By The Sports Xchange – UPI
GLENDALE, Ariz. — If last year’s game at University of Phoenix Stadium between the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks was a war of wills during a grueling 6-6 overtime tie, then the 22-16 victory by the Seahawks on Thursday can only be described as a battle of attrition and undisciplined play.
It almost seemed as if there were as many injuries on both sides of the field as there were penalties by each team. The biggest injury was sustained by Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, who was seen on the sideline telling teammates that he tore his Achilles and that he is done.
In a game for second place in the NFC West, Seattle (6-3) outlasted Arizona (4-5) thanks to two touchdown passes from Russell Wilson to tight end Jimmy Graham, a pair of field goals from Blair Walsh and a safety by Kam Chancellor.
Wilson was sacked five times but completed 22 of 32 passes for 238 yards. He came up with the highlight play of the game during a mad scramble in the fourth quarter. On second-and-21 from the Seattle 44, Wilson dodged a pass rush with multiple fakes and twists out of trouble and connected with Doug Baldwin for a dramatic 54-yard completion.
Baldwin made the catch along the sideline as defender Antoine Bethea slipped and fell out of bounds. Baldwin then ran the ball down to the 2-yard line before getting pushed out.
On the next play, Wilson found Graham for a 2-yard score to make 22-10 with 12:49 remaining.
Graham finished with six receptions for 27 yards. He has 65 career touchdowns, one shy of the Cowboys’ Jason Witten for the fourth-most all-time among tight ends. Baldwin made five receptions for 95 yards.
The big story of the game, however, was all the injuries sustained by each team. The Seahawks had nine players leave the game for various reasons, including defensive tackle Jarran Reed (hamstring), running back C.J. Prosise (ankle) and linebacker Michael Wilhoite (calf), each of whom did not return. Left tackle Duane Brown also sustained an ankle injury.
Chancellor also made an appearance inside the injury tent late in the game.
The Seahawks were also missing safety Earl Thomas, who didn’t play because of a nagging hamstring injury. He was replaced in the starting lineup by fifth-year pro Bradley McDougald.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, lost starting left tackle D.J. Humphries and safety Tyvon Branch in the first quarter because of what looked to be serious right knee injuries. They also lost tight end Ifeanyi Momah (ankle) in the second half.
As for the penalties, the Seahawks were flagged 12 times for 108 yards — giving them 53 accepted penalties in their last four games. The Cardinals were penalized nine times for 58 yards.
Arizona got a 43-yard field goal from Phil Dawson in the third quarter and a 1-yard TD plunge by running back Andre Ellington with 28 seconds left.
Graham’s 6-yard touchdown came with 5:07 left in the first quarter, giving the Seahawks the early lead 7-0. Branch was defending Graham and followed him into the end zone, but the safety’s foot appeared to get stuck in the turf while twisting and his knee bent awkwardly as he went down trying to tackle Graham.
The Cardinals tied the score at 7 on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Stanton to tight end Jermaine Gresham on the first play of the second quarter. Arizona drove 75 yards for the score with the aid of four Seattle penalties along the way.
After a holding penalty on Justin Bethel during a punt return, the Cardinals were forced to start at their own 1-yard line. Peterson was then brought down in the end zone by Chancellor for the safety.
Earlier in the game, Chancellor recovered a Peterson fumble on Arizona’s first offensive play but the Seahawks couldn’t convert the turnover into points.
Seattle got field goals of 33 and 43 yards from Walsh to close out the scoring in the first half.
NOTES: RB Adrian Peterson’s 314 rushing yards in his first three games for the Cardinals already were 55 more than Arizona had as a team through its first five games this season. … Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson and Seahawks CB Richard Sherman have made 204 consecutive starts between them, with Peterson making his 105th on Thursday and Sherman his 99th. Those are the third- and fourth-longest such active streaks by a cornerback in the league. … “Larry Fitzgerald: A Football Life” airs Friday night on NFL Network.