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THE NFL / 1996

Seahawks Grab Win off Del Greco's Foot

AFC: Potential game-winning field goal blocked and returned for touchdown as Seattle upsets Houston, 23-16.

November 04, 1996|From Associated Press

SEATTLE — What was supposed to be Al Del Greco's 127th career field goal turned into a dramatic loss for the Houston Oilers on Sunday.

Michael McCrary blocked Del Greco's field-goal attempt in the final minute, picked the ball up and lateraled to Robert Blackmon, who scored on a 61-yard return with four seconds left, giving the Seattle Seahawks a stunning 23-16 victory.

The Seahawks (4-5) improved their record to 3-1 since John Friesz replaced Rick Mirer as their quarterback.

The Oilers (5-4) lost their second game in a row on a day when Del Greco and Seattle's Todd Peterson were locked in a field-goal duel until the fourth quarter.

Houston, with Steve McNair making only his third NFL start at quarterback in place of the injured Chris Chandler, drove from its own 20 to the Seattle 20.

Del Greco, who is tied for the NFL lead with 23 field goals, lined up for a 37-yard attempt with 22 seconds to go, but the 6-foot-4, 263-pound McCrary blocked the kick, fielded it on a big bounce and ran it back seven yards.

He then lateraled the ball to Blackmon, who was coming up on his left side, and Blackmon ran down the sideline for the Seahawks' second touchdown of the day. It was Blackmon's first career touchdown.

Instead of winning, 19-16, the Oilers had to take a long and painful plane ride back to Texas.

"This is going to be a tough loss to endure," Houston Coach Jeff Fisher said. "We've had some tough losses, but this might be the toughest."

Del Greco had his second field-goal attempt blocked this season. He had a 37-yarder tipped against Pittsburgh.

"It was just a breakdown," Fisher said. "Somebody hit a crease. The Seahawks had to be thinking the game was over and they had to make a play. Well, they made a heck of a play."

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