Source: Inside the Seahawks, Vol. 1, Number 10, October 10,1986 - October 16, 1986|
This Week in Seahawk History
Sunday, December 3, 1978
It was the first time the Seahawks had a real shot at the play-offs. Earlier in the year, nobody but Seattle fans could be called believers. But this was week 14 of the 1978 season and the third year "expansion team" made the entire nation believe ... especially the Cleveland Browns.
On this particular Sunday, December 3, 1978, just about everything went right for the Hawks. A young and exciting Jim Zom riddled the Cleveland secondary for 219 yards on 15 of 24 passing and one touchdown. His effort was complemented by a host of others that day.
NFL scoring leader David Sims had three touchdowns for the day on a 91 yard rushing effort and Sherman Smith added another TD and 87yards. Then there was wide receiver Steve Largent, who turned in his usual outstanding afternoon with 8 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown. And the crowd-pleasing new place kicker Efren Herrera had another perfect day between the uprights.
The first quarter saw Zom engineer 67 and 77 yard drives with 5 for 5 passing and touchdowns by Smith and Sims. Shortly after the start of the second quarter, Seattle had 250 total yards and a 23-0 lead. However, Cleveland got busy before the half, and cut the margin to 23-10 on a 7yard Brian Sipe pass to Dave Logan and a 40 yard field goal by Don Cockroft. This thirteen point margin was as close as they ever got.
On the negative side, Seattle's only healthy center, Art Kuehn was left injured in the first quarter and guard Tom Lynch was forced to snap the ball. Lynch was chosen because he was the only player who had some experience at center. . . his sophomore year of high school.
The defense also rose to the occasion. They recovered 3 Brown fumbles, 2 by Bill Gregory, and intercepted Sipe three times, on for a 40 yard run back, resulting in a touchdown by rookie Keith Simpson.
Although the Browns' Sipe threw for 250 yards, and Greg Pruitt had a 100 yard plus game, it just wasn't enough.
As the final moments came to pass, the Kingdome scoreboard read Seahawks 47 — Browns 24, and some 62,000 football-crazy Seahawks fans chanted "Play-offs Play-offs Play-offs ... "" The 8-6 "expansion team" was a contender to be treated with respect.