BY SPNW Staff 11:01AM 12/10/2012

Should The Seahawks Have Piled It On Arizona?

There was lots of TV debate over whether the Seahawks deliberately piled it on during the latter stages of their 58-0 wipeout of the Arizona Cardinals. Your thoughts? Vote here.

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:

Year Date Winner Loser Score Skinny
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?


  • osoviejo

    These are pros, well paid to act in the best interests of their team. If Carroll thinks Flynn needs to use the opportunity of a blowout to throw the ball, then that’s what he should do. Period.

    The last thing I’d ever want to hear from any pro coach is that he failed to prepare his team to his utmost ability because he didn’t want to hurt an opponent’s feelings.

    The “running up the score” debate in professional sports is an embarrassment to professional sports. At least it should be.

  • Bayview Herb

    The 2nd team played almost the entire 2nd half. What more can you ask? These players needed the game time using real plays. They had the right to try to achieve personal goals.

  • maoling

    How often in the NFL do you get a chance to bring in your backup QB and others just to get reps and stay sharp? Pete did the right thing. No reason for us to quit just because Arizona did. Their shame, not ours.

    • steverudman


  • Joe Fan

    We were NOT “running up the score”. We had many back-ups in the game. What are we supposed to do if the opposing team can’t stop basic plays? This is ridiculous to accuse the ‘Hawks of running up the score.

  • jafabian

    Throwing on 4th down was unnecessary. And I do believe they were throwing too much in the 4th quarter. Consdiering Carroll didn’t like Harbaugh doing that in college it’s interesting that he was doing it here.

    • You are completely wrong. He didn’t even catch the ball so it was irrelevant. We didn’t run the score up Arizona didn’t show up to play.

    • eric killian

      Harbaugh went for 2 after a TD in a blowout, a little different.

      The Hawks played totally conservative with 2nd and 3rd stringers, if they had been trying to run up the score they’d have scored 70:-). They scored once in the 4th quarter, hard to not score eventually even when just running out the clock when the other team is that bad

  • GiveHawksCredit

    ESPN… kings of analysis paralysis! C’mon man! If Ron, Herm & Merril were at the game, they would have seen how even our 2nd team guys were just taking advantage of Arizona’s prolific mistakes.

  • eric killian

    They were running simply off tackle on 1st and 2nd down and then passing on 3rd and long with 2nd and 3rd stringers, what else could they do? Given that ARZ QBs were more likely to throw pick 6s than completions going 3 runs and a punt on every series probably would have been an even higher score

  • ludvig

    I’m a Cardinal fan since they played in Chicago (sort of, although less and less every Sunday) and if you put your 2nd round QB in, you are not trying to run up the score, you are trying to give him some game time experience. What if the Seahawks get in the playoff their starter gets hurt. It would be nice to know the backup can push the ball into the endzone.

    • steverudman

      Since Chicago? The Cardinals haven’t played there since 1959 when King Hill was the quarterback and John David Crow was the running back.

  • I actually thought they were running it a lot in the second half.

    But that Flynn pass into the endzone on 4th down in the 4th quarter up by 51 points? That embarrassed me.

  • eric killian

    It was a low percentage timing route, a chance for Flynn to get game experience.

    What should they do instead, kick a FG?

  • hammtime

    Russell Wilson didn’t play the last 25 minutes. What else do they want us to do? This isn’t pee-wee football. It’s not the Seahawks fault that the Cardinals gave up. H**l, look how few pass attempts the Hawks had. It’s not like they were throwing the ball around left and right. If the Cardinals didn’t like it then they shouldn’t have kept giving the ball away. The last time I checked the Cardinals were being paid to play too. Not the Hawks fault they quit after the first 2 minutes.

  • denny wheeler

    Badly put poll Q. First ask, “did the Seahawks pile it on?” Answer: No, the Cardinals put up no resistance and helped out whenever they could.

  • denny wheeler

    For those who think we were running up the score:
    Ask any competetive athlete which would be worse between

    (a) running your basic offense with backups
    (b) taking a knee every play

    IMO, (b) would be FAR more humiliating.

  • RadioGuy

    The Seahawks didn’t run up the score so much as the Cardinals quit on each other and their coach. There are deeper issues in Phoenix than the score of this game. My guess is that Whisenhunt is gone by the end of the season, if not sooner…he’s lost his players.

    And, yes, I was glad to see Matt Flynn get some playing time, even in a blowout. Question: Now that Josh Portis has been released, do the Hawks even have a third-string QB now?

    • steverudman

      Excellent comments, RadioGuy.

  • Jackson Wadley

    If the Patriots, Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, or Redskins or any other media darling teams beat any team in this same fashion they’d be called an offensive juggernaut. If Seattle were to be beaten like that this sit down media show wouldn’t even take place.

  • Hawkaholic

    Should they have piled it on? no, I think they handled it properly.
    your survey question is assuming I already think they ‘piled it on’ which they did not.
    the cards ‘piled it on’ the hawks last year.
    the cards beat the hawks in season opener.

  • Smerlap

    This is the NFL, the big leagues there is no mercy rule! Please don’t tell me if the score had been reversed the AZ coaching staff would have laid off. Put your big boy pants on and join the men or go home.

  • mike

    They were ahead 38-0 at half. They could have scored 100 if they tried. As Dave Wyman say, “This is a big boy league”.