Arizona Cardinal strong safety Lorenzo Lynch went to the bench before overtime and knew something special was needed to turn the game against the Seattle Seahawks.
"I looked up to the heavens and said, 'Please God, let me get a big play,' " Lynch said.
He got what he asked for, returning an interception 72 yards for a touchdown with 3:46 left in overtime to lift the Cardinals to a 20-14 victory over the reeling Seahawks.
It was a sudden finish to the sloppily played game in which the teams combined for 11 turnovers--seven by Seattle--amassed 22 penalties--13 by Seattle--and two blocked field goals, including one in overtime. There were 11 fumbles, five of them turnovers.
"In overtime, it just rips your heart out," Seattle Coach Dennis Erickson said.
The Seahawks (2-6) lost three of eight fumbles, and John Friesz and Rick Mirer threw two interceptions apiece. The Cardinals (3-5) lost two fumbles, and two Dave Krieg passes were intercepted.
On the winning play, Friesz tried to throw to Mack Strong, who earlier had touchdown receptions of 17 and two yards, but the ball bounced off the reserve fullback's hands to Lynch a yard beyond on the sideline.
He reached out, grabbed it and outraced the Seahawks to the end zone.
"I looked up, and there was the ball, just hanging there," said Lynch, a ninth-year player not known for his speed. "I was just hoping to get it in field-goal range."
Said Coach Buddy Ryan: "I just hoped his hamstrings didn't blow out."
Friesz, a right-handed thrower who was knocked out for two series in the first quarter when he sprained his left shoulder, said the game was full of weird turns.
"I might have missed the pass a few inches wide, but the guy was just in the right spot at the right time," said Friesz, who replaced Mirer as Seattle's No. 1 quarterback last week.
The Cardinals took a 14-0 halftime lead on Krieg's eight-yard touchdown pass to Rob Moore and Keith McCants' five-yard fumble return. McCants' touchdown finished a play that saw Michael Bankston pick off a pass by Friesz and then fumble the ball away.
Friesz moved the Seahawks in scoring range, then connected with Strong on a 17-yard score midway through the third period.
In the fourth quarter, Lamar Smith, who had 85 yards in three carries, ran 68 yards--a record for a Seattle run from scrimmage--to the one and, two plays later, Friesz connected with Strong for a two-yard touchdown pass.