Before all focus is trained on the Seahawks-Rams game Sunday at the Los Angeles Coliseum, a final note on the Seahawks-Colts. In Seattle’s 46-18 win, the Seahawks scored two rushing touchdowns, two passing TDs and two return TDs. Never in their four decades had the Seahawks tallied with such a combination of scores.
The rushing TDs came on a 23-yard scramble by QB Russell Wilson and a 30-yard run by RB J.D. McKissic, both in the third quarter. The receiving TDs came on passes from Wilson to TE Luke Willson (6 yards) and McKissic (27) in the fourth quarter. The return TDs: CB Justin Coleman 28 yards following an interception in the second quarter, and LB Bobby Wagner 21 yards after recovering a fumble in the third.
In five other games in their history, the Seahawks scored multiple passing or rushing TDs in a game as well as one return TD. In the Pete Carroll era, that happened once, Nov. 17, 2013 against Minnesota. Wilson threw two TDs, RB Marshawn Lynch ran for two and CB Walter Thurmond returned an interception 29 yards.
But never before Sunday had the Seahawks scored two passing and two rushing TDs as well as two return TDs. The bigger picture:
Seventy-five NFL games since 1940 have featured a team scoring one or more rushing, passing and return TDs. But only 23 had a team scoring one or more rushing TDs, one or more a passing TDs, an interception return TD and a fumble return TD. The Seahawks were involved in one of those contests, as a victim.
Set the wayback machine to Nov. 16, 1986. The Seahawks were at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. In a 34-7 loss to the Bengals, Cincinnati had a two-yard rushing TD from Stanley Wilson, a one-yard passing TD from Boomer Esiason to Eric Kattus, a fumble recovery TD in the end zone from Eddie Edwards, and a 36-yard INT return TD from Louis Breeden, who picked off Dave Krieg.
From the 23 games referenced above, we can reduce to seven the number that have included two or more in each category, as was the case with the Seahawks Sunday.
The last team to do it was the Minnesota Vikings, coached by Bud Grant and quarterbacked by Gary Cuozzo, against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 23, 1969.
The games in which a team tallied two or more passing TDs, two or more rushing TDs, an INT return TD and a fumble return TD:
|1941||Nov. 23||GB||Pitt||2||4||2||Packers 54, Steelers 7|
|1963||Oct. 6||StL||Minn||4||2||2||Cardinals 56, Vikings 14|
|1966||Nov. 27||Wash||NYG||3||4||3||Redskins 72, Giants 41|
|1967||Oct. 15||SD||KC||2||2||2||Chargers 45, Chiefs 31|
|1969||Nov. 23||Minn||Pitt||3||2||2||Vikings 52, Steelers 14|
|2017||Oct. 1||Sea||Indy||2||2||2||Seahawks 46, Colts 18|
The most notable of these games, based on the final score, was the 1966 game when the Washington Redskins, coached by Otto Graham, whipped Allie Sherman’s New York Giants 72-41 at District of Columbia Stadium with three TD passes, four TD runs and three return TDs.
The Redskins had three future Hall of Famers on the field that day, QB Sonny Jurgensen, WR Bobby Mitchell and SE Charley Taylor. All scored. Jurgensen threw three TDs, Taylor caught two, and Mitchell ran 45 yards.
But A.D. Whitfield and Brig Owens were the day’s stars for the Redskins. A halfback out of North Texas, Whitfield scored on two runs and one reception. Owens made the day historic by scoring on a 62-yard fumble return and 60-yard interception return.
Sunday’s win over the Colts largely will be forgotten as soon as the Seahawks tee it up against the Rams. But given the infrequency of what happened, it deserved a little more attention before being relegated to the archives.