Two teams of West woe

  • SCOTT M. JOHNSON / Herald Writer
  • Saturday, November 4, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports


Herald Writer

SEATTLE – More than 50,000 motorists are expected to slow down and take a peek at the car crash going on at Husky Stadium this afternoon, further proof that even the most gruesome displays can draw a crowd.

When the Seattle Seahawks (2-7) and San Diego Chargers (0-8) square off, the only thing at stake is a one-week reprieve from yearlong embarrassment. This game is the NFL equivalent of the Clippers vs. the Mavericks. It’s like a boxing match between Dennis Miller and Howard Cosell.

“We’re struggling, they’re struggling,” Seahawks wide receiver Sean Dawkins said. “They’re trying to find their first win, and we’re trying to find a win we haven’t had in a long time.

“It’s definitely a motivation to play real good ball and not be the first team to give them a win. I feel sorry for them because I’ve been through something like that. I know what it feels like. But I don’t want to give them their first win.”

For San Diego, the pressure is mounting. After this game, the Chargers face Miami and Kansas City on the road, with a game at Denver in between. There is the very real possibility that San Diego could go 0-12 if it doesn’t win today.

“Any week would be a good one to get a win,” San Diego quarterback Jim Harbaugh said. “We know (the Seahawks) are capable of beating us because they’ve already beat us.” Harbaugh paused and chuckled before adding, “We’re not taking anybody lightly.”

With a five-game losing streak of their own, the Seahawks also promise not to look past the struggling Chargers.

“It’s not like we’re 9-0 playing an 0-8 team,” Seattle offensive lineman Pete Kendall said. “We can’t afford to put any extra pressure on ourselves.”

Surprisingly, a game between two teams struggling this badly hasn’t been played in Seattle for a while. Five years ago today, the 2-6 Seahawks and 3-5 New York Giants faced off in a battle of sinking teams that appeared to be destined to finish in their respective cellars. Seattle won that game 30-28 and went on to go 6-2 over the second half of the year.

Defensive end Michael Sinclair, one of only five current Seahawks who were on that ‘95 team, can look back on that season for motivation. While some outsiders have questioned whether Seattle veterans are playing out the string, he hasn’t given up on 2000.

“I don’t think anybody’s throwing in the towel or waving the white flag,” Sinclair said. “That ‘Let’s just play for pride,’ I never could understand that. That’s high school; Pop Warner. Play for pride?”

For further inspiration, some Seahawks are looking back no further than 1999.

“It reminds me of last season when the Jets were down,” Dawkins said, referring to a 1-6 start by New York before finishing with an 8-8 record. “They were winning, then Vinny (Testaverde) went down. (Ray) Lucas came in and then the last six games they just won. It’s good morale going into the next year. I want to try to do something like that.”

Getting a victory today isn’t as easy as it might sound, and not just because the Seahawks have played so poorly themselves. For all of the Chargers’ offensive problems, San Diego still boasts one of the league’s best defenses – especially against the run.

That means Seattle’s defense will need to play like it did in an earlier meeting this season, when the Chargers were held to four field goals in a 20-12 Seahawks victory.

“They’re not a team that’s going to give up 14, 17 points,” Kendall said. “You’ve got to go in there thinking that if you get 20 like we did last time, you’re going to feel good about that. They’ve got a tough defense.”

The Chargers don’t always play like an 0-8 team. And a few breaks have also kept the Seahawks from being a .500 team. But this afternoon, the two wounded teams will try to put one another out of their misery.

“There’s just that extra oomph that we’re not giving to get over the hump and win the game,” Dawkins said. “We’re not two bad teams, I don’t think. We don’t have that tradition of Cincinnati or something like that. It’s just a down year.”

Or two down years. The kind that might make some motorists cringe.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Everett players celebrate during a Class 3A District 1 softball championship game between Snohomish and Everett at Phil Johnson Fields in Everett, Washington on Thursday, May 16, 2024. Everett won, 10-0. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett softball upsets Snohomish for district championship

Freshman Mia Hoekendorf leads the way as the Seagulls defeat the top-seeded Panthers 10-0.

The members of the Snohomish High School boys golf team (from left to right): Cade Strickland, Tyson Olds, Palmer Mutcheson, Hudson Capelli, Drew Hanson and Jackson Dammann. (Photo courtesy of Mark Myers Photography)
Senior-led Snohomish takes aim at state boys golf

Five of the six Panthers who will play at state are seniors who attended elementary school together.

Prep roundup for Thursday, May 16

Prep roundup for Thursday, May 16: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Snohomish's Hannah Wells, right, celebrates during a Class 3A District 1 girls tennis tournament at Snohomish High School in Snohomish, Washington on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Shorewood girls tennis claims third straight district trophy

Rylie Gettmann leads the way for the Stormrays, winning her third district singles championship.

Everett Community College’s women’s soccer team won the 2014 Northwest Athletic Conference championship. (Photo courtesy of Everett Community College)
EvCC announces its 2024 Hall of Fame induction class

Men’s gymnastics, 2014 women’s soccer team headline this year’s class.

Everett AquaSox pitcher Tyler Cleveland is presented with his 2023 Rawlings Gold Glove Award prior to Everett’s game against the Eugene Emeralds on Wednesday at Funko Field. (Photo courtesy of the Everett AquaSox)
AquaSox pitcher Tyler Cleveland presented with Gold Glove

Cleveland was honored for his defensive prowess with Modesto during the 2023 season.

Four prime-time games highlight Seahawks’ 2024 schedule

Seattle opens against Denver and doesn’t play its first NFC West opponent until week 6.

Prep roundup for Friday, May 17

Prep roundup for Friday, May 17: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Prep roundup for Wednesday, May 15

Prep roundup for Wednesday, May 15: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Snohomish sophomore Abby Edwards pitches during a Class 3A District 1 semifinal game against Monroe on Tuesday at Phil Johnson Ballfields in Everett. Edwards pitched seven innings with 10 strikeouts as the top-seeded Panthers won 5-4. (Taras McCurdie / The Herald)
Snohomish softball rallies to return to district title game

Camryn Sage’s walk-off single lifts the Panthers to a 5-4 victory over Monroe.

Stanwood’s TJ McQuery works with a man on first during a playoff loss to Kentlake on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, at Kent Meridian High School in Kent, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Stanwood baseball’s bats go quiet in state loss to Kentlake

The Spartans manage just three hits as their season ends with a 5-0 loss to the Falcons.

Prep roundup for Tuesday, May 14

Prep roundup for Tuesday, May 14: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.