CHARLOTTE, N.C. &
Vinny Testaverde beamed like a proud papa. Perhaps because he is old enough to be Matt Moore's dad.
Testaverde couldn't hide how proud he was Sunday after watching Matt Moore, an undrafted rookie, lead the Carolina Panthers to a surprising win over the Seattle Seahawks. The fourth quarterback to start for the Panthers this season was turnover-free while leading the Panthers to a 13-10 victory over the NFC West champions.
"He played pretty darn good," said Testaverde, who was sidelined with "overall soreness" in his 44-year-old body.
"I told him to go out and celebrate a little bit. But not too much."
The Panthers set an NFL high for quarterbacks used this season when the 23-year-old Moore got the start. But he engineered three scoring drives in the fourth quarter, and combined with a dominating defense to snap Seattle's five-game winning streak.
"I think he did a great job," said receiver Steve Smith, who caught eight passes from Moore for 72 yards. "For a young guy who comes in as an undrafted free agent rookie, he showed poise."
On a difficult day to move the ball with wind gusts of up to 30 mph, Moore completed 19 of 27 passes for 208 yards, wasn't sacked and didn't throw an interception.
And remarkably for a guy who had never started an NFL game and came in with a 21.1 passer rating in six brief appearances, Moore outplayed the two-time Pro Bowl QB on the other side.
Matt Hasselbeck's career-best season had a hiccup with a lackluster performance that included a fumble with just under 2 minutes left that ended Seattle's chances.
"I don't even feel like we played a full game," Hasselbeck said. "I feel like we should go back out there and try again. It wasn't us."
They'll get to try again in the first round of the playoffs, as the loss ended the Seahawks' hopes for a first-round bye.
Barring a bizarre set of circumstances, the Panthers aren't headed to the playoffs for a second straight season. But they may have finally found a quarterback to finish the season until Jake Delhomme returns next summer from right elbow surgery.
Coach John Fox all but named Moore the starter for Saturday night's game against Dallas, the team that cut the Oregon State product before the season.
"All week long he asked me questions and we talked as a group," Testaverde said.
"He did an outstanding job. I remember when I came in as a rookie, it was pretty tough."
That was 1987, when Moore was 3.
"He's just a great guy and a big box of knowledge," Moore said of Testaverde.
After a scoreless three quarters, Moore put to use some of Testaverde's advice, leading the Panthers on two field goal drives in the fourth quarter. John Kasay's 37-yarder with 2:59 left that gave Carolina a 6-3 lead.
On the next possession, Hasselbeck fumbled on a sack by Thomas Davis and Carolina's Richard Marshall recovered. That led to DeAngelo Williams' 35-yard touchdown run with 1:20 left that put it away.
"I'm just glad I managed the game," Moore said. "I'm glad I didn't make any major mistakes."
Hasselbeck was 27-of-41 for 274 yards and was sacked three times. Seattle's only touchdown came on a Hasselbeck's 15-yard pass to Deion Branch with — second left.
"I thought we came in here ready to play, but obviously we didn't," said receiver Bobby Engram, who had nine catches for 84 yards and went over 1,000 yards receiving for the season.
Seattle's dependence on the passing game backfired in the wind, as Alexander was held to 17 yards on seven carries and Seattle had only 44 yards rushing.
When it appeared Seattle was going to finally score on the first possession of the third quarter, Alexander was dropped for 6-yard loss.
"We didn't run worth a lick," Holmgren said. "We're going to keep trying. But to think we're all of a sudden going to become this power running team, I think it's a little foolish."
The performance was puzzling for Seattle, which had scored at least 24 points in its last seven games.
"We've got to get our act together if we want to accomplish our next goal," Hasselbeck said. "If we don't get our act together, it's not going to matter." Notes:
Panthers rookie DE Charles Johnson, a third-round pick, was active for the first time this season, and played some as DE Julius Peppers was slowed in the second half with a sprained knee. ... Panthers S Chris Harris tied Mark Fields' team record with his seventh forced fumble. ... NFL sacks leader Patrick Kerney was held without a sack, contained by Panthers T Jordan Gross.
QB No. 4 the charm as Moore, Panthers shock Seahawks
CHARLOTTE, N.C. &