Miami 24, Seattle 20

Oct. 28, 2001 at 10:15 PM
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SEATTLE, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Jay Fiedler both ran and threw for a touchdown Sunday and the Miami Dolphins held on in the final moments to down the Seattle Seahawks, 24-20.

Miami was clinging to its four-point lead when a fumble by Dolphins receiver James McKnight was returned 23 yards by Seattle defensive back Reggie Tongue to the Miami 23.

The drive stalled, however, and Seattle coach Mike Holmgren, with his team having all of its timeouts remaining, chose to try a field goal at the two-minute warning on fourth and four.

But Rian Lindell, who had earlier missed from 35 yarder, hooked the 28-yard attempt to the left.

"I didn't hit the ball well today at all," said Lindell, who also made kicks of 36 and 42 yards. "I was concentrating on getting the ball up in the air and not technique. I cost us a shot at winning the game. I wasn't surprised when we went for the field goal. Either way, I still have to make the kick."

"Mike obviously had a plan," Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt said. "I was stunned that they were going to kick it. We thought for sure that it was going to be a fake."

The Seahawks still had a chance, however. They stopped the Dolphins and the clock on consecutive plays, setting up a third and 13 with 1:44 to play. But Fiedler ran a bootleg around left end for 16 yards and the game-clinching first down.

"We had three timeouts left," Holmgren said. "If they don't get a first down, we'd have a shot. We had done a good job of stopping the run all day. That's how we were going to win the game."

"We had run it earlier," Fiedler said. "I told the coaches that it was there. I checked to the play and Oronde (receiver Oronde Gadsden) made a great block. I just wanted to get to the marker."

Fiedler completed 15 of 21 passes for 213 yards, overcoming two interceptions. He also led the Dolphins with 42 yards on eight carries.

Fiedler had struggled in his last two games, throwing for just 300 yards with three interceptions.

"We never lost confidence," Fiedler said. "When we needed plays, we got them. This was a full team victory. We were able to overcome adversity and still come out on top."

Besides Fiedler, the Dolphins were held to just 35 yards on 26 carries. Lamar Smith, who had 145 yards in a home win over the Seahawks last year, returned to the city where he started his career and was limited to 35 yards on 21 carries.

"We took what they gave us," Wannstedt said. "They weren't going to let us run the ball. The receivers did an excellent job today when they got one-on-one coverage."

McKnight had eight catches for 94 yards and the go-ahead score. Rookie Chris Chambers added three receptions for 76 yards.

"In the second half, we knew we had to throw the ball," Chambers said. "We had to make plays and we did. We all did."

Matt Hasselbeck ignored more boos to go 16 of 28 for 230 yards and two touchdowns. He was booed in Seattle's last home game on Sept. 23 and temporarily gave way to Trent Dilfer.

Darrell Jackson caught five passes for 121 yards and a score and Shaun Alexander had 87 yards on 23 carries for Seattle (3-3), which fell to 2-6 all-time against Miami.

After Lindell's field goal gave Seattle a 20-17 lead with 8:37 remaining, Fiedler found Chambers for 21 yards on third down before hitting McKnight long over the middle for a 39-yard touchdown and a 24-20 lead with 6:16 to go.

"We had some nice one-on-one opportunities," McKnight said. "We weren't going to stop throwing it. We didn't care who was making the plays as long as we did."

"I always have faith in our guys making plays," Fiedler said. "I've got to keep everyone's confidence up by getting them the ball. Whenever we have a chance, I've got to let those guys have a chance to make a big play for us."

Miami's Olindo Mare kicked a 46-yard field goal 1:26 into the second quarter to open the scoring. On the next possession, Fiedler directed a 65-yard drive, going the last 10 himself on a scramble and taking a hard hit.

Hasselbeck could get nothing going and the fans at Husky Stadium began a chant of, "We want Trent." However, Miami's Jeff Ogden fumbled a punt return that the Seahawks fell on at the Dolphins' 28 and Hasselbeck had the fans cheering three plays later as he found tight end Itula Mili wide open in the right corner with a 15-yard toss.

The Seahawks took a 14-10 lead in the final minute of the half as Haselback completed passes of 12 yards to Bobby Engram and 15 to rookie Koren Robinson before hitting Jackson with a 17-yard touchdown pass.

Lindell's 36-yard field goal capped a drive that lasted 8:15 and opened the third quarter. Fiedler answered with a 43-yarder to Chambers, setting up Smith's one-yard touchdown run that tied it with seven seconds left in the period.

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