Imagine how good Joey Galloway is at flag football.
Galloway, Seattle's holdout wide receiver, returned to the NFL with a splash on Sunday night, making two critical catches in the second half in the Seahawks' 20-17 victory over the Denver Broncos on Sunday night.
"It's been a long week from the standpoint of trying to learn the plays," said Galloway, who spent part of his 100-day holdout playing flag football near his home in Dublin, Ohio. "I didn't come into the game hoping to make tough catches. I just wanted to help the team win."
On Seattle's winning touchdown drive, he made an acrobatic 28-yard reception that set up Kitna's 20-yard scoring pass to Sean Dawkins with 7:10 left.
Galloway, who ended his holdout on Tuesday and began working out with his Seahawks teammates on Wednesday, made four catches for 88 yards as Seattle (7-2) stretched its lead in the AFC West to two games.
The Seahawks ended a six-game losing streak against the defending two-time Super Bowl champion Broncos (3-7).
Under new coach Mike Holmgren, Seattle won its fourth straight game for the first time since 1986. Holmgren, also the Seahawks general manager and Galloway's opponent during their long labor stalemate, gave credit to the star receiver.
"He made two great plays and helped us win the game," Holmgren said.
Said Kitna: "He walked by me five hours before the game and tells me, `I'm open. Just get me the ball."'
In his first game since Dec. 27, Galloway made a big 28-yard reception in front of Dle Carter, giving the Seahawks the ball at the Broncos 20. Two plays later, Kitna passed to Dawkins in front of the goal-line, beating safety George Coghill for the go-ahead score.
Chris Miller, subbing for the injured Brian Griese and Bubby Brister, led the Broncos back from a 10-0 halftime deficit. He completed 14 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns in the second half, but tight end Dwayne Carswell dropped a fourth-down pass with 2:51 left.
On the final play, Ed McCaffrey caught a 42-yard pass to the Seattle 38, but time then ran out.
In the first minute of the fourth quarter, Peterson cut Denver's lead to 17-13 with his 43-yard field goal. Peterson's second field goal of the game came after a 39-yard pass to Galloway to the Denver 18. Broncos coach Mike Shanahan challenged the catch near the sideline, saying Galloway didn't have control of the ball, but the play stood after a television replay review.
Carter also was defending on Galloway's 39-yard catch.
"I expected him to go out of bounds," Carter said. "When he caught, I looked up on the (scoreboard) screen and I said, `Wow, he caught it."'
"We thought that he was juggling it," Shanahan said.
Denver used a 32-yard pass interference penalty against Shawn Springs and a 36-yard pass from Miller to McCaffrey to set up its second touchdown of the third quarter, when the Broncos scored 17 points.
Denver took its first lead at 17-10 on a 1-yard pass from Miller to Howard Griffith with 50 seconds left in the period. Miller was 9-for-9 for 93 yards in the quarter.
Earlier in the quarter, the Broncos tied the score at 10 by taking advantage of two turnovers.
Tory James' interception gave Denver the ball on its 40 and the Broncos scored seven plays later on a 23-yard pass to McCaffrey.
The Seahawks led 10-0 at halftime on a 35-yard field goal by Peterson ad a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kitna to Derrick Mayes.
Seattle's Kerry Joseph stepped in front of McCaffrey at the goal line and returned an interception of Miller's pass 29 yards with 1:46 left in the first half.
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