The Seahawks, who face the Washington Redskins Sunday in an NFC wild card game at FedEx Field in Washington, D.C., have not won a playoff game on the road since Dec. 31, 1983 — 30 years ago — when, as 8½-point underdogs, they upset the Miami Dolphins in the Orange Bowl 27-20.
Since that win over then-rookie Dan Marino, the Seahawks have played nine road playoff games, including Super Bowl XL in Detroit Feb. 5, 2006. Seattle went 0-for-9 in those games.
This year, the Seahawks will need to win three road games to reach the Super Bowl. Since 1970, only four wild card teams, most recently Green Bay in 2010, won three times on the road.
Here are the nine road playoff games that Seattle lost:
PLAYOFF GAME: #3
DATE: Jan. 8, 1984
VENUE: Los Angeles Coliseum
SCORE: Raiders 30, Seahawks 14
The Raiders shattered Seattle’s dream of reaching the Super Bowl with a convincing victory in the AFC Championship game in front of 88,734 fans. The Raiders jumped to a 27-0 lead as Frank Hawkins rushed for a pair of scores and Chris Bahr kicked two field goals. Los Angeles scored 17 points in the last 4:17 of the second quarter as the Raiders piled up a 226-16 yard advantage at halftime. Seattle’s TDs came on an 11-yard pass from Jim Zorn to Dan Doornink and Zorn’s nine-yard throw to TE Charle Young. But the Seahawks threw five interceptions – three by Dave Krieg, two by Zorn – and allowed four sacks. Marcus Allen of the Raiders accounted for 216 total yards from scrimmage, rushing for 154 and catching 7 passes for 62 yards.
PLAYOFF GAME: #5
DATE: Dec. 29, 1984
VENUE: Orange Bowl
SCORE: Dolphins 31, Seahawks 10
Dan Marino fired three touchdown passes. The loss ended the Seahawks’ best season (12-4). Marino threw two TDs in the third quarter to break open what had been a 14-10 Miami halftime lead. Marino’s TD passes covered 34 yards to Jimmy Cefalo, 3 yards to Bruce Hardy and 33 yards to Mark Clayton. Seattle’s only touchdown came on a 56-yard pass from Dave Krieg to Steve Largent. Seahawks defensive back John Harris, a Miami native, picked off two passes in the first half, one of them leading to a 27-yard Norm Johnson field goal. Krieg threw for 234 yards and a TD. Largent recorded the first 100-yard receiving game by a Seahawk with 128 yards on six catches.
PLAYOFF GAME: #6
DATE: Jan. 3, 1988
SCORE: Oilers 23, Seahawks 20
Tony Zendejas’ 42-yard field goal 8:05 into overtime gave the Oilers the victory, his kick capping a 61-yard Houston drive. Oilers quarterback Warren Moon completed 3 of 4 passes during the drive for 37 yards to set up Zendejas’ winning kick. Moon, the former University of Washington star, completed 21 of 32 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown. Seattle quarterback Dave Krieg threw for 237 yards and a pair of TDS, a 20-yarder to Steve Largent in the first quarter and a 12-yarder to Largent in the fourth. It was incredible that the Seahawks were even able to push the game into OT. The Oilers outgained Seattle almost 2-to-1 in total yards (437-250), almost 3-to-1 in first downs (27-11) and held a 27½ -minute bulge in time of possession (47:44 to 20:21). While the Seahawk offense which played without leading rusher Curt Warner (sprained ankle), gained a season-low 29 yards on the ground, the Oilers ran for 178.
PLAYOFF GAME: #7
DATE: Dec. 31, 1988
VENUE: Riverfront Stadium
SCORE: Bengals 21, Seahawks 13
Ickey Woods accumulated 126 of Cincinnati’s 254 rushing yards and set up two Stanley Wilson touchdown runs. Woods scored on a third short touchdown run as the Bengals took a 21-0 halftime lead. The Seahawks’ two scores came on a 7-yard pass from quarterback Dave Krieg to fullback John L. Williams and Krieg’s 1-yard run. The Seahawks were hampered by an ankle injury to running back Curt Warner, who was limited to 11 yards on eight carries. Each team ran 30 first-down plays, but the Bengals averaged 6.4 yards to the Seahawks’ 3.0. The disparity was even more apparent in the first half, when the Bengals averaged 6.6 yards on 18 first-down plays, the Seahawks 1.6 on nine. Krieg’s 50 passing attempts were just one shy of his club record against Atlanta in 1985.
PLAYOFF GAME: #9
DATE: Jan. 4, 2004
VENUE: Lambeau Field
CITY: Green Bay, WI.
SCORE: Packers 33, Seahawks 27 (OT)
Cornerback Al Harris picked off a pass by Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and raced down the right sideline 52 yards for a touchdown 4:25 into overtime to lift the Pack. Hasselbeck nearly stole the show. He passed for 305 yards and engineered three touchdown drives in the second half, the last tying the game at 27 with 51 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But that was enough time for Brett Favre, who connected with Javon Walker on a 30-yard pass to set up a 47-yard field goal attempt by Ryan Longwell. But Longwell’s attempt fell a few yards short, sending the game into OT. The Seahawks won the coin flip and Hasselbeck words were picked up on the referee’s mic: “We want the ball and we’re going to score.” After each team failed on its first possession, Hasselbeck fell victim to a poor pass route by Alex Bannister. Intending to hit Bannister with a throw to his left, Harris jumped the route, cut in front of Bannister at the Green Bay 48 and raced down the sideline .
PLAYOFF GAME #13
DATE: Feb. 5, 2006
VENUE: Ford Field
SCORE: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10
Appearing in the Super Bowl for the first time, the Seahawks led 3-0 briefly, but quickly fell behind and stayed there, in part because of a series of controversial officiating calls, and lost to the Steelers. The Seahawks appeared to have scored on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck to Darrell Jackson, only to have the play wiped out when officials called pass interference on the Seahawks receiver. The Seahawks settled for a 47-yard field goal by Josh Brown. The Steelers took a 7-3 halftime lead when Ben Roethlisberger scored on a one-yard run, and went up 14-3 early in the second half when Willie Parker ran 75 yards for a touchdown, the longest scrimmage play in Super Bowl history. The Seahawks battled back when Hasselbeck tossed a 16-yard TD pass to TE Jerramy Stevens, a score set up by Kelly Herndon’s 76-yard (non-scoring) interception return, the longest INT return in Super Bowl history. The Seahawks shortly found themselves on the verge of scoring again, but an 18-yard catch by Stevens was wiped out by a holding penalty on OT Sean Locklear. Had the catch stood, the Seahawks would have had the ball on the Pittsburgh one-yard line. After the Steelers scored on a 43-yard pass from Antwaan Randle El to Hines Ward, the Seahawks scrambled to get back in the game. But a Hasselbeck pass was picked off, ending Seattle’s chances. Hasselbeck completed 26 of his 49 passes for 271 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Shaun Alexander carried 20 times for 95 yards.
PLAYOFF GAME: #15
DATE: Jan. 14, 2007
VENUE: Soldier Field
SCORE: Bears 27, Seahawks 24 (OT)
Robbie Gould’s second field goal of the game, a 49-yarder 2:49 into overtime, won it. The Seahawks had a 24-21 lead entering the fourth quarter, following a 13-yard touchdown run by Shaun Alexander. But Gould hit from 41 yards with 4:24 to play for a tie at 24, then hit the game winner in OT after Seattle won the toss but was forced to punt. Alexander ran for two touchdowns and 108 yards and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed 18 of 33 for 195 yards and a touchdown. The Bears produced the longest scoring play of the game, a 68-yard touchdown pass from Rex Grossman to Bernard Berrian, and also nearly had the second longest. But a 66-yard punt return by Devin Hester was called back due to a penalty.
PLAYOFF GAME: #17
DATE: Jan. 12, 2008
VENUE: Lambeau Field
CITY: Green Bay.
SCORE: Packers 42, Seahawks 20
The Seahawks jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after capitalizing on a pair of Ryan Grant fumbles, then melted under a Green Bay onslaught led by Grant, who rushed for 201 yards and three touchdowns. Bret Favre tossed three touchdown passes. The Packers also held Alexander to just 20 rushing yards in a snowstorm. In all, the Seahawks rushed for just 28 yards in what became Alexander’s last game in a Seattle uniform. Grant’s 201 rushing yards set a Green Bay postseason record. Bobby Engram’s six catches for 47 yards enabled him to become the team’s leader in the postseason with 35 catches. Leroy Hill made 11 tackles, becoming Seattle’s postseason leader with 64. The game was also the last for Seattle placekicker Josh Brown, who bolted to St. Louis in free agency.
PLAYOFF GAME #19
DATE: Jan. 16, 2011
VENUE: Soldier Field
SCORE: Bears 35, Seahawks 24
Scoring on three of their first four possessions, the Bears squashed Seattle’s hopes of hosting the NFC Championship Game at Qwest Field with a dominating rout. The Bears raced to a 21-0 halftime lead and had a 28-0 advantage in the third quarter as they toyed with the Seahawks before 10-point underdog Seattle scored two late TDs (Matt Hasselbeck scoring passes to Mike Williams and Brandon Stokley, and a field goal by Olindo Mare). Had Seattle prevailed, the Seahawks would have hosted the Green Bay Packers in the conference title game.
The Seahawks are just 4-11 against the Washington Redskins in regular-season play, but 2-0 against Washington in the playoffs. The teams met in 2006 and 2008 in Seattle. These are the recaps:
PLAYOFF GAME: #11
DATE: Jan. 14, 2006
VENUE: Qwest Field
SCORE: Seahawks 20, Redskins 10
The Seahawks finally snapped their 21-year streak without winning a playoff game by defeating the Redskins in front of 67,551. Despite missing Shaun Alexander, who left the game in the first period after suffering a concussion, the Seahawks amassed 334 yards of total offense while limiting the Redskins to 289. Matt Hasselbeck completed 16 of 26 and threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Jackson, and also ran six yards for a touchdown, beating former Seahawk Shawn Springs to the end zone pylon. Hasselbeck won the statistical battle with Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell, a former University of Washington star, who threw for 242 yards and a 20-yard touchdown to Santana Moss. Seattle middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu recorded a game-high 10 tackles.
PLAYOFF GAME: #16
DATE: Jan. 5, 2008
VENUE: Qwest Field
SCORE: Seahawks 35, Redskins 14
Trailing 14-13, Seattle tallied three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and defeated the Redskins in front of a record postseason crowd of 68,297. After Washington’s Todd Collins threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss with 12:38 remaining to play, giving the Redskins a 14-13 lead, the Seahawks erupted for three touchdowns to put the game away. Matt Hasselbeck threw a 20-yard TD to D.J. Hackett, Marcus Trufant returned an interception 78 yards for a TD, and Jordan Babineaux returned another interception 57 yards for a TD. Trufant’s touchdown marked the first time a Seahawk player had returned an interception for a TD in postseason franchise history. Josh Brown kicked two field goals, his 50-yarder in the second quarter the longest in Seattle postseason history.
Have to point out a correction is needed about the 1983 playoffs. Dave Kreig started and played in the Miami win. He also started the AFC championship game but Zorn was put in the second half to try and rally the team from their deficit against the Raiders. Zorn wasn’t a ‘principal cog’ in the Miami win and was sort of a desperation substitution against the Raiders.