BY Steve Rudman 11:30AM 12/05/2014

Seahawks’ win in Philly would be historic

The Seahawks, who play at 9-3 Philadelphia Sunday, have won only one game in franchise history in Week 14 or later against a winning team in the Eastern time zone.

Marshawn Lynch will match strides with Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy Sunday at Franklin Financial Field. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Since the 8-4 Seahawks are playing at 9-3 Philadelphia Sunday, this question arose: When was the last time that the Seahawks, playing in Week 14 or later, won a regular-season game in the Eastern time zone against an opponent with a winning record? Answer: 11 years, 11 months and 20 days ago, and the Seahawks required overtime to get the job done.

Coached by Mike Holmgren, they were in Atlanta Dec. 15, 2002, to face the 8-4-1 Falcons, led by Michael Vick, whose 12-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Gaylor with 21 seconds remaining forced the extra session.

Atlanta got first crack in OT and had victory in sight when Jay Feely lined up for a 36-yard field goal. But he inexplicably shanked it, giving the Seahawks an opportunity. On the seventh play of their drive, Shaun Alexander burst for a 27-yard touchdown and the Seahawks left town with a 30-24 win.

That’s not only the last time the Seahawks won in Week 14 or later in the East against an opponent with a winning record, it’s the only time in franchise history. Keep that in mind when the Seahawks and Eagles tee it up Sunday.

“This is really an exciting week — a big trip for us going against a terrific team,” said coach Pete Carroll. “I feel good about the challenge and am looking forward to it.”

Even with expanded parameters, mainly by eliminating the time zone constraint, Seahawks’ road victories this time of year  — anywhere — are relatively rare. Since 1976, they have won 27 times on foreign soil in Week 14 or later. But only 11 of those came against teams with winning records at the time of the game. The 11 victories (opponents that made the playoffs are listed in bold):

Year Date Gm. # Opponent Rec. Score Skinny
1978 Nov. 26 13 Raiders 8-4 17-16 Efren Herrera 46 FG to win
1979 Dec. 16 16 Raiders 9-6 29-24 Jim Zorn 2 TD passes
1984 Nov. 25 13 Broncos 11-1 27-24 Dave Krieg 2 TD passes
1986 Nov. 27 13 Cowboys 7-5 31-13 Curt Warner 122 yards, TD
1987 Dec. 20 14 Bears 10-3 34-21 Curt Warner 2 TDs
1989 Dec. 10 14 Bengals 7-6 24-17 Curt Warner winning TD
1995 Dec. 10 14 Broncos 9-5 31-27 Chris Warren winning TD
2002 Dec. 15 14 Falcons 8-4-1 30-24 Shaun Alexander 2 TDs
2002 Dec. 29 16 Chargers 8-7 25-22 Rian Lindell 54 FG to win
2004 Dec. 12 13 Vikings 7-5 27-23 2 Josh Brown FGs to win
2011 Dec. 18 14 Bears 7-6 38-14 Marshawn Lynch 2 TDs

Of the 11, only three came against a team that qualified for the postseason: at Denver Nov. 25, 1984, at Chicago Dec. 20, 1987, and at Atlanta Dec. 15, 2002. That Seahawks-Falcons game was the only one of the three played in the Eastern time zone.

While a win by the Seahawks Sunday in Philly wouldn’t be one of a kind, it will be two of a kind if the Eagles, who currently own the NFC’s No. 3 seed, reach the playoffs.

The Seahawks have won their last two at Franklin Financial Field and the Eagles aren’t much of a favorite – a mere point – but they have won 10 consecutive at home (6-0 this season) and are 3-1 in Mark Sanchez’s starts at quarterback. In those games, the Eagles, who feature the NFL’s No. 4-ranked offense, have outscored their opponents by an average of 40-18.

Big-play Russell

It’s not surprising that RB DeMarco Murray of Dallas, who has 11 100-yard games, leads the NFL in explosive running plays – 41 that have gone for 10 or more yards, including 13 that he broke for 20 or more.

It’s more surprising that Justin Forsett, the former Seahawk now playing for Baltimore, ranks second with 35, considering that he only got a chance to start after the Ravens threw Ray Rice, now trying to talk his way back into the league, under the bus.

Russell Wilson ranks third with 28 explosive plays – in 91 attempts. His percentage of such runs – 30.7 – easily leads the NFL.

Wilson is the only quarterback ranked among the top 10 and has more such plays than Marshawn Lynch (27), Green Bay’s Eddie Lacy (27), Pittsburgh’s Le’Von Bell (27) and Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy (26), whom the Seahawks will see Sunday. Players with 25 or more explosive runs:

Player Team Pos. Att. +20 Total Long Runs
DeMarco Murray Dal RB 320 13 41 51 vs. Wash, 44 vs. StL
Justin Forsett Bal RB 179 13 35 52 vs. Tampa, 41 vs. Pitt
Russell Wilson Sea QB 91 5 28 52 vs. StL, 40 vs. Arizona
Eddie Lacy GB RB 175 3 27 37 vs. Phil, 29 vs. Minn
Marshawn Lynch Sea RB 212 5 27 33 vs. Ariz, 32 vs. Dallas
Le’Von Bell Pitt RB 216 6 27 81 vs. Carolina, 38 vs. Clev
LeSean McCoy Phil RB 242 6 26 53 vs. Tenn, 38 vs. Dallas
Arian Foster Hou RB 180 7 25 43 vs. Tenn, 40 vs. Oak

With 28, Wilson has more explosive plays than the next two quarterbacks – Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles (11) and San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick (10) – have combined. No quarterback has had more explosive runs than Wilson since Vick’s 44 in 2006.

With 679 rushing yards, Wilson is on pace for 905. Lynch is on track for 927. If they both reach 1,000 — the Seahawks have never had two 1,000-yard rushers — they will become the seventh pair to surpass 1,000 in a season and the second running back-quarterback tandem, following RB Warrick Dunn (1,140) and QB Vick (1,039) of Atlanta in 2006.

Wilson’s 679 yards would have led the Seahawks in six years: 1976 (Sherman Smith, 537), 1980 (Jim Jodat, 632), 1981 (Theotis Brown, 531), 1984 (David Hughes, 327), 1989 (Chris Warren, 631) and 2009 (Julius Jones, 663).


YourThoughts

  • Hawks4ever

    I thought the Eagles played in Lincoln Financial stadium, or has it been changed to Franklin?

  • Guy K. Browne

    The stat dismisses the Seahawk Victory over the Redskins in the 2012/13 playoffs? Not a regular season game, but certainly past week 14, against a winning team.

  • Cody

    Rudman your use of the phrase “relatively rare” is way off. They have played about 57 road games if the home and away are a 50/50 split overall, in weeks 14, 15 and 16, (38×3/2). A 27/57 road winning ratio is very solid any time of year.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    if the Q had been posed (road wins)in the month of december? Week 13 we went into Philly in 2005 and beat them 42~0 on monday night football(when Coach H took us to the SB)… Thats all I need to know about past Eagle meetings in their place….

  • Bayview Herb

    These kinds of comparisons are garbage, since different players, coaches and injury status applies. This team hasn’t been beat in game 14 in the east against a winning team. Just past ones.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    The last two times we have played Philly in their building we won both times in early december (2005 ,07) we won 42~0 and 28~24 … We also have a win against them here(31~14) in december of 2011.

  • Its onlySports(DavidWakefield)

    Let the History begin…..