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Seahawks didn't try to run up the score

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Pete Carroll dismissed the idea that the Seahawks tried to make a statement by running up the score against the Cardinals in a 58-0 victory on Sunday.

Kevin Casey

58-0 is a pretty lopsided score no matter which way you paint it, and Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll was quick to say the team didn't try to run up the score, Eric Williams of the News Tribune wrote on Monday.

This isn't the first time Carroll has seen such a huge point disparity. As head coach of the USC Trojans during their heyday, Carroll's teams regularly scored a lot more points than their opponents. After the big shutout victory on Sunday, some people were quick to say that Carroll should've taken his foot of the gas.

Carroll acknowledged that with the Seahawks up 38-0, the team was still trying to win while running down the clock as quickly as possible.

"What you're trying to do is make first downs," Carroll said. "You're trying to get first downs and keep the football, with the sensitivity of the situation. And you know you're going to run the football like crazy, which was awesome. We love to do that.

"So we got a lot of things done yesterday. And unfortunately on the other side, it was a very hard day for those guys. I get it."

The Seahawks attempted 22 passes and rushed the ball 42 times, but were still throwing the ball late in the game after the season premiere of backup Matt Flynn. As Will Brinson of CBS Sports pointed out, the Seahawks pulled Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch in the third quarter, and having Flynn see some action wasn't about running up the score but making sure the little-used quarterback can still play.

So, in 25 minutes of action, Flynn attempted nine whole passes -- the Seahawks only threw the ball 22 times the whole game! -- and Arizona simply wasn't able to stop Seattle's backups. That's not on Carroll, whose job isn't described as "taking mercy on Ken Whisenhunt and the pitiful Cardinals.

Sometimes there is a storyline in everything, but in this case, it isn't the Seahawks running up the score. It's the story of an Arizona Cardinals team not capable of stopping whatever the Seahawks decided to do.