The Seattle Seahawks engineered a stouthearted goal-line stand in the final seconds to beat New England 31-24 and gain a small measure of revenge for losing Super Bowl 49 to the Patriots.
New England (7-2) had a first-and-goal and failed on four tries. On the final attempt Tom Brady lobbed a pass in the direction of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who drove into Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor — the two hit the ground as the ball fell incomplete.
The stand came at the end of what would have been a 75-yard scoring drive in the final 4:24 in front of a crowd of 66,800 at Gillette Stadium.
It doesn’t make up for the Super Bowl two years ago but it did take some of the sting away.
“It is an awesome win. Coming on the road and to get big win in a big hyped up game feels great,” said running back CJ Prosise.
“We had a hard time getting the running game going, but the offensive line opened up holes for me.”
It reminded people of how the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl when Malcolm Butler picked off a pass by Russell Wilson at the goal line after coach Pete Carroll declined to have his quarterback hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch on the one-yard line.
Instead, the Seahawks decided to pass. The result was one of the most dramatic moments in Super Bowl history as undrafted rookie Butler intercepted.
On Sunday night, Wilson finished 25 of 37 for 348 yards, tossing three touchdown passes to Doug Baldwin. Steven Hauschka kicked four field goals, and Prosise gained a combined 153 yards on the ground and through the air. “We came up clutch. It was a phenomenal win,” said Wilson. Baldwin said there was a “phenomenal emotional feeling in our locker room” after the game.
Brady, who threw the Patriots’ first interception of the season, was 23 of 32 for 316 yards. It was the 75th 300-yard passing game of Brady’s career.
Denver safeties Justin Simmons and Will Parks were heroes in New Orleans, meanwhile, where the Broncos seized victory with a stunning defensive score on the Saints’ attempt at a game-winning extra point. In one of the wildest NFL finishes, Simmons hurdled the offensive line to block the extra point kick after the Saints had tied the score at 23-23. Parks gathered the bouncing ball and returned it 84 yards for a two-point defensive conversion that gave the Broncos an astonishing 25-23 triumph.
“It’s a desperation play because all you have to do is touch one guy (and the block is nullified),” said Denver coach Gary Kubiak. “The kid did a great job timing his leap and wins the game for us... It’s something you work on all the time. There are certain situations in games where you say that it’s worth the risk. That was one of them.”
Parks raced up the sideline and his scoring run held up on review after some Saints players and coaches indicated they thought he had stepped out of bounds.
The Kansas City Chiefs pulled off an improbable victory in Carolina, rallying from a 17-point deficit to stun the Panthers 20-17. The wheels have truly come off for the Minnesota Vikings as they were beaten 26-20 by the Washington Redskins — a fourth straight loss after a 5-0 start.
For the second time this season, the Los Angeles Rams managed to win without scoring a touchdown, edging out the New York Jets 9-6 in a drab affair, while the Houston Texans extended their perfect record against their AFC South rivals to 3-0 as they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-13.
The Philadelphia Eagles enjoyed their first come-from-behind win of the season as they beat the Atlanta Falcons 24-15 and Kiko Alonso was the hero for the Miami Dolphins as his late touchdown sealed a 31-24 win over the San Diego Chargers.
The Arizona Cardinals beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-10, Jameis Winston threw 312 yards in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 36-10 win over the Chicago Bears. The Green Bay Packers were stunned by the Tennessee Titans, losing 47-25 and dropping to 4-5.
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