During the week, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll stressed to his players that they would treat today's game like any other.
And in the first half, all signs suggested that Carroll's message had gotten through loud and clear. The Seahawks dominated the Arizona Cardinals in every aspect, jumping out to a 30-6 lead at the break.
Russell Wilson went 13-for-20 for 155 yards and three touchdowns -- one to fullback Will Tukuafu, another to tight end Chase Coffman and a third to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. The Seahawks scored on five of their six first-half possessions. The only exception was at the end of the second quarter when Steven Hauschka missed a field goal.
Wilson now has 34 passing touchdowns on the season, a new franchise record.
Defensively, the Seahawks held Carson Palmer & Co. in check. The Cardinals managed a touchdown, four punts a missed field goal and an interception on their seven possessions.
Rookie Tyler Lockett continued to give the Seahawks a boost on offense and special teams. He had a 66-yard punt return to set Seattle up with great field position and also made a 36-yard grab.
If the Seahawks hold on, their playoff fate will be determined by the night game. A Seahawks win combined with a Green Bay Packers win means Seattle goes to Washington. A Seattle win combined with a Vikings victory means Seattle goes to Minnesota.