SEATTLE -- Vociferous and talented Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman ran side by side with Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald early in the second quarter when Cardinals quarterback John Skelton zipped a pass their way.
Sherman broke on the underthrown spiral. Fitzgerald did not. The interception turned into a 19-yard touchdown for Sherman, one of several highlights for the Seahawks and among the litany of lowlights for the woeful Cardinals in Seattle's 58-0 rout of Arizona at a cool, damp CenturyLink Field on Sunday afternoon.
The 58 points were a Seahawks single-game record, breaking the previous high of 56 points against Buffalo on Oct. 30, 1977. The final score represented the Seahawks' largest margin of victory, and the third-largest margin of victory in the NFL in the modern era.
Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch scored three touchdowns, and Lynch and Robert Turbin each topped 100 yards on the ground.
Arizona (4-9) has lost nine consecutive games. It's no wonder. The Cardinals turned the ball over eight times Sunday. The Seahawks scored on offense, defense and special teams before halftime, helping Seattle to a 38-0 lead at the break. That was the third-most points scored in a first half in Seahawks history.
"Ass kicking," Skelton said. "That's the only thing you can say. For them to come out and dominate the way they did in every phase of the game, it's embarrassing."
Sunday was a spectacle encapsulated by Sherman's theatrics. Sherman danced, pranced and woofed all over the field. He had two interceptions and a fumble recovery. After one pass breakup, he made a gesture as if he were turning a key in a lock before tucking the key back into his pocket.
He said afterward his touchdown dance is called the "Sherman Shuffle." He also performed the "Gravedigger" with teammate Kam Chancellor following his second interception.
"Gotta have some fun out there," Sherman said.
More stoic teammate Earl Thomas almost smiled when talking about Sherman.
"Sherm had a great game," Thomas said. "He's a little crazy ..."
He was able to do that because of the Seahawks' dominance and the appeal of his suspension for a reported positive drug test resulting from Adderall consumption. ESPN reported Sunday that Sherman's appeal hearing, originally scheduled for Dec. 14, could be pushed back further.
When the score reached 45-0 after Lynch's 33-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter, the Seahawks (8-5) pulled quarterback Russell Wilson. Matt Flynn then took his first snaps of the season.
Arizona made a quarterback change for a different reason. Skelton went 11-for-22 for 74 yards and four interceptions. Ryan Lindley relieved him and went 8-for-17 for 59 yards.
When Arizona head coach Ken Whisenhunt was asked postgame what he will do next week about the quarterback situation, he responded to the reporter with a question of his own.
"Do you play?"
An unlikely series of tips ended Arizona's first drive and were a harbinger of the problems to come. Skelton first tried to hit Fitzgerald on third-and-2 at the Seahawks' 37-yard line. Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright was trailing Fitzgerald, and he initially broke up the pass. Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond dived to keep the loose, spinning ball off the ground, digging it like a volleyball player. That allowed linebacker Bobby Wagner to snag it, wheel and head 45 yards downfield.
Skelton tripped Wagner, saving the touchdown. Seattle kicker Steven Hauschka turned the turnover into three points with a 31-yard field goal to give the Seahawks the early lead. Hauschka also hit 28- and 32-yard field goals later in the game.
"Opposite of Murphy's Law," Sherman said. "Everything that could go right, went right."
Lynch pushed the lead to 10-0 when he cut back and scored a 20-yard touchdown with 2:04 left in the first quarter. He gained 15 yards on the previous play, but that progress was nullified by a personal foul on right tackle Breno Giacomini. No matter. Lynch, who rushed for 128 yards on 11 carries, scored on the next play.
Turbin gained 108 yards on 20 carries.
A 67-yard completion to tight end Anthony McCoy -- he had a career-high 105 receiving yards on three catches -- set up Lynch again. Lynch's 4-yard touchdown vaulted Seattle in front 17-0 with 14:53 to go in the second quarter and made it clear this is not the same Arizona squad that started the season with a win over the Seahawks.
Wilson hit tight end Zach Miller down the middle for a 24-yard touchdown and a 38-0 Seahawks lead with six seconds left in the half.
The Cardinals gifted another score to Seattle when Patrick Peterson muffed a punt midway through the second quarter. Seattle's Malcolm Smith plucked the ball out of the air on his way into the end zone to make the score 31-0. The play was so odd, referee Carl Cheffers explained it this way:
"After several muffs by the receiving team, the kicking team recovers in the end zone."
That about summed up the day.
NOTES: Seattle's Brandon Browner, who was suspended for the same violation as Sherman, began serving his four-game suspension Sunday. ... Former Seahawks quarterback Jon Kitna raised the 12th Man flag. ... The Cardinals' Dan Williams suffered a hamstring injury. ... Wilson threw his first interception at home this season when Peterson picked him off in the second quarter. ... The Seahawks' inactives were Charly Martin, Marcus Trufant, DeShawn Shead, Ron Parker, Rishaw Johnson, Mike Person and Jaye Howard. ... The Cardinals' inactives were Kevin Kolb, LaRon Byrd, Jamell Fleming, Senio Kelemete (who is from the Seattle area and played at the University of Washington), Pat McQuistan, Kory Sperry and Ronald Talley.