Seattle (4-2) at Kansas City (3-3)

Fair Currently: Kansas City, MO
Temp: 80° F
  • Game info: 1:00 pm EST Sun Oct 29, 2006
  • TV: FOX
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Seattle Seahawks won’t have their starting quarterback for at least the next three games. The Kansas City Chiefs may be down to their third-string signal caller.

Seneca Wallace makes his first career start for the depleted Seahawks (4-2) Sunday when they visit the Chiefs (3-3), who might have rookie Brodie Croyle starting under center.

Wallace saw the most extensive action of his career last week when Matt Hasselbeck suffered a sprained knee ligament in Seattle’s 31-13 loss to Minnesota, ending the Seahawks’ 12-game home win streak—including playoffs.

Hasselbeck’s injury is the latest setback for the defending NFC champions, who are also without reigning NFL MVP Shaun Alexander (broken foot) and starting receiver Bobby Engram (thyroid condition).

“It’s very much a measure of what your team is really like at its core,” Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said of the injuries.

The Chiefs, meanwhile, haven’t been at full strength since Pro Bowl quarterback Trent Green suffered a severe concussion in the season opener. Damon Huard has performed well starting in place of Green, who is expected to miss at least two more games, but is now injured and may not be able to play Sunday.

Huard, nursing a sore hamstring, did not practice Friday and coach Herman Edwards said Croyle would start if Huard can’t play.

Wallace had thrown just 27 passes in his NFL career before going 14-of-25 for 134 yards and two interceptions after taking over for Hasselbeck last Sunday.

“For the circumstances,” Wallace said, “I think I did all right.”

Wallace will now go on the road to face a Kansas City defense that allows 180.2 passing yards per game, sixth-best in the NFL.

“I welcome all challenges. This is what my job is,” he said.

Maurice Morris has rushed for just 158 yards and no touchdowns as Seattle has lost two of three without Alexander, who might return when the Seahawks host Oakland next Monday night.

Engram has missed the last two games because of a thyroid condition known as Graves disease, but also could return against the Raiders.

“We’re struggling,” Holmgren said. “The problem is we’re comparing it with what we did last year, and last year we were so good. … I still expect us to do a little bit better than what we’ve done.”

Huard has gone 3-2 starting in place of Green, and completed 15 of 27 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns as Kansas City escaped with a 30-27 victory over San Diego at home last Sunday.

The Chiefs held a 27-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but needed a 53-yard field goal from Lawrence Tynes with 6 seconds left to win for the third time in four games. Huard completed all three of his pass attempts for 52 yards on the game’s final drive.

Edwards has warned his team that Wallace will be looking to make a name for himself Sunday.

“(Seattle) will have a plan coming in here with Seneca and I think he’s going to surprise people,” Edwards said. “I think he’s a heck of a player. I think when all that happens the team rallies around him and we’d better be ready to play.”

The Chiefs will be in good shape if they continue to receive the type of performances running back Larry Johnson and tight end Tony Gonzalez provided last week.

Johnson ran for a season-high 132 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries, and Gonzalez added a season-best 138 receiving yards on six catches after entering with 187 yards in his first five games.

“I’m not the kind of guy who comes to the media saying, ‘I’m not getting the ball.’ But yeah, it’s been frustrating,” Gonzalez said. “But at the same time, they’re going to start coming to me because they’ve got to. I’ve proved in the past that I can do it.”

Johnson will be looking to duplicate last week’s effort against a Seattle defense that is eighth in the NFL with 92.2 rushing yards allowed per game.

“We need to be consistent on a daily basis,” Johnson said. “As long as we do that, we’ll be all right.”

The Seahawks have won five of the last eight contests in this series, including a 39-32 victory at Seattle in the last meeting on Nov. 24, 2002.

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