Hawks take advantage of rain

  • SCOTT M. JOHNSON / Herald Writers
  • Sunday, November 26, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Seattle forces five turnovers, return two for touchdowns

By SCOTT M. JOHNSON

Herald Writers

SEATTLE — When it rains, it pours.

That’s what Sunday felt like for the Seattle Seahawks’ defense, which forced five turnovers amid a steady downpour.

Through the first 11 games of the season, the Seahawks had forced a meager 14 turnovers. On Sunday, the Denver Broncos threw two interceptions and lost three fumbles — two of which were returned for touchdowns.

Defensive end Michael Sinclair scored the game’s first touchdown on a 63-yard return of a fumble caused when Anthony Simmons sacked Gus Frerotte. Sinclair had to outrun 291-pound offensive lineman Tony Jones for the touchdown.

"I didn’t have any intention to score," Sinclair said. "I just wanted to get as many yards as I could. I was thinking (Jones) was one of these little speedy receivers. Once I got about 30 yards, I was like, ‘It’s home free now.’"

Linebacker Chad Brown added a touchdown of his own in the third quarter after returning a Mike Anderson fumble 10 yards. It marked the first time in Seahawks history that the team had returned two fumbles for touchdowns in the same game.

"If you’re running around and you’re trying to make plays, eventually it’s going to happen," defensive tackle Riddick Parker said. "Sometimes, it happens in spurts. It just so happened that today some of those plays came to us."

The rainy conditions played a part in the two teams’ combined six fumbles and four interceptions.

  • No chance: Seahawks defensive end Michael Sinclair said he knew he had cornerback Shawn Springs with him on his 63-yard fumble return for a touchdown, but he said it never crossed his mind to lateral to the speedy cornerback.

    "I’ve still got a little breakaway speed," he said.

  • No preparation: The job of second-string quarterback is easy?

    Not for Jon Kitna on Sunday. He didn’t take a single snap during practices leading up to the game, but had to relieve starter Brock Huard in the second quarter.

    "It wasn’t that bad," Kitna said. "It’s football, you’ve got to be ready to go. It had no bearing on how I played today."

    Coach Mike Holmgren generally doesn’t let his No. 2 quarterback take many reps in practice, but Kitna’s lack of preparation also had to do with an ankle injury he suffered in the Jacksonville game two weeks ago.

    "Once you get out there and start playing, your adrenaline kicks in," Kitna said of the injury. "Then there’s sometimes when you tweak it or it twinges a little bit. I really couldn’t practice all week."

  • National priorities: Television coverage of the game-winning touchdown was blacked out nationally, but this time it had nothing to do with ticket sales.

    George W. Bush was to blame as CBS broke into the game to report that he had been named the president of the United States. When the new brief began, the Seahawks game was tied. Once CBS returned to the game, the Broncos led 38-31.

    For those who may have missed it, Mike Anderson ran 80 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 3:34 remaining.

  • Why not? Sinclair said it made sense to him for the Broncos to line up wide receiver Rod Smith in the backfield, a set out of which Smith rushed three times for 78 yards and a touchdown.

    "I mean, he’s faster than all their running backs," he said.

  • Not so fast: If you would have told Seattle cornerback Willie Williams going into the game that the Seahawks would force five turnovers and score two defensive touchdowns he would have told you they’d win.

    "Exactly. We’re supposed to. Five turnovers? Two TDs on defense? But we didn’t, and that’s all you’re going to hear about. We didn’t win the game."

  • Reversal: Smith had more rushing yards than Seattle running back Ricky Watters (78-77), but Watters had more receptions (9-4) and more receiving yards (126-82).

    Smith, by the way, set a Broncos team record for receiving yards in a season. Smith has 1,314 receiving yards this season, breaking the team record of 1,244 set by Steve Watson in 1981.

  • Quick slants: Brock and Damon Huard became the first brothers in NFL history to start a game on the same day. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Damon won while Brock’s record as a starter fell to 0-4. … After catching 30 passes in the first eight games, rookie Darrell Jackson has just six receptions in the past four. … McKenna Stewart of Snohomish won the 12/13 girls’ division of the NFL Gatorade Punt, Pass and Kick team championships.
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