Ryan Lindley getting ready for biggest game of his career

TEMPE, Ariz. – Ryan Lindley is heading into the biggest game of his NFL career a completely different person than the Ryan Lindley that took the field for the Cardinals in 2012.

“It’s night and day,” Lindley said. “The amount I’ve learned, and not only have I grown as a person in two years, but from these guys, from B.A. [Bruce Arians], from Carson [Palmer], from Drew [Stanton], I’m a totally different person and totally different player from that point.”

Arians was all in for Lindley earlier this season, just off what he saw from him in 2012, albeit in a completely different situation and system. Arians said that made it even harder to release him when he did back in late August.

“Totally, totally different offense,” Arians said. “I think at that point in time he was playing with a lot of injured guys, also. I looked at him only physically, not what he was doing on the field, and physically he could throw the football. He made some mistakes in those games, but everything else – I didn’t try to judge guys too much on what happened before we got here, just after we were here and how they prepared.”

With all that’s going on with Seattle coming to town, their monstrous defense and everything that’s riding on this game – the NFC West crown and No. 1 seeding in the NFC throughout the playoffs – Arians has no doubt that Lindley will come out and handle the glitz and glamour of Sunday Night Football well.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt. He was calm as a cucumber out there the other night [Rams] and it doesn’t get any bigger than that one,” Arians said. “When you have time to prepare, it’s easier than when you’re just thrown out there in a very critical game, and he played admirably. I thought he was obviously very, very prepared for that ball game.”

Lindley is “cool as a cucumber” and as humble and reserved a football player you’ll run into. That’s just part of his DNA.

“I always do try to stay pretty low key, and I think that’s something on the field as a quarterback you have to stay pretty calm. You can never get too high and never get too low. It’s just something I try to do,” Lindley said. “Obviously, it’s more excitement for me just to be able to get an opportunity. For myself, you talk about 2012 – not many guys get one, let alone get two. I’m excited for it.”

Lindley has seen the Seahawks twice this season: in Week Two when the San Diego Chargers took on Seattle and in Week 12, when the Cardinals faced them for the first time in Seattle, Wash. Lindley was on San Diego’s practice squad in Week Two, so he was able to scout the Seahawks for quarterback Philip Rivers. Lindley was the third-string quarterback when Arizona went up to CenturyLink Field on Nov. 23.

Lindley’s not too sure that he can draw much from those two games that will help him when he sees them for a third time on Sunday night.

“They’re a team that I don’t know how much it’s going to help. They do what they do and they do it well, and they don’t change a lot for most teams,” Lindley said. “Obviously, there’s something probably this week that they’ll have game plan-wise and we’ll be ready to go once we see it. They have an athletic group, a good group of players, and you kind of just have to bring your A game whenever you see them each Sunday.”

Lindley has thrown 181 consecutive passes without a touchdown. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that’s the most consecutive passes thrown in NFL history without one being a touchdown. Lindley is planning on changing that against Seattle.

“Yeah, definitely. I plan on breaking that streak,” Lindley said. “It’s something exciting – part of the opportunity. Just glad to get back out there and get rolling.”

It’ll be an uphill battle for Lindley to get that first touchdown. He’ll be going up against the league’s top ranked pass defense. They give up a league low 184.3 yards passing per game. They’ve also given up the third-fewest touchdowns in the league [17].

Lindley’s aware that he and his teammates are going to have to play as perfect a game as they can muster up to beat the world champions.

“Just play sound, play efficient. Biggest thing’s going to be third down and red zone. I think we have to move the chains and we have to get in the end zone, not kick field goals,” Lindley said. “Obviously, there are things on top of that and if we pull it out it’s going to be very advantageous for us. That’s the main thing we’re focused on is winning a game this Sunday and what’s going to come with that will.”







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