Jon Kitna might be good enough to save Dennis Erickson’s job.
Kitna threw two touchdown passes and drove Seattle into position for a winning field goal with one second left as the Seahawks defeated Tennessee, 20-18, Sunday to stay in contention for a playoff berth.
“He amazes me,” Erickson said of Kitna, a free agent he discovered playing at Central Washington University when he went to see his nephew play fullback at the NAIA school. “He has an uncanny ability and doesn’t get rattled.”
Todd Peterson’s 48-yard field goal capped a 41-yard drive by Seattle (6-6) after Al Del Greco’s 42-yard field goal put Tennessee ahead 18-17 with 33 seconds to go.
“Things seemed real bleak out there,” Kitna said.
Kitna, however, completed a 19-yard pass to James McKnight and Oiler defensive end Kenny Holmes was penalized 15 yards for roughing the passer, giving the Seahawks the ball on the Tennessee 38. Two plays later, Peterson kicked his game-winning field goal.
Kitna, who replaced the benched Warren Moon, finished 24 for 39 for 298 yards with one interception in his second career start.
“I guess I’ve got to give Jon Kitna the credit for winning this game,” Tennessee Coach Jeff Fisher said. “He obviously was the difference.”
The Oilers (6-6) scored with 4:59 left on a three-yard run by Steve McNair, but Eddie George was shoved out of bounds short of the goal-line on the two-point conversion attempt.
McNair, who was 18 for 34 for 199 yards, led the Oilers from their 34 to the Seattle 25 to position Del Greco for his fourth field goal of the game.
“When you go up with a minute to go, you’d think the game would be ours,” McNair said.