The Seattle Seahawks were at home on a chilly night in December with Vinny Testaverde and the Jets coming to town. How Testaverde was still able to play the game is beyond all of us, but one this is for certain – he was part of one of the most controversial plays in Seahawks team history.
It was Ricky Watters vs. Curtis Martin and Keyshawn Johnson vs. Joey Galloway, 2 stellar matchups of their time. Who would come out on top?
Let’s see what happened in that controversial December 6th game.
The scoring began in the middle of the 1st quarter as Testaverde hit Keith Byars from 3 yards out for a touchdown. 7-0 Jets.
Less than 2 minutes later, the Seahawks struck back as Jon Kitna hit Galloway in stride for a 70 yard bomb for the score. 7-7.
Seattle was not done in the first quarter. Less than 3 minutes after the long strike from Kitna to Galloway, they hooked up again. This time for a 57 yarder and the lead. 14-7 Seahawks.
Vinny Testaverde gave Seahawks fans more reason to dislike the referees on this game deciding “touchdown”
Jets kicker John Hall came onto the field 5 minutes into the 2nd quarter and hit from 20 yards out to tack 3 on the board. 14-10 Seahawks.
Ricky Watters wanted in on the action so he took it in from 39 yards away for the score. 21-10 Seahawks.
John Hall came back onto the field for the Jets right as time was expiring for the first half and kicked another 20 yarder. 21-13 Seahawks.
A minute and a half into the 3rd quarter, Anthony Simmons picked off a Testaverde pass and and took it to the house for a 36 yard pick 6. 28-13 Seahawks.
Not to be outdone by his counterpart, Curtis Martin punched it in from a yard out to make it 28-19. The Jets tried for 2, but the pass attempt was swatted away.
Todd Peterson made his token appearance for the Seahawks and kicked a booming 50 yard field goal to put the Seahawks up 31-19.
Keyshawn Johnson finally made an appearance just into the 4th quarter as he snagged a 16 yard pass from Testaverde and scored, closing the gap. 31-26 Seahawks.
Then the unthinkable happened. On a drive that seemed like it took forever, Testerverde led the Jets and marched downfield against the Seahawks defense. They got within 5 yards of the endzone and then one of the worst calls in NFL history reared its head.
Testaverde, with no open passing options, tucked the ball and scampered towards the endzone. At about the 2 yard line he dove, trying to cross the goal line for the score. Testaverde hit the ground and the officials threw their arms up, signaling touchdown.
Players were besides themselves, pleading with the refs. Why? Because Testaverde’s helmet landed on the goal line, with the ball well behind it. There was no replay system from 1993-1998 so the play was not reviewable. Phil Luckett conferred with his officials and signaled a touchdown, handing the Jets the game.
In a game where plenty of people thought Vinnie’s arm was going to fall off, he used his legs and head to make the difference in the game.
And create just another reason for Seattle fans to cringe at the thought of putting games into referees’ hands.
New York Jets
Passing: Testaverde 42/63 418 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
Rushing: Watters 18 carries, 84 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Galloway 2 receptions, 127 yards, 2 TD
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