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Seahawks looking to remain kings of the primetime home game

Kansas City Chiefs v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks’ first of two scheduled primetime home games is tonight on Thursday Night Football, as the team looks to get its first win over the Los Angeles Rams since the 2017 season.

When it’s night time, the Seahawks’ record in primetime games whether home or away is absolutely sparkling. Isolate it to just home games and they’re nearly unbeatable.

CenturyLink Field opened in the 2002 NFL season, and the Seahawks have played 29 regular season home games at night, which is ninth-most in the NFL, and boast an incredible record of 23-6. The .798 win percentage is the best in the league, even over the New England Patriots and their mark of 28-8 (.778). What aids Seattle’s sterling record is the fact that they didn’t get any primetime home games in 2008-2009, when they were truly dreadful.

In the Russell Wilson era, we’ve witnessed epic primetime home performances. Last season’s 38-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football comes to mind, as well as the 34-7 thumping of the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football in 2013, the 42-13 hammering of the San Francisco 49ers in 2012, and the 36-16 victory in the 2014 season opener against the Green Bay Packers. We have also seen our fair share of close calls, including “Fail Mary” in 2012, the Kam Chancellor punchout against the Detroit Lions in 2015, and the goal line stand against the Buffalo Bills in 2016. More often than not, the Seahawks give you entertainment under the bright lights.

So what has it taken to beat the Seahawks at CLink? Well let’s review them all.

49ers 28 Seahawks 21 (2002, MNF). The very first primetime home game at CenturyLink Field (Seahawks Stadium, as it was then known). Seattle had a narrow 21-20 lead in the 4th quarter when Terrell Owens dunked all over Shawn Spring and then whipped out the Sharpie. The Niners ran out the final 5:17 of game time without even completing a pass, as the Seahawks run defense was just not up to task.

Cowboys 43 Seahawks 39 (2004, MNF). In one of the wildest matchups in Monday Night Football history, the Seahawks jumped out to a 14-3 lead, found themselves down 29-14 by the 3rd quarter, and with 2:45 remaining in the 4th quarter they were 39-29 ahead. An astonishing comeback... only to be outdone by Keyshawn Johnson scoring a touchdown with 1:54 to go, and after recovering the onside kick, Julius Jones capped off a career night with a 17-yard scamper with :32 to go. 43 points is still the most that the Seahawks have ever allowed at this stadium.

Oh yeah, and Keyshawn’s TD should have never counted. One foot down + elbow out of bounds = No touchdown.

49ers 24 Seahawks 14 (2006, TNF). Ahhh yes, the Hanukkah Eve windstorm. Somehow I avoided losing power but I kinda wished I did, because with a chance to clinch the NFC West the Seahawks completely shat themselves. They were ahead 7-3 at halftime, then allowed 21 unanswered to Alex Smith and the Niners. Kelly Herndon is one of my least favorite Seahawks ever just because of this play:

Saints 28 Seahawks 17 (2007, SNF). This is the largest primetime loss the Seahawks have had at this stadium. A winless New Orleans squad marched all over Seattle and were up 28-7 at halftime. As I wrote last month, this game had some eerie similarities to this season’s home loss against the Saints.

Cardinals 39 Seahawks 32 (2015, SNF). The first defeat of the Wilson era in primetime. Arizona looked to be ready to blow the Seahawks out after racing to a 19-0 lead. Seattle’s incredible rally saw them take the lead 29-25 thanks to consecutive Carson Palmer strip-sacks. Palmer answered with a go-ahead touchdown throw to Jermaine Gresham. Andre Ellington silenced everyone with a dagger 48-yard score. On the plus side, the Seahawks tore the field apart over the next several weeks after falling to 4-5. Oh yeah, and Drew Stanton did this on the Ellington TD.

Falcons 34 Seahawks 31 (2017, MNF). Given the Falcons made the playoffs by one game, this was essentially the real turning point of the season and one of the more damaging regular season defeats of the Pete Carroll era. Atlanta had leads of 14-0 and 21-7, never trailed, and despite a late game-tying drive attempt from Russell Wilson, Blair Walsh did Blair Walsh things and missed the field goal that would’ve taken this one to overtime.

Over the years — Holmgren and Carroll, Hasselbeck/Dilfer and Wilson — the opposition has scored an average of about 33 points in their primetime wins in Seattle, the starting QBs combined for 13 TDs to just 3 INTs, and the Seahawks failed to win the turnover battle in four of these games. In other words, standard stuff that gets you beat regardless of kickoff time. That it has been this hard to beat any Seahawks team at CLink since 2002 is absolutely astonishing.

For the record, the Rams’ two three primetime trips to CenturyLink Field ended in defeat. They fell 16-6 in Week 17 to the Charlie Whitehurst-led Seahawks, were outclassed 30-13 in the 2011 season on Monday Night Football, and blown out 24-3 in 2016 in the Action Green debut. Let’s hope that Seattle’s primetime home dominance continues, starting with Thursday against the defending NFC champions.