Seattle started Dave Krieg at quarterback ahead of the slumping Jim Zorn for the second straight week, and proved it could drive the ball against Denver's defense in the first half. But after 30 minutes, all the Seahawks could show for their 239 yards was a 6-3 lead. Then Seattle's specialty teams took command. As Denver's Zack Thomas was gathering in a Seattle punt on his own 14 early in the third quarter, he was parted from the ball by a savage hit by Dave Brown. Seattle's Shelton Robinson covered the ball and Krieg promptly hit Steve Largent on a post pattern for a TD and a 13-3 lead.
Facing fourth-and-19 at their own 24-yard line on their next series, the Broncos sent Luke Prestridge back to punt. In raced Seahawk Cornerback Kerry Justin, and Prestridge, fearing his boot would be blocked, tried to run for the first down. Eric Lane dropped him at the 30. This time Krieg called a play action pass and hit Wide Receiver Paul Johns, who made a superb catch in the end zone.
Suddenly, not even four minutes into the third quarter, Seattle led 20-3.
Near the end of the period Denver, showing considerable character, drove 72 yards to score, with the touchdown coming on a one-yard run by Sammy Winder. That made it 20-9—Rick Karlis missed the extra point—but on the drive the Broncos lost DeBerg for at least six weeks with a shoulder separation. DeBerg was hurt two plays before the score, when he was hit just as he lofted a pass over Wide Receiver Rick Upchurch's head in the end zone. As he fell, DeBerg jammed his left (non-throwing) shoulder into the Kingdome's artificial turf. On that down, Seattle was called for pass interference and the ball was placed at the one. "I stayed in for two more handoffs," DeBerg said later, "but the shoulder was hurting so bad I didn't even think I could do that."
Elway took over on Denver's next offensive series and quickly proved that his time on the sidelines hadn't been idly spent. He completed three of five passes for 48 yards and moved the Broncos to the Seahawk 26. From there Karlis kicked a 43-yard field goal.
Then after Seattle had seemingly put the game out of reach on a 10-yard scoring run by Krieg, which pushed the score to 27-12. Elway got Denver moving again. This time he took the Broncos 73 yards in 11 plays, the last a 25-yard pass to Wide Receiver Steve Watson in the end zone. That made it 27-19. But Elway still wasn't done. Getting the ball back at the Denver 35 with 3:39 to play, he guided the Broncos to the Seattle eight, completing four passes en route. There. Denver stalled and lined up for a field goal, figuring that an onside kick could put it in position for the winning TD. But Karlis missed the 26-yard chip shot, and the Broncos never got another try.
Said Elway about the multiple offense that had put him on the bench, "I'm liking it more and more. Now I can see the big picture. Before, I was memorizing it. Now I'm learning."
But so are the Seahawks. They're learning how to win.