Quietly unnoticed when the Seahawks beat Minnesota 41-20 last Sunday is the fact that it marked the earliest they have ever won their 10th game.
Not that it’s a real big list to begin with. Seattle is 10-1, only the seventh time in the franchise’s 38 years it has won 10 or more games.
Previously, the earliest team to get to 10 victories was the 1984 team, which finished 12-4 and won its 10th game on Nov. 18 — a day later than the team this year. The Super Bowl team of 2005 didn’t win its 10th game until Dec. 5.
The Seahawks were the first team in the NFL this season to get to 10 victories.
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So in honor of all of that, I thought I’d take a minute during this bye week to review the 10 wins so far, picking a key play from each game — 10 for 10, if you will.
Sept. 8: Seahawks 12, Carolina 7
Key play: The Panthers appeared on the verge of a go-ahead score when DeAngelo Williams raced 24 yards to the 8-yard line. But as he got there, he was hit by Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, the latter punching the ball out, where it was recovered by Tony McDaniel with 5:25 left. Seattle ran out the rest of the game on offense, getting a win that looks a lot better with each Carolina victory.
Sept. 15: Seahawks 29, San Francisco 3
Key play: In a game billed as an early battle for supremacy in the NFC, it was Seattle’s defense that ruled the night, holding the 49ers to just 207 yards. Typifying the affair — and salting away the victory — Sherman leapt high in the fourth quarter to pick off a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Vernon Davis, who had just three catches for a measly 20 yards. Afterward, Sherman famously danced with Seattle’s cheerleaders.
Sept. 22: Seahawks 45, Jacksonville 17
Key play: A week that began with questions about the efficiency of Seattle’s pass offense ended with a season-high five touchdown passes, none prettier than when Sidney Rice waved his hand to get Russell Wilson’s attention, then leapt to steal the ball away from two defenders for a touchdown that made it 31-0 early in the third.
Sept. 29: Seahawks 23, Houston 20 (OT)
Key play: Seattle trailed 20-3 at halftime. No matter, Seattle’s defense stiffened in the second half to make it a game, and the Seahawks forced overtime when Sherman picked off a Matt Schaub pass and returned it 58 yards for a touchdown with 2:40 left in regulation. From there, it seemed inevitable the Seahawks would win.
Oct. 13: Seahawks 20, Tennessee 13
Key play: Seattle was locked in more of a struggle than anticipated when Marshawn Lynch took a short pass from Wilson and turned it into a 55-yard gain to set up a go-ahead field goal with 11:23 to play. It is the second-longest offensive play of the season for Seattle.
Oct. 18: Seahawks 34, Arizona 22
Key play: The Cardinals’ final point total doesn’t do justice to the way the Seattle defense dominated the game. The defense put the game away late in the third quarter when Brandon Browner picked off a Carson Palmer pass and headed to daylight — only to fall victim to a phantom tackler as he tripped and then fell at the 1-yard-line. Lynch scored two plays later, and Browner was fined $100 by his fellow Legion of Boom members for being tackled by air.
Oct. 28: Seahawks 14, St. Louis 9
Key play: Seattle gained just 135 yards in a much-tougher-than-expected victory over the Rams. Eighty came on one play — a Wilson pass that Golden Tate stole away from Janoris Jenkins, then ran the rest of the way into the end zone. Tate infamously held the ball out along the way, getting a penalty and a $7,875 fine from the NFL.
Nov. 3: Seahawks 27, Tampa Bay 24
Key play: Tate again came up big in another tougher-than-expected win, returning a punt from his own 4 and juking and weaving his way 71 yards to the Tampa Bay 25. That led to a field goal that cut the lead to 24-17 early in the fourth quarter and turned the momentum for good.
Nov. 10: Seahawks 33, Atlanta 10
Key play: Any semblance of this being a game ended when the Seahawks pulled off one of their few trick plays of the season — a flea-flicker in which Wilson handed off to Lynch, who then began to run toward the line of scrimmage before stopping and throwing back to Wilson. The Seahawks quarterback then heaved the ball to Jermaine Kearse, who caught it falling down in the end zone to complete a 43-yard touchdown. The play put Seattle ahead 13-3 late in the second quarter.
Nov. 17: Seahawks 41, Minnesota 20
Key play: Seattle fans waited 10 games for Percy Harvin to take the field. They didn’t need to wait long to see him make an impact, as he leapt to make a one-handed, juggling catch of a Wilson pass to convert a third-and-10 midway through the second quarter to lead to a go-ahead touchdown. Or did you prefer his 58-yard kickoff return a few minutes later better?
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com