To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Seahawks, here are 40 moments, memorable and miserable, that left the 12s reeling alternately in dismay and delight.
By David Eskenazi and Steve Rudman
Prior to their home opener in September, the Seahawks celebrated their first four decades (1976-15) by announcing the franchise’s 40th Anniversary Team. Several media outlets followed with their own anniversary teams, so another version here would largely be redundant. However, if we had selected one, the honorary captain would be former quarterback Dave Krieg (1980-91), the only graduate of defunct Milton College to play in the NFL.
Our focus here is to review 40 of the Seahawks’ most memorable in-game moments, majestic and miserable. No player struck more notes on the rah/ugh scale than Krieg. For one thing, he’s the only QB is franchise history to toss five touchdown passes in one game (Dec. 2, 1984 vs. Detroit) and five interceptions in another (Dec. 9, 1984 at Kansas City). He did that in back-to-back weeks!
For another, Krieg produced the weirdest single-game performance in 40 Seahawk seasons.
The date: Nov. 20, 1983: Venue: Mile High Stadium, Denver. Krieg set a franchise record by throwing for 418 yards, completing 31 of 42. He added what was then a career-high four TD passes. That’s Player of the Week stuff.
But the Seahawks lost 38-20 because Krieg also threw four interceptions and lost three soap-dish fumbles, making him the ultimate do-it-all player. Memorable and miserable plays, from 40 to 1:
40. Expansion Bowl, Oct. 17, 1976: With first-year Seattle leading first-year Tampa Bay 13-10, the Bucs lined up for the tying field goal with 47 seconds remaining. But Seahawks LB Mike Curtis blocked Dave Green’s attempt, preserving the first victory in franchise history. As memorable as the block, Curtis cold-cocked a moron who ran onto the field, a move that generated more TV highlights than the blocked field goal.
39. Zorn to Largent, Nov. 21, 1982: The Seahawks scored a 17-10 victory over Denver at Mile High Stadium when Jim Zorn threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Steve Largent with 34 seconds left, giving Mike McCormack a victory in his first game as Seattle’s head coach.
38. 20-point rally, Dec. 10, 1995: Down 20-0 in the second quarter, the Seahawks rallied for a 31-27 win at Denver. After an 83-yard TD return of a Robert Blackmon-forced fumble by Antonio Edwards ignited the rally, QB John Friesz threw a 20-yard TD to Chris Warren to win with 49 seconds left.
37. Terrell Owens and his Sharpie, Dec. 1, 2002: After scoring a touchdown during a Monday Night game against the Seahawks, the San Francisco receiver took a marker out of his uniform socks and autographed the football while standing in the end zone. Then he presented it to his manager, sitting in the stands. Since it wasn’t technically a celebration, the league had to get creative, so it slapped T.O. with a $5,000 fine for having his jersey untucked.
36: Game-winning theft, Nov. 21, 2004: In a 17-17 tie with Miami at Qwest Field and 56 seconds showing, Seattle safety Michael Boulware picked off QB A.J. Feeley and went 63 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
35. Fatal ricochet, Nov. 9, 1990: With the score 21-21 and the Seahawks on the march for the game-winning TD or field goal, a Dave Krieg pass to WR Paul Skansi bounced off Skansi’s chest and was snatched out of the air by Minnesota’s Joey Browner, setting up Faud Reveiz’s game-winning field goal as time expired. “I can’t remember this ever happening before,’” said Skansi after Seattle’s 24-21 defeat. “It never should happen.”
34. Seahawks’ original 12th Man, Oct. 29, 1978: When Denver PK Jim Turner missed an 18-yard chip shot in overtime – the first OT in Seattle franchise history – the Seahawks thought they averted a loss. They thought wrong. The Seahawks were penalized for having 12 men on the field – DE Dave Kraayeveld was the extra party – allowing Turner a re-take. He drilled it, giving the Broncos a 20-17 victory.
33. Shocking turnabout, Oct. 29, 1995: The Seahawks faced second-and-six from the Arizona 33 with 3:33 left in overtime. Seattle QB John Friesz tried to get better field position for a field-goal attempt, but his pass slipped through the hands of FB Mack Strong and bounced into the arms of the Cardinals’ Lorenzo Lynch, who romped 72 yards for a game-winning touchdown.
32. Game-losing misconduct penalty, Sept. 21, 1991: The Seahawks had a chance to tie New Orleans 27-27 in the closing seconds, but Krieg, on the sideline with an injured thumb, was nailed with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for running from the sideline and into the end zone to protest a call. Krieg’s blunder forced rookie kicker John Kasay to attempt a game-tying field goal from 37 yards instead of 22. Kasay pushed it wide left and the Seahawks lost.
31. Feely’s field-goal fiascos, Nov. 27, 2005: The Seahawks shockingly survived three game-winning field goal attempts by Jay Feely of the Giants – he missed from 28 yards with 1:23 left in regulation and twice more (15, 53 yards) in overtime –and beat New York 24-21.
30. The need for replay, Sept. 19, 1982: With 31 seconds left, Seahawks S Kenny Easley intercepted Houston QB Gifford Nielsen at the 10-yard line to seemingly preserve a 21-16 win. The official nearest the action called the interception good, but an official from the other side of the field charged over and ruled that Easley didn’t have both feet inbounds when he made the pick (replay did not yet exist). On the next play, RB Earl Campbell scored the winning TD.
29. Herrera’s Monday Night first down, Oct. 29, 1979: No play in the Seahawks’ first dozen years entertained fans more than the sight of squat PK Herrera waddling down the field during Seattle’s first appearance on Monday Night Football and catching a 20-yard pass from QB Jim Zorn following a fake field goal attempt. Herrera’s unlikely grab and run utterly befuddled the Atlanta Falcons and set up the touchdown that won the game, 31-29.
28. Four INT TDs vs. Kansas City, Nov. 4, 1984: CB Dave Brown initiated the avalanche by returning a Bill Kenney pick 90 yards. Next time the Chiefs got the ball, CB Keith Simpson took a Kenney throw 56 yards. That did it for Kenney, who gave way to Todd Blackledge, also not up to the task. Brown took his second pick of the game 56 yards. Kenny Easley followed with a 56-yarder. Final: Seahawks 45, Chiefs 0. Seattle’s four INT TDs set an NFL single-game record that still stands.
27. Botched handoff, Sept. 16, 2007: With the Seahawks driving for what would have been the winning score, QB Matt Hasselbeck’s handoff to Shaun Alexander wound up on the ground when the pair collided awkwardly. The Cardinals recovered and four plays later Neil Rackers kicked a game-winning 42-yard field goal.
26. Tony Martin’s 99-yard TD, Sept. 18, 1994: Four and a half minutes after Chargers free safety Stanley Richard intercepted a Rick Mirer pass and returned it 73 yards for a third-quarter touchdown, San Diego quarterback Stan Humphries scrambled and threw a back-of-the-end-zone pass to Martin for a 99-yard touchdown, tying the record for the longest TD throw in NFL history.
25. 90-yard quarterback-to-quarterback TD pass, Nov. 8, 1981: Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw threw a 90-yard touchdown to another quarterback, Mark Malone, pressed into service as a wide receiver because of injuries. Malone caught the ball on the run and streaked down the right sidelines for a 14-3 Steelers lead 49 seconds into the second quarter of what became a 24-21 Seattle win.
24. Blown coverage, Oct. 10, 2004: Seattle seemed on the verge of starting a season 4-0 for the first time after building a 27-10 lead. But the Rams, with QB Marc Bulger engineering three scoring drives, rallied from a 17-point, fourth quarter deficit to force overtime and had first crack in the extra session. Without further ado, Bulger lofted a 52-yard TD pass over Seattle safety Terreal Bierria to Shaun McDonald to win the game.
23. Testaverde’s non-touchdown, Dec. 6, 1998: With 27 ticks remaining at the Meadowlands, the Seahawks stopped Jets QB Vinny Testaverde about a half-yard shy of a touchdown. Head linesman Ernie Frantz signaled TD, and referee Phil Luckett, without benefit of instant replay, let the call stand even though every camera angle showed that Testaverde had failed to break the plane. Because of the non-call, the Seahawks lost and missed the postseason by one game. The Seahawks fired coach Dennis Erickson. Testaverde’s non-TD also resulted in the NFL adopting instant replay.
22. Carom, recovery, dish, score, Nov. 3, 1996: Houston kicker Al Del Greco was one relatively easy field goal away from beating the Seahawks at the Kingdome. Instead, his 37-yard attempt in final seconds caromed off Seattle DE Michael McCrary, who collected the ball and dished to FS Robert Blackmon, who ran 61 yards for an improbable game-winning TD.
21. Romo downed at 2-yard line, Jan. 6, 2007: Trailing 20-13 in the fourth quarter at home, the Seahawks were stopped on fourth-and-goal at the Dallas 2-yard line. But on the next play, Seattle CB Kelly Jennings forced WR Terry Glenn to fumble into the end zone for a safety. The Seahawks took the kickoff and drove for a TD, a 37-yard Matt Hasselbeck pass to TE Jerramy Stevens. But the Seahawks missed the two-point PAT. With 1:20 left, the Cowboys had a 19-yard field goal to win the game, but QB/holder Tony Romo bobbled the snap. He quickly scooped up the ball and tried to score, but Jordan Babineaux nailed him with a shoestring tackle at the two-yard line, preserving a 21-20 wild card victory.
20. Engram trips over ref en route to winning score, Dec. 14, 2003: With a chance to beat the Rams, the Seahawks reached the St. Louis 34 in the final seconds, but WR Bobby Engram, going for a game-winning catch from Matt Hasselbeck, tripped over the feet of back judge Greg Steed on the next-to-last play and fell down, preserving a 27-22 St. Louis win.
19. Walter Jones’ big block, Jan. 22, 2006: The signature play of the Hall of Fame left tackle’s career occurred in the 2005 NFC Championship at Qwest Field, when Jones blocked Carolina DE Mike Rucker continuously for about 15 yards downfield and then dropped Rucker on his butt near the goal line, setting up a short TD run by Shaun Alexander.
18. A butchered 72 seconds, Nov. 23, 2003: A loss seemed out of the question when the Seahawks mounted a 41-24 lead with 14:16 remaining. It even seemed out of the question with the Seahawks ahead by 10 with 72 seconds to play. But Ravens QB Anthony Wright fired his fourth TD to Marcus Robinson, then a controversial 44-yard pass interference penalty on CB Marcus Trufant set up Matt Stover for a field goal on the last play of regulation that tied the game. Stover won it with a 42-yarder in OT.
17. The Glenn Cadrez fumble return, Dec. 19, 1999: Seattle QB Jon Kitna had the Seahawks on the move at Mile High, hoping for a field goal and a 33-30 overtime win. Sending out five receivers, Kitna dropped back to pass only to be smashed by Denver’s Ray Crockett. The ball bounced loose and into the arms of Cadrez, who returned it 37 yards to the game-winning touchdown, the only TD of his 11-year NFL career. The outcome marked only the second OT game in NFL history to be decided by a fumble return for a touchdown (also 1983 when Baltimore defeated New England).
16. Krieg to Skansi, no time left, Nov. 11, 1990: For 59 minutes, the Seahawks’ Arrowhead Stadium jinx played out perfectly: Derrick Thomas sacked Dave Krieg an NFL-record seven times, officials flagged Seattle 13 times for 102 yards, and the Seahawks gave up two fumbles. But Krieg orchestrated a final-minute drive that finally reached the Kansas City 25-yard line. With four seconds left, Krieg spun away from Thomas, avoiding an eighth sack, and hit Paul Skansi with a game-winning touchdown as the clock hit 0:00 for a 17-16 win. It marked the first time the Seahawks won a game on the final play.
15. Two scores in final minute, Oct. 3, 2005: Trailing 10-3 with less than a minute to play, the Seahawks scored a touchdown — a pass from Matt Hasselbeck to TE Ryan Hannum — and a 50-yard field goal by Josh Brown with five seconds remaining to give the Seahawks a 13-10 win over Dallas. It remains the only time in 40 seasons that the Seahawks have scored twice in the final minute to win a game.
14. “We want the ball, we’re gonna score,” Jan. 10, 2004: Facing Green Bay at Lambeau Field in an NFC wild card game, the Seahawks rallied to tie at the end of regulation on a one-yard run by Shaun Alexander. On the opening series of OT, the Seahawks were on the move after quarterback Matt Hasselbeck delivered his famous coin-flip boast, “We want the ball. We’re going to score.” Facing 3rd-and-11, Hasselbeck threw the ball into the left flat toward little-used receiver Alex Bannister, who failed to run his route properly. Green Bay CB Al Harris intercepted and returned it 52 yards for a TD, giving Green Bay a 33-27 win.
13. Leon Washington’s two kickoff returns vs. San Diego, Sept. 26, 2010: Washington busted a 101-yarder for a touchdown at the 14:47 mark of the third quarter and took another 99 yards for a TD at 6:24 of the fourth in Seattle’s 27-20 victory.
12. Nate Burleson’s three 90-yard TD returns, Nov. 12, 2006, Oct. 21, 2007, Nov. 4, 2007: The O’Dea High graduate returned a punt 90 yards for a TD in Seattle’s 24-22 win over St. Louis in 2006, followed with a 91-yard kickoff against the Rams in 2007 and a 94-yard punt return at Cleveland.
11. Steve Largent’s 40-yard catch vs. Miami, Dec. 31, 1983: Largent had 819 receptions during his 14-year, Hall of Fame career, none more significant than a 40-yard, fourth-quarter snatch against the Miami Dolphins in an AFC divisional playoff game at the Orange Bowl. The Dolphins subsequently admitted they knew Largent would run a corner route, and also conceded that Largent ran it so precisely they still couldn’t cover it. Largent’s catch set up the winning touchdown in a game widely considered at the time as one of the top upsets — 27-20 — in NFL playoff history.
10. Malcolm Smith’s Super Bowl interception, Feb. 2, 2014: The Seahawks had numerous big plays in their 43-8 thumping of the Denver Broncos, including Percy Harvin’s kickoff return TD to start the second half. But by the time of Harvin’s return, the Seahawks were already well ahead, in large part because of this play: Cliff Avril got to Peyton Manning’s arm as he threw, the ball fluttered high in the air and directly to Smith, who took off down the left sideline for a 69-yard interception TD that staked Seattle to a 21-0 lead. Smith’s pick was a big reason he was named Super Bowl MVP.
9. Carson Palmer’s improbable game-winning TD, Dec. 22, 2013: The Arizona quarterback already had four interceptions when he brought the Cardinals to the line of scrimmage with 2:13 to play, facing a 10-9 deficit. Palmer then threw to a receiver who hadn’t had a catch in the previous 57 minutes. But Michael Floyd made a juggling grab, burning CB Byron Maxwell, and raced 31 yards to give Arizona a 17-10 win that snapped Seattle’s 14-game home winning streak. Palmer became the first quarterback in 60 years to toss a game-winning TD in the last three minutes of the fourth quarter after hurling four or more interceptions without a TD prior to that.
8. Championship sequence, Jan. 18, 2015: Seattle trailed Green Bay 19-7 with four minutes remaining and had been offensively ineffective all game. But Russell Wilson put a drive together that ended with his one-yard TD to cut the lead to 19-14 with 2:09 left. Steven Hauschka’s onside kick went high to Packers TE Brandon Bostick, but he couldn’t gather it. Seattle’s Chris Matthews stole it at the 50. That set up Marshawn Lynch’s 24-yard TD run. On the 2-point conversion, Wilson — about to be sacked — threw a desperate, cross-field floater hauled in by TE Luke Willson to give Seattle a 22-19 lead. Green Bay forced OT with a field goal, but Wilson and WR Jermaine Kearse won it with a 35-yard TD collaboration.
7. Jermaine Kearse’s postseason TDs, 2014 NFC Championship (Jan. 20), 2014 Super Bowl (Feb. 2), 2015 NFC Championship (Jan. 18): On fourth down and 7 at the San Francisco 35, Kearse scored the winning points in the 2014 NFC title game by making a leaping, end zone catch of Russell Wilson; pinballed off five defenders to score from 23 yards out in the Super Bowl; and sealed the 2015 NFC title win when he beat Green Bay’s Tramon Williams in the end zone, again from 35 yards by Wilson, in overtime.
6. Largent’s payback, Dec. 11, 1988: Largent caught 100 TD passes for the Seahawks, none better remembered than this play. The set-up: On Sept. 4, 1988, during Seattle’s season opener at Mile High Stadium, Largent ran a route over the middle, only to get crushed by Broncos S Mike Harden, who delivered an illegal forearm that caved in Largent’s facemask, dislodged a couple of his teeth and knocked him senseless. The NFL fined Harden $5,000. Fast forward to Week 15 for the rematch at the Kingdome: Early in the first half, Harden picked off a Dave Krieg pass and began running it back. As he moved from the middle of the field toward the left sideline, Harden had his eyes fixed ahead and was, apparently, the only person in the Kingdome who did not see Largent streak across the field, bearing down on him. Largent’s blindside blast lifted Harden off his feet, forcing a fumble that Largent recovered. The play brought everyone in the Dome, save the inert Harden, to their feet. For years afterward, NFL Films featured the play among its all-time greatest hits.
5. Bo pancakes The Boz, Nov. 9, 1987: Kansas City Royals slugger Bo Jackson, who did some moonlighting as a running back for the Raiders, ran for 221 yards and three touchdowns, including a 91-yard gallop in a 37-14 victory over the Seahawks in the Kingdome. Jackson’s most memorable moment came in the third quarter, when Seattle rookie linebacker Brian Bosworth attempted to tackle Jackson at the two-yard line. Jackson blew through The Boz so emphatically that even Seahawks fans rose from their seats, awed by the spectacle. The punky Bosworth provided the perfect commentary on play: “He freight-trained my ass.”
4. The Fail Mary, Sept. 24, 2012: The Seahawks eked out a 14-12 victory over the Green Packers when Russell Wilson threw a disputed touchdown to Golden Tate, who shoved a Packers defender out of the way and wrestled another for the ball in the corner of the end zone that was ruled a simultaneous reception. Tate received “discredit” for the TD, called by replacement referees and upheld after a booth review. Tate’s catch overshadowed eight sacks of Aaron Rodgers, including four by Chris Clemons in the first half, which tied the NFL record. Later in the week, the NFL settled with the referees’ union and dismissed the replacements.
3. Richard Sherman’s tip, Jan. 19, 2014: Near the end of one of the most magnificent games in Seahawks history, it almost seemed inevitable that San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick would beat the Seahawks. Starting from the 49ers 22, Kaepernick marched his team to a first down at the Seattle 18 and had four shots to overcome a 23-17 deficit. But on first down, Kaepernick lofted a ball to WR Michael Crabtree in the right corner of the end zone that Sherman leaped high to tip away. LB Malcolm Smith grabbed the free-falling ball in the end zone, sending the Seahawks to Super Bowl XLVIX.
T1. The Beastquake touchdown, Jan. 8, 2011: In one of the top postseason runs in NFL history, Marshawn Lynch scored on an electrifying 67-yard run with 3:22 left to pull off one of the biggest upsets in playoff history, 41-36, over the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints. Lynch broke free from eight defenders and tossed LB Tracy Porter with a stiff-arm. The CenturyLink Field crowd’s response to Lynch’s run even registered seismic activity on one of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network’s monitoring stations. In a similar run on Dec. 21, 2014, Lynch broke a 79-yarder against Arizona in which he knocked Patrick Peterson and Rashad Johnson off him en route to the touchdown.
T1. The Play That Will Live In Infamy, Feb. 1, 2015: The Seahawks were left to explain for as long as football is played why they turned Marshawn Lynch into a decoy with the Super Bowl on the line and chose to pass on second-and-goal from the one-yard line. Russell Wilson’s throw intended for WR Ricardo Lockette, running amid of cluster of blue and white shirts, catastrophically ended up in the hands of rookie CB Malcolm Butler with 20 seconds left, preserving New England’s 28-24 victory. NFL career rushing leader Emmitt Smith called it, “The worst play call I’ve seen in the history of football.” Pete Carroll’s explanation: He saw the Patriots bring in a goal-line formation with eight big guys and three corners and didn’t think Lynch would be able to bull it in. Carroll disagreed that it was the worst call in Super Bowl history, but conceded that it was “the worst outcome of a play call” in Super Bowl history.
Many of the historic images published on Sportspress Northwest are provided by resident Northwest sports history aficionado David Eskenazi. Check out David’s Wayback Machine Archive. David can be reached at (206) 441-1900, or at firstname.lastname@example.org