes for 113 yards and a pair of first-half touchdowns as the Cardinals built their big lead. But he wasn't available late due to a hamstring injury, which
pressed No. 4 wide receiver Jaron Brown into duty right after Seattle took its fourth-quarter lead.
It didn't result in any dropoff. Brown finished with three catches for 38 yards on the team's final two drives. He may have altered the game's outcome when he picked a deflected pass out of the air as Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman seemed to be settling under it for the interception.
"He just went up and took it away," Arians said. "He then went and made two more big plays. He's a starter on most teams."
Brown also had a crucial catch on third down on the final scoring drive. He had a drop in the end zone of last year's 19-3 loss in Seattle, and this performance may have softened the sting.
"It's a little redemption, but not much," Brown said. "Dropping a touchdown is always going to hurt. But you learn from it. It was one thing I just tried to learn from."