Arizona Cardinals’ pair has thrived in hostile environment
Since they joined the Arizona Cardinals in 2013, Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer have found success in a rival’s home stadium
For good reason, the Arizona Cardinals have not been welcomed guests at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field. The Seahawks have enjoyed a distinct homefield advantage over most of the teams that have visited there. The Cards, however, have treated the confines as a sort of “home away from home” during the last few seasons.
Since becoming Arizona’s head coach in 2013, Bruce Arians has won three of the four contests his squad has played in Seattle. The Seahawks celebrated “12th Man” has had minimal effect on his Cardinals teams. Why has Arians achieved success up in the Pacific Northwest while many others have not?
A big reason for that may be quarterback Carson Palmer. The 38-year old has tortured Seattle head coach Pete Carroll throughout his time in the desert. Since Palmer was traded to Arizona in ’13, he has won all three of his starts versus Carroll, his former coach at USC.
In 2013, a touchdown throw from Palmer to Michael Floyd late in the fourth quarter sent the “12th Man” home in shock. The pass gave the Cards a 17-10 lead they would not relinquish. Linebacker Karlos Dansby’s interception of a Russell Wilson toss not long after Floyd’s score sealed the deal.
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The Seahawks got revenge on Arians the following year. With Palmer out with a knee injury, fill-in Drew Stanton struggled mightily against Seattle’s vaunted defense. Arizona’s own defensive unit kept the matchup competitive for awhile, before they ultimately fell by a 19-3 score.
In 2015, the Cardinals stepped onto CenturyLink Field having won six of the first eight games on their schedule. The offense was humming with Palmer back in charge, and they were able to build a 22-7 halftime lead. The Seahawks rallied in the second half until a late 48-yard touchdown scamper by Andre Ellington capped off a 39-32 Cards’ triumph.
Last season, Palmer and Arians emerged victorious on enemy turf once again. Arizona enjoyed a 31-18 lead with just over four minutes to play before two Wilson touchdown passes tied the score. The Cardinals managed to prevail 34-31 on a 43-yard Chandler Catanzaro field goal as time expired.
Arians will get another chance to defeat the division foe this weekend in an all-important tilt. Seattle needs to get by Arizona and have the Atlanta Falcons lose or tie against the Carolina Panthers for Carroll’s bunch to make the playoffs. Unfortunately, Arians’ attempt at ruining the Seahawks’ New Year’s holiday will have to be performed without Palmer, who’s been out with a broken arm.
Arians will be seeking his fourth win as the Cards’ leader in the house of the Seahawks on Sunday. Anyone in the NFL who has coached or played in that hostile environment knows what a great thing that would be. Here’s hoping Arians’ players help him accomplish such an impressive feat.