Desert Dominance: Russell Wilson, Seahawks rout Cardinals, 35-6


Russell Wilson had 427 all-purpose yards, Luke Willson had 139 receiving yards, the Seahawks defense allowed only 216 total yards and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals 35-6 on Sunday Night Football.

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The win kept the Seahawks (11-4) in the conversation for the NFC’s No. 1 seed and gave them the chance to win the NFC West next Sunday with a win.

Seattle clinched at least a playoff berth before the game started after the Dallas Cowboys beat the Indianapolis Colts. It’s the third-straight year Seattle will be in the postseason.

But they needed to beat Arizona (11-4) on Sunday to keep the Cardinals from clinching the West themselves.

Seattle did just that in another statement win.

The Seahawks posted 597 total yards (the most Arizona had allowed since 1958), averaged 8.9 yards per play and kept the ball for more than 33 minutes, all of which proved to be too hot for the Cardinals to handle in the desert.

After a scoreless first quarter from both teams, the Cardinals got on the board first when Chandler Catanzaro hit a short 27-yard field goal to make it a 3-0 game.

Seattle countered with an 80-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Luke Willson. The 6-foot-5 tight end beat the zone coverage and won the foot race into the endzone on a play that totally shook momentum into the Seahawks favor.

Dec 21, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) before facing the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

With a 7-3 lead, Seattle’s defense forced the Cardinals to give the ball back to the Seahawks offense, who thanked their defense by scoring another touchdown. Marshawn Lynch scored his 11th rushing touchdown of the season on a 6-yard score.

Seattle took the 14-3 advantage into the half but the game was not nearly as close as the score indicated.

The Seahawks had 305 total yards in the first half, allowing only 64 to the Cardinals. But penalties kept Arizona in it — Seattle had 10 in the first half go for 92 yards while the Red Birds were only called for one 5-yard false start penalty.

In the third quarter, Catanzaro made another field goal to make it 14-6 while Steven Hauschka missed two long three-pointers in the quarter. He was 0-for-3 on the night, missing from 52, 50 and 47 yards, respectively.

Willson caught his second touchdown of the night in the fourth quarter, a 20-yard play that gave Willson 139 reception yards and two touchdowns on the night.

Seattle got on the scoreboard for the fourth time when Lynch ran for 79 yards on a Beast Mode run that had all the elements of a SportsCenter Top 10 play. The run gave Seattle a 28-6 lead and gave Lynch his 12th rushing TD of the year, tied for the most among NFL running backs this season.

After Richard Sherman picked off his fourth interception of the season, Wilson ran the ball in for a 5-yard score to make it a 35-6 game with about five minutes left in regulation.

Wilson finished the game with 339 passing yards and 88 rushing yards, including a 55-yard run in the first half that was the longest of his career. He had two passing and one rushing touchdown.

Lynch had 113 yards on the ground and a pair of touchdowns after missing the first quarter with what the Seahawks called an “upset stomach.”

Doug Baldwin had seven catches for 113 yards and Bobby Wagner led the defense with nine tackles.

Seattle controls their own destiny now.

A win next week against the St. Louis Rams (6-9) at CenturyLink Field clinches the NFC West and the No. 1 seed in the NFC.

Next: Seahawks beat Cardinals: A Totally Awesome Video Spectacular