A Brief Look at the Playoff History of the Seattle Seahawks

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A Brief Look at the Playoff History of the Seattle Seahawks
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks are off this week. While four NFC teams are battling for their playoff lives, the Seahawks will be sitting at home and waiting. Seattle's playoff run doesn't begin this week, so the team is waiting to see which of those four teams will be traveling to CenturyLink Field next week. 

The Seahawks have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs this season. It provides them an opportunity to add a significant moment to their playoff history. It also provides time for a quick walk down memory lane for fans of the team.

Here is a brief look at the playoff history of the Seahawks:

 

An Abbreviated History

The Seahawks came into the league in 1976, and it would be seven years before they would get their first taste of the postseason. Led by head coach Chuck Knox and rookie running back Curt Warner, the Seahawks earned a wild-card spot in 1983.

A win over the Denver Broncos at home followed by a road win over the Miami Dolphins put the Seahawks into the AFC Championship Game, but a blowout loss in Los Angeles to the Raiders brought the end to Seattle's inaugural trip to the playoffs.

The following season, the Seahawks were able to get revenge on the Raiders in the Wild Card Round, but it would be the franchise's last playoff win for over 20 years.

The Seahawks would have a pair of one-and-done playoff years under Knox before the dismal '90s rolled around, bringing with them a nasty playoff drought. Seattle's only playoff team that decade was in 1999, which was Mike Holmgren's first year as the franchise's head coach. 

It would be six more years and two more playoff losses before Holmgren's Seahawks would finally win a playoff game. That would be in 2005, when the Seahawks would dominate two playoff games on their way to their first and only Super Bowl appearance. 

In the seven years following the Super Bowl, the Seahawks made the playoffs four times. They've managed to win one playoff game in each of those four appearances. 

 

An Overall Look

A long history of one-and-done playoff appearances, coupled with a nine-year playoff drought, leaves Seattle with a rather unimpressive looking history in playoff games. The 'Hawks have nine wins versus 12 playoff losses, and they have been outscored 473-482 in those games. 

Seattle has been to only one Super Bowl and has never won a championship. 

Seattle's Playoff History At A Glance
Category Result Notes
Overall Record 9-12
One-and-Done Years 5 87, 88, 99, 03, and 04
Years With 1 Playoff Win 5 84, 06, 07, 10, and 12
Years With 2+ Playoff Wins 2 1983 and 2005
Biggest Playoff Drought 9 years 1989-1998
Most Consecutive Playoff App. 5 2003-2007
Biggest Win 24 points 31-7 in over Denver in 1983
Biggest Loss 22 point 42-20 loss to Green Bay in 2007

Pro Football Reference

 

Impressive At Home

While Seattle's overall playoff history might be unimpressive, the team's home record has been very good. The Seahawks have an impressive 7-2 record in home playoff games. Interestingly, both home losses came during the Mike Holmgren years.

In 1999, the team jumped out to an 8-2 record to start the year but collapsed down the stretch. The Seahawks finished just 9-7 on the year, but that was good enough to win the AFC West that season. An opening round loss to the Dolphins surprised no one, and Holmgren began rebuilding the roster that offseason. 

The other home loss came at the end of the ill-fated 2004 season. The Seahawks won the NFC West with a 9-7 record but lost both regular-season meetings against the 8-8 St. Louis Rams.

The Rams snuck into the playoff as a Wild Card team and ended up playing in Seattle in the opening round of the playoffs. They also managed to beat the Seahawks for the third time that year. 

Seahawks Home Playoff History
Year W/L Opponent Score Notes
1983 W Denver Broncos 31-7 Franchise's First Playoff Game
1984 W Los Angles Raiders 13-7
1999 L Miami Dolphins 17-20 Mike Holmgren's First season
2004 L St. Louis Rams 20-27 Third Loss to the Rams that Season
2005 W Washington 20-10
2005 W Carolina Panthers 34-14
2006 W Dallas Cowboys 21-20 Tony Romo's Botched FG Hold
2007 W Washington 35-14
2010 W New Orleans Saints 41-36 Beast-Quake Game

Pro Football Reference

 

Success Under Pete Carroll

This season is the third time in four years under head coach Pete Carroll that the Seahawks have made the playoffs. It will also be the third time that they've played in the divisional round. 

Even in 2010, when the 7-9 Seahawks managed to win a genuinely awful NFC West, Seattle was able to pick up a win in the Wild Card Round. The 'Hawks beat an 11-5 Saints squad that also happened to be the defending Super Bowl champions.

After one long Marshawn Lynch touchdown, the fans at CenturyLink Field were so excited that they triggered a small earthquake to be measured across town at the University of Washington. The Saints were able to make the game close at the end, but the Seahawks prevailed 41-36.

Last season, the Seahawks had to head out on the road in the Wild Card Round. Seattle overcame a slow start and came away with a relatively easy 24-14 win over Washington. 

This year, the Seahawks don't need a playoff win to qualify for the divisional round. By securing the No. 1 seed, Seattle has a first-round bye. The Seahawks are just two wins away from a trip to New York for the Super Bowl. 

Seattle now has a chance to add a whole new chapter to the playoff history. 

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