There are beatdowns, and then there’s what the Seahawks did to the white-flag Arizona Cardinals Sunday. Seattle forced eight turnovers in its 58-0 win, becoming the first team in more than a decade with at least four takeaways on fumbles and four on interceptions in the same game. New Orleans was the last team to do so, in a 34-31 victory at St. Louis in 2001.
Although not much more than an amused bystander Sunday, Russell Wilson also made NFL history. Seattle’s 58-point margin of victory is the largest ever by a team starting a rookie quarterback (for more on the game, see Thiel: Seahawks May Be Team December and Seahawks Do It All, Pancake Hapless Arizona).
The 58-0 win also represents the fourth-largest shutout victory in the NFL since 1940:
|1940||Dec. 8||Bears||Redskins||73-0||NFL Championship Game|
|1976||Dec. 4||Rams||Falcons||59-0||Chuck Knox coached Rams|
|2009||Oct. 18||Patriots||Titans||59-0||Tom Brady 6 TD passes|
|2012||Dec. 9||Seahawks||Cardinals||58-0||Seahawks scored 5 ways|
|1962||Nov. 25||Bears||Colts||57-0||Johnny Unitas QB’d Colts|
Obviously, the Cardinals were not happy with the result, and more than a few sets of eyebrows were raised when Matt Flynn entered the game and tried to score again when the Seahawks had a 51-point lead.
One ESPN reporter asked, “Pushing the ball downfield while leading by 50-plus points? Is that the right way to play?”
Pete Carroll was not about to apologize, insisting Flynn, getting his first game action of the season, needed to shake off some rust.
“Any of the throws we threw in the fourth quarter, Matt just needed to throw the ball around some,” Carroll said during his post-game press conference. “We did a little bit of everything. Quick game. A couple naked (bootlegs) to just get him out of the pocket just to give him a chance to get some time. Hopefully everyone understands that.”
Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt did, saying, “It’s our job to stop it. You have to give them credit. They’re doing their thing. I have no comment on that other than to say, it’s our job to stop them and we didn’t get that done.”
There was quite a bit of debate on TV over the Seahawks running up the score, including this exchange on ESPN involving Ron Jaworski, Merril Hoge and Herm Edwards. But what are your thoughts?