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Seahawks make valiant stand to stop New England Patriots

It doesn’t make up for the Super Bowl two years ago but it did take some of the sting away.

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) catches a pass in front of Seattle Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead (35) during the second half.
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) catches a pass in front of Seattle Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead (35) during the second half.
Image: Charles Krupa

THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS engineered a stouthearted goal line stand in the final seconds to beat New England 31-24 Sunday and gain a small measure of revenge for losing Super Bowl 49 to the Patriots.

New England (7-2) had a first-and-goal and failed on four tries. On the final attempt Tom Brady lobbed a pass in the direction of tight end Rob Gronkowski, who drove into Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor and the two hit the ground as the ball fell incomplete.

The stand came at the end of what would have been a 75-yard scoring drive in the final 4:24 in front of a crowd of 66,800 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

It doesn’t make up for the Super Bowl two years ago but it did take some of the sting away.

“It is an awesome win. Coming on the road and to get a big win in a big hyped up game feels great,” said running back CJ Prosise.

“We had a hard time getting the running game going, but the offensive line opened up holes for me.”

It reminded people of how the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl when Malcolm Butler picked off Russell Wilson’s pass at the goal line after coach Pete Carroll declined to have his quarterback hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch on the one-yard line.

Instead, the Seahawks decided to pass and the result was one of the most dramatic moments in Super Bowl history as undrafted rookie Butler intercepted the ball at the goal line.

On Sunday night, the Seahawks (6-2-1) earned their second win in a row.

Seattle’s Wilson finished 25 of 37 for 348 yards, and he tossed three touchdown passes to Doug Baldwin. Steven Hauschka kicked four field goals, and Prosise gained a combined 153 yards on the ground and through the air.

“We came up clutch. It was a phenomenal win,” said Wilson.

Baldwin said that there was a “phenomenal emotional feeling in our locker room” after the game.

Brady, who threw the team’s first interception of the season, was 23 of 32 for 316 yards. It was the 75th 300-yard passing game of Brady’s career.

- Wild finish -

Denver safeties Justin Simmons and Will Parks were heroes Sunday in New Orleans, where the Broncos seized victory with a stunning defensive score on the Saints’ attempt at a game-winning extra point.

In one of the wildest NFL finishes, Simmons hurdled the offensive line to block the extra point kick after the Saints had knotted the score at 23-23.

Parks gathered the bouncing ball and returned it 84 yards for a two-point defensive conversion that gave the Broncos an astonishing 25-23 triumph.

“It’s a desperation play because all you have to do is touch one guy (and the block is nullified),” Denver coach Gary Kubiak said.

“The kid did a great job timing his leap and wins the game for us… It’s something you work on all the time. There are certain situations in games where you say that it’s worth the risk. That was one of them.”

Parks raced up the sideline and his scoring run held up on review after some Saints players and coaches indicated they thought he had stepped out of bounds.

The Kansas City Chiefs pulled off an improbable victory in Carolina, rallying from a 17-point deficit to stun the Panthers 20-17.

The defending NFC champion Panthers had appeared to be shaking off a sluggish start to the season with back-to-back wins.

But the Chiefs forced two late turnovers and sealed their fifth victory in a row on a 37-yard field goal by Cairo Santos on the final play of the game.

Rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott scored two of his three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to lift the Dallas Cowboys over the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-30 in a tense duel that saw seven lead changes.

Elliott’s third TD of the game came with just nine seconds remaining as the Cowboys won their eighth straight.

“It was a blitz, and they lost their gap,” said Elliott. “The hole was wide open and that made it easy for me. It parted like the Red Sea. All I had to do was run.”

Results:

Houston 24 Jacksonville 21

Denver 25 New Orleans 23

Los Angeles 9 NY Jets 6

Philadelphia 24 Atlanta 15

Kansas City 20 Carolina 17

Tampa Bay 36 Chicago 10

Washington 26 Minnesota 20

Tennessee 47 Green Bay 25

Miami 31 San Diego 24

Arizona 23 San Francisco 20

Dallas 35 Pittsburgh 30

Seattle 31 New England 24

© AFP 2016.

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