September 2, 2009

Top 10: Seahawks Beat Raiders!

The last preseason game of 2009 is just hours away. Guys are playing to make that final 53-man roster, and it's a rare chance to deliver a beat-down on Oakland. The Raiders won't visit Seattle in the regular season again until 2014. By then we'll all be trying to hide from marauding cannibals in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, which the Raiders will be used to after playing in Oakland...

Anyway, here's Seattle's top 10 wins over those nomadic California scum suckers...

10. 10/22/78 Seahawks 27, Raiders 7
9. 11/26/78 Seahawks 17, Raiders 16
The '78 Raiders were just two years removed from winning XI, and one season removed from a trip to the AFC title game. In October, they made their first-ever visit to the Kingdome and expected an easy win over the 3-4 Hawks. By the time they had fallen behind 27-0, maybe they had some idea that their new neighbors from the north had some skills. Seattle forced four Raider turnovers and stunned the NFL establishment with a 27-7 triumph.

A month later Madden's minions were 8-4, they looked to be in good shape for another trip to the playoffs.. particularly with the 6-6 expansion Seahawks coming to town. That game up in Seattle must have been a fluke, right?

Zorn hit Raible and Largent for scores, and the Oakland Coliseum crowd would file out in stunned, slack-jawed silence after Effren Herrera's 46-yard kick won the game and completed a SEASON SWEEP of the mighty Raiders for what Terry Bradshaw called "the team with that bird hat."

Oakland would crumble to a 9-7 finish, they'd miss the playoffs for the first time since 1971, and Madden would leave coaching for good. Well done, 1978 Seahawks!

8. 12/14/97 Seahawks 22, Raiders 21
The Seahawks were 7-8 and out of playoff contention, so youngster Jon Kitna got the start at QB in Oakland against the 4-11 Raiders. Seattle fell behind 21-3, but those who turned the game off after the putrid first half missed an electric come-from-behind triumph punctuated by a 49-yard game winner by Todd Peterson. Oh Kitna, so much moxie... such limited talent. I truly can't believe the guy is still rattling around the league as Tony Romo's back-up, and I've always been thankful I didn't snap up a Special K jersey when we were 8-2 in '99.

7. 11/11/01 Seahawks 34, Raiders 27
Sunday Night Football on ESPN and the Hawks were scuffling at 3-4. Seattle got a spectacular boost from Shaun Alexander's all-time greatest performance: 35 carries, 266 yards and 3 TDs. I will never forget SA taking a peek at the Husky Stadium jumbotron to elude that last Oakland defender on that 88-yard TD gallop, either. The Hawks finished the season on a 6-3 run, while the Raiders limped into the playoffs in a 4-5 stupor (and saw their season end with the "tuck rule" game. Yes, they got screwed. But as I've said before... fuck the fucking Raiders.)

6. 12/16/00 Seahawks 27, Raiders 24
The peak of the Husky Stadium days. Despite a 5-9 record at the time, we gave the AFC West Champion Raiders all they could handle. Y'all might remember this: trailing 24-19 in the 4th quarter, Ricky Watters broke off a huge run, but was caught near the goal line and fumbled. However, the Raiders rolled back into the end zone with the ball and it was ruled a safety! The legions of Oakland fans in attendance whined and moaned like my 3-year-old after being denied fruit snacks, but the Hawks had the ball down by three... Jon Kitna had his last memorable moment as a Seahawk when he drove Seattle the length of the field for the winning score.

It was a rare moment of joy in a lost season, and the sweet lamentations of all those Raider rooting asswedges still echo in my mindgrapes. BTW, here's that safety:

5. 12/8/86 Seahawks 37, Raiders 0
Jim Plunkett retired after the 1986 season, and I like to think one reason he stepped away from the game was the Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz-level assault he absorbed this Monday night in Seattle. The boys in blue pummeled Plunkett and two other L.A. QBs for ELEVEN sacks, and held the Raider offense to a limp 138 yards of total offense.

Side note: I was 11 years old, and my parents decided to dramatically reveal our new big-screen TV when I got home from school that day, just in time for the game... Just like Ice Cube, I gotta say it was a good day.

4. 11/28/88 Seahawks 35, Raiders 27
The first and only MNF game I've ever been to, and it was a doozy. I got to see Largent catch a TD only a few feet in front of where I was sitting, and I saw Dave Krieg rally the Seahawks for a huge come-from-behind win that was essential to Seattle's postseason hopes. Mudbone tossed five TDs that night, and we needed all of 'em. Mark Tye Turner has a great account of this game in Notes from a 12 Man: A Truly Biased History of the Seattle Seahawks.

3. 10/26/97 Seahawks 45, Raiders 34
Watch Warren Moon throw for 400 yards and 5 touchdowns! Watch Monica Seles hang out with Paul Allen in the owners box! It was nothing but fireworks that day in the dome, and Oakland never recovered from this loss, going 1-7 afterwards to finish 4-12. Then there was Darryl Williams' brutal but clean hit on Rickey Dudley... I was there that day, and I've never seen or heard anything like it: A huge collective gasp, followed by a roar of absolute bloodlust... here it is:

2. 12/18/88 Seahawks 43, Raiders 37
L.A. and Seattle came into the Coliseum that day with a combined record of 15-15, but the winner would make the playoffs. On that damp, dreary, very Seattle-like day, the Seahawks were playing for their first AFC West title.

Both defenses seemed to have brought the wrong shoes for the muddy track... The teams traded scores all day, but the Hawks pulled ahead in the 4th and held on for the biggest regular-season road win in team history (keyed by a spectacular John L. Williams TD on a perfectly executed "middle screen," which is at the 9:38 mark of this clip).

1. 12/22/84 Seahawks 13, Raiders 7
The Seahawks entered the 1984 playoffs on a two-game losing streak, and the national media gave the fading Hawks little chance to knock off the World Champion Raiders. The greatest defense in team history had its finest hour in that Wild Card game, though... Easley, Green, Nash, Brown, Bryant and the rest held L.A. to a single touchdown while sacking Plunkett 6 times and forcing three turnovers.

Knox called 51(!) running plays, and Dr. Dan Doornink put up Curt Warner numbers: 29 carries, 126 yards and a key 3rd-down conversion late in the game. In all, the Seahawks rushed for 205 yards as a team and took complete control of the game. This is still probably the most physically dominant win in team history.


Zem said...

Nice list. Loved watching the youtube of the 2000 game, hadn't seen it since I saw it live.

Still remember jumping up from my seat in the end zone and screaming, "its there!" a split second before Shaun made the cut on the 88 yard run. Absolute pandamonium when that happened.

Everyone, myself included, probably choose to remember Shaun's soft running style more than some of the shows he put on. That game in 2001, was pure beauty.

And that hit on Ricky Dudley, I thought Williams killed him.

Seth said...

The reason for all the running plays in 1984 -- the Hawks' normal left tackle was out, and so Knox had to play Sid Abramowitz. This was later a big part of his banquet circuit stump speech: "The Raiders had Lyle Alzado. I had Sidney Abramowitz." They didn't feel they could protect Krieg so they went to the max-run playbook.