There's always that one guy on the bench whose appearance in a regular season or playoff game says "blowout". During the Sonics' heydey, it was Steve Scheffler; in football, it's almost always the backup quarterback.
With the not-unanticipated 35-6 domination of the banged-up Baltimore Ravens, Seattle closed out this weekend's game with Tarvaris Jackson on the field. Last week, Jackson made his inaugural showing in the 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings.
The kind of blowout scores that motivate calling up the second-string QB aren't especially common, but they're highly unusual in back-to-back games. The natural question is when the last time the Seahawks put in their backup quarterback in consecutive weeks out of anything other than necessity. The answer to that lies below, but we'll dig through all the blowouts of the last few years to find it because, let's be honest, it's just fun to relive some of this.
What follows are all the blowout victories of the Russell Wilson era in which his backup has closed out the game.
Week 11 -- 41-20 vs Minnesota Vikings: At one point in the 2nd quarter, the score was 10-10. That initiated the first Seahawks burst: a deep drive capped by a Lynch TD run, a short field and Baldwin TD strike, and it was suddenly 24-13. Neither team scored for a full 15, but facing Christian Ponder, the Seahawks defense came up with a pair of interceptions in the final frame -- one led to an 18-yard touchdown drive, one was a pick-6 that broke the llama's back. Neither team wanted to keep its starting quarterback in with the tally at 38-13. Matt Cassel took over for the Vikes and quickly chucked a pick; T-Jax dropped back for 3 passes in 10 plays under center, completing one for 6 yards.
Week 15 -- 23-0 at New York Giants: The Giants were in dire straits already, and hosting Seattle killed their post-season dreams. Russ stayed in for most of the game as the Seahawks held onto a 16-0 lead heading into the 4th quarter. His dagger was a pass to Doug Baldwin. Jackson joined the fray with about 10 minutes left, turned in a 3-and-out, then got the ball back after New York ate some clock before an Eli Manning INT to Earl Thomas. T-Jax closed the game by going 2-for-2 for 16 yards.
Super Bowl -- 43-8 vs Denver Broncos: You all saw it. The game opened with a safety, and Seattle tacked on points on its next 4 possessions, not stopping until a punt 5 minutes into the 3rd quarter and up 29-0. Jackson answered the phone with the game thoroughly out of hand at 43-8 with 3:44 left; he threw an incompletion to Ricardo Lockette. And we all celebrated because Tarvaris Jackson finally got his Super Bowl ring.
Week 15 -- 50-17 at Buffalo Bills: A week after dropping a full 50-burger and donut on Arizona -- the old breakfast-and-dinner combo -- the Seahawks still had enough to make hash out of the Bills with a brutal combination of Wilson runs and Lynch pounds. By halftime, Wilson had 3 TDs on the ground and one through the air, though Seattle led only 31-17. But Seattle's offense marched for a pair of long scoring drives to open the 2nd half, then saw Earl Thomas bring back a Ryan Fitzpatrick miscue 57 yards for a score; by the time the third quarter closed, it was 47-17. In spite of the absurd lead, Russ opened the final frame with a field goal drive; Matt Flynn entered with just over 4:30 to play, gave the ball to Robert Turbin a few times, and the Seahawks never saw the field again.
(Honorable Mention) Week 16 -- 42-13 vs San Francisco 49ers: Yes, three weeks in a row, Matt Flynn entered the field of play in 2012, but this game only gets honorable mention because Flynn came in to sit on it. Prior to kickoff, the contest had all the makings of what we now think of as an old-school Seattle-San Fran tilt. Seattle was 9-5, San Francisco 10-3-1, and the Seahawks were looking to make the playoffs by either winning the division or securing a wild card berth. After a failed 49ers possession, Seattle got the ball at the SFO 35-yard line and ran 2 plays, the second a 24-yard Lynch rumble for a score. The 49ers punted again, Seattle scored a TD; the 49ers drove for a field goal try, Seattle blocked it and Sherman took it back for a third score; the 49ers finally got a field goal, Seattle scored another TD. By the end of 3, this on-paper tight game was 35-6, but the Seahawks wanted more. Russ stayed in through the next series, capping it with a Baldwin TD pass. Matt Flynn got in the game with 1:40 remaining, took a knee thrice, and the Seahawks got on everyone's radar as The Team You Don't Want To Face.