Cardinals' offense sputters as win streak ends
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) For seven consecutive quarters, the Arizona Cardinals have not scored a touchdown.
The team that had won six in a row was beaten by the Seahawks in Seattle 19-3 on Sunday, and the big cushion the Cardinals held in the NFC West is a bit smaller.
Arizona (9-2) still leads Seattle (7-4) and San Francisco (7-4) by two games but with a rough schedule ahead, the Cardinals know their surprising season could go south in a hurry.
''We're ticked off right now,'' Arizona left tackle Jared Veldheer said Monday. ''We know we're better than how we played yesterday.''
Coach Bruce Arians listed a series of things the Cardinals did wrong in the Pacific Northwest, and he wants the players to pay especially close attention to those mistakes because the two teams meet again four weeks down the road - at Arizona in the next-to-last game of the regular season.
''When you step back, you measure where you're at after the game,'' he said. ''For me, the corrections are more important because we have to play them so soon, and it will be a big division game when we play them again.''
The Cardinals gained a season-worst 204 yards on Sunday. Drew Stanton was 14 for 26 for 139 yards with one interception. Andre Ellington had another meager output on the ground, rushing for 24 yards in 10 carries.
Jaron Brown dropped a pass in the end zone and Drew Butler had a punt dropped.
The Cardinals sacked Russell Wilson seven times but could have had more, Arians said. Calais Campbell had three sacks.
Arians said his message to the team on Monday was ''learn from this.''
''We're 9-2 for a reason,'' he said. ''We lost two games on the road. We have a big road game coming up. But we play these guys again, so make it fresh in your mind. Make sure we get those corrections. It's not like we're playing Denver, who we won't see again until maybe in the Super Bowl. When you play a team twice in a month, you've got to learn from your mistakes and you've got to remember them.''
Arians said it's uncertain whether wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald will be back this week. Fitzgerald's string of 110 consecutive games played ended in Seattle when he sat out the game with a sprained left knee.
Arizona plays three of its remaining five games on the road, beginning next Sunday at Atlanta (4-7).
After that, the Cardinals are home against Kansas City and at St. Louis before finishing the season at home against Seattle and at San Francisco.
Arizona is 6-0 at home, 3-2 on the road. Sunday's loss was the Cardinals' first in eight conference games.
Arians said he doesn't believe there's such a thing as a team peaking too soon.
''You can't win enough games early, and you better win late'' he said. ''That's why you play 16 of them. I think when you peak, you get momentum and you just ride it, and we've been riding it pretty good. We got knocked off the horse, so figure out why, get back on and let's go.''
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