The Arizona Cardinals can easily rationalize absorbing a pair of beatings at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks last season.
With starting quarterback Carson Palmer reduced to a spectator after suffering a season-ending knee injury, the Cardinals failed to get in the end zone and were outscored by a combined 54-9 in a pair of lopsides wins. Arizona expects things to be different when they visit the Seahawks on Sunday night.
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"Knowing we have Carson, there are no excuses now," second-year wide receiver John Brown said. "Last year is last year and (backup) Drew (Stanton) did a great job. But now it's time to show what we can really do with Carson."
Palmer, at age 35, is on pace for the best season of his career. He has thrown for 2,386 yards while tossing 20 touchdown passes against only six interceptions to lead the Cardinals to a 6-2 record.
I've never seen him better," said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who was in his second season at Southern California when Palmer won the Heisman Trophy. "He's working really well with the offense. He's getting good protection. The running game is there, he's got great receivers to go to, and (coach) Bruce (Arians) is calling a real good game for him."
Palmer is 19-4 in his last 23 games with Arizona. One of those victories was a 17-10 win at Seattle in 2013, when Palmer overcame four interceptions to throw a deciding touchdown pass to Michael Floyd late in the fourth quarter.
"That was a different team," Palmer said. "We're 10 times better than we were the last time I went there."