Sunday, November 21st 1999, 12:00 am
News On 6
Last time this happened, all but eight
of Seattle's current players were still in college or high school.
Not since 1990, and only twice since 1980, had the Seahawks left
Arrowhead Stadium as winners. But in this remarkable turnaround
year under Mike Holmgren, everything seems to be changing for
Seattle, which beat the Chiefs 31-19 on Sunday.
"Look, you're not going to intimidate us any more,"
quarterback Jon Kitna said after the victory that snapped the
Seahawks' eight-game losing streak at Arrowhead.
"We're going to attack. We're not going to sit back and let you
attack us anymore."
Ricky Watters scored three touchdowns to lead Seattle to its
fifth straight win and hand the Chiefs their third straight loss
and their first at home in more than a year.
"We came into a very tough stadium, a difficult place to win a
football game," said Holmgren, who was 0-2 in Arrowhead as Green
Bay's head coach. "So, for a young team that's still figuring
things out, this is an important win."
The Seahawks, who have not reached the playoffs in 11 years, are
off to their best start since 1984. They beat the Chiefs for just
the third time in their last 17 meetings and scored more points
than the Chiefs had allowed at home since 1988.
"The bottom line is the defense didn't hold up our end of the
bargain," Chiefs linebacker Marvcus Patton said. "I'm not really
sure what happened."
Watters, who rushed for 107 yards, nailed it down with a 5-yard
touchdown run with 2:43 to go several plays after his 45-yard run
on third down.
"It's a huge game for us, no doubt," he said. "We had some
chances to put them away and we didn't. But we did when we needed
Kitna hit 14 of 33 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns, but
he was outplayed by Elvis Grbac, who had his best day as a Chief by
going 30-of-49 for 322 yards.
"We did some great things passing-wise but we just didn't score
enough points," Grbac said. "We didn't make the big play."
Leading 14-13 at halftime, the Seahawks went up 24-13 in the
third on Todd Peterson's 38-yard field goal and Kitna's 45-yard
touchdown pass to Sean Dawkins.
But Grbac led the Chiefs right back on an eight-play, 59-yard
march capped by Donnell Bennett's second touchdown, a 4-yard burst
up the middle that made it 24-19 with 6:49 left.
While the Seahawks seem virtually assured a trip to the playoffs
in Holmgren's first year as general manager/head coach, the Chiefs
in Gunther Cunningham's first year might be doomed to sitting out
the postseason for the third time in four years. They don't get to
play at home again until after trips to Oakland and Denver.
"I'm not ever going to roll over," Cunningham said. "I think
we have a lot of issues to address to regain where we were."
The Chiefs, who had promised to open up their stodgy offense,
did just that on their first possession. Grbac connected on his
first five passes on a 71-yard drive that ended with Pete
Stoyanovich's 29-yard field goal.
Daniel Pope's punt pinned the Seahawks on their own 8 a few
minutes later. But Kitna went to a third down only once during an
impressive 13-play touchdown march.
The first-year starter connected with Dawkins on gains of 12 and
16 yards and Watters had runs of 14 and 25 before capping the drive
with a 2-yard scoring run.
Bennett's 1-yard run with 5:03 left in the first half put the
Chiefs ahead 10-7. On Seattle's next possession, Kitna connected
with Watters for 13 yards and Dawkins for 18 before Watters took a
pass on the left flank and turned it into a 22-yard touchdown with
1:46 left in the half.
The teams then exchanged fumbles at midfield on back-to-back
plays before the Chiefs got Stoyanovich in position for another
29-yarder with two seconds remaining, cutting Seattle's lead at
halftime to one point.
Notes: Seattle won back-to-back games against the Chiefs for the
first time since a sweep in the 1990 season. The Seahawks also won
24-12 on Nov. 8, 1998, at the Kingdome.... At 8-2, the Seahawks
have already matched their win total from 1998. They are off to
their best start since 1984, when they started 12-2 before losing
their last two games and finishing 12-4. ... Bennett's six
touchdowns this season are a career high. His previous high was
five TDs in 1998. ... Kansas City has made an interception in nine
straight games. ... Stoyanovich has not missed in 12 field goal
attempts at Arrowhead. He is 3-for-8 in road games.