Thanksgiving football is nearly upon us, and this year we have something to look forward to as Seattle Seahawks fans! We are fortunate enough to have a marquee matchup with the division-leading San Francisco 49ers in Prime Time to be thankful for! On paper, that is an awful draw for the Hawks after a crushing loss to the LA Rams last weekend, but the good news is that division games are unpredictable, and Seattle has had some recent precedent for success in these particular festivities. Need I remind anybody?
But the past is the past, and as you can obviously tell from the photo above, this is a much different team than the Super Bowl-bound squad that went 12-4 in 2014. However, one similarity is that both the Hawks and Niners entered that game at 7-4, and the former took the division lead with the win. This game won’t give them the opportunity to take a full-game lead over their division rivals, but it would be a critical chance for the Hawks to get back into first place, as they would hold the tiebreaker by virtue of head-to-head record. Their recent success over the Niners aside, how have the Seahawks fared in their previous Thanksgiving events prior to that? Well, they were ok.
Seahawks are 2-2 all-time on Thanksgiving. Last game was a 19-3 win over San Francisco in 2014... time for history to repeat itself? pic.twitter.com/sZ8iiHpdS0— Diane Taylor ️⚧️ (@SeaDeeTaylor) November 22, 2023
In total, the Seahawks had played three Tofurkey day games leading up to 2014, making for four in total. Their record stands at 2-2, meaning they were 1-2 previously. A couple interesting factoids from the StatHead graphic above — they have had four different quarterbacks start in each of these games, four different coaches, each game has been on the road, and they had only played the Dallas Cowboys prior to 2014. Just some trivia I found interesting.
The next most recent contest was a 34-9 drubbing at the hands of Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys in 2008. To find their other two games, you have to go all the way back to the ‘80s, where they went 1-1 against the Cowboys — a loss with Jim Zorn at QB and a win with Dave Krieg. Interestingly enough, as you can likely surmise after reading the above, Seattle had only played Dallas on Thanksgiving prior to 2014. In addition to this, as mentioned above, this will be the first time they get to host the game, and apparently they have some festivities in store for fans...
But let’s take a little bit deeper look at the games themselves!
Seahawks @ Cowboys — L 7-51 — November 27th, 1980 — Box Score
Despite starting 4-3, this team dropped nine straight games and finished 4-12. Following two 9-7 seasons where Jim Zorn received more MVP votes than Russell Wilson ever has, the team regressed and finished fifth in the AFC West. This game in particular was even uglier than the score indicates, as Seattle was shut out until they finally got a TD pass from Zorn in garbage time to keep from getting goose egged. Coach Jack Patera — who had been with the team since its 1976 inception — lasted one more entire season and part of another before being fired in 1982, which would lead to the hiring of Chuck Knox in 1983... which brings us to our next game.
Seahawks @ Cowboys — W 31-14 — November 27th, 1986 — Box Score
Here we go! Chuck Knox, or “Ground Chuck” as he was sometimes known, revitalized a team that had gone dormant for the previous two seasons and brought them to the brink of a Super Bowl appearance in his first season as head coach. He led the team to a 12-4 record the following year, which would remain as the team’s best regular season record until the Super Bowl bound 2005 team went 13-3. Despite this success, they would miss the playoffs each of the next two seasons — despite finishing 10-6 in 1986, which is the season in which this game took place.
Curt Warner tore it up in ‘86, posting 1,481 yards and 13 touchdowns to go with 342 receiving yards, or 1,823 yards from scrimmage, which was a team record at the time and still ranks fifth in franchise history. And he made his mark in this one, putting up 131 yards and a touchdown on 25 touches. The defense did their part, as Jacob Green planted passer Steve Pelluer and they held the Cowboys to just 14 points, while the Hawks went on a 24-7 scoring run to take a multi-score lead they would never relinquish.
Seahawks @ Cowboys — November 27th, 2008 — Box Score
I hate to admit this, but this was the first Seahawks season where I actually only paid casual attention to the team. I watched the games, but it was hanging out in college dorm rooms with little recollection of much other than the fact that I was over Mike Holmgren at this point. Maybe I was too harsh, but this 4-12 season was the end of his coaching career. As you could have expected, they got blown out by a middling Cowboys team that finished 9-7. Between Seneca Wallace (who I really, really wanted to like), Julius Jones, Deion Branch, and Koren Robinson, this is a team that I am honestly fine mostly forgetting.
Seahawks @ 49ers— W 19-3 — November 27th, 2014 — Box Score
Ah, back in the win column! This game was a personally fun one for me; I had to work a closing shift, and my boss wasn’t hip to shutting down early on Thanksgiving. Didn’t bother me at the time, because I knew we would be slow, I had a massive hi-def TV, and I could just watch the game and occasionally eat the food that neighborhood residents brought me out of pity. Seahawks fandom had hit a fever pitch, and basically everybody wanted to talk football. Despite the low-scoring nature of this game, it was basically over by halftime. Other than a field goal late in the third quarter, Colin Kaepernick and the Niners couldn’t find a way to get on the board. They simply couldn’t overcome their three turnovers (two of which were Richard Sherman interceptions...) and offensive impotence. Factor in a vintage Marshawn Lynch performance, and you have a delicious recipe that the whole family can enjoy...
Holiday football is fun, but it can also be important.T he Seahawks have an opportunity to leave this game with a victory and get up to 3-2 on Thanksgiving — and even more importantly — keep themselves within reach of the division. This isn’t going to be an easy task for a team that is both inconsistent and consistently sloppy. Winning is going to be an uphill battle, but hopefully this team is going to come out not only hungry — but absolutely ravenous as they prepare to make Brock Purdy wish he could fade back into irrelevancy.