After the 9-1 start to the season in 2014, things started to unravel for the Arizona Cardinals. With Drew Stanton leading the way to a tough win over the Lions at home, he had to then travel to Seattle and face the world-champion Seahawks. It didn't go well as the Cardinals suffered an ugly 19-3 loss.
What went well:
There wasn't much to get excited about, but the defense kept the game reasonably close. They held Marshawn Lynch to only 39 yards on 15 carries.
They held the Seahawks to only 293 total yards.
They sacked Russell Wilson seven times.
But that was it.
What went wrong:
You can see in the last section, nothing on offense was mentioned. That is because Arizona was only able to muster 204 total yards. Andre Ellington rushed for only 24 yards. Stanton was 14/26 for 149 yards and an interception.
There were dropped passes.
There were fumbles by Jaron Brown and Rob Housler (although neither ended up as turnovers).
On the defensive side, Russell Wilson killed the Cards with big plays. Despite the seven sacks, they missed at least another five. Wilson scrambled for 73 yards, averaging over 10 yards per attempt. He only threw for 211 yards, but it was on only 22 attempts -- over nine yards per attempt.
The defense gave up big plays. Yes, they only allowed 293 yards. However, 142 of those yards came on five plays. Those five plays broke the back of the team, and it seemed almost every single one of those plays were broken plays where Seattle and Wilson made something happen.
Drew Butler had a punt blocked again.
What we learned:
After the win in Seattle in 2013, there was real belief the Cardinals could be competitive again, even with Stanton leading the way. We were brought to reality. We learned the Cardinals were simply overmatched by Seattle and Wilson.
We learned the defense could be very, very good, but also very, very disappointing with the big plays. Those big plays would haunt the Cards the rest of the season.