Groz’s Seahawks Division Round Memory: An upset to remember in Miami
The 1983 season was the dawn of a new era in Seattle. The team’s first head coach, Jack Patera, had been fired during the players strike of 1982, and the Seahawks made a splash with their next hire.
Granite-jawed Chuck Knox, a proven winner in Buffalo and Los Angeles, joined a Seahawks team that was brimming with talent but inconsistent as they struggled to a 4-4 record in the first half of the season.
Knox replaced Jim Zorn as quarterback with the 25-year-old Dave Krieg, and Seattle wound up 9-7. For the first time in their history they made the NFL Playoffs, even earning a home game in the first round against the Denver Broncos, who they beat 31-7, but the ride appeared to be over going into the Division Round with a trip to face the defending AFC champion Miami Dolphins.
Knox knew all about the Dolphins, who had beaten his Bills (who he coached from 1978-82) six of the nine times they played. Don Shula’s crew had rookie sensation Dan Marino and the Killer B’s defense, and Miami had rolled to a 12-4 record, losing just one game at home all year. The Seahawks were nearly double-digit underdogs, but this was going to be their day.
Special teams were truly special, blocking an extra point and recovering fumbles on back-to-back kickoffs in the fourth quarter, the second with a minute and a half remaining to seal an improbable 27-21 victory. The Seahawks carried Knox off the field after the win.
The team traveled to Los Angeles the following week to face the Raiders, who they had beaten both times during the regular season, with a Super Bowl bid on the line, but the Seahawks fell 30-16 in their one and only trip to the AFC Championship game.
Still, the Knox era had started off with a bang. It would be nearly 30 years before the Seahawks would win another playoff game on the road.