GLENDALE, Ariz. — Bruce Arians said he wasn’t going to buy into any of the hype about the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers being the class of the NFC West.
After consecutive losses to the Seahawks and 49ers by a combined 24 points, including a 34-22 setback on Thursday night to Seattle at University of Phoenix Stadium, Arians might have no choice but to admit that he could have been wrong.
The Seahawks got a productive game from quarterback Russell Wilson and outgained the Cardinals 344-234 in improving to 6-1 and thus laying claim to the best record among NFC teams.
Wilson tossed three touchdown passes, matching his total from his past three games, and he completed 18 of 29 passes for 235 yards and no interceptions.
Marshawn Lynch rushed 20 times for 86 yards and a score against a Cardinals run defense that had been among the stingiest in the league. The Seahawks gained 130 yards on the ground.
The Cardinals (3-4), meanwhile, continue to have problems making anything happen offensively. They couldn’t run the ball and Carson Palmer threw two more interceptions, giving him 13 through seven games.
Only the New York Giants’ Eli Manning, with 15 picks, has been intercepted more times this season.
Palmer finished the game completing 30 of 45 passes for 258 yards and one touchdown. He was sacked seven times.
The Seahawks broke the game open in the third quarter when, after Wilson found tight end Kellen Davis for a 1-yard touchdown, Brandon Browner intercepted a Palmer pass and returned it 49 yards to the Arizona 4-yard line.
Two plays later, Lynch spun his way into the end zone for a 31-13 lead with 4:43 left in the third quarter.
Seattle got on the scoreboard first. A 23-yard catch-and-run from Luke Willson and a 15-yard scamper from Lynch preceded the play of the first half by Wilson.
On first-and-10 from the Arizona 31-yard line, Wilson was flushed out of the pocked by three pass rushers. From the 43, Wilson reared back and threw deep off his back foot. Sidney Rice was wide open in the end zone and the Seahawks led 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
The Arizona offense made some plays early, but its first possession was throttled by a 14-yard sack of Palmer by Tony McDaniel and their second ended with a turnover.
Palmer tried going deep down the left sideline to Larry Fitzgerald on first-and-10 from the Arizona 41. The pass was broken up, though, and safety Earl Thomas intercepted it before the ball hit the ground.
The Seahawks didn’t waste any time converting the pick into points. Wilson directed an efficient 11-play, 72-yard drive, capping it with a 15-yard scoring pass to tight end Zach Miller to make it 14-0 less than two minutes into the second quarter.
It was the seventh touchdown by an opposing tight end allowed by the Cardinals this season.
Arizona’s offense never seemed to find any rhythm early, but the defense helped trim the lead to 14-10 before halftime.
The Cardinals stopped the Seahawks on downs near midfield and the offense did just enough to put Jay Feely in position to make a 49-yard field goal with 4:02 left in the second quarter.
Just 22 seconds later, Matt Shaughnessy sacked Wilson, causing a fumble, and Calais Campbell recovered at the Seattle 3. Rashard Mendenhall took the ensuing handoff and rumbled up the middle for a touchdown.
Seattle put together a late scoring drive, but two holding penalties forced them to settle for a 51-yard Steven Hauschka field goal with five seconds remaining in the half.
NOTES: Campbell was active for the game and was back in the starting lineup just four days after being carted off the field in San Francisco because of a bruised spine. … Seattle was without LB Bobby Wagner (ankle), but DE Chris Clemons (elbow) was able to go and he registered one of the Seahawks’ two sacks in the first half. .. The game marked the first time in Palmer’s career that he had played against his former college coach, Pete Carroll. … Cardinals second-year RT Bobby Massie, running second team behind Eric Winston, was activated for the first time this season. … Seahawks S Jeron Johnson suffered a strained hamstring in the first quarter and did not return. Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman also injured a hamstring in the second quarter and did not return.