The Cardinals get another shot at the Seahawks after dominating the game in Seattle last month.
Motivation between the Cardinals and Seahawks is rarely lacking. The teams are NFC West rivals and the lone owners of division championships of late.
But the way the Cardinals dismantled the Seahawks in Seattle earlier this season changes the dynamic for the rematch Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
"We beat them pretty bad at their house," defensive end Calais Campbell said, "so they owe us a little payback."
The Cards emerged from that game with arguably their finest overall performance of the season, winning 27-3 and holding the Seahawks to 128 total yards of offense.
It would seem to provide Seattle ample motivation. After all, the Cardinals just went through a similar situation when playing the Panthers, a team the Cards had crushed in the playoffs only to have visit Glendale and upset the Cardinals with a convincing 34-21 upset.
The Seahawks, however, are just 3-5, and insist their motivation steers well clear of their month-old first meeting.
"We don't necessarily owe them," Seahawks tackle Sean Locklear said, "but they did come in here and it got ugly. You can't let a team like that get ahead of you quickly. … We need this game, and not just because of what they did to us up here."
The Seahawks are in a better spot than that first meeting. Locklear has returned from injury, as has cornerback Marcus Trufant. They are also familiar with the Cardinals given their twice-a-year meetings.
Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said as well as his team handled the Seahawks in the first meeting, the coaches had to scheme differently.
"I don't think the first game has anything to do with this game," Whisenhunt said. "They are a different team now. They are healthier. They are playing well. We are playing pretty good football. It will be a good matchup."
That first meeting does linger, although wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald waved off the idea the Seahawks were the only team in the game with hard feelings about past meetings.
"Seattle has been knocking us around for many, many years," Fitzgerald said.
Even if the Seahawks do seek revenge, the Cardinals have their own motivations. With a 1-3 home record, the Cards are desperate for a victory in their own stadium. They also need a win to stay ahead of the 49ers, who moved a half-game closer after beating the Bears Thursday night.
The Cards also have the memory of what happened with the Panthers.
"Our number one thing is there is not a bad team in the NFL," safety Matt Ware said. "Everybody has talent and if you don't come to play, you'll get embarrassed."
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