It was just the third time in NFL history that a team had won a postseason game after trailing by at least 14 points after the first quarter.
On Jan. 6, 2013, the Seahawks traveled to Landover, Md., to take on the Washington Redskins in the opening round of the NFL playoffs. There, they faced Robert Griffin III and a tough defense, who had led their team to a 10-6 record and an NFC East championship.
It was the first time the Redskins had been in the playoffs since January 2008, where they lost in the Wild Card round to…the Seahawks.
The stage was set for a clash of quick offenses, led by a pair of rookie quarterbacks who were each making their postseason debuts.
In the first quarter, the Redskins jumped out to a 14-0 lead and Griffin III became the fifth player in NFL history to throw multiple touchdown passes in the first quarter of his postseason debut, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Seattle’s first quarter, on the other hand, was forgettable. The offense gained nine total yards on seven plays. It looked like it might be a long night and a tough way to end the season for the visiting Seahawks.
But then, the tides changed.
The Seahawks scored 13 points in the second and 11 in the fourth to take a 24-14 lead in a game they would go on to win by the same score. The offense earned 371 total yards in the last three quarters of the game while the defense kept Washington’s offense out of Seahawks territory for the remainder of their possessions.
Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson completed 15 of his 26 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown while Marshawn Lynch rushed for 132 yards and a TD on 20 carries.
The win marked a new era of anticipation for the Seahawks faithful. It proved to us that Russell Wilson was the Man, reminded us that Marshawn Lynch is a Beast and reassured us that an 11-5 regular season from the Hawks was no fluke — it was a sign of good things to come.
Richard Sherman spoke to reporters after the game, confident of the group of guys who would soon be heading to the Divisional round:
“Despite the fact that we have a ‘nobody’ team,’…a team not full of first-rounders and things like that, we have a lot of guys that play at a high level.”
The Divisional round didn’t go quite as planned. After falling behind 20-0 to the Atlanta Falcons, the Seahawks staged a furious comeback and took a 28-27 lead with 31 seconds left in the game, but a late field goal by the Falcons sent the Seahawks home, frustrated by a 30-28 loss.
The Seahawks, as frustrated as they were, did not let it spill over into the next season. They learned from their mistakes instead of grieving over what could have been.
Now, a year later, the Seahawks have only gotten better.
Their 13-regular season wins matched the most in franchise history. They are the No. 1 seed in the NFC and earned the right to relax this week while they prepare for the New Orleans Saints to come to CenturyLink Field on Saturday.
The team sent six players to the Pro Bowl and are considered by some to be Super Bowl favorites.
An underdog team literally one year ago has turned into the top-dog team one year later. The Seahawks are no longer a “nobody” team, they are a somebody team.
Funny how much things can change in a year.