The Arizona Cardinals of 2012, who after a 4-0 start to the season lost 11 of their final 12 games to finish 5-11, are not exactly the same team that first-year head coach Bruce Arians has led to 9-5 in 2013.
When asked if he would show his team any film from last year’s 58-0 beatdown the Cardinals received in Seattle, Arians replied:
“It’s not our offense or our defense. Who gives a (expletive)?”
Bruce Arians has a point, considering that Arizona has 6 different starters on offense than last year’s team that turned the ball over 8 times in the loss to Seattle. Players still on the roster won’t ever forget how rough that game was, and even see it as a low point that turned the franchise around.
“There are a lot of guys that weren’t there and and the guys that were here know it’s not even close to the same group,” guard Daryn Colledge said. “We had a lot of starters out for that game, we didn’t play our best and we got our (expletive) handed to us.
“But it was a turnaround for us, a reality check for us that things had to change for us to compete in this division. We are playing in the toughest division in the NFL.”
The defensive side of the ball has seen a good amount of change, too, including a new defensive coordinator and 6 different starters from last year’s already solid squad.
“It lingers in the back of your head,” defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. “I don’t give a (expletive) what you think about, you remember 58-0. And the biggest thing is you remember how it got to 58-0. You are thinking, missed tackles, poor execution, couldn’t move the ball on offense, couldn’t stop anybody on defense, special teams turnovers. It was an (expletive)-kicking in every phase of the game. When you sit back and deeply think about that, it makes you realize you are going to have to bring your best foot forward.
“The biggest thing I want people to understand is, (the Seahawks) are beatable. Don’t get me wrong, they are a great team. On both sides of the ball and on special teams and they have great coaching. They are what they are, an 11-2 team. But I do understand that in this business, everybody is beatable. Any given Sunday. We don’t have to put up bulletin board material for them. And they don’t have to put up bulletin board material for us. The game will take care of itself.”
This game is huge, for both teams. With a win, the Seahawks would clinch their first NFC West title since 2010. The Cardinals, with a win, would keep their wild card hopes alive. They would not be eliminated from contention with a loss, but it would make their road to a playoff spot much tougher going into the final week of the season.