Seahawks 7

(6-6, 2-4 away)

Broncos 20

(7-6, 5-2 home)

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

8:30 PM ET, December 9, 2001


1 2 3 4 T
SEA 0 7 0 07
DEN 7 3 10 020

Frerotte leads Denver to win in second half

DENVER (AP) -- His last start was dreadful, a 21-3 loss to Baltimore in the AFC wild-card playoff game last Dec. 31. His most significant action since then began the same way.

Gus Frerotte

Gus Frerotte, replacing injured starter Brian Griese early in the second half, fumbled the ball away on his third play but overcame the shaky beginning to keep the Denver Broncos in the playoff picture.

Frerotte drove the Broncos to two third-quarter scores in a 20-7 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night.

"I was a little rusty at first," Frerotte admitted. "I was trying to not make bad plays. I really just wanted to be smart. It felt good to be back out there, to actually play when your team needed it. This game was huge for us."

Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said his team approached the game "like it was a playoff game. During the week, we said, `If we lose, we go home."'

Denver (7-6) sacked Matt Hasselbeck five times and held the Seahawks' running game in check, even with the return of Ricky Watters, who missed eight games with a shoulder injury.

Frerotte completed 10 of 20 passes for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Terrell Davis, starting his second straight game in an injury-plagued season, ran for 109 yards. Rod Smith, playing on a sprained left ankle, had eight catches for 66 yards.

Hasselbeck was 17-for-37 for 243 yards with one TD and two interceptions.

Things started ominously for Frerotte.

Griese took a blow to the head on the first play in the second half when linebacker Levon Kirkland landed on him at the end of a 9-yard scramble.

"He has a concussion," Shanahan said. "It was bad enough that (trainer) Steve Antonopulos wasn't going to let him go back in. Just talking to him in the locker room, he still seemed a little dazed."

Three plays later, Frerotte fumbled the ball away on a sack at the Denver 24. The Seahawks (6-6) couldn't capitalize, however, as Rian Lindell missed a 41-yard field goal.

Later in the quarter, Jimmy Spencer intercepted Hasselbeck's overthrown pass at the Denver 45, and the Broncos scored five plays later. Wide receiver Kevin Kasper ran 27 yards on a reverse and, after a pass-interference penalty on Seattle's Ken Lucas, Frerotte hit a wide-open Patrick Hape on a 1-yard scoring pass.

After rookie Reggie Hayward and Trevor Pryce had back-to-back sacks and the Seahawks punted, Denver went 87 yards for a field goal and a 20-7 lead late in the period. Davis broke off a 57-yard run to set up Jason Elam's 20-yard field goal.

Seattle drove from its 6 to the Denver 15 in the fourth quarter, but Hasselbeck, under pressure, threw incomplete on fourth down with 1:52 left.

"We had our chances, we didn't convert," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "At 6-6, we have to win out to get into the playoffs."

Denver jumped to an early 10-0 lead before Seattle fashioned a long scoring drive to make it 10-7 at halftime.

After Seattle's Shaun Alexander was stopped for no gain on fourth down at the Denver 34, the Broncos went 66 yards for a touchdown.

A personal foul on defensive tackle Chad Eaton helped move Denver inside the Seattle 20, and Griese passed 11 yards to Desmond Clark for the score.

A minute later, Denver's Deltha O'Neal returned a punt 41 yards to the Seattle 40, and Elam kicked a 42-yard field goal.

Seattle threatened on all three of its possessions in the second period. Hasselbeck completed a 19-yard pass to rookie Koren Robinson on third-and-16, and the Seahawks benefitted from a 15-yard face-mask penalty on Bill Romanowski. Seattle reached the Denver 22, but Hasselbeck's errant screen pass was intercepted by Chester McGlockton.

Hasselbeck converted two third-and-long situations on the Seahawks' next possession, including a 32-yard pass to Darrell Jackson on third-and-12. Jackson then beat Spencer in the corner of the end zone for a 24-yard score.

Safety Marcus Robertson's interception gave Seattle a final first-half opportunity, but Hasselbeck's long pass to Jackson was knocked away in the end zone by O'Neal.

Game notes
It was Davis' seventh straight 100-yard rushing game against Seattle. ... Seattle, which finished with just 70 yards rushing, beat the Broncos 34-21 on Oct. 14 as Alexander ran for 142 yards and two TDs. ... Alexander had only 28 yards on 12 carries but raised his season total to 1,009, becoming the fourth Seattle back to top 1,000 yards. ... Hasselbeck's string of pass attempts without an interception ended at 128. ... Hayward, playing in just his third NFL game, had 2 sacks.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 5 plays, 55 yds, 0:55
Drive info: 5 plays, 55 yds, 0:55
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yds, 2:33
denFG0:47Jason Elam 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 85 yds, 3:34
denFG13:52Jason Elam 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 16 yds, 13:25
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yds, 2:33
Drive info: 14 plays, 34 yds, 7:08
Drive info: 14 plays, 34 yds, 7:08