Feagles ties NFL record

  • SCOTT M. JOHNSON / Herald Writer
  • Saturday, December 16, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

By SCOTT M. JOHNSON

Herald Writer

SEATTLE – With his appearance in Saturday’s game at Husky Stadium, the Seahawks’ Jeff Feagles tied idol Ray Guy for the most consecutive games played by a punter (207). If he had the chance, Feagles probably would have given the latest one back.

The 13-year veteran had perhaps his most forgettable game Saturday, in every possible way.

He had a punt blocked for the first time in his three seasons with the Seahawks. He shanked a punt off the side of his foot that traveled just 15 yards. He bobbled a snap and tried unsuccessfully to throw a pass during a botched punt in the fourth quarter.

And then, when Feagles’ struggles seemed to be behind him, he couldn’t get his hands on a snap while serving as the holder for an extra-point attempt in the game’s final seconds.

“Miserable, miserable kicking conditions,” Feagles said of the wind and rain that played a major factor in all his mishaps. “Not a good day to be a punter.”

Feagles’ punting woes couldn’t have come on a worse day. He hoped to remain relatively anonymous while tying a rather obscure NFL record. But things got off to a bad start when Oakland’s Bobby Brooks blocked his first punt of the day.

Later in the first half, Feagles seemed to make up for the block by booming a 57-yarder and bailing the Seahawks out from deep in their own territory.

But things continued to get worse from there. The strangest error may have been the punt that never was, as Feagles tried to pass the ball after he bobbled J.P. Darche’s snap.

“When I got my hands around it and tried to situate my feet, I looked up and didn’t think I’d be able to kick it,” Feagles said. “I saw the one side of the field wide open so I started to run. But those guys are all pretty fast.”

The botched hold on the extra-point prevented Seattle from taking a four-point lead with 28 seconds remaining, thereby keeping Oakland within a field goal.

“It just went right through my hands,” Feagles said. “It’s cold, rainy. Obviously I can sit here and just make excuses, but I just didn’t catch the ball. That was a big play because we make that extra point, they’ve got to score a touchdown. At the end of the game, I’m sitting on the bench saying, ‘Come on, defense.’ “

Despite Feagles’ struggles, his teammates preferred to concentrate on the record.

“Feags has been in the league a long time, and he’s been through many, many, many types of adversity,” special teamer Fabien Bownes said. “I’m sure this is just one more stepping stone for him. He’ll handle it just like he’s handled everything else and come out on top.”

  • I Spy: Seahawks linebacker Chad Brown had more roles than usual Saturday.

    In addition to playing linebacker, covering receivers and rushing the passer, Brown served as a “spy” to Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon. Brown’s duty on certain plays called for him to shadow Gannon so that the Raiders’ scrambling quarterback couldn’t run the ball.

    Not-so-coincidentally, the scheme also prevented Gannon from throwing the ball. Gannon completed just 5 of 17 passes for 136 yards. While serving as a spy, Brown also took up space in pass coverage underneath, while Seattle’s cornerbacks and safeties had one of their finest games against the pass.

    Because of the coverage, Gannon was forced to scramble five times, but gained a meager 26 yards. He entered the game as the AFC’s top rushing quarterback (471 yards).

    “We wanted to get sacks, but we also wanted to keep the gains to a minimum,” Brown said. “He’s been able to keep drives alive all season. He’s not the strongest-armed quarterback or the most accurate quarterback, but he keeps the drive alive.”

    Gannon’s passing percentage Saturday didn’t get any help from Oakland receivers, who dropped four passes.

  • Dubious records: Tyrone Wheatley’s 146 rushing yards Saturday marked the second time he has eclipsed the 100-yard mark against the Seahawks this season.

    It became the first time in Seahawks history that Seattle has allowed two running backs to go over 100 yards twice in the same season (Wheatley and Denver’s Mike Anderson).

    The performance marked the ninth time an opposing runner has gone over the century mark this season, which is also a Seahawks franchise record.

    Seattle’s defense, after giving up 361 yards to Oakland, is 217 yards away from establishing a new franchise single-season high in yards allowed – with one game to go. For the record, the current mark (6,029) is held by the 1983 Seahawks.

    On a positive note, running back Ricky Watters’ 168 yards rushing Saturday put him 12 yards behind Ottis Anderson for 12th place on the all-time list. It was also Watters’ best rushing game since he ran for 178 against Indianapolis is 1998.

  • Welcome to the NFL: Seattle quarterback Travis Brown’s first NFL action didn’t come under the best of circumstances. He entered the game for three plays in the third quarter when starter Jon Kitna went down with an injury.

    Brown handed the ball off twice, then threw an incomplete pass that appeared to be pass interference before Kitna returned to the game.

    Kitna, who re-aggravated a minor knee injury from the preseason, actually tried to come back on the field after one play – only to be stopped by quarterbacks coach Mike Sheppard. After another play, Kitna again tried to go onto the field but was restrained by coach Mike Holmgren.

    “I didn’t want to leave Travis out there for too long,” Kitna said. “That is a tough situation for him. It’s one thing if it’s dry, but here it is wet, and it’s his first snap and it’s a huge thing for him.”

    Brown did not realize until after the game that Kitna was trying to get back on the field.

    “Jon’s one of the toughest men I’ve ever met in my life,” Brown said. “That doesn’t surprise me at all. He wants to be out there no matter what, no matter what the repercussions are the next day. He just wants to be out there.”

  • Rookie woes: While Seattle’s rookie class had its most sparkling game as a group Saturday, second-round pick Ike Charlton struggled.

    Charlton gave up a 45-yard reception to Tim Brown in the first quarter, missing a tackle 10 yards into the play.

    “That’s the first ball I’ve given up since I’ve been playing,” Charlton said. “I was a little winded today, but other than that I felt pretty good.”

    Charlton also got beat by Brown again on a fly pattern later in the game, only to watch Gannon’s pass fall harmlessly short after getting caught in the wind.

  • Quick slants: Safety Jay Bellamy aggravated a back injury and did not play in the fourth quarter, but Holmgren said he expects him to be available for Saturday’s season finale against Buffalo. … Oakland played without Wheatley for most of the second half after re-aggravating an injury to his left ankle. … Fullback Mack Strong scored his first touchdown in two years to open the scoring. … The Seahawks have outscored their last two opponents 28-13 in fourth quarter of the past two games.
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