After the biggest victory of his brief $32 million coaching career with the Seattle Seahawks, Mike Holmgren was drenched in sweat and had a huge smile.
The Seahawks won their third straight game by scoring the final 13 points to beat the Oakland Raiders 22-21 Sunday night and move into first place in the AFC West.
It was Holmgren's first coaching win for the Seahawks in the Kingdome, but it wasn't easy. Seattle (3-1), which trailed 14-9 at halftime, overcame deficits of 21-9 and 14-3.
"As long as you win, I don't care what half it is," Holmgren said.
Oakland (2-2) swept Seattle last season.
"The Seahawks have never been known for being tough or physical," said Ricky Watters, who had 71 yards on 24 carries. "But that's changing, baby."
Seattle's defense stopped Tyrone Wheatley, who had 91 yards rushing at halftime, in the second half. Wheatley had just 9 yards on six carries in the final two quarters, ending up with 100 yards on 20 carries.
The Raiders were limited to 42 rushing yards in the second half after running for 124 in the opening half.
"I thought they got us in some (defensive) alignments in the first half that we didn't want to be in," Holmgren said.
Both Raiders' losses came in the final quarter. They lost their opener to Green Bay when Brett Favre led the Packers the length of the field for a touchdown in the final two minutes. Jus call them the Oakland faders.
"We fought hard, but we need to find a way to win these ballgames," Oakland coach Jon Gruden. "We're not finishing."
Said quarterback Rich Gannon: "We let them back in it. We still had a chance to ice the game, but the momentum just didn't swing back in our favor. We didn't sustain anything."
Peterson gave the Seahawks their first lead of the game with 10:07 left when he kicked a 45-yard field goal. The Seahawks drove 48 yards after Darryl Williams intercepted Gannon's pass at the Seattle 25. It was only the second interception thrown by Gannon this season.
After the winning field goal, Seattle held Oakland to three first downs, two on a final drive on which Husted was short with his 61-yard field goal as the clock ran out. Husted's career long field goal was 57 yards when he was with Tampa Bay.
"Seeing him kick that was incredible, but that's a long kick and he shouldn't be expected to make that," teammate Napoleon Kaufman said.
Oakland turned Seattle's first interception of the year into a touchdown 3:36 into the second half for a 21-9 lead. The Seahawks looked beaten at that point after Jon Kitna threw an ill-advised pass with Russell Maryland in his face and Eric Turner picked it off, returning it 24 yards to the Seattle 17. The Raiders scored on a 3-yard pass to tight end Rickey Dudley.
"I have to learn how to eat that one," said Kitna, who was 15-of-30 for 213 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. "It was a dumb decision."
But Kitna and the Seahawks came right back on a 75-yard touchdown drive to cut Oakland's lead to 21-16. Kitna passed 21 yards to Derrick Mayes for the TD.
Rogers' 68-yard punt return set up Peterson's second field goal, a 29-yarder with 1:58 left in the period, making it 21-19. Rogers had a 94-yard punt return for a touchdown in Pittsburgh last week.
"This team really showed their mettle," Kitna said of the comeback.
The Raiders led 14-9 at halftime after the Seahawks scored on a 29-yard pass from Kitna to Mayes with 59 seconds left in the half. Seattle drove 50 yards, aided by a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Charles Woodson.
Oakland drove 77 and 87 yards for touchdowns in the first half, with Wheatley scoring n a 7-yard run and Tim Brown catching a 6-yard TD pass from Gannon. The Raiders marched 87 yards in 14 plays in 7:28 after Kaufman's 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was wiped out by Travian Smith's holding penalty.
Peterson kicked a 28-yard field goal in the first quarter.
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