Emotions were a factor on opposite coasts on Sunday, when two inspired teams scored last-second wins.
In Seattle, Seahawks players choked up the night before facing Dallas when a go-get-'em message from injured safety Ken Hamlin was spliced into a highlight tape shown at the team hotel. Five days earlier Hamlin had been beaten at a Seattle nightclub, leaving him with a fractured skull, a small blood clot and a broken right hand. "We had Hamlin in our hearts and our minds, and we wanted to win for him," said cornerback Jordan Babineaux, who intercepted Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe with five seconds left in a tie game. That play set up Josh Brown's game-winning 50-yard field goal as time expired.
In New Jersey, with Giants owners Wellington Mara, 89, and Robert Tisch, 79, both sick with cancer, their team stunned the Broncos with two fourth-quarter touchdowns to erase a 13-point deficit. The winning play was a two-yard Eli Manning--to--Amani Toomer touchdown pass with five seconds left. Manning survived a Denver blitz thanks to a key block by running back Tiki Barber on gap-shooting linebacker D.J. Williams. Manning said Mara's grandson Conor told him after the game that Mara was awake at his home in Rye, N.Y., long enough to see the Giants win. "He had a little smile on his face and went back to sleep," Conor told Manning.
Brown gave himself a game ball after his winning 50-yard field goal.