The Seattle Seahawks were at 6-6 and fighting to remain in contention for a playoff spot as they hosted the Kansas City Chiefs on November 27, 1983. In their first season under Head Coach Chuck Knox, there was a star on offense in rookie RB Curt Warner (pictured above), which was a help to inexperienced QB Dave Krieg, who took the place of long-time starting QB Jim Zorn. WR Steve Largent provided a steady veteran target for Krieg’s passes. The defense had some excellent players in FS Ken Easley and DE Jacob Green, but by and large the unit was not a strong one and gave up too many points.
The Chiefs, who had not been to the postseason in twelve years, also had a new head coach in John Mackovic. The result had seen Kansas City become a pass-oriented club with QB Bill Kenney throwing to a group of wide receivers led by Carlos Carson. However, the tragic drowning death of RB Joe Delaney just prior to training camp left a void in the ground attack. The Chiefs were struggling at 5-7.
Attendance at Seattle’s Kingdome was 56,793. The Chiefs had the game’s first possession and drove 80 yards in nine plays. RB Theotis Brown ran effectively to start things off and RB Ken Thomas took a pitchout and gained 28 yards down the right sideline to the Seattle 33. Three plays netted another six yards before WR Carlos Carson ran for 18 yards on a reverse and, two plays after that, Bill Kenney passed to WR Henry Marshall for 11 yards and a touchdown. Nick Lowery added the extra point.
The teams traded punts before the Seahawks put together a scoring series. Curt Warner ran for a 28-yard TD that capped a methodical 66-yard possession and Norm Johnson tied the score with a successful PAT.
Kansas City was driving into Seattle territory as the first quarter came to an end. Kenney completed three passes for 43 yards and a defensive holding penalty helped the Chiefs out of a second-and-17 jam. Three plays into the second quarter, Kenney threw to WR Stephone Paige for a 17-yard touchdown. Lowery’s successful conversion again made it a seven-point game.
The Seahawks came right back as Warner ran for 25 yards on the next play from scrimmage. Keeping the ball on the ground, Seattle advanced to the KC 30 before Johnson attempted a 49-yard field goal. The kick sailed wide to the left.
Following a punt by the Chiefs, the Seahawks moved backward on their next possession as Krieg was sacked for a loss of 11 yards and an illegal use of hands penalty took the ball back to the Seattle seven. Krieg fumbled while attempting to hand off and DE Mike Bell recovered for the Chiefs at the one yard line. From there, Kenney ran the ball in for a touchdown and the visitors were up by a score of 21-7.
The Seahawks came back with a five-play, 67-yard drive. Krieg (pictured at right) threw to Steve Largent for 24 yards and had back-to-back 18-yard completions to WR Byron Walker, the second of which was good for a TD. Johnson’s extra point narrowed Kansas City’s margin to 21-14.
The Chiefs had to punt with just over a minute remaining in the first half, but got the ball right back when CB Albert Lewis intercepted a Krieg throw and returned it 34 yards to the Seattle 13. Two plays later, Brown ran 13 yards for a touchdown and, with the successful conversion, the Chiefs were ahead by 28-14 at the half.
The Seahawks had the ball first in the third quarter and punted, but they regained possession when Thomas fumbled after catching a short pass and CB Dave Brown recovered for Seattle. It didn’t look like the home team would capitalize when Krieg was sacked and then threw an incomplete pass, but facing third-and-17 he completed a throw over the middle to FB Dan Doornink that went the distance for a 27-yard TD. Johnson added the extra point to again make it a seven-point game.
Seattle got the ball back on the ensuing kickoff when WR Anthony Hancock fumbled when hit by RB Eric Lane and safety Paul Moyer recovered at the Kansas City 18. Four plays later, Warner reached the end zone from a yard out and Johnson’s extra point tied the score at 28-28.
The Chiefs again punted following their next series and, following a 16-yard return by WR Paul Johns, the Seahawks had good starting field position at their own 46. Krieg threw to Largent for 24 yards and the drive reached the KC 25 before stalling. Johnson kicked a 42-yard field goal and Seattle was in the lead at 31-28.
The Chiefs, quiet thus far during the period, responded with a 10-play, 76-yard possession. Thomas started things off with a 14-yard run and Kenney converted a third-and-seven situation with a completion to Marshall for 17 yards. Another Kenney pass, this time to Carson, picked up 28 yards to the Seattle seven and, three plays later, Kenney kept the ball himself on a quarterback sneak for a one-yard touchdown. Lowery added the extra point and the Chiefs were back in front by 35-31.
The Seahawks were driving as the game headed into the fourth quarter, with Krieg having completed a third-and-17 pass to WR Byron Walker for 26 yards to the Kansas City 45. But after short passes complemented by Warner runs got the ball to the KC eight, Krieg fumbled while being sacked by NT Dino Mangiero, who recovered the ball and ran 32 yards to the Kansas City 45. Kenney immediately went to Carson for a gain of 35 yards and, two plays later, he passed to Carson again for an 18-yard touchdown. With Lowery’s conversion, the Chiefs extended their lead to 42-31 with 10:54 left to play in regulation.
Back came the Seahawks, who drove 69 yards in eight plays. Krieg passed to TE Charle Young for 18 yards and, following a run by Warner for seven yards, Johns gained 26 yards on an end-around. The series stalled at the KC 12, but on fourth-and-four Largent took the ball on an end-around and threw it back to Krieg, who gained 11 yards to the one. From there, Warner ran for a TD and, adding the extra point, it was a four-point game.
The Chiefs went three-and-out on their next possession and punted. Taking over at the KC 40, the Seahawks again put together a scoring drive over the course of eight plays. Warner, who had already set a franchise single-game rushing record, added to the total with 15 yards on three attempts and Krieg completed a nine-yard throw to Young. However, two incomplete passes had Seattle facing a fourth-and-six situation at the 14 yard line. Krieg connected with Johns in the end zone for a touchdown and, with the clock down to 2:15, the Seahawks were in the lead by 45-42.
The Chiefs went exclusively to the air in a series that started from their own 20. Facing third-and-four, Kenney passed to Paige for 29 yards and then followed up with a completion to Carson for 24 yards to the Seattle 21. Another pass intended for Carson fell incomplete but Kenney then threw for Theotis Brown in the left corner of the end zone for a 21-yard TD. Lowery’s extra point attempt was no good, but Kansas City was in front by 48-45.
The Seahawks had 1:26 to work with –and thanks to the missed extra point, only a three-point deficit to deal with – as they took possession at their own 17. Krieg passed to Doornink for 18 yards, but two incomplete throws had them facing third-and-ten. Doornink caught another pass for 11 yards and a first down and, two plays later, Krieg connected with Jackson for a 29-yard gain to the KC 25. Two passes into the end zone were incomplete, but Johnson kicked a 42-yard field goal to send the game into overtime at 48-48.
The Seahawks received the kickoff for OT and RB Zachary Dixon returned it 47 yards to the Kansas City 48 yard line. Warner ran the ball three times, the first for a 17-yard gain, and Johnson again came through with a 42-yard field goal to give Seattle a 51-48 win at 1:34 into the extra period. The 99 points were the third most scored in a game in NFL history up to that time.
In a game with plenty of offense on both sides, the Seahawks outgained Kansas City (531 yard to 431), with 280 yards of that total coming on the ground. The teams combined for a league record with 59 first downs (broken many times since), with Seattle again having the edge (33 to 26). The Seahawks turned the ball over three times, to two suffered by the Chiefs, and KC registered six sacks, to one for Seattle.
Curt Warner had the biggest performance on offense for the Seahawks, rushing for 207 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries. Dave Krieg completed 16 of 31 passes for 280 yards and three TDs with one interception, as well as two fumbles. Byron Walker and Steve Largent each had four catches, for 75 and 66 yards, respectively, and Walker also scored a touchdown while Largent had the one pass completion. Zachary Dixon did his part on kickoff returns as he averaged 27.4 yards on five runbacks.
For the Chiefs, Bill Kenney was successful on 21 of 38 throws for 311 yards and four touchdowns while giving up no interceptions. He also ran for two short TDs. Carlos Carson (pictured at right) had 7 pass receptions for 149 yards and a score and Henry Marshall contributed 5 catches for 59 yards and a touchdown. Theotis Brown ran for 56 yards on 13 attempts that included a TD plus caught two passes for 27 yards and another score. Ken Thomas added 44 yards on 8 carries and gained another 22 yards on three receptions.
The win kept the Seahawks alive for a playoff spot and they won two of their last three games to finish at 9-7, which was good enough for second place in the AFC West and a Wild Card berth. It was the franchise’s first appearance in the postseason and the Seahawks made the most of it by winning two contests and advancing all the way to the AFC Championship game before succumbing to the Raiders. Kansas City ended up at the bottom of the division with a 6-10 record.
Curt Warner led the AFC in rushing with 1449 yards on 335 carries (4.3 avg.). He also caught 42 passes for another 325 yards and scored a total of 14 touchdowns. He was chosen to the Pro Bowl and received AFC Rookie of the Year honors from UPI.
Bill Kenney topped the NFL in pass attempts (603) and completions (346) and paced the AFC with 4348 passing yards. He had 24 TD passes as opposed to 18 interceptions and was also named to the Pro Bowl. Carlos Carson had a breakout season that consisted of 80 catches for 1351 yards (16.9 avg.) and seven touchdowns.