A recent ESPN Insiders post listed the best defenses by Football Outsiders DVOA in the last 30 years, and the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers ranked as the greatest pass defense. The team as a whole is the last one to allow under 200 points in a full regular season, which may not be a repeatable feat in this higher scoring era. The worst offense by DVOA is still the 1992 Seattle Seahawks, and we may never see a passing game that historically inept ever again, but the Rams will probably give it a good go.
This isn’t quite Breaking Madden, but it’s the much cheaper next best thing! Using the Whatifsports engine, I’ve simulated 12 games between the ‘92 Seahawks and ‘02 Buccaneers just to see the carnage. To give Seattle an extra chance at victory, all of the games are at the Kingdome. I’ve also evenly split quarterbacking duties between Kelly Stouffer (games 1-6) and Stan Gelbaugh (games 7-12), mirroring what happened in real-life. As awful as the Seahawks offense was, they had a great defense anchored by the late Cortez Kennedy, so can they keep the games low-scoring and perhaps pull off the stunning upset over a Super Bowl winner? Let’s find out together.
Game 1: Buccaneers 26 Seahawks 0
The Seahawks had fifteen possessions, ten punts, three turnovers, and two turnovers-on-downs. They had negative net yards passing, for crying out loud! A five-yard run by Chris Warren was the best offensive play the Seahawks could muster. Defensively, Cortez Kennedy racked up three sacks on Buccaneers quarterback Brad Johnson, but Keyshawn Johnson’s 6 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown propelled Tampa to an easy win.
Game 2: Buccaneers 40 Seahawks 9
Kelly Stouffer was a comically inept 3-of-25 for 42 yards, with 30 of those yards coming on an opening quarter pass to Louis Clark. Eugene Robinson and Brian Davis both picked off Brad Johnson, but the Seattle defense conceded over 460 yards of offense.
Game 3: Buccaneers 38 Seahawks 7
A punt return touchdown put Seattle within reasonable striking distance entering the 4th quarter, but Kelly Stouffer’s interception to Derrick Brooks set up a short field for the Bucs, who put the game out of reach on a Joe Jurevicius touchdown. Ronde Barber got a pick-6 in garbage time, just ‘cuz. Mike Alstott led all backs with 77 yards on 12 carries.
Game 4: Buccaneers 17 Seahawks 0
Hey, Seattle outgained Tampa Bay on the ground! Progress! All things considered, this was a textbook 1992 Seahawks performance: play outstanding defense while the offense fails to put up anything of consequence.
Game 5: Buccaneers 23 Seahawks 3
A 59-yard strike to Louis Clark in the third quarter gave the Seahawks an opportunity to get just their second offensive touchdown in five simulations, but they predictably stalled out and John Kasay provided Seattle their only points of the game. Brad Johnson just tore up the Seahawks secondary and the defense couldn’t get off the field. Martin Gramatica missed two field goals, or else the scoreline would’ve been worse.
Game 6: Buccaneers 28 Seahawks 7
Kelly Stouffer couldn’t throw a single touchdown pass in any of his starts. Yikes. A 44-yard burst by Chris Warren on a draw play gave Seattle a goal-to-go from Tampa Bay’s 2, and John L. Williams converted on a run up the middle. At last, an offensive touchdown for the 1992 Seahawks against this defensive monster! Add that to Chris Warren’s 109 yards rushing on 15 carries and I’d consider this a moral victory.
Game 7 (Gelbaugh starts): Buccaneers 20 Seahawks 10
The Seahawks got the early breakthrough after Mike Alstott fumbled, and Seattle capitalized with a Reuben Mayes one-yard plunge. Seattle’s first lead in this series, can you believe it?! Some absolutely heroic defending led to the Seahawks holding a seven-point lead heading into the final quarter ... then the Buccaneers ripped up Seattle for 198 yards on three consecutive possessions, scoring the game’s final 17 points. Michael Pittman tore apart Seattle’s defense with 4 catches on 112 yards, including a 74-yard dagger on Tampa Bay’s final scoring drive.
Game 8: Buccaneers 17 Seahawks 3
The Seahawks defense forced five Tampa Bay turnovers, which basically kept the team in the game. Seattle made a curious decision to kick a field goal from the Tampa 36 early in the 4th quarter, but that could be attributed to John Kasay having already missed one from 40 yards out. Michael Pittman capped off a 7-play, 84-yard drive and that was all she wrote.
Game 9: Seahawks 10 Buccaneers 3
No, you must be joking. Really?!
IT HAPPENED!!! Brad Johnson just couldn’t get himself going, and the Seahawks defense kept the Buccaneers out of the end zone. Seattle’s go-ahead score started off with a big punt return to Tampa’s 16. Chris Warren began the drive with a 13 yard scamper, but they quickly lost five yards on a false start. Stan Gelbaugh found Tommy Kane in the end zone for the first Seahawks TD pass. A 12-play, 54 yard drive culminating in a John Kasay field goal handed the Seahawks a 10-3 halftime lead. It was a pure defensive struggle in the 2nd half, but Seattle had a chance to put the game on ice in the 4th quarter. A clutch 3rd down conversion to Kane put the Seahawks at Tampa’s 28 at the two-minute warning. They lost a staggering 10 yards rushing and punted it back to the Bucs, who had one last shot to force overtime. With no timeouts left, Brad Johnson needed to drive his team 85 yards in 1:39. After advancing to their own 32, Johnson threw four straight incomplete passes, with the final two batted down at the line of scrimmage. SEAHAWKS WIN.
Both teams finished with an identical 171 net yards of offense and a lost fumble apiece, but the 1st quarter defensive stand after John L. Williams coughed it up on Seattle’s opening drive proved to be vital in pulling off this seismic shock of a gridiron result.
Game 10: Buccaneers 29 Seahawks 0
That field goal as time expired in the 4th quarter seems a bit rude.
Game 11: Buccaneers 23 Seahawks 0
Warren Sapp, Chuck Darby, and Simeon Rice all sacked Stan Gelbaugh and otherwise held down Seattle’s woeful passing offense from start to finish. The running game wasn’t much better.
Only one more game to go. Can the Seahawks get one more victory?
Game 12: Buccaneers 20 Seahawks 10
The Seahawks end this sim series by matching their highest point total of 10. Chris Warren’s 36-yard dash paved the way for Stan Gelbaugh to scramble his way for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Brad Johnson hit a deep ball to Keenan McCardell on the edge of halftime, and the Seahawks never recovered. Gelbaugh’s 10/24 for 69 yards was not a nice performance, to say the least.
Final aggregate score: Buccaneers 284 Seahawks 59
Kelly Stouffer’s statistics: 27/138 (19.5%), 246 yds, 0 TDs, 4 INTs
Stan Gelbaugh’s statistics: 65/163 (39.8%), 605 yds, 2 TDs (1 rush), 4 INTs
Hey, I’m just amazed the Seahawks managed a win, the predictably one-sided numbers be damned. I feel like through this stunning 10-3 victory in game 9, the ‘92 Seahawks should be retroactively be awarded a Lombardi Trophy. Hopefully you enjoyed this fun little “it’s the deadest part of the offseason” post as much as I did.