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Seattle 13, San Diego 10 (OT)

Dec. 2, 2001 at 9:56 PM   |   Comments

SEATTLE, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Rian Lindell made up for two earlier misses with a 24-yard field goal 6:23 into overtime Sunday as the Seattle Seahawks came from behind to defeat the San Diego Chargers, 13-10.

Lindell missed from 46 and 48 yards, the latter with no time left in regulation as the Seahawks (6-5) moved into second place in the AFC West, a half game ahead of Denver.

"You dream about winning games as a kicker," Lindell said. "Fortunately, I got another chance to win one. Thankfully, the guys gave me a chance to redeem myself."

"It's too late in the season to make a change," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "I'm just glad he made the last one."

It was Seattle's eighth win against the Chargers in the last 10 meetings.

San Diego (5-7) suffered its fifth straight loss and was beaten on a deciding field goal for the second consecutive week, dropping a 16-13 decision last week against Arizona when Bill Gramatica booted a 42-yarder with two seconds left in the fourth quarter.

The Seahawks won the toss in overtime and moved 62 yards in 11 plays, including a third and one conversion by running back Mack Strong to the San Diego 26 that was followed by a 12-yard run by Shaun Alexander to the 14.

"I was surprised by the way they were able to move downfield on us," Chargers coach Mike Riley said.

Alexander carried the ball 30 times for 88 yards and a touchdown, leaving him 18 yards shy of 1,000 yards for the season.

After San Diego punted on its opening possession, Seattle took over at its own 28. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed two passes for 46 yards and Alexander rushed twice for seven before taking a handoff on third and goal at the one, running to his left and scoring for a 7-0 Seahawks lead.

"I feel I know what I can do, but football is the ultimate team game," Hasselbeck said. "You depend on your teammates and you also have to be a little lucky."

The Chargers got on the board with 5:11 left in the first half on a 26-yard field goal by newcomer Steve Christie, who was signed by the team Wednesday after Wade Richey missed two short field goals last week.

Richey attempted a 53-yard field goal with 16 seconds left, but he missed it wide left.

Both teams traded punts to start the third before San Diego took over at the Seattle 43 with 9:21 left in the quarter and used eight plays, culminating with a one-yard run by rookie LaDanian Tomlinson off right tackle for his 10th rushing touchdown, which is tops in the league among rookies.

Lindell tied the game on the ensuing possession, booting a 43-yarder with 2:40 left.

San Diego threatened to go ahead early in the fourth when Doug Flutie's pass to tight end Freddie Jones was picked off by safety Marcus Robertson at the Seattle two.

But both teams turned the game into a puntfest until Lindell missed from 43 yards after the Seahawks used nearly 7 1/2 minutes of game time, giving the Chargers the ball at their own 34.

Seattle's defense once again forced San Diego to punt, giving the Seahawks a chance to win it in the final seconds. But Lindell's 48-yard attempt sailed wide to the left. On the play prior to Lindell's missed field goal, Alexander took a handoff and was tackled for a five-yard loss as Holmgren elected to run the clock down to seven seconds before bringing out Lindell.

"We still haven't played our best game," Holmgren said. "But I'm very happy with how our offense controlled the ball for the last quarter and a half."

"We found a way to win and every week, we need to do that," linebacker Chad Brown said. "When ever you win, that's a good sign that you're heading to the playoffs."

Hasselbeck was 19 of 34 for 202 yards.

"I'm finally getting healthy and I'm more comfortable when I'm healthy," he said.

Flutie completed 19 of 33 for 196 yards and an interception.

"We just didn't take care of the ball," Flutie said. "The defense played hard and kept us in the game. We just have to concentrate on taking care of the ball."

Tomlinson carried the ball 24 times for 86 yards and a touchdown and has 957 rushing yards, which is also tops among rookies.

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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