Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll never gave off the impression of disbelief, despite watching his team pull off an unbelievable upset of the defending champion New Orleans Saints, 41-36, at Qwest Field in Seattle on Jan. 8.

Seattle staggered to a 7-9 record in the regular season, and their win marked the first time a team with a losing record has won a playoff game.

The Saints jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead before Seattle launched a six-play, 57-yard drive to score their first touchdown of the game. After New Orleans pushed the lead to 17-7 at the top of the second quarter, Seattle took over, outscoring the Saints 27-3 over the next two quarters to take a two-touchdown lead into the fourth quarter.

New Orleans appeared to retake the momentum until Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch reeled off a chaotic 67-yard run to put Seattle up 41-30 with 3:22 remaining to play.

Lynch shrugged off eight defenders on the run, sending the home crowd into a frenzy. New Orleans struck again with another late touchdown but their two-point conversion attempt and onsides kick both failed.

With a regular season record that included six losses, Seattle’s Carroll said after the game that he is unconcerned about the outcome of the Jan. 9 Green Bay Packers-Philadelphia Eagles wild-card game determining his team’s next opponent.

“No, I couldn’t care less,” he said after the improbable win. “I don’t even know the scenarios….And it doesn’t matter. I just know that we show up on Monday and we’ll figure out where we’re going.”


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO