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Larry Fitzgerald wants to make the Seahawks' Christmas miserable

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Posted at 4:39 PM, Dec 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-23 18:41:12-05

For the first time in three years, the Arizona Cardinals are not playoff-bound.

Their NFC West rivals, the Seattle Seahawks, have already clinched the division.

But as fate would have it, the Cards have plenty of say about where and when Seattle will play in the postseason.

Heading into Saturday's showdown in Seattle, the Seahawks are 9-4-1 and in line for a first-round postseason bye. But a slip-up against the Cardinals could cost Seattle that bye and possibly force them to win two games on the road in order to advance to the Super Bowl.

The idea of making life more difficult for the Seahawks has Cards receiver Larry Fitzgerald in full Grinch mode heading into Saturday.

"Why not go up there and just lay it on the line and make it miserable for them on Christmas?" Fitzgerald said Thursday. "Honestly, we've got nothing to lose."

With his team out of playoff contention, Bruce Arians echoed the sentiment of the future Hall of Famer.

"Any time you're out of it, you want to be a spoiler," he said. "But again, this is a game we always look forward to.

"You shouldn't be tight, that's for sure. Just play as hard as you can and add the score up at the end."

After last weekend's loss to the Saints officially ended their playoff hopes, Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson said his teammates discussed the kind of lift that winning at Seattle would give them heading into Christmas.

"We had a bad feeling in that locker room, but we were just thinking about how good it would feel going to Seattle and getting a win there," he said.

The Seahawks are undefeated at home this season, but being the road team in this rivalry has been an advantage recently, as the Cardinals have won two of their last three games in Seattle. The two teams battled to the lowest-scoring tie in NFL history in Glendale in October.

CenturyLink Field is known as the loudest stadium in the NFL, but Peterson said the Cards aren't sweating the noise.

"It's an environment that we understand and know how to win (in)," he said. "We know it'll be a great atmosphere. We can't wait to get there because it's probably one of the better venues around the league.

"But it will be pretty cool and pretty fun to play spoiler, especially this time of the year, especially while this team is getting ready for the playoffs."

Arians said Seattle is one of his favorite places to coach, especially because of the Cardinals' recent success there, including last year's 39-32 win on primetime television.

"It's a challenge to go up there and play. The noise is a distraction. You have to stay focused with the noise, especially offensively. Defensively, it's not as loud, but it's an intense feeling at that stadium."

That's why, even though his Cardinals are out of playoff contention, Fitzgerald is excited to head back to Seattle with a chance to put some coal in the Seahawks' stockings.

"Seattle's hands down my favorite place to play. Of any place to play in the National Football League, it's my favorite," he said.

"If you play well there, you can play well anywhere ... as a competitive player, there's no better place to play."