Cardinals star wideout Larry Fitzgerald, who had just one catch Sunday, shows his dismay while sitting on the sideline of Arizona’s demoralizing 58-0 loss to Seattle.
SEATTLE — Richard Sherman and Bobby Wagner stood face to face, screaming at each other in celebration, counting up all the turnovers the Seattle Seahawks accumulated.
There were plenty, along with a franchise record for points in a 58-0 rout of the inept Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Sherman and Wagner each had two interceptions, part of the eight turnovers forced by the Seahawks. Marshawn Lynch had three touchdown runs and Seattle (8-5) kept firm grasp on the final NFC wild-card spot. It also kept alive slim chances of catching San Francisco in the NFC West.
The Seahawks also picked up their first division victory of the season and gave coach Pete Carroll his first eight-win season in three years with the Seahawks.
Leon Washington’s 3-yard run with 2:32 left pushed the Seahawks past the old record of 56 points scored against Buffalo in 1977. The eight takeaways were their second most, equaling a 1998 achievement.
Lynch ran for 128 yards on 11 carries and scored on runs of 20, 4 and 33 yards. His last score on the first drive of the second half tied his career high for TD runs in a game and was the capper to his afternoon. Lynch’s backup, Robert Turbin, also topped the century mark with 108 yards.
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson wasn’t asked to do much, completing 7 of 13 for 148 yards and one touchdown. But unlike last week in Chicago, the Seahawks didn’t need any heroics from Wilson.
In fact, Wilson got to be a spectator for the last 25 minutes while Matt Flynn finally got his first regular-season action in a Seahawks uniform.
The Seahawks scored nearly every way possible, turning their first home game in about a month into a rout that will only increase debate in Phoenix whether Ken Whisenhunt will be back as Cardinals coach.
It was an effortless performance by the Cardinals (4-9), who have lost nine straight, the longest slide for the franchise since 1944. It was the worst shutout loss in Cardinals history and their first time being shut out since losing 38-0 to the Seahawks in 2003. The Cardinals gained just 154 yards and almost as many turnovers as first downs (10).
Larry Fitzgerald had one reception and that didn’t come until the fourth quarter. John Skelton made numerous ill-advised throws into coverage and was intercepted four times.
Arizona actually started well, with Skelton completing his first three passes. When Skelton finally threw in the direction of Fitzgerald the day quickly spiraled out of control. Skelton’s pass found Fitzgerald’s hands, but was wrestled free by K.J. Wright, tipped from hitting the ground by Walter Thurmond and into Wagner’s hands.
Wagner’s return set up the first of Steven Hauschka’s three field goals. The Seahawks then went 85 yards in 11 plays capped by Lynch sprinting around the edge for a 20-yard TD.
Wilson later hit Anthony McCoy for 67 yards to set up Lynch’s 4-yard TD.
Skelton was stripped by Chris Clemons and fell on the loose ball for the second Arizona turnover. Skelton threw into triple coverage to Fitzgerald and Sherman caught the poor throw, returning it 19 yards for a touchdown.
Patrick Peterson muffed a punt deep in his zone, the ball was batted around and eventually tipped to Malcolm Smith, who recovered in the end zone for a 31-0 lead.
And finally, Peterson was hit from behind and fumbled on a punt return late in the first half. Wilson hit Zach Miller for a 24-yard TD with 6 seconds left in the second quarter.
About the only bit of fight shown by the Cardinals came late in the third quarter during a pushing and shoving match that resulted in Daryn Colledge getting a personal foul for unnecessary roughness. By that point, the Seahawks led 51-0.
REDSKINS 31, RAVENS 28, OT
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — With Robert Griffin III sidelined with a sprained right knee, the Washington Redskins rallied behind backup Kirk Cousins to tie the game in the final minute of regulation, then Kai Forbath kicked a 34-yard field goal in overtime Sunday for a 31-28 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
Griffin was hurt at the end of a 13-yard scramble while attempting to lead the game-tying drive with the Redskins trailing 28-20. He left for one play, returned for four, then was no longer able to continue.
Cousins stepped in and hit Pierre Garcon for an 11-yard touchdown pass, then ran in the 2-point conversion with 29 seconds to play.
The Redskins have won four straight to improve to 7-6. The Ravens lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2009 and fell to 9-4.
Griffin III sprained his right knee, but a team spokesman said an MRI revealed that “everything is clear” in terms of significant ligament damage.
Spokesman Tony Wyllie said Griffin does not have a major knee injury and specifically ruled out a season-ending torn ACL as a result of a hit on the rookie quarterback in the final minutes of regulation.
At about the same time as Wyllie’s announcement, Griffin tweeted: “Your positive vibes and prayers worked people!!!! To God be the Glory!”
By medical definition, a sprained knee means that Griffin has some damage in at least one of the several ligaments in his knee. Wyllie said coach Mike Shanahan will give more information about Griffin’s status Monday.
Griffin was limping and wearing a big black brace on his knee in the locker room after the game. Instead of taking the big step onto the podium for his postgame news conference, he had to walk around the platform and use the smaller steps to get to the microphone.
He had an X-ray at the stadium, and he said doctors poking at his knee told him that his ligaments “felt good.” The worst-case scenario would have been an ACL tear, like the one he had on the same knee while playing for Baylor in 2009.
“I’m not a doctor, but I know what an ACL feels like,” Griffin said before leaving to have MRI. “And it doesn’t feel like an ACL. … If I felt that, I’d be pretty nervous. But we won the game, everybody’s praying for me, I feel pretty good right now about the whole situation.”
Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner was hurt during Washington’s final drive of regulation when was tackled by Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata at the end of a 13-yard scramble.
“I knew as soon as I got hit. I screamed. Like a man, of course,” Griffin added with a laugh. “It hurt really bad.”
Griffin sat out one play, then returned for four more, completing two passes to get the Redskins deep into Ravens territory. But he was also hopping on one leg and eventually fell to the turf, no longer able to continue.
“I knew I needed to get out at that point,” Griffin said. “I couldn’t move. At some point, you have to do what’s right for the team. And if I’m playing the rest of that game, I probably would have hurt myself even more.”
While Griffin was getting treatment on the sideline, Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon with 29 seconds left. Cousins then ran in a 2-point conversion to tie the score 28-28, and the teams headed to overtime. Kai Forbath’s 34-yard field goal won the game in the extra period.
Griffin completed 15 of 26 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown. He also ran seven times for 34 yards.
It was the second game this season that the No. 2 overall draft pick has been unable to finish because of an injury. He left the Oct. 7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons because of a concussion, but returned the following week.
COWBOYS 20, BENGALS 19
CINCINNATI (AP) — The grieving Cowboys rallied for a significant win on Dan Bailey’s 40-yard field goal as time ran out.
Dallas overcame a nine-point deficit in the closing minutes behind Tony Romo, who held his hand over his heart during a moment of silence to honor teammate Jerry Brown before the kickoff.
Brown died in an auto accident early Saturday. Defensive lineman Josh Brent, who was driving, remained in jail in Irving, Texas, charged with intoxication manslaughter.
The Cowboys (7-6) learned about Brown’s death on their flight to Cincinnati on Saturday. Coach Jason Garrett told his team that the best way to honor him was to play well in a game with playoff implications for both teams.
A late comeback was just enough to beat the Bengals (7-6).
Romo threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant, then led the drive to Bailey’s kick.
GIANTS 52, SAINTS 27
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Rookie David Wilson returned a kickoff 97 yards for one touchdown, ran for two more scores and piled up 327 all-purpose yards and Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes to lead the Giants.
The win allowed New York (8-5) to maintain its one-game lead in the NFC East over Washington and Dallas. The loss all but ended the playoff hopes of Drew Brees and the Saints (5-8), who turned the ball over four times in losing their third straight.
Manning had TD passes of 6 yards to Martellus Bennett, 5 yards to Domenik Hixon, 25 yards to Hakeem Nicks and 10 yards to Victor Cruz. Wilson scored on runs of 6 and 52 yards and finished with 100 yards on 13 carries on the biggest day of his career.
49ERS 27, DOLPHINS 13
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Frank Gore ran for a 1-yard touchdown and reached 1,000 yards rushing for the sixth time in his career.
Gore finished with 63 yards, Anthony Dixon also had a 1-yard scoring run and Colin Kaepernick ran for a late 50-yard touchdown and threw for 185 yards in his fourth straight start since being promoted over Alex Smith.
NFL sacks leader Aldon Smith added two to his total for 19 1/2, passing Fred Dean’s franchise-best single-season mark of 17 1/2 set in 1983. Smith also moved within three sacks of Michael Strahan’s seasonal NFL record set in 2001 with the New York Giants.
Michael Crabtree had nine catches for 93 yards and rookie LaMichael James ran for 30 yards in a solid NFL debut for the 49ers (9-3-1).
VIKINGS 21, BEARS 14
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Adrian Peterson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns and Harrison Smith returned an interception for a score.
Peterson topped 100 yards before the first quarter was over, helping the Vikings (7-6) overcome another lackluster day from quarterback Christian Ponder to get a win that will keep their faint playoff hopes alive.
Jay Cutler threw for 260 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and couldn’t finish the game for the Bears (8-5), who have lost four of their last five. He took a wicked hit to the head from Everson Griffen in the fourth quarter, remained in the game for the rest of that drive, but was replaced by Jason Campbell with 3 minutes to play.
BROWNS 30, CHIEFS 7
CLEVELAND (AP) — Rookie Travis Benjamin’s electrifying 93-yard punt return touchdown gave Cleveland momentum and the Browns won their third straight game.
Benjamin’s game-changing runback helped the Browns (5-8) continue their resurgence under second-year coach Pat Shurmur, whose future in Cleveland remains uncertain. The Browns have one more win than last season, and their longest winning streak since 2009.
Trent Richardson had a pair of 1-yard TD runs for Cleveland.
Jamaal Charles ran for 165 yards, breaking off an 80-yard TD run on the game’s first play for Kansas City.
It was the first road game for the Chiefs (2-11) following linebacker Jovan Belcher’s suicide. The 25-year-old killed his girlfriend at their home before driving to the team’s practice facility on Dec. 1 and shooting himself.
CHARGERS 34, STEELERS 24
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes, two to Danario Alexander, and San Diego won for the first time in 15 regular-season visits to Pittsburgh.
The Chargers (5-8), who snapped a four-game losing streak, dominated from the outset. They never let Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger get comfortable in his first game in nearly a month.
Roethlisberger completed 22 of 42 passes for 285 yards and three second-half touchdowns. But he also threw an interception and had a botched screen pass turn into an easy San Diego score as Pittsburgh (7-6) hardly played like a team readying for a postseason run.
COLTS 27, TITANS 23
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck led Indianapolis back from a 13-point second-half deficit and Adam Vinatieri made two fourth-quarter field goals.
Luck has now engineered six fourth-quarter comebacks for Indy (9-4).
It wasn’t all Luck.
Delone Carter cut the deficit to 20-14 with a 1-yard TD run on Indy’s opening possession of the second half. And after Pat McAfee’s 52-yard punt went out of bounds at the Titans 1-yard line, Cassius Vaughn jumped in front of Nate Washington, picked off Jake Locker’s pass and scored on a 3-yard interception return to make it 21-20.
Rob Bironas gave the Titans (4-9) a 23-21 lead with a 25-yard field goal, but VInatieri hit from 53 yards to retake the lead and from 40 to seal it.
JETS 17, JAGUARS 10
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell ran for short touchdowns and the New York Jets kept their postseason hopes alive.
The Jets (6-7) were shut out at halftime for the second consecutive week, but they didn’t need to change quarterbacks to spark the offense this time.
Instead, they just pounded the Jaguars (2-11) up the middle.
Mark Sanchez, benched last week in a 7-6 win against Arizona, was hardly a factor. Neither was backup Tim Tebow, who spent his homecoming on the sideline.
Greene scored on a 1-yard plunge in the third quarter, and Powell added a 4-yarder early in the fourth. Greene finished with 77 yards rushing. Powell added 78 yards on the ground.
EAGLES 23, BUCCANEERS 21
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Nick Foles threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final four minutes, including a 1-yarder to Jeremy Maclin with no time remaining.
The rally allowed the Eagles to end an eight-game losing streak — their longest in 42 years.
Foles completed 32 of 51 passes for 381 yards in his fourth start in place of the injured Michael Vick. The rookie threw an 11-yard TD pass to Clay Harbor with 3:55 remaining, then led the Eagles on a 64-yard game-winning drive after the Philadelphia defense forced a Tampa Bay punt.
Doug Martin rushed for 128 yards and Josh Freeman shrugged off a slow start to throw for two second-half touchdowns to help Tampa Bay overcome a 10-0 halftime deficit and take a 21-10 lead on Martin’s 4-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter.
RAMS 15, BILLS 12
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Sam Bradford threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson with 48 seconds left.
Bradford was 5 of 8 for 68 yards to cap a 14-play, 84-yard drive. St. Louis (6-6-1) continued its late-season resurgence by winning its third straight for the first time since closing the 2006 season with three victories.
The Bills (5-8) blew a lead in the final minute of the fourth quarter for the second time this season. They squandered a six-point lead in a 35-34 loss to Tennessee on Oct. 21.