Tuck: Running Up The Score

Seattle Seahawks 58, Arizona Cardinals 0.  I am tired of hearing people complain about NFL teams running up the score.  Same argument applies for college football, but we are talking about the NFL right now.

Last night New England took a 42-7 lead 7:23 to play and I had zero issue with them throwing to take a 28-point lead to 35 either.  Time to call it a day, right?  Houston decided to throw it four more times, and they eventually scored again.  That is small potatoes though compared to what happened in Seattle on Sunday afternoon.

The Seahawks led 38-0 at the half.  They threw 4 passes in the 3rd quarter total with QB Matt Flynn entering the game on Seattle’s second possession of the 2nd half up 45-0.

Seattle lead 51-0 going to the 4th quarter.  Matt Flynn threw six passes, but the sixth is Seattle going for it on 4th and 23 at the Arizona 33.  So, what?  Kick the FG and tack onto the lead?

Next possession they run 4 straight times before completing a pass to convert a 3rd and 6.  They score on a touchdown run the next play to make it 58-0.  They take a knee the next time they get the ball and end the game.

Here is what my biggest complaint is to ANYONE that questions the play-calling of the team in the lead: It is not the team in the lead’s sole responsibility to end the game as quickly and quietly as possible.

After falling behind 45-0, John Skelton’s first pass of the second half is intercepted, setting up a field goal, and sending him mercifully to the bench.  So did the Cardinals just call it a day and try running the clock out and getting back home?

NO.  QB Ryan Lindley dropped back to pass 19 more times!  They even ran a no-huddle at one point!!!  And that was after falling behind 58-0 with under 3 minutes to play!

I don’t want to hear about the team in the lead’s play-calling if the team trailing is throwing it around like they have a chance to catch up and aren’t simply just running the ball and the clock to get out of town.  Ending a game that is out-of-hand quickly is a two-way street.  

If the trailing team pulls starters and is simply trying to kill the clock, then the team in the lead should in good faith follow suit.  If the white flag is being raised, it ideally should be recognized.

But if the trailing team continues to fight, and throw the ball, and run no-huddle, then I take no issue with the team in the lead choosing the throw the ball too.  Especially when you look at when, how, and who was doing the throwing in the game for Seattle.