The Worst Teams of All Time, Part 17: The 1992 Seattle Seahawks

This is a post in an ongoing series, where we examine and poke fun at some of the most ghastly teams ever to take the field.

Although I’ve written about Seattle in 1992 before and they took a relatively high spot on the 2-14 teams list (https://swisssportsblogger.wordpress.com/2014/10/25/top-10-nfl-2-14-teams/), I don’t feel that I’ve said enough about them. First off, their defense was pretty good, with guys like larger-than-life Cortez Kennedy and FS Eugene Robinson. Their offense was their undoing, though. It was horrible.

Seattle ranked absolutely dead last in offense in 1992, scoring a meager 140 points, an average of 8.75 per game. The Kingdome seemed to be the safest place to be in case a hurricane came towards the pacific mid-west, as no touchdowns were recorded there.

Stan Gelbaugh 2

Stan Gelbaugh not having a great time.

The quarterback situation was a reasonable explanation of the offense’s woes. Stan Gelbaugh had a moderate amount of success in the World League of American Football with the Monarchs, but the success was not international. Gelbaugh completed 47.5% of his passes for 1,307 yards, 6 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 8 starts. He didn’t win a game as the starting quarterback.

Kelly Stouffer

Kelly Stouffer never had a defining moment after breaking his nose in 1988.

Kelly Stouffer was fantastically awful, completing 48.4% of his passes for 900 yards, 3 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in 7 awful starts. For those of you who have difficult with math, Stouffer threw three times as many interceptions than touchdowns. An MVP candidate he was not, but in fairness to Stouffer, he led the teams to two wins, their only of the season.

Dan McGwire

If Dan McGwire had taken steroids like his brother, the results wouldn’t have been much better.

When you think of the name “Dan” in addition to Pro Football, you think of a range of quarterbacks, some great, some good: Marino. Fouts. Pastorini.

Then there’s Dan McGwire, Mark McGwire’s brother, who smashed home runs while simultaneously becoming the main advertiser for androstenedione. Dan was much less successful than Mark, and probably should have asked for some of those performance enhancers. In two starts, McGwire threw no touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Although he was a huge dude (6’8, 240 lb), the NFL walked all over him like he was a foot tall.

Chris Warren Seahawks

Chris Warren had a great season, but he couldn’t carry the team.

Chris Warren actually had a really good season, finishing with 1,017 yards on 223 carries and 3 touchdowns, a 4.6 yards-per-carry average. Although Warren was very not-bad, the rest of the offense was, and he ultimately couldn’t carry the unit.

Ricky Watters

A fullback led the Seahawks in receiving in 1992. How does that even happen?

Yes, you read that correctly. John L. Williams, the team’s fullback (fullback) led the team in receiving in 1992. That shouldn’t happen. Williams was a good receiving back, but he was no Matt Forte or Larry Centers. The ‘Hawks pulled it off though, as Williams finished the year with 74 receptions for 556 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Other guys in the receiving core included Tommy Kane and Brian Blades. Blades got into legal trouble in 1999 for the alleged murder of his cousin, and Kane is currently in prison for killing his wife. Such role models Seattle had on the offensive side of the ball.

If you add up all the grand stats for the unit, the Seahawks had the worst passing unit in the league, averaging a pathetic 111 yards per game through the air, accumulating only 1,778 all season, the lowest total of the 1990’s. Peyton Manning gets that in like…two minutes. Football Outsiders calculated that the Seahawks had the worst passing offense they had ever tracked, as well as having the worst offense (full stop), with respective DVOA ratings of -71.0% and -45.9%. What were they doing in Seattle, and, more importantly, where were Steve Largent and Dave Krieg?

That actually was a big issue for the Seahawks. Dave Krieg, their “franchise quarterback” had been traded away to Kansas City, leaving them with the three stooges to try and fill in at the position. Although Krieg fumbled all the time (3rd on the all time list), he was an important piece to the offense that the team lost.

Reuben Mayes

Way, way down on the rushing list is Rueben Mayes, who gained only 74 yards in 16 games before vanishing from the NFL landscape. Shaun Alexander he was not.

Cortez Kennedy

As I said before, the defense was actually really good. Cortez Kennedy, pictured above, registered 14 sacks and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year…on a 2-14 team! The Seahawks gave up the fourth-fewest passing yards (2,661) and tied for the fewest passing touchdowns allowed (11) in the league in 1992.

The Seahawks’ win over the Broncos on Monday Night Football (16-13 OT final) is widely regarded to be one of the worst games in the history of MNF. The game featured 20 punts, 4 turnovers and dropped passes out the door. Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf and Frank Gifford have all agreed that it was one of the worst games they had ever commentated.

The low point of the season game on October 11th against the Cowboys in Texas Stadium. The Cowboys, who finished 13-3 and won the Super Bowl, had the No.1 ranked defense, and made child’s play of a numb Seattle unit. Seattle only managed 6 first downs and 62 yards of net offense for the ENTIRE GAME. The Cowboys recorded an effortless 27-0 shutout at home, furthering the Seahawks’ embarrassment.

With their 2-14 finish, the Seahawks earned the No.2 overall draft pick in 1993, where they promptly wasted it on Rick Mirer, who finished his career as a draft bust. This prompted head coach Tom Flores and the team’s general manager to be fired at the end of 1994.

The team was also rumored to be moving, but when the team was bought by Paul Allen before the 1997 season, he assured the fans that the team would stay in Seattle.

Eventually, Seattle ditched the gloomy Kingdome, which was about as warm and inviting as a Sarlac pit, sharing the dungeon-look as all domes in that time had. CenturyLink Field was built, and the Seahawks enjoy an insane home-field advantage to go along with brutal rainy weather.

Seattle eventually reached the Super Bowl in 2005, losing to the Steelers thanks to some terrible officiating, but avenged themselves in 2013 with a 43-8 Super Bowl blowout over the Broncos.

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