Much like last Saturday’s article, today I will be taking a look back at the best games from the all-time series between the Steelers and their upcoming opponent. This week’s foe happens to be the N.F.L.’s equivalent of the Seattle Mariners. Why the Mariners comparison besides the obvious Seattle similarity? Well here is my reasoning. Maybe once and a while, the Seahawks will put a good team together, but usually 8 out of every 10 years they are mediocre at best and simply irrelevant outside of their own market/rest of the country, just like the Mariners. Yet despite their differences as franchises, Seattle and Pittsburgh have played some pretty exciting and competitive games against each other over the years. So without further ado, hit the “More” button as I delve into the top five games between the Steelers and the Seahawks:
October 23, 1983
Comeback Falls Short and Dave Krieg Wins the Job
Steelers 27 – Seahawks 21
In a game that featured two of the A.F.C.’s five playoff representatives, the 5-2 Steelers and the 4-3 Seahawks clashed in a game that featured an almost fantastic 2nd Half comeback by Seattle at the Kingdome. Also, Franco Harris had one of his last great games of his career in the N.F.L. And finally, this would be the last time that Jim Zorn would be considered the starting QB for the Seattle Seahawks.
The 1st Half belonged to the Steelers, plain and simple. Relying on their stellar running game they had to that point in the season due to Cliff Stoudt filling in a QB for an injured Terry Bradshaw, the Steelers illustrated their strength on the ground. The 1st Quarter saw Franco Harris scoring on a 9 yard TD run with the Steelers controlling the ball. By the middle of the 2nd Quarter, the game appeared to be a blowout of epic proportions as the Steeler Offense was able to take advantage of Seattle’s inability to stop them.
Pittsburgh was able to score 17 points in the 2nd Quarter on a Gary Anderson 20 yard Field Goal and two TD runs, one by Stoudt and the other by Frank Pollard. The Defense also played stoutly that day and Keith Willis led the way with 3.5 sacks. Franco put up 135 yards rushing and proved that even in his final season with the Steelers, he still had a little bit left in the tank. At 24-0 with the running game going, and with Seattle’s QB Jim Zorn being replaced backup Dave Krieg, the Steelers appeared to be content to simply relax and ride their record to 6-2. It was certainly no shocker that the Seahawks would go with Krieg after Zorn had a dismal 1st Half which saw him go 1-8 for 2 yards and was picked off by Dwayne Woodruff. Luckily for Seattle, Dave Kreig and the Seahawks weren’t going to go down without a fight.
Taking advantage of the lax play by the Steelers, Seattle responded in the 2nd Half by trying to mount a miraculous comeback. They managed to cut the lead to 24-7 after a Curt Warner 1 yard TD run in the 3rd Quarter. Then Seattle had cut the lead to 24-14 with a Steve Largent 24 yard TD catch from Dave Krieg. Up only 10 points, the Steelers needed some insurance. Luckily for them that’s exactly what they got when they mounted a nice drive into Field Goal range that set up a 32 yard Field Goal attempt by Gary Anderson who drilled it through to put the Steelers up 27-14. Seattle simply would not go away and Krieg eventually led the Seahawks to another TD late in the 4th Quarter on a 26 yard TD pass to Paul Johns to make the score 27-21. Unfortunately for the Seahawks they simply ran out of time and the Steelers won by the 6 point margin.
What would have happened if Krieg had started the game we will never know, but his 13 for 20 for 214 yards and 2 TD performance won him the starting job that day over Jim Zorn and the Seahawks rode Krieg’s success all the way to Seattle’s 1st playoff appearance in team history, and finally to the A.F.C. Championship game where they fell to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Oakland Raiders. The Steelers managed to finish 10-6, but 1983 and 1984 really signaled the end of the 1970’s dynasty with all of the players finally retiring due to injury and falling short in the playoffs. Bradshaw, Harris, Blount, Stallworth, etc. all neared the end or finished their careers during those years and the run of success was over until really Cowher took over in 1992.