December 12, 2012
Top 5: Seahawks Beat Bills!
The Seahawks don't exactly have a rich history with the Buffalo Bills, playing them only 11 times in their first 36 years as a franchise. Weirdly, they've only played in Buffalo three times EVER, and they won't possibly play there again until 2020 (unless they award Buffalo a Super Bowl... Ha!). Sunday's tilt at Skydome (no, I won't call it that other corporate name) will be Seattle's first game ever played in Canada, and their first game wearing their new Wolf Grey alternate uniforms, too. Let's take a look back at five memorable (more or less) Seahawks victories over the Bills...
5. December 4, 1989: Seahawks 17, Bills 16
The Buffalo Bills were coming off a trip to the AFC Championship in 1988, and they came into the Kingdome 8-4 and rolling towards another deep playoff run. Not only were the Seahawks 4-8, they had lost four games in a row by a combined score of 93-51. Vegas had to make Buffalo a 4.5 point favorite (in the dome!) just to get SOME poor saps to put their money on the Hawks.
The achingly average Seahawks defense stiffened that day, holding future Hall-of-Fame QB Jim Kelly to a putrid 10-for-23/144 yard passing performance (including an interception by... Joe Nash?!?). Future Hall-of-Fame tailback Thurman Thomas was held to 77 all-purpose yards as well. The backfield combo of Curt Warner and John L. Williams combined for 215 total yards, and Williams scored the winning TD on a 51-yard pass from Dave Krieg in the final minutes. The loss cost the Bills home field advantage in the divisional playoffs, and possibly another trip to the AFC Championship Game.
4. November 18, 2001: Seahawks 23 @ Bills 20
The Seahawks were 4-4, and the Bills were a pungent 1-7 (reduced to starting Alex Van Pelt at quarterback), but since it was a 10 am road game Seattle was at best a shaky favorite. The Hawks were also primed for an emotional let-down after their dramatic 34-27 SNF win over the Raiders at Husky Stadium the previous week. I remember watching this game at a Damon's Sports Bar here in Columbus, and having to BEG for them to put the game on one tiny TV in the corner. The food was also expensive and shitty, for the record...
Anyway, the Seahawks delivered a predictably flat performance (other than Shaun Alexander's solid 95-yard day rushing), and the defense embarrassed themselves by allowing Van Pelt to rack up 316 yards passing and two touchdowns. Seattle was bailed out by four Buffalo fumbles- The Hawks recovered two of them, and did just enough to escape upstate New York with a 3-point victory.
3. December 8, 1996: Seahawks 26, Bills 18
Hmmm- This should sound familiar. An excellent Buffalo team (this time on the OTHER side of their four straight Super Bowl losses) came into Seattle to face a struggling Seahawks team riding an ugly 3-game losing streak that knocked them out of playoff contention. It was Seattle's last home game of the season, and it would also end up being the last game Rick Mirer would start at QB for the Seahawks.
How did the Seahawks slay the mighty Bills on a day where Mirer had a typically craptacular line of 9-for-23/147 yards? Buffalo barfed up FIVE turnovers and the Seahawks dashed out to an early 16-0 lead. Chris Warren chewed up yards and clock with a stellar 116-yard day on the ground, and Jim Kelly's 324-yard passing explosion was rendered moot. The loss would cost Buffalo the AFC East title, a first round bye, and the chance to lose a fifth straight Super Bowl.
2. October 24, 1999: Seahawks 26, Bills 16
This win kicked off one of the most exciting months in team history- Five straight wins, including defeats of the Broncos, Chiefs, and the Packers (at Lambeau on MNF) that ran our record from 3-2 to 8-2. The 1999 Bills would live forever in infamy for benching Doug Flutie before their Wild Card playoff game at Tennessee (and falling victim to the Music City Miracle), but on that afternoon in the Dome Flutie was still under center for Buffalo.
The Bills turned it over thrice and the Seahawks built a 23-0 lead in the 2nd quarter on the strength of two Kitna-to-Derrick Mayes TDs and three Todd Peterson field goals. Phillip Daniels sacked Flutie twice and Michael Sinclair got him once, while Kerry Joseph and Jay Bellamy both picked him off once. Neither team had any notion of the horrors that laid ahead- For Buffalo, that torturous playoff loss in Nashville. For Seattle, a late-season tailspin that saw them drop from 8-2 Super Bowl contenders to 9-7 zombies backing into the playoffs. Fuck.
1. October 30, 1977: Seahawks 56, Bills 17
Imagine that you're the 1977 Buffalo Bills. You are 1-5 (and your lone win was a 3-0 "triumph" over Atlanta), but thankfully you get to play the expansion Seahawks, who have only won three of their first TWENTY games. This is your chance to feed your aging superstar O.J. Simpson the ball and hopefully start turning your season around. Instead, you look up at halftime, and you're losing. 49-3. Wait- WHAT?
Jim Zorn would complete only 11 passes. That aint bad, right? Unless those 11 completions totaled 296 yards and FOUR OF THEM WERE TOUCHDOWN PASSES! Steve Largent caught 4 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, and Duke Fergerson almost matched him with 113 receiving yards of his own. This was the first truly great performance in franchise history, and it was a fucking DOOZY. In the 1977 highlight film below, the Bills highlights start at the 12:40 mark. Enjoy!
What do you think, sirs?