Seattle has only played Atlanta 11 times overall, but we've come out on top in eight of these epic struggles. In fact, I was lucky enough to attend our last two wins over the Falcons, In January 2005 and September 2005. Here's the top 5 Seattle wins over ATL (it's almost too obvious to mention, but ANY sort of winning result this Sunday probably jumps to the top of this list).
5. 11/7/1976 @Seahawks 30, Falcons 13
I was 14 months old when this game happened, but you OG Twelves know why this game makes the list: This was the Seahawks' first-ever regular season win at the Kingdome. RB Sherman Smith racked up 152 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns as Seattle went all Whacking Day on the even-more-bedraggled 2-6 Falcons. Jim Zorn contributed two touchdown passes without adding any INTs- All around a great day for the NFL's newest franchise. Found highlights on youtube for y'all:
4. 12/15/2002 Seahawks 30, Falcons 24 (OT)
This should sound familiar- The high-flying, playoff-bound Falcons meet the lowly Ospreys in a mid-December match-up that NO ONE thinks Seattle should win. Thankfully, in the Georgia Dome that day, the Seahawks WEREN'T who everyone thought they were. Seattle not only survived The Michael Vick Experience, but they intercepted him twice and largely contained him inside the pocket. Matt Hasselbeck clearly outplayed Atlanta's soon-to-be-felonious-and-incarcerated QB, and Shaun Alexander glided through ATL's defense for 127 yards and two touchdowns, including the stunning game-winner in OT.
3. 9/18/2005 @Seahawks 21, Falcons 18
I was at this game (here's the pics), and I remember it more for the weird experience of being told to sit down at Seahawks game, and for Atlanta's near-comeback from a 21-0 deficit, than anything else. As I wrote at the time:
With a few exceptions, the people surrounding us in 336 were old, rich and in a persistent vegetative state. I was doing my usual shtick- I (PG-rated-ly) taunted some Falcons fans as they took their seats, hurled insults at Atlanta players during warm-ups, and spent the balance of the game screaming at the top of my lungs, standing and bellowing whenever Atlanta had the ball (like every red-blooded Seahawks fan should).
What did I get for my trouble? Weird looks and the suburban Brahmin lady tapping me on the back and ORDERING me: "Can you sit down? We can't see!" I resisted the urge to give her the Latrell Sprewell treatment, but I also didn't comply with her bafflingly lame and old-fogey-ish decree.
Thankfully this game was the first blow in Seattle's exorcism of the ghosts of soooo many blown leads in 2003-2004. It was also the start of a 10-0 home season at Qwest, which helped propel the Hawks to the Super Bowl.
2. 10/29/1979 Seahawks 31, Falcons 28
The Seahawks created THOUSANDS of new fans on Monday Night Football back in 1979, when they relied on a WAVE of trick plays to bring down the Falcons. For any Seahawks fan over the age of 40, this game has probably been BRANDED into their brainpan since it happened. It's worthy of two youtube clips- The first is the NFL Films treatment, and the second is from the MNF broadcast- Pay particular attention to Howard Cosell falling absolutely in love with Jack Patera, Jim Zorn, and Efren Herrera.
1. 1/2/2005 @Seahawks 28, Falcons 26
Unfortunately, this game is most well-known in Seahawks lore as the "stab-in-the-back" game. Shaun Alexander fell one yard short of winning the NFL rushing title, and publicly blamed Mike Holmgren, who called a QB sneak for a crucial TD rather than feeding the ball to SA. It's a shame, because this one SHOULD BE a very positive memory for Seahawks fans.
After a season of unbelievable heartbreak and frustration (blowing the 17-point 4th quarter lead to the Rams, losing a MNF game against Dallas that literally brought me to tears, etc), the Seahawks could win the NFC West with a victory over Atlanta, who was treating the game like a preseason contest (their playoff seeding was already locked in).
The Seahawks got off to another slow start, falling behind 17-7 in the 2nd quarter. However, they battled and clawed their way into a 28-20 lead (punctuated by Hasselbeck's "back-stabbing" touchdown). Of course, the porous 2004 defense allowed ATL to score a touchdown on THE FINAL PLAY OF THE GAME (Gah!)... So it all came down to the ensuing 2-point conversion, which saw Warrick Dunn get stopped just short of the goal line. Woo! Seahawks win the NFC West! Sadly, this happened the next week:
Oh well- Was fun while it lasted, I guess. What are your Seahawks/Falcons memories?