A story in yesterday's Kansas City Star questioning the background of Kansas City Coach Frank Gansz helped motivate the Chiefs to a 41-20 victory over the visiting Seattle Seahawks yesterday.

The loss dropped the Seahawks to 9-6 and they will play the Houston Oilers next Sunday at the Astrodome in the AFC wild-card game. The Chiefs finished 4-11 in Gansz's first year.

The Star's copyrighted story said military records and interviews did not support several stories that have grown up around Gansz, including that he flew combat missions, lettered in football at the Naval Academy and earned the nickname "Crash" for piloting a stricken jet, solo, to an emergency landing.

"It made me mad. It made everybody on this team mad," defensive back Albert Lewis said. "We think they're just trying to make Crash look bad, and it really teed us off."

"I don't know what their motivation was for writing that story, but it did help get us pumped up," said tackle Mark Adickes, who caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Bill Kenney. "Everybody was mad about that this morning. You bet we were."

Seattle's Steve Largent, meanwhile, became the NFL's all-time reception leader, his six catches giving him 752 to surpass the 750 by San Diego's Charlie Joiner. He finished with 95 yards and one touchdown and extended his NFL record for consecutive games with a reception to 152.

"We didn't know what game we were going to break the record, but I was glad to get it over with," Largent said. "Obviously, I'm disappointed not to win the football game. It's not a good situation when you limp into the playoffs like we're doing now. But we'll regroup and come back next week."

Rookie Paul Palmer of Temple and Churchill High School had a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to highlight a big-play day for Kansas City. Kenney threw three touchdown passes, including an 81-yarder to Carlos Carson -- the Chiefs' longest scoring play in more than two years. Stephone Paige had a 46-yard touchdown reception in Kenney's second 300-yard game of the season.

Seattle running back Curt Warner suffered a sprained ankle in the third period and did not return. His status for the playoffs was not immediately known.

Kansas City, winning its last regular season game for the eighth straight season, avoided a franchise-record tying 12 losses.

Giants 20, Jets 7:

In East Rutherford, N.J., the New York Giants ended one of the worst seasons ever by a Super Bowl champion by defeating their crosstown rival behind two touchdown passes by Phil Simms.

The Giants (6-9) finished last in the NFC East, marking the first time an NFL champion has finished last in its division the year after standing atop the league. Their nine losses were the most since the then-Oakland Raiders won the NFL title in 1980 and went 7-9 in 1981.

"I really don't have anything to say about this year," Giants linebacker Harry Carson said. "I'm happy to get this win behind us and put all the bad things out of our minds."

The loss was the fourth straight for the Jets (6-9), who also lost their final five regular season games in the 1986 season.

After the game, Jets Coach Joe Walton said he was told by team owner Leon Hess that he will be back next season. The Jets, a playoff team the last two seasons under Walton, finished last in the AFC East.

"Mr. Hess has told me {he would be back}," said Walton, who is 41-38 in his five seasons as Jets coach. "I've been in the game 31 years. Some are good, some are bad. We've got to turn it around and make it good again."

Giants Coach Bill Parcells said he feels the same way about his team.

"I'm looking forward to the offseason and getting this team back to where it belongs," he said. "I think we're a .500 team, we're 6-6, that's what we finished {not counting strike games}. We have to play 75 percent to win the division."

Simms threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Pro Bowl tight end Mark Bavaro and found rookie wide receiver Odessa Turner on a 16-yard touchdown pass in the closing seconds of a 17-point second quarter for the Giants. He finished the game 20 of 39 for 264 yards.

Brad Benson, a free agent offensive tackle who joined the Giants 10 years ago and become an all-pro last season when the club won the Super Bowl, announced his retirement. Benson, 32, has started the last 96 games for the Giants.

Lions 30, Falcons 13:

Gary Ellerson scored twice on short runs and Eddie Murray added three field goals to power visiting Detroit past Atlanta, which finished the season with the worst record in the NFL.

The Lions (4-11) might have secured the No. 1 draft pick in 1988 had they lost; instead, it goes to the Falcons (3-12).

"I haven't been thinking about the draft, just getting the guys out on the field," said Falcons Coach Marion Campbell. "The other teams are making the big plays and taking us out of it and we haven't made big plays to get us back in."

Ellerson started the Detroit scoring with an eight-yard touchdown run in the opening quarter and added a two-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Murray kicked field goals of 45, 23 and 46 yards.

Ricky Smith closed out Detroit's scoring by returning an interception 34 yards for a score late in the final period.

Chris Miller, the Falcons' No. 1 1987 draft choice, made his second straight start. He threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Floyd Dixon late in the second quarter -- his first career passing touchdown -- and Mick Luckhurst added field goals of 50 and 28 yards.

Eagles 17, Bills 7:

Randall Cunningham completed 16 of 21 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown and Keith Byars ran for 102 yards as Philadelphia, at home, capped its best season since 1981.

The Eagles took a 10-0 halftime lead on Paul McFadden's 39-yard field goal and Cunningham's 18-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Toney. They made it 17-0 on Toney's two-yard run to end a 90-yard drive in the third quarter.

Under second-year coach Buddy Ryan, the Eagles finished 7-8, or 7-5 discounting three strike-team losses. Buffalo also went 7-8.

Cunningham's touchdown pass was his 23rd of the season, the most for an Eagles passer since Ron Jaworski threw the same number in 1981. He completed at least one scoring pass in the 12 games he played in the strike-shortened season.

Buffalo's Jim Kelly was held to 20 of 39 for 154 yards and one touchdown. The Eagles limited Buffalo to just 57 yards on the ground.

Defensive end Reggie White got two sacks to finish with 21 in 12 games, one short of the NFL record of 22 in 16 games by Mark Gastineau of the New York Jets in 1984.

"This was a humiliating experience for me and it should be for the players, too," said Bills Coach Marv Levy. "We had a chance to go out the rest of the season as winners. Now we can't." Buffalo

0

0

0

7

7 Philadelphia 0 10 7 0 17

Second Quarter

P -- FG McFadden 39, 6:09

P -- Toney 18 pass from Cunningham (McFadden kick), 11:46 Third Quarter

P -- Toney 2 run (McFadden kick), 8:51 Fourth Quarter

B -- Reed 4 pass from Kelly (Norwood kick), 8:07

A -- 57,547.

Bills Eagles First downs 14 22 Rushes-yards 14-57 52-210 Passing yards 134 134 Return yards 15 12 Passing 20-39-2 16-21-1 Sacked-yards lost 2-20 5-43 Punts-average 9-35 7-36 Fumbles-lost 3-2 3-2 Penalties-yards 5-40 7-65 Time of possession 19:28

RUSHING -- Buffalo: Mueller 7-33, Harmon 4-15, Porter 3-9. Philadelphia: Byars 23-102, Toney 15-48, Cunning

PASSING -- Buffalo: Kelly 20-39-2, 154 yards. Philadelphia: Cunningham 16-21-1, 177.

RECEIVING -- Buffalo: Harmon 9-35, Reed 5-46, Burkett 4-50, Broughton 2-23. Philadelphia: Toney 5-46, Spagn