With the game on the line in the fourth quarter, John Carney and Todd Peterson were a contrast in kickers: Carney couldn't miss and Peterson couldn't make one.
Carney kicked two of his four field goals today in the fourth quarter, including a 41-yarder with 3 minutes 19 seconds left that lifted the San Diego Chargers over the slumping Seattle Seahawks, 19-16.
Peterson, meanwhile, missed three field-goal attempts in the fourth quarter after making three in the first half to extend his streak of successful kicks to 16.
"I learned a long time ago as a place kicker that you're going to miss," Peterson said. "It's very frustrating."
Carney was sympathetic.
"Everybody has one of those days if you're in this game long enough," he said.
The Seahawks (8-5), who had a three-game lead in the AFC West three weeks ago, lost their third straight and were tied for the lead tonight by the Kansas City Chiefs (8-5), who defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 31-28.
"It's very painful for us right now," said Seahawks Coach Mike Holmgren, who was hired by billionaire owner Paul Allen to get Seattle into the playoffs for the first time since 1988. "We're fighting for our lives."
The Chargers (6-7) won their second straight after a six-game losing streak. They still think they can make the playoffs.
"We wanted to win out. We've won two. Like the Bee Gees said, we're staying alive," San Diego quarterback Jim Harbaugh said.
After Ricky Watters fumbled and Jason Perry recovered for San Diego at the Seattle 27 with 5:24 left, the Chargers took a 19-16 lead on Carney's fourth field goal of the game.
The Seahawks had a chance to tie, but Peterson hit the left upright with a 38-yard attempt with 1:10 left.
"I get paid to make that kick," said Peterson, who is in his seventh season in the NFL.
Said Holmgren: "He usually makes that last one, but those things happen."