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Lindell misses late FG to seal win for Miami

10/28/2001

SEATTLE (AP) -- Jay Fiedler keeps making big mistakes and winning
big games.

Fiedler passed to James McKnight for a 39-yard touchdown with
6:16 left, giving the AFC East-leading Miami Dolphins a 24-20
victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

Was this the real Matt Hasselbeck?
He was much-improved at quarterback today for the Seahawks. Hasselbeck scrambled, avoided sacks and looked much more confident and poised in the pocket. Time will tell if this was the real Hasselbeck.

The Seahawks didn't run the ball that well today, so it was all on Hasselbeck's shoulders. He performed much better than he did earlier in the season (16-of-28 for 230 yards and two touchdowns).

ESPN.com NFL analyst Vinny Cerrato has served as director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.


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"It was just a sweet throw by Jay," McKnight said. "He gave
me an opportunity to run up under it. We've practiced that for
weeks now and we finally got an opportunity to connect on it."

Fiedler threw his eighth and ninth interceptions of the season,
but also threw his sixth touchdown pass and ran for his third TD.

He was intercepted twice by Willie Williams in the opening
quarter, but he beat the veteran cornerback on his winning TD pass
to the streaking McKnight.

The veteran from Dartmouth, 14-7 in his two seasons as the
Dolphins' starting quarterback, including 2-0 against Seattle, was
determined to keep going to McKnight.

"We're going to keep coming," he said. "You saw that in the
second half. I threw it up to him again and he made the play."

The Dolphins (4-2) regained the lead after the Seahawks (3-3)
went ahead 20-17 on a 42-yard field goal by Rian Lindell in the
final period.

The Miami defense had to overcome the offense's fourth turnover
when McKnight fumbled after catching a pass near the sideline. The
Seahawks' Reggie Tongue returned the ball 21 yards to the Miami 23
with 3:34 left. But Seattle was stopped at the 10 and Lindell
missed a 28-yard field goal with 1:56 left.

Holmgren said his strategy was to make the field goal, get the
ball back and then get another field goal to win the game.

"But to do that, we have to kick the first field goal," he
said.

The officials had a busy day. They reversed a goal-line call and
gave Lamar Smith a 1-yard touchdown run with 7 seconds left in the
third quarter when the Dolphins tied the score at 17. Fiedler had a
43-yard completion to Chris Chambers on the 67-yard drive.

Matt Hasselbeck, returning as Seattle's starting quarterback
after missing two starts because of a groin pull, rallied the
Seahawks to a pair of touchdowns in the final 3:18 of the first
half for a 14-10 lead.

After Seattle went three-and-out on its first two possessions in
the second quarter, fans at Husky Stadium began chanting "Dilfer,
Dilfer, Dilfer," calling on Holmgren to go back to Trent Dilfer as
the Seahawks' quarterback.

The Seahawks used their third takeaway to set up their first TD.
Orlando Huff forced a fumble by punt returner Jeff Ogden, and Alex
Bannister recovered at the Miami 28. Hasselbeck found tight end
Itula Mili on the goal line for a 15-yard touchdown pass.

The Seahawks got their second touchdown with 42 seconds left in
the half when Hasselbeck passed to Darrell Jackson for 17 yards.

Miami got a field goal from Olindo Mare at the start of the
second quarter after officials did their own version of a double
reverse. At first, they ruled that Shaun Alexander had not lost a
fumble at the Seattle 44, but they changed their call and rewarded
the ball to the Dolphins.

"I don't know if we'll ever see a reversal of a reversal,"
Holmgren said. "I thought Shaun was clearly down."

Fiedler scored on a 10-yard run with less than six minutes left
in the second quarter, giving the Dolphins a 10-0 lead.

Hasselbeck and Fielder had modest days, although Hasselbeck's
230-yard passing performance in his fourth start was his career
best. Hasselbeck was 16-for-28 with two TDs and no interceptions.
Fielder was 15-for-21 for 213 yards.

Alexander, starting his third straight game for injured Ricky
Watters, had 87 yards on 23 carries, with two lost fumbles. Smith,
a backup for the Seahawks from 1994-1997, had 35 yards on 21
carries in his first game back in Seattle.

Game notes
Hasselbeck's two touchdown passes were his first for
Seattle. He also had two TD passes in his two seasons as Bret
Favre's backup in Green Bay. ... Hasselbeck had a 64-yard pass to
Jackson in the first quarter, the longest play by the Seahawks this
season. ... The Dolphins won their 11th straight game against an
AFC West team. ... With their four turnovers Sunday, the Dolphins
have 17 for the season; nine pass interceptions by Fiedler and
eight lost fumbles, two by Fielder. ... With their four takeaways
Sunday, the Seahawks have seven in their last two games; five of
them interceptions. ... Williams had his 21st and 22nd career
interceptions, and his first this season. ... The Dolphins had
three injuries: OT Todd Wade (low back strain), CB Jamar Fletcher
(right ankle sprain) and special teams player Twan Russell (right
knee strain).