"Alcoa Presents... FANTASTIC FINISHES!"
Every Sunday, at the 2-minute-warning commercial break, that music would start (Da.. da-da-da.. Da-da-da.. DA!) and you'd get highlights from some crazy finish to some previous NFL game (for some reason, I always think of White Shoes Johnson catching and scoring on a '83 Hail Mary to beat the Niners)... Below are what I rate as the 10 greatest "Fantastic Finishes" in Seahawks history. The criteria?
-Only Seahawks Wins
-The winning score must have happened late in the 4th or OT
-Extra points for big comebacks that culminate in victory
-The "Holy Crap!" factor: How surspring/shocking is the result?
Here we go.. The links go to the Box Score from PFR
10. 11/30/92 Seahawks 16, Broncos 13
Yeah, I've talked about this one before, but it was freaking AWESOME... Like I said:
Both offenses flailed about like two drunk sorority chicks in a cat fight, and the Hawks were somehow only down 13-6 in the final minutes... A face-mask penalty on a punt return set us up at the Denver 35, but it still felt like it would take a miracle to put 7 on the board. Somehow Stan Gelbaugh got us inside the 10, and on
4th and goal he hit Brian Blades for the tying TD. Blades did some stupid early-90s celebration dance and the Kingdome crowd erupted like it was 1984 all over again. In OT John Kasay booted Seattle to only its 2nd win of the season, and Denver spiraled to a 8-8 collapse and an Xmas at home just like the pathetic Seattlites.
It was one of the only bright spots of 1992; I remember running out onto my front yard and screaming "SEAAAAAAHAWWWWWKKKKKSSSSSS!" into the night after that win.
9. 9/21/03 Seahawks 24, Rams 23
Remember the days we had awful trouble beating the Rams? Back in early 2003 the Hawks were desperate to prove they were for real, and they gave the NFL a taste of the playoff run yet to come on a beautiful September afternoon.
This game often gets forgotten because Seattle went on to lose four in a row to STL after this, but it was still an amazing, dramatic comeback win. The Hawks clawed out of a 23-10 4th quarter hole, and Hass hit K-Rob for the winning TD with just seconds remaining... Leaving me looking like this:
8. 12/30/01 Seahawks 25, Chargers 22
The Hawks were still fighting for thier playoff lives in the penultimate game of the 2001 season, and it looked like they were about to blow a late lead. SD tied the game with seconds left, and OT looked like a lock.
I was home visiting the Tri-Cites, watching the game on TV with my family. The rest of you may have had a similar experience screaming this during the ensuing kickoff...
"GO CHARLIE ROGERS! GO CHARLIE ROGERS!!!!"
CR's big kickoff return set up Rian Lindell for the 54-yard game winner at the gun. Postively Josh Brown-ian, eh?
7. 11/21/04 Seahawks 24, Dolphins 17
A personal story here: In the fall of 2004, my wife and I were living in Columbus (in a semi-crappy "apartment home"). I was miserable in my graduate studies, so a Seahawks game each Sunday was a nice little ray of light for me. That day, I thought "Oh, here come the 1-8 Dolphins. Nice win coming our way.. 6-4 and in good shape for the playoffs."
Um, no. The game became a grim death struggle, and Miami had the ball in our territory late in a tied game. A humiliating, playoff-hope-killing loss seemed inevitable. My wife was napping upstairs, and I tried to be somewhat quiet for her sake.
When Boulware stepped in front of that slant pattern and took it to the house, despair became unbridled joy, and I woke my poor wife up with my blood-curdling screams.
6. 10/15/06 Seahawks 30, Rams 28
This wasn't just a great finish... It was one of the greatest games in Seahawks history. As I said before... The Hawks came back from a 21-7 halftime deficit, overcame a back-breakingly spectacular TD catch by Torry Holt, won on a 54 yard FG at the gun, and made Scott Linehan look like a jabbering idiot.
5. 9/21/86 Seahawks 38, Patriots 31
A great moment in that glorified high-school stadium New England used to call home. Seattle trailed 31-21 late in the 4th, and there was little reason to expect anything other than another disheartening road loss.
A Norm Johnson FG got the Hawks within 7, but the Hawks still needed to get the ball back with less than two minutes left. Paul Moyer recovered a blocked punt in the NE end zone to tie the game, and after a Patriots 3-and-out Dave Krieg hit Ray Butler for a 67-yard TD with less than a minute left.
4. 11/3/96 Seahawks 23, Oilers 16
An unremarkable game in a forgettable season... Except for the finish. Game tied at 16, with Houston trying a chip-shot FG for the win on the final play of regulation. In a matter of seconds, a sure defeat became overtime (with a blocked FG attempt), and overtime became a Seahawks win when Robert Blackmon streaked into the end zone for the winning score.
3. 10/23/05 Seahawks 13, Cowboys 10
One of the all-time blood-pissers in Seahawks history, which saw Seattle trailing 7-3 late in the 4th quarter. A Hasselbeck interception set Dallas up inside our 20, and they just needed a first down or a TD to ice the victory. On a crucial 3rd down play, the D blasted Bledsoe out of bounds inches short of a first down, and they settled for a FG... You know what happened after that..
-Ryan Hannam's sliding TD catch to tie the game...
-Big Play Babs picking off Bledsoe and streaking down the sideline into FG range...
-JB's tossing his helmet and being mobbed after hitting the game winner...
I could watch the last two minutes of that game on a loop until time ends.
2. 12/31/83 Seahawks 27, Dolphins 20
25 years ago, the Seahawks notched the only road playoff win in team history, and it took a frantic 4th-quarter comeback to get it done. After Dave Krieg hacked up a pick-six and the lead, the Hawks showed amazing toughness marching downfield to take the lead back in the final two minutes. Krieg threw two perfect strikes to Largent, and Warner took it in for the decisive score.
This is still one of the biggest upsets in NFL playoff history.
1. 11/11/90: Seahawks 17, Chiefs 16
There really wasn't any doubt about this one, was there? If you didn't sit through that game, seeing Seattle take a lead-pipe beatdown all day, it's hard to comprehend how hopeless things looked when the Hawks got the ball down by 6 with less than a minute left. For an added degree of difficulty, they were at Arrowhead, where Seattle NEVER seemed to win.
Derrick Thomas was The Terminator that day, racking up 7 sacks. However, just like the T-800, he ended up getting (metaphorically) crushed in an industrial press. On the final play of the game, 25 yards from KC's goal line, Krieg slipped away for what seemed like the only time all day, and threw a DART to Paul Skansi for the most improbable victory in Seahawks history.
Side note: I hit my head on the basement ceiling celebrating that touchdown. I didn't notice the headache for a couple of hours.
UPDATE: A few people have asked about the Dallas wild card game and the 2005 Giants game. Certainly both endings were dramatic, but in my mind, they were both a little too dependent on the other team frakking up. That's just my opinion, and you can make strong arguments that they should be on the list.