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play the worst game in Kingdome (and National Football League) history on
November 4, 1979.
By Glenn Drosendahl,
June 21, 2000
November 4, 1979, the Seahawks play the worst game in Kingdome (and
National Football League) history.
The whole idea in football is to gain
yardage. The teams take turns running or passing the ball toward a goal
line and it usually works, at least a little. But not in this game, not
for the Seattle Seahawks.
Playing against the Los Angeles Rams in
the Kingdome, the Seahawks were stunningly inept. They set a National
Football League record for futility that might never be broken. They
gained no yards. In fact, they LOST yards.
How Did This Happen?
could have seen this coming. The Seahawks were a relatively new NFL team,
playing in only their fourth season, but they seemed to be on the rise.
The previous Monday night they had scored their biggest victory. Using
trick plays and improvisation by their scrambling quarterback, Jim Zorn,
the Seahawks came from behind to beat the Atlanta Falcons 31-28. The
national television audience couldn't help but be entertained by the
plucky underdogs from the Northwest.
The Rams, meanwhile, had lost three
straight games and would be playing before a hostile crowd in
No First Downs, No Yards, No Nothing
The Seahawks simply could not move the
ball. At halftime the Rams had a 21-0 lead and the Seahawks had no first
downs, meaning they weren't able to gain 10 yards in any four-play
sequence. The crowd of 62,048 was getting restless and surly.
The Seahawks' first play of the second
half was a completed pass from Zorn to Steve Largent, the future Pro
Football Hall of Fame receiver and Congressman from
They couldn't. When time ran out, mercifully, the Rams had a 24-0 victory and the Seahawks had minus-seven yards. It truly was a sub-zero performance, worst by two yards in the league's 57-year history, a stinker for the ages.
Seahawks stumble out of the gate losing 4 of their first 5 games. The
Seahawks would recover in time to score a 31-28 comeback win over the
Falcons in Atlanta in their first Monday Night Appearance. However a week
later they would suffer their most humiliating loss at the Kingdome where
they put up negative yardage in a 24-0 loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The
Seahawks would bounce back to win 5 of their final 6 to finish with a 9-7
record for the 2nd year in a row.
What I recall is the opening kick-off
by the Rams, 4 huge down-linemen, hand-in-hand running down the field
abreast of one another screaming at the Seahawks as they charged.
Leading the way in front of all the other Ram players I never saw
anything like it before or ever again.
When the day was over, we had minus 7 yards. However
they would go to