Save the ticket stub from this one.
What started out as a normal Sunday in Seattle quickly turned into an afternoon that won't be soon forgotten by fans of either team playing in Century Link Field. What we saw today is what happens when everything goes right. Seattle won huge and they did so without getting too crazy, either. Typically, if you see a score like this, you expect the box score to be brimming with career days, and you'd expect those career days to come from the passing game. In this one, however, the Seahawks managed to score 58 points while only passing the ball 22 times.
The story in this one was the defense. Well, the defense and special teams. Well, the defense, the special teams, and Marshawn Lynch. And Robert Turbin. And the O-line. And the play calling. And the relentless pressure both sides of the ball put on for the full sixty minutes. In short, today was the first time that a Seahawks victory was about nearly everything except Russell Wilson, who came out after only 13 attempts.
That's not to say that Wilson struggled. Rather, he didn't need to do much, as eight(!) Cardinals turnovers gave Wilson a short field all game long, and with the 'Hawks averaging 7+ yards per carry for most of the game, he didn't need to do much field-tilting.
There's no such thing as a quick scoring recap in a 58-0 drubbing, but here goes:
The game started out innocently enough, with Steven Hauschka knocking a 31-yard field goal through to open things up. A slick and speedy 20-yard touchdown run from Lynch opened the gap and added pressure to an already rattled John Skelton. With Lynch's bruising style, it's easy to forget his incredible acceleration.
After another turnover, Lynch notched his second TD of the game with a four-yarder, ramping the CLink into a foaming pit of terror.
The fright was clearly evident when Richard Sherman, whose likely impending suspension has been delayed until next week, housed an interception to blow the doors off the furnace and let the raging heat of the 12th Man's fury escape into the wild. Sherman would end up with two interceptions and a fumble recovery on the day in an effort to compile the remainder of his season's stats in what will likely be his last regular season game.
It was 24-0 when a hilariously inept attempt at a kick return was bobbled into the waiting hands of Malcolm Smith in the endzone. At 31-0, I actually felt a twinge of pity for Ken Whisenhunt and the Cardinals.
A turnover, followed by a just-before-the-end-of-the-half touchdown pass to Zach Miller turned my pity into compassion. 38-0 at the half and I started to feel like the crowd at the execution of William Wallace in Braveheart; I showed up to watch a kill but didn't expect it to be as torturous for the victim as this.
Wilson came out to start the second half, handing the ball off almost exclusively and the 45th point came on a Hauschka PAT after Lynch rumbled in from 33 yards out, capping his monster day at 128 yards and three TDs on only 11 carries.
If the coroner expected to show up to a neat chalk outline, however, he would've been disappointed because by the end of this one, the Cardinal remains were spread out like someone spilled a giant casserole. Matt Flynn emerged from beneath his wool cap after that, making his Seahawks debut to the delight of the
Roman mob 12th Man. Flynn's numbers were pedestrian (5/9, 68 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs), but you're only asked to do so much when you're ahead by seven scores.
Robert Turbin took over lead back duties in the second half and even collected his first 100-yard game, piling up a stout 108 on a heavy 20 carries.
A couple of Hauschka field goals extended the lead to 51, and Leon Washington capped it all off with a three yard scoot in the 4th quarter.
In all, the 'Hawks outgained Arizona 493 to 154 en route to their largest victory in franchise history. This game was a peek into what this team is capable of, and what this team is capable of is not only beating any team in the NFL, but burying them so deep that no one will even bother to look for the remains.
This win, combined with the Bears loss, moves Seattle into the #5 seed in the NFC playoff picture. They are still a game and a half behind the 49ers.
We're cheering for one of the five best teams in the NFL right now, you guys. At this point, I'd take the 'Hawks at home over the AFC Pro Bowl squad.