Moments In Time: Seahawks vs Bengals 1988 NFL Flashback

Did Nash Play Soccer?

It was December 31, 1988.  The 9-7 Seattle Seahawks headed into Cincinnati to face the 13-3 Bengals in the first round of the playoffs.  The Seahawks would face the famed no-huddle offense used by Cincinnati at the time and developed an…..interesting….strategy to counter it.


Seahawks vs. Bengals
December 31st, 1988 Playoffs

Seahawks QB Dave Krieg dominated the passing numbers going 24/50 for 297 yards, 2 interceptions and a 7 yard touchdown pass to John L Williams who had 137 yards receiving in the game.  Krieg also had a 1 yard rushing touchdown.

Wide receiver Brian Blades had 78 yards receiving on 5 catches while Hall of Famer Steve Largent only had 1 catch for 11 yards.

The Bengals on the other hand, dominated the rushing numbers.  Bengals RB Ickey Woods had 126 yards rushing and a touchdown and James Brooks had 72 yards.  Stanley Wilson ran for 45 yards and 2 3-yard scores for Cincinnati.  Bengals QB Boomer Esiason had 7 completions for 108 yards.

The longest scoring play for either team was a whopping 7 yards.

Both defenses had 2 sacks on the opposing QB, with Jacob Greene and Ken Clarke taking down Esiason for the Seahawks defense.  The Seahawks forced 3 fumbles and recovered 2 of them while the Bengals forced a fumble and recovered it.

Chuck Knox

Moments In Time: Coach Chuck Knox Had a plan for the Bengals in 1988

The Bengals would go on to win 21-13 after the extra point was failed after the Dave Krieg 1 yard touchdown run.

There was a twist to this game that would go down in infamy as the Seahawks resorted to using techniques most known in soccer and the NBA today.


Bengals head coach Sam Wyche had patented what he called his Attack Offense in where they basically operated int he no-huddle throughout the game.

The no-huddle offense was killing the Seahawks, leaving the wrong personnel on the field for situations they were not prepared to handle.  This allowed Cincinnati to gain so many rush yards against the Seahawks.

Chuck Knox’s solution was the afforementioned flopping technique.

He had Joe Nash and Ken Clarke take a dive and grab his knee.

This sent the Seattle trainers onto the field and allowed Seattle to switch out players in order to handle the Bengals offensive schemes.

The no-huddle offense is alive and well as it is used by many NFL teams in the current era, including the Seahawks.  (When Charlie’s not playing, of course.)

As for flopping?  We see it commonly in soccer and in the NBA, but the New York Giants seemed to have brought that back into the NFL.

Looking to see the NFL Films video of this game? (Or bits of it?) Click here now. (Good Times…)

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About Brandon Choate

Guest reporter on "Real Rob Report." Raised on Eastside of Seattle, a super fan of every sports team in Seattle. Bleeds Blue, Green, Teal, Purple and Gold. Likes video games, food, and poor attempts at comedy. Connect with Brandon today!
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  • flopping.  I’ve never heard that term before. you can get a penalty for diving in the NHL – does the NFL have a similar rule?

  • Anonymous

    In 1988 what Knox had Nash doing was considered “outside the rules” but they did it anyways. It was a crappy way to try to win, but it was effective.

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