Cardiac Comeback -- Battered Krieg Shows Heart In Last-Moment Td Pass
CUTLINE: DROUGHT ENDS (SEE END OF TEXT)
KANSAS CITY - Winning for the first time here in 10 years, the Seattle Seahawks are serving notice to the rest of the NFL that, no matter what happens, they will not be counted out.
They were back in the AFC West race today, thanks to some improbable happenings in a last-gasp 17-16 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
``This is the kind of game that sometimes turns a season around,'' center Grant Feasel said after one of the most boisterous Seahawk locker room celebrations.
The Seahawks were down to their last strike yesterday when Dave Krieg connected with Paul Skansi on a 25-yard touchdown pass after time had expired, the first time in its 15-year history that Seattle won with a touchdown on the last play.
To reach that point, the Seahawks overcame nine quarterback sacks, including an NFL-record seven by Derrick Thomas, two costly fumbles and a season-high 13 penalties. But, befitting this wild and wacky season, they managed to make chicken salad from chicken feathers.
``This is the greatest game I've ever been in,'' said linebacker Dave Wyman, back for the first time since suffering a knee injury in July.
``You'll never see anything like that again,'' guard Bryan Millard said.
An emotionally drained Coach Chuck Knox, a winner at Arrowhead Stadium for just the second time in nine games, said, ``That was a strange game; I don't know how many more games like this I can take.''
When Skansi cradled the ball in the end zone, the Seahawk sideline exploded in celebration.
``I was so elated,'' safety Nesby Glasgow said, ``we were jumping up and down like little kids. When you win a game like that, you never lose that feeling.''
``That one was the topper,'' safety Eugene Robinson said. ``I don't think they can get any better than that.''
Between being battered by Thomas and his mates, Krieg connected on 16 of 23 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions.
``You've got to give Dave credit, for what he was facing,'' Millard said. ``He's lucky to be alive. They beat his brains out.''
The victory gave the Seahawks a series sweep over Kansas City for the first time in 12 years, ended an eight-game drought in Arrowhead and boosted their record to 4-5, only a game out of second place and still within striking distant of a playoff spot.
The Seahawks won with a sturdy defense that held running backs Christian Okoye and Barry Word in check and an offense that, while hammered at times, made the big plays.
Even on the last, game-winning pass to Skansi, Krieg had to pull away from Thomas, who was salivating over a possible eighth sack that would have secured a Kansas City victory.
``I got away from him because of the angle, I guess,'' Krieg said. ``I was able to shake my hips and get away. Thank goodness the ref didn't call in the grasp. That would have been a heck of a way to end the game.''
While Krieg was scrambling, Skansi was one of four receivers streaking to the end zone. He found an open spot in the middle, leaped and made the catch between three defenders, including Krieg's old nemesis, Deron Cherry. Cherry has eight career interceptions against him, including one under identical circumstances in the Kingdome last year.
``Paul did a good job of getting his body between Deron and the ball,'' Krieg said. ``When Paul ran down the field, he looked back and we made eye contact. Then I looked away before I came back to him. There were a lot of people around him.
``When I saw him catch the ball, I wasn't quite sure how to feel right away. I looked around for a flag because we had about 13 of them. When I didn't see one, I relaxed. Touchdown.''
The pass climaxed a 65-yard, four-play drive that consumed only 47 seconds. Seattle began the drive with no timeouts remaining.
Among the other big plays leading to the comeback victory:
-- Jeff Chadwick's 54-yard touchdown reception early in the third quarter, putting Seattle on top 10-6. Chadwick cut across the middle, caught Krieg's pass at the Chief 48 and sprinted between two defenders, shaking off an arm tackle by Jayice Pearson.
``It looked like they were blitzing and my route was pretty much a crossing route,'' Chadwick said. ``It was a quick pass and there was a pretty good hole in there. Paul Skansi and Louis Clark kind of sprung me with some good blocks.''
-- Receptions of 44 and 23 yards by fullback John L. Williams. The first set up a 43-yard field goal by Norm Johnson. The second, between three defenders, got the Seahawks out of a hole on a late drive.
``That's my job,'' Williams said. ``When the quarterback's scrambling, I've got to try to find a spot and get open. He was scrambling a lot today, but Derrick Thomas could have 10 sacks; it doesn't matter.''
Seattle also had passes of 25 yards to Tommy Kane, 24 to Brian Blades and 22 to Skansi. Kansas City's longest plays were a 16-yard run by Okoye and a 15-yard Steve DeBerg pass to Stephone Paige.
``Our defense was amazing,'' Millard said. ``They kept us in there.''
``We had a couple of breakdowns but we didn't let them sustain a real long drive, except once,'' defensive tackle Jeff Bryant said. ``We could have folded our tent, but we didn't.''
Kansas City needed only a first down on its last possession to sew up the game. But the Seahawks held and, after using all three timeouts, got the ball back for their final chance.
``We had a heck of a defensive effort to stop them and get the ball back,'' Knox said. ``We played great defense the whole game.''
The finish bordered on miraculous. It was particularly pleasing to Krieg, who fumbled six times, losing three of them, in a loss to the Chiefs here a year ago.
``It was gratifying that we won here in Kansas City,'' Krieg said. ``That's an understatement.''
-- Yesterday's victory gave the Seahawks a series sweep over Kansas City for the first time in 12 years and ended an eight-game drought in Arrowhead Stadium.
Yr. Kingdome Arrowhead .
'81 L 14-20 L 13-40 .
'83 W 51-48 L 13-17 .
'84 W 45-0 L 7-34 .
'85 W 26-6 L 7-28 .
'86 W 23-17 L 7-27 .
'87 W 43-14 L 20-41 .
'88 W 31-10 L 24-27 .
'89 L 16-20 L 10-20 .
'90 W 19-7 W 17-16 .
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