Final

Broncos 21

(3-2, 1-1 away)

Seahawks 34

(3-2, 2-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, October 14, 2001

 

1 2 3 4 T
DEN 0 14 0 721
SEA 10 14 7 334

Replacement Dilfer wins 13th straight game

SEATTLE (AP) -- Trent Dilfer is making it tough on Mike Holmgren to return him to the bench.

Shaun Alexander

Shaun Alexander rushed for 142 yards on 33 carries and two touchdowns in Seattle's win Sunday.

Dilfer, playing for the second straight week in place of Matt Hasselbeck, made it 13 consecutive victories as a starting quarterback as the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 34-21 Sunday.

Holmgren, Seattle's third-year coach, reiterated that he's going back to Hasselbeck when Hasselbeck is completely recovered from a pulled left groin. But he admitted it was getting harder to explain his position to the Seahawks' fans.

"I'll leave that up to you guys," Holmgren told reporters. "They seem to listen to you more than me, that's for sure. I will try to explain it the best way I can to you fellows and if you can help me a little bit, I think they will get the message."

Dilfer, the starter for the Baltimore Ravens in their Super Bowl win over the New York Giants in January, had a modest day statistically, but he didn't commit a turnover as the Seahawks (3-2) ended a three-game losing streak against the Broncos (3-2). Denver had won nine out of 10 against Seattle.

Dilfer, signed by the Seahawks as a free agent in August, was 12-for-18 for 110 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Hasselbeck replaced Dilfer with Seattle ahead 34-14 with 6:53 left because Dilfer suffered a groin injury in the second quarter and could barely run.

Hasselbeck, who has made two career starts to Dilfer's 86, is expected to reclaim his starting job when the Seahawks play Miami at home Oct. 28 after a bye week.

Are the Seahawks a playoff contender?
Seattle is running the ball well, stopping the run and playing well overall on defense. The Seahawks are playing good football right now.

If you judge the Seahawks' playoff potential by the way they've played the past couple weeks, yes, they're a contender. After all, they're tied for the lead in the AFC West.

Trent Dilfer has helped, giving the Seahawks stability at quarterback. He doesn't take the sacks that Matt Hasselbeck takes.

To make a serious run at the playoffs, the quarterback position needs to stay consistent. And they need to keep winning by running the ball and being opportunistic on defense.

ESPN.com NFL analyst Vinny Cerrato has served as director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.

Dilfer said he was OK with going back to the bench.

"That's my role and I promised Mike Holmgren that I would do whatever role he asked me," Dilfer said. "I'm doing what I can to help this team win as a No. 2 or No. 3 or whatever it is. I know my role."

The Seahawks got a 60-yard touchdown run from Shaun Alexander on the sixth play of the game. They extended the lead with a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown by strong safety Reggie Tongue in the second quarter and got a special-teams touchdown in the third period when Alex Bannister blocked a punt by Tom Rouen and ran 9 yards.

The Seahawks' defense, led by tackle John Randle and linebacker Chad Brown, stymied running back Mike Anderson, who rushed for 195 and 131 yards in victories against Seattle last season. Anderson was held to 51 yards on 17 carries.

"No one gave us a chance to win," Seattle defensive end Michael Sinclair said. "They said it would be the Mike Anderson Show. Give us the credit. We beat them. They didn't beat themselves."

Brian Griese, the Broncos' starting quarterback who threw only four interceptions last season, was intercepted three times, twice by Tongue. He passed to Eddie Kennison and Rod Smith for touchdowns in the second quarter. Cornerback Shawn Springs made his first start of the season for the Seahawks and had an interception.

Griese missed six games last season with a separated right shoulder. His shoulder is acting up again. It bothered him last week and it bothered him again on Sunday.

"I had a little pain in my shoulder," he said. "It's kind of the same thing that happened last week. I'm going to get it evaluated tomorrow and I'll see how it feels."

Alexander had his career-best 60-yard run on Seattle's first possession. He also scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run, giving him four touchdowns in two weeks. He finished the day with 142 yards on 33 carries after rushing for 176 yards and two touchdowns against Jacksonville.

Bannister's touchdown was big for the Seahawks after Denver scored a touchdown with 9 seconds left in the first half to stay in the game at 24-14.

After suffering a concussion on the opening kickoff last week against the Jaguars, Bannister blocked Rouen's punt for his first career touchdown. The fifth-round draft choice from Eastern Kentucky also blocked a punt during the exhibition season.

Deltha O'Neal, Denver's cornerback who tied an NFL record and became the 18th player to intercept four passes in a game last week against Kansas City's Trent Green, ran back a punt 86 yards for the game's final score.

Game notes
Seahawks FS Marcus Robertson left the game in the first half with a left hamstring injury and was replaced by backup Maurice Kelly. ... Alexander's 60-yard run was the longest for the Seahawks since RB Steve Broussard had a 77-yard run on Oct. 5, 1997, against Tennessee. ... Bannister's return of a blocked punt for a touchdown was the first for the Seahawks since Nov. 15, 1987, when Eugene Robinson did it against the Green Bay Packers.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERDENSEA
seaTD15:00Reggie Tongue, 55 yd interception return
Drive info: 1 plays, 47 yds, 0:00
016
sea15:00
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
017
THIRD QUARTERDENSEA
seaTD7:220 yd blocked punt return
Drive info: 1 plays, -69 yds, 0:00
1430
sea5:34
Drive info: 1 plays, -69 yds, 0:00
1431
FOURTH QUARTERDENSEA
den1:40
Drive info: 0 plays, 0 yds, 0:00
2134
SECOND QUARTERDENSEA
denTD6:34Touchdown
Drive info: 6 plays, 59 yds, 2:07
617
FIRST QUARTERDENSEA
seaTD12:15Shaun Alexander, 60 yd run
Drive info: 6 plays, 76 yds, 2:36
06
SECOND QUARTERDENSEA
den6:18
Drive info: 6 plays, 59 yds, 2:07
717
FIRST QUARTERDENSEA
sea11:54
Drive info: 6 plays, 76 yds, 2:36
07
seaFG7:29Rian Lindell 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, -48 yds, 2:22
010
SECOND QUARTERDENSEA
seaTD3:25Shaun Alexander, 1 yd run
Drive info: 6 plays, 71 yds, 3:25
723
sea3:14
Drive info: 6 plays, 71 yds, 3:25
724
FOURTH QUARTERDENSEA
seaFG11:52Rian Lindell 10 yd Field Goal1434
denTD2:00Touchdown
Drive info: 9 plays, 23 yds, 4:13
2034
SECOND QUARTERDENSEA
denTD0:20Touchdown
Drive info: 11 plays, 71 yds, 3:23
1324
den0:09
Drive info: 11 plays, 71 yds, 3:23
1424