Defense Puts Chiefs Over Seahawks
Nov. 24, 1997
SEATTLE (AP) _ Elvis Grbac has missed three straight games with a broken collarbone, and Marcus Allen, at 37, isn't the running back he used to be.
So it's up to Marty Schottenheimer's defense and his special teams to get the Kansas City Chiefs into the playoffs.
The Chiefs, trailing 14-10 at halftime, made it eight consecutive games without giving up a TD in the second half, and came back to beat the Seattle Seahawks 19-14 Sunday.
The Chiefs (9-3) beat the Seahawks (6-6) for the sixth straight time and for the 13th time in 14 games.
``We're on a mission to get somewhere in the postseason,'' cornerback Dale Carter said. ``That's why our defense is so good in the second half.''
``We said to ourselves, `Let's stop 'em,''' Schottenheimer said.
Kansas City, seeking to make the playoffs for the seventh time in nine seasons since Schottenheimer became the team's coach, saved its best defense for Seattle's final drive.
Warren Moon passed the Seahawks from their own 20 to the Chiefs 10 with 1:31 to go, but Moon threw three incomplete passes before Reggie Tongue sacked Moon, causing him to fumble, and Dan Williams recovered on the 22.
The Chiefs ran out the final 1:21 to get their fifth win in six games.
``When my man (Carlester Crumpler) blocked our defensive end, there was no one to block me. No one touched me,'' Tongue said.
The Chiefs limited the Seahawks to 68 yards rushing on 23 carries.
``We decided to come after Moon all four downs because we knew they wouldn't run the ball,'' defensive coodinator Gunther Cunningham said.
Kansas City didn't have much offense, but it had enough. Rich Gannon was 15-for-28 for 175 yards as Grbac's replacement, while Moon was 20-for-37 for 248 yards. Moon had a streak of nine straight 250-yard passing games ended, but his 248 yards gave him 3,066 for his ninth 3,000-yard passing season.
Moon, who was 41 on Tuesday, didn't have any excuses for Seattle's failure to score once it got to the 10.
``We tried about everything,'' he said. ``They had good coverage and you can only hold the ball for so long.''
Kansas City sacked Moon five times, twice by Vaughn Booker.
The Chiefs drove 54 yards in eight plays to take a 17-14 lead on Gannon's 1-yard touchdown rollout with 5:34 gone in the second half.
The score was set up when a punt by Rick Tuten went a minus-6 yards. Tuten, Seattle's regular punter, has had a pulled pelvic muscle, but was in the game because Kyle Richardson, his backup, suffered a concussion in the first half.
Richardson returned after Tuten's ill-fated attempt to punt. But Joe Horn blocked the punt and the Seahawks' Jay Bellamy batted the ball out the end zone for a Kansas City safety with 3:35 gone in the fourth quarter, putting the Chiefs ahead 19-14.
The Seahawks jumped into a 14-10 lead when Steve Broussard scored on a 22-yard run with 1:06 left in the opening half.
That touchdown drive began on the Seattle 38 after Tamarick Vanover ran a punt back 30 yards and then fumbled. Richardson was hurt trying to make the tackle. Vanover lost the ball, and Kevin Mawae recovered.
Allen scored on a 1-yard run with 5:08 gone in the game, a touchdown that was set up by Luis Aguilar's 35-yard pass to Kevin Lockett. It appeared Seattle's special teams thought Aguilar punted the ball, but Lockett caught the ball over punt returner Ronnie Harris.
The Chiefs were trying to throw a pass that looked like a punt. Harris said he knew it was a pass all the way, but some of the other Seahawks special teams players looked confused.
``I threw the ball as high as I could,'' he said. ``You can't hit the ceiling in this place (the Kingdome).''
``I hadn't seen that in many years,'' Seattle coach Dennis Erickson said.
The Seahawks tied the score at 7-7 later in the opening quarter when Moon threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Joey Galloway, who beat Dale Carter on the play.
Pete Stoyanovich kicked a 22-yard field goal for the Chiefs with 2:45 gone in the second quarter.
Vanover also fumbled a punt return in the fourth quarter, giving the Seahawks the ball on the Kansas City 48 with 6:44 to go, but the Seahawks couldn't get a first down and had to punt.