WR Stokley grateful for another playoff opportunity
By Michael Simeona, MyNorthwest.com intern
Making big plays in the playoffs is nothing new to WR Brandon Stokley.
As a member of the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, Stokley’s 38-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXV helped seal the Ravens’ first ever Lombardi trophy. But no catch was more memorable to Seahawk fans than his 45-yard touchdown reception (photo above) against the defending champion New Orleans Saints in a game regarded as one of the biggest upsets in playoff history.
“To go out there and beat the defending Super Bowl champions shows a lot about this team and the coaching staff,” Stokley said on Monday’s show. “It was so much fun, I never thought I would have a chance to be back in the playoffs again and to have that opportunity and to win the game – it was a blast.”
The (8-9) Seahawks became the first team in NFL history to win a playoff game with a losing record in their 41-36 win over the Saints. No team has ever been as big of an underdog as the Seahawks, considering no team had ever participated in the post-season with a sub-.500 record.
“You know that’s fine and dandy,” said Stokley about having a team with a losing record in the playoffs. “You can be fired up about that all you want but you have to go out there and play the game for 60 minutes. You have to go out there and execute and play a really good game because you’re going to be playing a very good team, and we were able to do that for four quarters.”
Marshawn Lynch broke eight tackles on his 67-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter that sealed the Saints fate.
“That just shows kind of what we’re all about,” Stokley said. “We got a lot of outcasts over here and we just keep fighting and clawing to the end. It’s a great feeling to have guys like that, that are willing to do whatever it takes to win – not worried about stats or personal achievement. This team is just about getting wins and it’s been a lot of fun.”
Sixty minutes separate the Seahawks from playing in their second ever NFC Championship game when they face the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field this Sunday. The Seahawks have won only two road games all season, but the first came against Chicago in a 23-20 victory on Oct. 17. While the Seahawks may have dominated in their regular season game against Chicago, the playoffs are a new story according to Stokley.
“All that stuff in the regular season – whatever happened, happened, and it doesn’t matter,” he said. “Whoever plays better on Sunday is going to win the game and that’s really the bottom line in the NFL.”