With all due respect to 43-8, surely the most unforgettable score in Seattle’s pro sports history, the most memorable tally in NFL annals, as well as the most lopsided victory, is 73-0. It occurred in the 1940 championship game won by Sid Luckman’s Chicago Bears over Sammy Baugh’s obviously overmatched Washington Redskins.
Three sidebars from that game: 1. Three weeks earlier, the Redskins defeated the Bears 7-3 at Soldier Field. 2. The one-sided rematch included the last NFL player (Dick Plasman) to go helmetless. 3. The Bears intercepted eight passes, returning three for touchdowns.
Coached by George Halas, the Bears also rushed for 382 yards and seven touchdowns at Washington D.C.’s Griffith Stadium. Bill Osmanski led the way with 109 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown on the second play from scrimmage, and Harry Clarke collected 73 and two, including a 44-yard run.
In the nearly 75 years since the Bears clobbered the Redskins, more than 12,900 NFL games (that total provided by Elias Sports Bureau) have gone into the books. In only six of those did a team approach Chicago’s staggering combination of 381 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns.
Three were played in the 1950s and another in the 1960s. The next one didn’t occur until Nov. 26, 1978, when Chuck Knox’s Buffalo Bills raked the New York Giants for 366 yards and five touchdowns in a 41-17 victory at Orchard Park, NY.
It took another 36 years before the sixth of those games happened — Sunday at CenturyLink Field, where the Seahawks, once coached by Knox, rushed for a franchise-record 350 yards and five touchdowns in a 38-17 victory over the Giants.
Listed chronologically, these are the only games in NFL-AFL history in which a team amassed at least 350 yards rushing and five rushing touchdowns.
|1940||Dec. 8||Chi||Wash||381||7||Bears won NFL title 73-0|
|1950||Nov. 19||NYG||Bal||423||6||NY’s Eddie Price 145 yards|
|1951||Nov. 18||LA Rams||NYY||371||6||Rams’ Dan Towler 155 yards|
|1955||Nov. 6||Chic||GB||406||5||Bobby Wadkins 2 TDs for Chi|
|1966||Oct. 23||KC||Den||380||5||Bert Coan 4 TDs in 56-10 win|
|1978||Nov. 26||Buff||NYG||366||5||Terry Miller 208 yards for Buff|
|2014||Nov. 9||Sea||NYG||350||5||Marshawn Lynch 140, 4 TDs|
While the Seahawks have the lowest rushing total on this list, they averaged 7.78 yards per rush (45 attempts), including 7.64 on 14 attempts by Russell Wilson (107 yards) and 6.66 on 21 by Marshawn Lynch (140), who bulldozed for four of the five touchdowns on runs of 1, 2, 3 and 16 yards.
Of the listed, only the 1966 Kansas City Chiefs at 9.27 and 1951 L.A. Rams at 8.43 had more yards per rush than the Seahawks did Sunday. Seattle’s 7.78 is also the highest average ever in 52 all-time games in which the Seahawks ran the ball 40 or more times.
The Seahawks, who rushed for more yards than the Giants gained in total yards (324), averaged 4.0 yards after contact, the most by any team in any game this season. Lynch produced 75 of his 140 yards after contact, making him the fifth player with at least 75 YAC this year.
Using 20 carries as a minimum, Lynch averaged at least 6.6 yards per carry in only two other games during his time with the Seahawks – at Philadelphia Dec. 1, 2011 (6.7) and at Washington Jan. 6, 2013 (6.6) in a wild card game.
In the famous “Beastquake” game against New Orleans in the 2010 playoffs, Lynch averaged 6.9 yards on 19 attempts, a mark inflated by his stunning 67-yard gambol to the end zone.
Lynch is creating quite a dilemma for the Seahawks. It’s generally assumed he won’t return next season on anything less than a three-year extension. Given his age (28), the Seahawks won’t want to do that, nor will be they want to absorb his $8.5 million 2015 cap hit. But the way Lynch is playing — after Sunday’s game, S Earl Thomas said, “A guy like that comes around only every blue moon” — it will be difficult for the Seahawks to let him go without a stiff public backlash. And perhaps one in their own locker room.
In a rush
Via Elias, the Seahawks noted Sunday night that Wilson became the third quarterback in modern NFL history (since 1960), to produce three 100-yard rushing games in the same season. Wilson joined Billy Kilmer (1961) and Michael Vick, who ran for 100 or more yards in three 2004 games and in three 2006 games. Detailing those games:
|1961||Billy Kilmer||Wash||103 at Det, 131 vs. Rams, 115 at Minn||239-8|
|2004||Michael Vick||Atl||109 vs. StL, 115 at Den, 104 at NYG||328-0|
|2006||Michael Vick||Atl||127 vs. TB, 101 vs. Ariz, 166 vs. NO||394-1|
|2014||Russell Wilson||Sea||122 at Wash, 106 at Stl, 107 vs. NYG||335-3|
Sunday marked the sixth time in Seahawks’ history that they featured two 100-yard rushers in the same game (Lynch 140, Wilson 107). Lynch and Wilson are the only running back/quarterback combination to accomplish the feat and they’ve now done it twice. On Oct. 6, 2013 at Indianapolis, both ran for 102 yards in a loss to the Colts.
The only other Seattle backfield tandem to run for 100 or more yards in the same game twice were Curt Warner and John L. Williams on Nov. 28, 1988 vs. Oakland and Dec. 11, 1988 vs. Denver.