Isaiah Kacyvenski glanced at his teammates in the huddle before the play that would decide whether the Seattle Seahawks stood a chance this season.
He could see it in their eyes. Somebody was going to make a play.
Miami Dolphins quarterback A.J. Feeley dropped back to pass, scanning the field, finding Chris Chambers and what seemed like a reasonable amount of space. Rookie safety Michael Boulware locked onto Feeley's eyes, jumped the route and ran 63 yards with the play that saved this season, if only for a week.
The Seahawks escaped the Miami Dolphins with a 24-17 win in front of 66,644 at Qwest Field on Sunday afternoon.
If the playoffs started today, the NFC West-leading Seahawks would be in. Thanks to Boulware, a college linebacker who proved Sunday that the Seahawks didn't turn him into just a safety. Oh no, with three game-saving plays this season, he's their safety net.
"That might be the biggest play for us all year," defensive end Grant Wistrom said. "If we lose that game, who knows where this team heads."
"Wow," coach Mike Holmgren added. "Thank goodness for Michael Boulware."
The Seahawks engulfed Boulware after his fourth interception of this season.
Chambers hung his head as the Dolphins fell to 1-9, their new coach (Jim Bates) and new starting quarterback (Feeley) turning in a familiar, deja-vu result. Chambers' first thoughts?
"It was like putting a knife through your heart," Bates said. "We knew we were going to win this football game."
The Seahawks, meanwhile, improved to the shakiest of 6-4 records. They entered this game in a state of flux themselves, missing tackle Chris Terry and receiver Koren Robinson because they violated team rules and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck because of injury.
Trent Dilfer stepped in for Hasselbeck and completed his first three passes for 47 yards -- he finished 14 of 28 for 196 yards, two interceptions and one touchdown, a 21-yarder to Jerry Rice, who started in place of Robinson.
But if nothing else, the Seahawks have proved that almost every game will be close and provide intrigue, and Mack Strong fumbled to set up the Dolphins' tying touchdown.
The Seahawks took a 17-7 lead into the break, following a 33-yard Josh Brown field goal and a 4-yard run from Shaun Alexander, who finished with 96 yards on 29 carries, good for 1,151 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season.
But then came the second half. On their first three drives of the second half, the Seahawks gained no yards and no first downs. During the second half, the Seahawks did not convert on third down once.
Feeley connected with Chambers for a 16-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 17-14 with 10:39 left in the third quarter. They tied the game at 17 on an Olindo Mare field goal in the fourth quarter.
Dilfer fired two incompletions and took a sack, setting up the Dolphins' drive, the Boulware heroics and the win that took back sole possession of first place in their division.
Now, the Seahawks turn their weary eyes to the Buffalo Bills.
"Some people might think it's ugly, but we brought it home," tackle Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack said. "That's all that matters. First place is first place."