This post is based on a post on FootballPerspective.com that is based on a slideshow at SportingNews.com. So it’s a retread of a retread — but with a twist. FP and SN give the most iconic play in franchise history for each team in the NFL; I do the same with the added criterion that each play must involve the Seahawks. So another way to look at this list is that it is an approximation of the 31 most iconic plays in Seahawks history. (1 is the most iconic, 31 is the least iconic.) It’s not an exact list, because every other team in the NFL must be represented exactly once. It’s kinda like how the MLB All-Star team is not truly the best players in the league, because every team gets an All-Star. There is always a Matt Young in there.
OK, I think you got the ground rules. Let’s get to it.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars: Mark Brunell 39-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Smith (1996)
I literally could not remember a single play between the Seahawks and the Jaguars, which explains why this is at the bottom of the list. However, according to the annals of Pro Football Reference, in Week 16 of the 1996 season, the Jags narrowly beat the Seahawks after scoring in the fourth quarter on a Brunell-to-Smith strike. Since the Jags eked their way into the playoffs that season, and then unexpectedly made it to the AFC Championship Game, it was a pretty big play — just not one many people remember today.
30. Cleveland Browns: Phil Dawson Game-Winning Field Goal (2007)
This was a quietly great game from the not-so-distant pass. Both teams finished the year 10-6 and were very evenly matched. Dawson’s field goal in OT won it for the Browns.
29. Tennessee Titans: Seahawks Botched Field Goal Returned for a Touchdown (2013)
It didn’t matter much because the Seahawks won anyway, but the most memorable play in Titans-Seahawks lore is this botched field goal, in which Chris Maragos was holding (poorly) because Jon Ryan was kicking because Steven Hauschka got hurt. It’s worth noting, however, that if we open things up to include Houston Oilers games, then there was a sneaky good playoff game that ended with a field goal in overtime. And also this memorable ending.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Matt Hasselbeck Gets Stuffed on 4th Down After Referees Mismanage Clock (2003)
I watched this one live and remember it well — super exciting. The Ravens beat the ‘Hawks in a barn burner with some help from the referees. Late in the fourth quarter, with the Seahawks trying to bleed the clock and hang on to a three-point lead, the referees threw a penalty flag on the Ravens that they subsequently picked up. However, they forgot to start the clock again, in effect giving the Ravens an extra timeout. Hasselbeck was then stuffed on a 4th-and-inches sneak, leading to a game-tying field by Matt Stover, who then hit the game-winner in overtime. But it never could have happened if not for the refs blunder.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Steven Hauschka’s Game-Winning Field Goal (2013)
That time the Seahawks almost lost to an 0-8 team the year they won the Super Bowl. Hauschka’s field goal in OT completed a crazy 21-point comeback. Here are the highlights.
26. Detroit Lions: Titus Young Scores Game-Winner (2012)
A good back-and-forth game effectively comes to an end when Mathew Stafford finds Titus Young Sr. for a short touchdown strike. (Game highlights.)
25. Buffalo Bills: Russell Wilson Scores First (Second and Third) Rushing Touchdown of Career (2012)
Russell Wilson ran for four touchdowns his rookie season; three of them came in one game against the Bills (Wilson highlights), when the ‘Hawks put up 50 for the second week in a row.
24. San Diego Chargers: Earl Thomas Picks Off Philip Rivers to Preserve Victory (2010)
This was Pete Carroll’s first major upset. In Week 3, 2010, the ‘Hawks beat the Chargers (13-3 the previous year) on the strength of two Leon Washington kick-return touchdowns. But the most memorable play was rookie Earl Thomas’ game-sealing interception. It was his second INT of the game.
23. Indianapolis Colts: Blocked Field Turns the Tides (2013)
The Sehawks were poised to roll to their fifth straight win to open the season. But this blocked field goal turned the tides, and they lost to the Colts.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Andre Dyson Caps Off Colossal Beatdown With Second Touchdown of the Game (2005)
Monday Night Football in the cold December Philadelphia weather. Seahawks 42, Eagles 0. Seahawks score three defensive touchdowns, including an interception and a fumble return by Andre Dyson. It was not a good night for the home team or their fans. (Unfortunately, I can’t find any video from this game — just the box score.)
20. St. Louis Rams: Rams Trick Seahawks (Again) to Effectively Seal Upset (2014)
I’m sure you remember this one, because it happened less than a year ago. You can take your pick as to which special teams trick play is more iconic. I’m going with the fake punt, because it was the icer and also it was the gutsier call. If you want to go with the fake return, because it was more creative, I won’t object.
19. Minnesota Vikings: Shaun Alexander Scores Fifth Touchdown of the First Half (2002)
Alexander was pretty good when he was on. And in no game was he more on than in this Sunday Night Football game against the Vikings, when he scored five touchdowns before halftime. (Remarkably he scored three in the final three minutes of the half.)
18. Arizona Cardinals: Beast Quake Junior (2014)
The Seahawks crushed quashed any dreams the Cardinals had of making a Super Bowl run with a 35-6 ass kicking. The marque play was “Beast Quake Jr.,” but let’s not forget Wilson’s shimmy-shake stiff arm either. “Magic!”
17. Houston Texans: Richard Sherman Ties, Game Loses Shoe (2013)
The all-time great Seattle D got weirdly abused by Matt Schaub, but the ‘Hawks won in the end, because in the end Matt Schaub was still Matt Schaub. And Richard Sherman is really good.
16. Chicago Bears: Robbie Gould‘s Overtime Kick Dethrones NFC Champs (2006)
The Bears were better than the Seahawks (even with Rex Grossman at quarterback), so it would have been an upset if the ‘Hawks had beaten them at home. And it nearly happened. But it didn’t, and this kick made that certain.
15. Carolina Panthers: Kam Chancellor Seals Playoff Victory By Taking INT to the House (2014)
Just report to camp Kam. What are you doing? You have no leverage. Well, you have this, but it’s not enough.
14. Kansas City Chiefs: Dave Krieg Hits Paul Skansi for Game-Winning Touchdown on the Final Play of the Game (1990)
Derrick Thomas had a record-breaking seven sacks in this game. But on the game’s final play, Dave Krieg shook him free and delivered a 25-yard touchdown pass to Paul Skansi to give the ‘Hawks a 17-16 victory. Here’s a nice succinct video of it all.
13. Cincinnati Bengals: Steve Largent Scores Record-Breaking 100th Touchdown (1989)
You can see it at the 3:00 mark of this clip. It’s a pretty nice snag in the back of the end zone against the Bengals.
12. Miami Dolphins: Curt Warner Scores Game-Winner in Divisional Round (1983)
This was the Seahawks’ first great game, but there isn’t really a big-time iconic play from it. But still you can’t go wrong with a game-winner, or with Curt (with a C) Warner. I recommend this entire clip, but you should definitely watch from the 10:00 mark on. You will see Warner’s game winner, which was set up by a great Krieg-Largent connection.
11. Atlanta Falcons: Matt Bryant Kicks Game-Winner in Divisional Round (2012)
Shoddy kick return coverage. A lapse in defense on the game’s final drive. A long field goal. An amazing comeback ruined. Seahawks fans’ hearts broken. (Game highlights.)
10. Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III Shatters Leg and D.C. Fans’ Dreams (2012)
The Redskins jumped out to an early lead, 14-0. Then everything went wrong for them, and it has not turned around since. The lasting image from this one is definitely RGIII Tim Krumrie-ing it while Clinton McDonald dives on the loose ball. (Game highlights.)
9. Oakland Raiders: Bo Jackson Runs It 91-Yards on Monday Night (1987)
Technically this was against the Los Angeles Raiders, but whatever. I could have gone with the Bo-versus-Boz play, but that play is way, way overrated, in my opinion, (Bo does not run over The Boz) so I went with this one instead.
8. New York Jets: Vinny Testaverde Does Not Score, But Does (1998)
In a game that brought back instant replay and perhaps kept the Seahawks out of the playoffs, the referee mistakes Vinny Testaverde’s white helmet for the brown ball and says that he scores the game-winning touchdown on fourth down. Sadly, I can find no video of this play.
7. Pittsburgh Steelers: Sean Locklear Holding Call (2005)
You could pick any number of plays from this Super Bowl. But the one that most typifies how the game went for the Seahawks fans is the Sean Locklear holding call (6:45 mark of this pro-Steelers propaganda video). It’s not explicitly not holding, but it’s not definitively holding either. It’s just like 95% of the offensive line plays in football. It just sucks that it (and everything else that game) went against the Seahawks.
6. Denver Broncos: Snap Goes Past Peyton Manning for a Safety in the Super Bowl (2013)
Again, you could pick any number of plays from this Super Bowl. But the one that most typifies how the game went for Broncos fans is the safety on the first play from scrimmage. I don’t think any play ever has better foreshadowed what was to come than this safety. (Game highlights.)
4. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Bostick Bobbles Onside Kick, Chris Matthews Doesn’t (2014)
Is this the right call here? I could go “Fail Mary,” but that was a regular season game. Still, I think it could be bettered remembered in 20 years than any play from the 2014 NFC Championship game. And from that game you could pick five different plays: Fake field goal, onside kick, Marshawn Lynch touchdown, two-point conversion, and the game-winner to Jermaine Kearse. I don’t know. You watch the highlights and decide.
3. New England Patriots: Play That Shall Not Be Named (2015)
Let’s watch this clip instead. “You Mad Bro?”
2. New Orleans Saints: The Original Beast Quake (2010)
If the Seahawks won the Super Bowl in 2010, this would be number one. But they did not, so it is not. It was a pretty sweet play though. The entire game was magnificent.
1. San Francisco 49ers: Sherman Tip (2013)
Definitively number one, in my opinion. I like this fan shot.