Groz’s 2005 Seahawks Rewind: Defense saves the day in Week 2
With Mike Holmgren and Matt Hasselbeck going into the Seahawks Ring of Honor this year, we look back at their finest hour: the 2005 Super Bowl season.
Home openers are always special for the Seahawks and their fans, but it’s hard to remember a more important one than the 2005 opener.
The Hawks were already 0-1, and in a year where so much was expected, an 0-2 hole would have been challenging to say the least. Just to make things a little more difficult, they would be facing a second straight 2004 division winner in Michael Vick’s Atlanta Falcons, who had made it to the conference championship game the year before.
On this day, the defense – which had seven new starters – saved the day.
At first all seemed well as the Hawks dashed off to a 21-0 halftime lead, outgaining the Falcons 219 yards to 13 in the second quarter alone. But it all dried up in the second half as the Falcons came remorselessly on. Suddenly Atlanta had the ball on their own 27-yard line with 2:39 left trailing by three points. And despite a 144-yard day from running back Shaun Alexander, the Seahawks were left to hope their defense could come up with a game-saving stop.
One of the biggest additions to the defense was a product of Renton and Seattle Prep who the Seahawks had poached from the division rival St. Louis Rams. Defensive end Bryce Fisher made a key stop on Vick to thwart the Falcons’ drive – actually, as Fisher said after the game, he “fell” on Vick, who had lost his footing.
The Falcons were stopped and the Seahawks had a badly-needed 21-18 win in a game that should not have been as close as was.
Seattle was dominant on offense, and it was clear that Alexander behind future Hall of Famers Steve Hutchinson and Walter Jones was going to be something special. It was the first time in a while the Hawks had some good things happening on defense. They had survived Atlanta. Up next was a division rival: Denny Green’s Arizona Cardinals.