The 16-game regular season in the NFL has been the norm so long that it’s hard to remember when teams played fewer games.
But there was that time, as the Pro Football Hall of Fame shows in this chart to commemorate today’s 36th anniversary of the owners voting to expand the regular season.
The Nordstrom family was the majority owner of the team, which played its home game in the Kingdome. Jack Patera was the coach. Jim Zorn was the quarterback. Steve Largent was the leading receiver. Sherman Smith was the leading rusher. Dave Brown (’76) and Terry Beeson (’77) were the leading tacklers.
That ’76 season was short on victories, but long on long-anticipated excitement.
“We only won two games that first year,” recalls Zorn, who is now a member of the team’s Ring of Honor along with Largent and Brown. “But you would have thought we almost went to the playoffs. That’s how enthusiastic not only we were, but the fans were. Everybody was excited.”
And what a difference that one season made to the expansion Seahawks. As Smith puts it, “As a team, we definitely felt more like a team in ’77. There was just more familiarity, with what the coaches wanted from us and with what the guy next to you would do on any given play. That first year, it was just getting ready to go and coming to training camp with more than 100 guys. So in ’77, it was a totally different feeling.”
A look at a memorable moment in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 18:
1997: Rick Mirer, the second pick overall in the 1993 NFL Draft, is traded to the Bears for a first-round draft choice that the club uses to trade up to the third spot in the ’97 Draft to select Shawn Springs. Mirer was 20-31 as a starter for the Seahawks, but his victory total ranks fourth in franchise history behind Dave Krieg (70), Matt Hasselbeck (69) and Jim Zorn (40).
Everyone knows that the NFL is a copycat league. But who knew the Seahawks would become the cool cats when it came to copying?
First, new Cowboys defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin told some of his players to study video of the way the Seahawks play when asked what they could expect. Now, Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is saying he’ll study the Seahawks, among other teams, to devise ways to use the athletic ability of former University of Washington QB Jake Locker in zone-read schemes.
“We’re going to do just like every team in the league and look at clubs like Seattle and Washington. We’re still very early in the process of building this offense, but we’re definitely going look at all that stuff, just like every team in the NFL is going do,” Loggains, who replaced Chris Palmer in November, told Terry McCormick of TitansInsider.
Interesting, because Seahawks coach Pete Carroll explained during the season that he examined what the Redskins were doing with rookie QB Robert Griffin III in devising ways to unleash the talents of his own rookie QB – Russell Wilson, who shattered franchise records for the position by running for 489 yards for the season and 92 and 71 yards in December games against the Bills and Bears. The old marks were 343 yards by Rick Mirer in 1993 and 63 yards by Jim Zorn in 1976.
Now, the Titans want to see what Locker might be able to do with the ball in his hands, and on the run.
“We feel like Jake is the face of our franchise going forward,” Loggains said. “He did a nice job last year battling through injuries and showed his toughness and character.”
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Feb. 2:
1986: Steve Largent catches a game-high eight passes for 82 yards, but the NFC wins the Pro Bowl 28-24. Kenny Easley (two tackles) and Fredd Young (one tackle) also are on the AFC squad.
1992: John L. Williams (four carries for 8 yards, one reception) and Cortez Kennedy represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl, but the NFC wins 21-15.
1996: Owner Ken Behring announces he is relocating the franchise to Southern California, a move that is later blocked by the NFL.
1997: Cortez Kennedy has six tackles to help the AFC take a 26-23 overtime victory in the Pro Bowl. Michael Sinclair (one tackle) also is on the AFC squad.
1998: Jim Zorn, the club’s original quarterback who had been an offensive assistant on Dennis Erickson’s staff, leaves to become the QB coach with the Lions. Zorn would return to be the Seahawks’ QB coach from 2001-07.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Jan. 8:
1984: The Seahawks take the field at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum for the AFC Championship Game against the Raiders to the Pointer Sisters singing the national anthem and a crowd of 88,734 shaking silver-and-black Mylar pom-poms. But this one is over before it’s over, as Dave Krieg (three) and Jim Zorn (two) combine to throw five interceptions and Marcus Allen carries 25 times for 154 yards and also catches seven passes for 62 yards in the Raiders’ 30-14 victory.
1992: Larry Kennan is named offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach on the staff of Tom Flores, who replaces Chuck Knox as head coach. Kennan had been selected coach of the year in the World League of American Football after guiding the London Monarchs to the league title and an 11-1 record.
1999: Mike Holmgren is named executive vice president of football operations/general manager and head coach. Holmgren, who had guided the Packers to two Super Bowls, replaces Dennis Erickson. The Seahawks give up a second-round draft choice to the Packers as compensation for signing Holmgren.
2005: Matt Hasselbeck’s pass on fourth-and-four from the 5-yard line with 27 seconds to play goes off the hands of Bobby Engram in the end zone and the Rams escape with a 27-20 victory in a wild-card playoff game in Seattle. Hasselbeck passes for 341 yards, joining Dan Fouts and the Rams’ Marc Bulger as the only quarterbacks to pass for 300-plus yards in his first two playoff games. Darrell Jackson catches 12 passes for 128 yards and a TD as the Seahawks roll up 413 yards.
2010: Jim Mora is relieved of his duties as head coach after just one season, and a 5-11 record.
2011: The Seahawks stun the defending Super Bowl Champion Saints 41-36 in a very-wild Wild Card playoff game in Seattle, as Matt Hasselbeck passes for four touchdowns and Marshawn Lynch ices the victory with an electrifying 67-yard touchdown with 3½ remaining as he breaks eight tackles, tosses Tracy Porter five-yards with a stiff-arm, and the celebration of his effort triggers seismic activity near the stadium.
A look at some moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 19:
1982: The Patriots intercept four Jim Zorn passes and John Smith kicks three field goals in a 16-0 victory over the Seahawks at the Kingdome.
1993: Rick Mirer’s 1-yard touchdown run with 1:22 left gives the Seahawks the lead, but Greg Davis kicks a 55-yard field as time expires to tie the game and then a 41-yarder in overtime to give the Cardinals a 30-27 victory at the Kingdome. Chris Warren runs for 168 yards, including a 45-yard TD.
1999: Glen Cadrez returns a fumble 37 yards for a touchdown in overtime to give the Broncos a 36-30 overtime victory over the Seahawks at Mile High Stadium. Ricky Watters runs for 115 yards and a touchdown and Jon Kitna passes for 278 yards and two TDs in rallying the Seahawks. But the Broncos compile 430 yards of offense and Ray Crockett has the fumble-forcing sack on Kitna that sets up the game-winning score.
2004: The Jets roll up 482 yards of offense, as Curtis Martin runs for 134 yards and two scores and Chad Pennington passes for three TDs, in rolling over the Seahawks 37-14 in The Meadowlands.
2010: Olindo Mare kicks a 38-yard field goal to tie the score at 10, but the Falcons then outscore the Seahawks 24-8 in taking a 34-18 victory in Seattle. The Babineaux brothers each have a big play, as the Falcons’ Jonathan recovers a fumble in the end zone and the Seahawks’ Jordan intercepts a pass.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 18:
1977: Jim Zorn throws a 15-yard touchdown pass to Steve Largent in the fourth quarter, giving the Seahawks a 20-19 victory over the Browns at the Kingdome in their season finale.
1983: The Seahawks clinch their first playoff berth with a 24-6 victory over the Patriots in their regular-season finale at the Kingdome, and all three units contribute as Steve Largent catches seven passes for 133 yards and a touchdown, Dave Krieg passes for two TDs and Curt Warner runs for 116 yards; Jacob Green has three sacks and Kenny Easley and Dave Brown intercept passes; and Jeff West has five of his six punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
1988: The Seahawks win their first division title with a wild 43-37 victory over the Raiders in Los Angeles on the final Sunday of the regular season. The Seahawks jump to a 30-17 lead and hold on as Dave Krieg passes for 410 yards and four touchdowns, with Brian Blades catching four passes for 123 yards and two TDs and John L. Williams adds seven catches for 180 yards.
1994: Jeff Hostetler passes 77 yards to Tim Brown for a fourth-quarter touchdown as the Raiders take a 17-16 victory over the Seahawks at the Kingdome. Chris Warren runs for 122 yards and the Seahawks’ only touchdown, while John Kasay kicks three field goals.
2005: Matt Hasselbeck throws second-half touchdown passes to Joe Jurevicius and Darrell Jackson as the Seahawks rally for a 28-24 victory over the Titans in Tennessee that is win No. 10 in their club-record 11-game winning streak. Shaun Alexander also runs for 172 yards and a TD.
A look at the memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 17:
1978: Al Hunter runs for 133 yards and two touchdowns, including a 55-yarder, and Jim Zorn passes 57 yards to Steve Largent for another score as the Seahawks close their third season with a 23-19 victory over the Chiefs at the Kingdome.
1989: John L. Williams catches 12 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown and Norm Johnson kicks three field goals in a 23-17 victory over the Raiders at the Kingdome.
1995: Chris Warren rushes for 105 yards and three touchdowns, Joey Galloway catches five passes for 108 yards, including a 43-yard TD, and Michael Sinclair leads the defensive effort with two sacks in a 44-10 victory over the Raiders at the Kingdome.
A look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 16:
1979: Sam McCullum catches eight passes for 173 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown pass from Jim Zorn, in a 29-24 victory over the Raiders in Oakland that caps the Seahawks’ second consecutive winning season (9-7).
1990: The Seahawks lose for the only time in their final six games, 24-17 to the Dolphins in Miami, as Dan Marino passes for two touchdowns and the Dolphins intercept Dave Krieg three times.
2000: Jon Kitna throws a 9-yard touchdown pass to rookie Darrell Jackson with 28 seconds to play, giving the Seahawks a 27-24 victory over the Raiders in a Saturday game at Husky Stadium. Ricky Watters runs for 168 yards and the defense picks off three Rich Gannon passes.
2001: Ricky Watters runs for 104 yards and a touchdown and Ike Charlton returns an interception 38 yards for a score in a 29-3 victory over the Cowboys at Husky Stadium.
2007: In his first NFL start, Matt Moore completes 19 of 27 passes for 208 yards in leading the Panthers to a 13-10 victory over the Seahawks in Carolina. Bobby Engram and Deion Branch combine to catch 17 passes for 169 yards, but the Seahawks’ only TD comes on Matt Hasselbeck’s 15-yard pass to Branch with 1 second left in the game.
On 12-12-12, here’s a look at some memorable moments in Seahawks history that occurred on Dec. 12:
1976: The Seahawks close their inaugural season with a 27-10 loss to the Eagles at the Kingdome that leaves them 2-12, which will be the worst record in franchise history until the 1992 team goes 2-14. Steve Largent catches seven passes for 98 yards and the Seahawks’ only touchdown.
1982: Jim Zorn runs for one touchdown and passes for another, while Steve Largent catches eight passes for 111 yards, in a 20-14 victory over the Bears at the Kingdome.
1993: The Raiders take a 27-9 lead in Los Angeles and then hold on for a four-point victory as Rick Mirer runs for one touchdown and passes for another in the final 6½ minutes.
1999: The Seahawks take their first lead of the game on a Jon Kinta-to-Derrick Mayes touchdown pass in the third quarter, but John Carney kicks two fourth-quarter field goals to give the Chargers a 19-16 victory at the Kingdome. The loss is the third in a four-game losing streak that follows the Seahawks’ 8-2 start in their first season under Mike Holmgren.
2004: Josh Brown kicks field goals in the third and fourth quarters to give the Seahawks a 27-23 victory over the Vikings in Minnesota. Rashad Moore recovered a fumble at the Vikings’ 26-yard line to set up Brown’s fourth quarter field goal and Michael Boulware then intercepts a Randy Moss pass in the end zone to ice the win. Before the late heroics by the defense, Matt Hasselbeck passes for three touchdowns, Darrell Jackson catches 10 passes for 135 yards and Shaun Alexander runs for 112 yards.
2011: The Seahawks pick up win No. 2 in what will become a three-game winning streak with a 30-13 victory over the Rams in a “Monday Night Football” game at CenturyLink Field. Michael Robinson gets the rout rolling by returning a Doug Baldwin blocked punt for a touchdown and before it’s over Tarvaris Jackson passes for one TD and runs for another, while Marshawn Lynch rushes for 115 yards and a TD and Steven Hauschka kicks three field goals. Linebacker K.J. Wright leads the defensive effort with eight tackles, a sack, two other tackles for losses and a tipped pass.