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Deon Butler: The Catch

The Seahawks managed just five wins in 2009. Their average margin of victory for their first four wins was a gaudy 22.7 points. Simply put, the 2009 Seahawks either blew their opponents out, or they lost. There was no in-between.

As a result, we are left with very few memorable plays from the 2009 season. Our 41-0 drubbing of the Jaguars was thoroughly entertaining, but what do we really remember from that game? Nick Reed scooping up a fumble and taking it 79 yards to the house was more funny than it was spectacular. Blowouts are great, but nothing beats a clutch play late in the game.

In week 13, against the hated San Francisco 49ers, the Seahawks offense finally came up big in the final minutes of a game. But in typical Seahawks fashion, they almost gave the game away before Matt Hasselbeck and Deon Butler could work their magic. Hasselbeck marched the Seahawks offense down to the San Francisco 40 with four straight completions (three to T.J. Houshmanzadeh) with 1:19 left, but the offense went backwards after Patrick Willis blew up a Julius Jones screen pass, and Chris Spencer was whistled for a false start. Faced with an almost impossible 3rd and 19 situation, Hasselbeck managed to let loose a circa 2005 40 yard pass right on the numbers to Deion Branch at the 12 yard line only to watch Branch drop it.

Instead of being set up for the game winning field goal, the Seahawks had to punt. But all was not lost. The Seahawks forced a quick three and out, and Nate Burleson came through with a clutch 21 yard punt return to the Seattle 48 with 21 seconds left. Two plays later, Seattle went three wide on the left side and lined up Deon Butler all by his lonesome on the right. The 49ers cheated safety help away from Butler and over to the left, leaving Butler one on one with Keith Smith. The Seahawks managed to pick up the 49ers blitz, and Hasselbeck lofted up a perfect 32 yard rainbow to Butler along the sideline.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-highlights/09000d5d814c2faf/Butler-sets-up-game-winner

Game. Set. Match. No playoffs for you, 49ers.

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