BY Steve Rudman 06:30AM 01/05/2016

Seahawks set record for playoff momentum

Seattle crushed 13-2 Arizona 36-6 Sunday, recording the largest margin of victory against a 13-plus win team since the NFL adopted the 16-game schedule in 1978.

Bruce Irvin (51) viaits Arizona QB Carson Palmer Sunday during Seattle’s 36-6 victory. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

No one, least of all the wizards of odds, suspected that the Seahawks would waltz into Arizona Sunday and render the NFC West champion Cardinals, widely considered no worse than the second-best outfit in the NFL behind Carolina, inept for a day. That’s precisely what Seattle did, running up a 30-6 halftime lead en route to a 36-6 pummeling.

Pummeling = holding the Cardinals to 26.6 points under their league-leading scoring average per game while also scoring 36 against a defense that came in allowing 18.5. The Seahawks tallied 30 of the 36 in the first half, and only twice all season did the Cardinals allow more than 30 in an entire game.

Given the splendid season that coach Bruce Arians and the Cardinals had put together (13-2), that outcome would have been surprising even if the Seahawks  deployed RBs Marshawn Lynch or Thomas Rawls, T Russell Okung, RG J.R. Sweezy, TEs Jimmy Graham or Luke Willson and S Kam Chancellor, all out with injuries.

But the game was over by halftime after QB Russell Wilson fired three touchdown passes, including a pair to two guys, FB Will Tukuafu and TE Chase Coffman, who had never before caught a scoring pass for the Seahawks — in other words, two of the unlikeliest targets in NFL history.

“We put together a really good day to finish the season up, particularly since we played such a good football team,” said coach Pete Carroll. “We executed in the way we hoped to. So many cool things happened. The consistency of our offense was really good.”

“Guys were making plays all over the field,” added Wilson. “We had a blast today and played championship football.”

When Carroll said the Seahawks “put together a really good day,” he didn’t explain the half of it. Since 1978, the first year the NFL expanded to a 16-game schedule, 67 clubs have won 13 or more games in a regular season, topped by the 2007 New England Patriots, who finished 16-0 (six other teams, including this year’s Panthers, finished 15-1).

Of the 67, only eight had a loss by a margin of 20 or more points after entering a game with 13 or more wins. And none of the eight were pounded as thoroughly as were the Cardinals. The 1997 San Francisco 49ers, 13-2 entering the final game of that season, came close. Seattle laid a 38-9 number on those Niners, who flamed out three weeks later to Green Bay in the NFC title game.

The following teams, including Seattle three times, scored the biggest routs over 13+-win clubs:

Year Date Router Routed Opp Rec. Score Margin
2016 Jan. 3 Seahawks Cardinals 13-2 36-6 30
1997 Dec. 21 Seahawks 49ers 13-2 38-9 29
2005 Jan. 2 Bengals Eagles 13-2 38-10 28
1999 Dec. 26 Titans Jaguars 13-1 41-14 27
2000 Jan. 2 Bills Colts 13-2 31-6 25
2008 Dec. 28 Colts Titans 13-2 23-0 23
2010 Jan. 3 Bills Colts 14-1 30-7 23
2007 Dec. 30 Redskins Cowboys 13-2 27-6 21
2006 Dec. 31 Bears Packers 13-2 26-7 19
2005 Dec. 24 Seahawks Colts 13-1 28-13 15

“When Seattle is firing on all cylinders, they can beat anybody in the league,” former head coach Jimmy Johnson told a FOX TV audience Sunday. “Nobody wants to see them in the playoffs.”

Russell Wilson in context

Johnson and most of the other network talkers were all over the pre-game fact that Wilson had an opportunity Sunday to become the first quarterback in NFL history to finish a regular season with 4,000 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 500 rushing yards.

Wilson needed 173 passing yards to reach all benchmarks, easily attained that and finished the season with 4,024 yards, 34 TD passes and 553 rushing yards, his best overall year by far.

The 4,024 yards established a single-season franchise record, topping the 3,966 by Matt Hasselbeck in 2007. Wilson (483 attempts) needed 79 fewer passes than Hasselbeck to break the record. Wilson’s 34 TDs also broke Dave Krieg’s 1984 single-season franchise mark of 32. That year, Krieg threw 24 interceptions. Wilson threw eight.

What no network talker had time (or inclination) to do was add the perspective of which quarterbacks came close to duplicating Wilson’s 4,000+-30+-500  feat. The short answer is: Way fewer than you might think. In fact, to fully appreciate what Wilson did, do this: lower the 4,000-yard passing standard by al 1,000 yards to 3,000. Also lower the 30-TD pass requisite to 25 and the rushing yards total from 500 to 400.

How many quarterbacks had a combination of 3,000 passing yards with 25 TDs and 400 rushing yards? Eight. Factor in a passer rating above 95.0 (Wilson won the league title at 110.1), and the list is whittled to five.

Wilson, Dante Culpepper and Steve Young are the onl quarterbacks to do this in multiple seasons (this year’s probable MVP, Cam Newton, has done it once). The list, chronologically:

Year Quarterback Team Pass Yds Rush Yds TDs Rating
1992 Steve Young 49ers 3,465 537 25 107.0
1993 Steve Young 49ers 4,023 407 29 101.5
1998 Steve Young 49ers 4,170 454 36 101.1
2000 Dante Culpepper Vikings 3,937 470 33 98.0
2000 Jeff Garcia 49ers 4,278 414 31 97.6
2003 Dante Culpepper Vikings 3,479 422 25 96.4
2004 Dante Culpepper Vikings 4,717 406 39 110.9
2012 Russell Wilson Seahawks 3,118 489 26 100.0
2013 Russell Wilson Seahawks 3,357 539 26 101.2
2015 Cam Newton Panthers 3,937 636 35 99.2
2015 Russell Wilson Seahawks 4,024 553 34 110.1

The irony, of course, is that Wilson hit his numbers – 4,000+, 30+, 500+, 100.0+ — without a lead back (in fact, with castoffs) most of the year, with deep backups at tight end, with undrafted free agents at two receiver positions, and with an offensive line that didn’t reach NFL quality until week 10.

Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell was asked a couple of weeks ago how the offense would change once Lynch, back at Seahawks headquarters Monday, returns to the lineup.

“He,” Bevell said of Beast Mode, “is going to have to adapt to what we’re doing now.”

For the Seahawks, now has never looked better.

 


YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    Bevell isn’t the only coach to say that Lynch has a lot of work to do when he returns. Coach Carroll and Tom Cable have said the same. With Christine Michael and Bryce Brown producing Lynch will have to reach Beastmode levels PDQ to get regular playing time.

    Vikings have 6 players from the defense on IR. Hopefully Wilson can take advantage of that.

    • Matt712

      Granted, they will evaluate Lynch’s football shape in practice this week, but if he’s healthy then anything the coaches have said to this point will have amounted to mere posturing. C-Mike will get limited carries, Brown probably none unless the is over by the fourth quarter (if he’s even activated).

    • Sherryhlongoria1


      ❝my neighbor’s stride mother is making 98$ HOURLY on the internet❞….

      A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
      dv…
      ➤➤
      ➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsNew/GetPaid/98$hourly❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦

    • Mildredwcouncil1


      ❝my neighbor’s mate mother is making 98$ HOURLY on the internet❞….

      A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
      hc………..
      ➤➤
      ➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsNet/GetPaid/98$hourly❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦

    • Mildredwcouncil2


      ❝my neighbor’s mate mother is making 98$ HOURLY on the internet❞….

      A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
      vs……….
      ➤➤
      ➤➤➤ http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsNet/GetPaid/98$hourly❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦.❦