Should the Cards rest their starters this week?

Posted at 3:17 PM, Dec 28, 2015

For head coach Bruce Arians and the Arizona Cardinals, Week 17 might as well be Week 1.

In other words, Arians doesn't plan to rest any top players for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Seattle Seahawks at home.

The Cardinals have already clinched the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs and a first-round bye. But the top seed is still at stake.

If the Carolina Panthers lose Sunday to Tampa Bay, the Cardinals, by virtue of a better conference record, can secure the No. 1 spot and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, as long as they beat Seattle.

Arizona (13-2) has won nine straight games and has already clinched the NFC West title with the most wins in a season in franchise history. Now the Cardinals want to play hard to the finish.

"I don't think you get anything out of resting guys, especially playing a team that's in our division and we haven't beaten them at home in a couple of years," Arians said Monday. "We don't want to start a precedent now."

Defensive tackle Calais Campbell said everything is "flowing right now" for the Cardinals.

"Got a lot of momentum going our way, and every time you go out there and you're playing good football like we are, you want to keep it going," Campbell said. "And it's a division game. Seattle's definitely a rivalry game, a game that we look forward to playing each and every year. I definitely circled that game on the calendar."

The Cardinals haven't beaten the Seahawks at home since the 2012 season. Seattle has won the past two division championships and gone on to the Super Bowl both times.

Arians said players approached him after Sunday's 38-8 win over the Green Bay Packers and made it clear how they want to approach this week's game. He wasn't surprised by what he was told.

"They said, `Look, we want to win this.' I said, `Of course we do,"' Arians said. "They all feel the same way."

Arizona leads the NFL in total offense and is fifth in total defense. The Cardinals are the only team in the league to have more touchdowns (57) than punts (55) this season, and the plan is to continue to attack.

"I'm never going to line up to lose," Arians said.

Campbell said the Cardinals realize they could face the Seahawks in the postseason, so an Arizona win could hurt the Seahawks' confidence should they meet again later in January. With the Panthers-Buccaneers game going on at the same time as the Cardinals-Seahawks tilt, Campbell will try to avoid scoreboard watching.

"Hopefully, the scoreboard guys do a good job and they show it to us only when it matters," Campbell said. "If Tampa Bay is doing a good job for us, go ahead and show me. But if not, then I don't want to see it."

NOTES: Arians said the only player dealing with an injury that could keep him out of Sunday's game is reserve defensive lineman Josh Mauro. Safety Rashad Johnson, who has missed the past two games with a sprained ankle, is expected to return this week. His five interceptions are tied for the team lead. ... Arians said he would go with Carolina's Ron Rivera for NFL Coach of the Year if he had a vote, but Kansas City's Andy Reid would be a close second. Arians said he wouldn't vote for himself.