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Groz’s Week 8 Seahawks Memory: Holmgren’s blowout Green Bay return

Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren and QB Jon Kitna in 1999. (Getty - Elsa Hasch/Allsport)

It was Jan. 8, 1999, and the Seahawks were making big news.

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After winning a Super Bowl in Green Bay, the first since Vince Lombardi 29 years earlier, Mike Holmgren was coming to Seattle as vice president and head coach of the Seahawks. Everyone knew Week 8 was going to be big – that’s when Holmgren would return to Green Bay on a cold Monday night with his new team.

Well, it was big. The city had renamed the road to the stadium Mike Holmgren Way, and grateful Packers fans gave him a thunderous ovation.

Both teams were 4-2, but this was Lambeau Field, where the Packers had won 33 of their last 34 games.

The night belonged to the Seahawks’ defense, however. Cortez Kennedy had a vintage performance with three sacks and a forced fumble, and the defense picked off Brett Favre four times, only the second time that had happened. Shawn Springs returned a blocked punt for a TD and Ricky Watters ran for 125 yards as Seattle won easily 27-7. In fact, Favre was benched, and backup Matt Hasselbeck played most of the fourth quarter against his soon-to-be teammates.

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Afterwards, Holmgren admitted it wasn’t just another game, that he had butterflies going out the tunnel and was glad to be going back to Seattle with a win. The Seahawks would rip off four more wins to get to 8-2, then lose four of five before falling to Miami and Dan Marino in the playoffs. The Pack would finish 8-8.

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