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The Arizona Cardinals' 34-22 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday at University of Phoenix Stadium was far from the 58-0 loss it suffered at the hands of the same opponent last December.

And while the loss had its fair share of ugly play and mistakes, ESPN's John Clayton believes the 12-point defeat wasn't that bad of a loss for the Cardinals.

"I don't think you get too embarrassed or too disappointed in losing to a very, very good football team," Clayton told The Doug and Wolf Show on Friday.

"I mean, you can still say you're 3-4," he went on, also pointing out that he thought the defense "did some nice things."

The Cardinals just finished a difficult stretch of games, facing all .500 or better teams -- with the exception of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers -- in their first seven contests. So their record, Clayton suggests, isn't awful, with two consecutive home games ahead, a bye week between them, and then a trip to Florida to play the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars.

As the analyst notes, another positive for the Cardinals is the fact that the team escaped the short-week matchup with the Seahawks without any major injuries.

"The team came out of it pretty healthy -- I think that's encouraging," said Clayton, hinting at the rash of injuries the NFL has seen since subjecting teams to the challenge of playing on short recovery.

But with the difficulty of playing on Thursdays also comes extended preparation time for the next game, as Clayton points out.

"They now have 10 days to get ready for the next game," he said. "So, you just kind of take the whooping and then move on."

Finally, Clayton didn't fail to point out that the Seahawks aren't exactly a patsy opponent. They were 5-1 entering the game and a trendy Super Bowl pick entering the season. And they came into University of Phoenix Stadium leading the league in takeaways and faced a team in the Cardinals who is second in the NFL in turnovers lost, with 17.

That, Clayton says, must be kept in mind when looking back at the Cardinals' loss.

"For talent and depth and for all those different things, (the Seahawks) are the best team in the NFC," he said.

Jules Tompkins,

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