Rugby World Cup
This Week's Issue
Life of Reilly
SI for Women
CNN/SI - TV
Golf Pro Shop
Soccer Gear Store
NFL Gear Store
SI FOR KIDS
NFL Recap (Tennessee-Seattle)
Posted: Sun November 29, 1998 at 9:39 p.m. ESTSEATTLE 20, TENNESSEE 18
SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Todd Peterson booted a 48-yard field goal with one second remaining as quarterback Jon Kitna rallied the Seattle Seahawks to a dramatic 20-18 victory over the Tennessee Oilers.
Peterson's clutch kick, which came after the Oilers called two timeouts, snapped a two-game Seattle losing streak and gave Kitna a memorable win in just his second career start.
"It's a pretty sweet day," said Peterson. "You get paid to make those kicks. You're not going to make them all, but when you get to make a kick to win a game, it's a sweet feeling."
Seahawks coach Dennis Erickson gambled and benched starter Warren Moon in favor of Kitna, who threw touchdown passes in the second half to Joey Galloway and James McKnight before driving the Seahawks (6-6) into field goal range in the final minute.
"Things seemed real bleak out there," said Kitna. "You would love to run away with a 21-point win, but things just don't happen like that in this league very often. We'll take them how we can get them, get back to 6-6."
The 26-year-old Kitna, the Seahawks' third-string quarterback at the start of the season behind Moon and John Friesz, completed 24-of-39 passes for 298 yards. His first career start last season also produced an exciting finish as he rallied the Seahawks from an 18-point halftime deficit for a 22-21 win over Oakland on December 14th.
"He amazes me," said Erickson. "He has that uncanny ability. Maybe he just doesn't know enough. He hasn't played enough to know any better, that you're supposed to get kind of rattled, but he doesn't get rattled."
The Seahawks reached the .500 mark with just their third win in nine games, keeping their slim playoff hopes alive. Seattle and Tennessee trail four teams by one game in the race for the AFC's final wild card spot.
Tennessee (6-6), which trailed, 17-9 late in the fourth quarter, took an 18-17 lead on Al Del Greco's 42-yard field goal with 33 seconds remaining.
"I felt as though we had the game locked down," said Oilers running back Eddie George. "I felt the `D' was going to do what they had to do to prevent them from kicking the field goal. I thought they were going to get a three-and-out, but we just didn't do it."
A 18-yard pass to McKnight, coupled with defensive end Kenny Holmes' late hit on Kitna, gave the Seahawks a first down at the Seattle 38 with 28 seconds left.
"I was trying to make a play," explained Holmes. "I didn't think it was a penalty. I didn't intend it to be. It's a legal hit. I think linemen on either side would say it was a clean hit. The referee said it was helmet to helment and that was the call."
Kitna found Galloway for a four-yard gain on first down, but an incompletion and two straight penalties left the Seahawks with a 3rd-and-16 at the 44 with 11 seconds remaining.
Kitna got the Seahawks in range with a 14-yard pass to Mike Pritchard, setting the stage for Peterson to win the game when his kick snuck inside the left upright.
"I guess I got to give Jon Kitna credit for finding a way to win this ballgame," said Oilers coach Steve Fisher. "He was obviously the difference in the ballgame. We put ourtselves in position to win and didn't make a play at the end. They did."
The Oilers pulled within 17-15 on Steve McNair's three-yard run with 4:59 remaining, but missed a chance to tie when George was stopped short of the goal line on the conversion run around right end.
"A lot of things we hurt outselves with," said McNair. "Crazy penalties, metal mistakes, that just kill's a team."
The Seahawks had taken a 17-9 lead on Kitna's 55-yard TD pass to McKnight with 11:04 remaining in the fourth quarter. The score came just 50 seconds after Del Greco's 43-yard field goal pulled Tennessee within 10-9.
Trailing 6-3, Seattle missed a chance to take the lead when tight end Christian Fauria fumbled at the Tennessee 1 midway through the third quarter.
But Galloway's 20-yard punt return, coupled with linebacker Barron Wortham's unnecessary roughness penalty, gave the Seahawks a first down at the Oilers 27. Five players later, Kitna fired a seven-yard TD pass to Galloway to give the Seahawks a 10-6 lead.
Tennessee suffered its second straight loss and remained in third place in the AFC Central, one game behind the Pittsburgh Steelers.
McNair completed 18-of-34 for 199 yards and rushed for 64 yards on eight carries. George, who missed the last eight minutes of the third quarter after he was poked in the eye by safety Jay Bellamy, added 76 yards on 19 carries.
The game was delayed for more than 15 minutes in the third quarter after Oilers starting cornerback Denard Walker was placed on a stretcher and taken off the field by ambulance. Walker was injured when he was hit by Seahawks tight end, who was running a route across the middle of the field.
Walker was immobilized and placed on a stretcher as players from both teams milled on the field. Afterwards, it was revealed that Walker had movement in his extremeties and had suffered a concussion. He is expected to accompany the team back to Tennessee.
© 1998 Sportsticker Enterprises, LP
Copyright © 1999 CNN/SI. A Time Warner Company.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.