Steve Young made only a cameo appearance in the San Francisco 49ers' final exhibition game.
That was enough to help the 49ers end the preseason on a winning note, with a 17-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday night.Young, who completed six of 10 passes for 103 yards while leading two scoring drives, left the game with 1:58 to go in the first quarter. Many of the other regulars soon followed him.
"I thought Steve Young looked sharp and the first offense had its moments, and the first defense as well," San Francisco coach George Seifert said.
Besides, he didn't want to see Young get hurt in the final exhibition game, a concern that was magnified when the two-time NFL MVP had his foot stepped on while throwing a scoring pass to Jerry Rice. Young limped in pain briefly but came back for the next series.
"He was moving the team well enough. It was the last preseason game. We'd played five games. We've got a long, tough schedule ahead of us and we want to do everything we can to keep Steve healthy," Seifert said.
Young left the stadium immediately after the game and was not available for comment.
San Francisco (3-2) was already without five injured starters, including both offensive tackles. The injured players, who have missed most of the preseason, are expected back by next Sunday, when San Francisco opens defense of its Super Bowl title at New Orleans.
"You're always going to have some adversity in the preseason," San Francisco guard Jesse Sapolu said. "Both of our tackles went down and we still won three games. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will be ready to play in the opener."
Seattle (2-2) plays host to Kansas City in its opener under new coach Dennis Erickson, who said hehopes to see improved play from his squad.
"I wasn't happy with the way we played," Erickson said. "We have to become more accountable on both sides of the ball."
Rick Mirer played the first half for the Seahawks, completing seven of 16 for 121 yards before giving way to John Friesz.
Mirer threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to rookie Joey Galloway, the second time the two have hooked up for a score in the preseason. Galloway, the Seahawks' top draft pick, streaked past Eric Davis and Mirer lofted the ball beautifully, allowing his receiver to make the catch in full stride. The score midway through the second quarter pulled the Seahawks within 10-7.
But the Seahawks hurt their chances to score with three turnovers. Then after getting inside the 49ers' 5-yard line in the final seconds, the Seahawks were turned away by a goal-line stand.
Elvis Grbac, who relieved Young, threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Nate Singleton with 14:55 left. Singleton is expected to see more playing time as the 49ers' third receiver during the absence of top draft pick J.J. Stokes, expected to miss the first month of the season with a broken bone in his right hand.
Brent Jones caught three passes for 68 yards during San Francisco's opening series, which Young finished by throwing 14 yards to Rice for a touchdown 2:49 into the game.
Cowboys 10, Oilers 0
Alundis Brice's interception late in the fourth quarter gave Dallas its only touchdown.
Brice, a rookie cornerback from Mississippi, caught a pass by Will Furrer intended for Chris Sanders on the Oilers' 23-yard line with 2:28 remaining and ran it in for the score. Earlier, Brice intercepted a long pass by starting Houston quarterback Chris Chandler also intended for Sanders.
The Cowboys were using the game to look at backup players and to give the starters a rest. Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Emmitt Smith remained on the sidelines the entire game, not even wearing pads.
The Cowboys finished the preseason 2-3; the Oilers were 0-3.
Chiefs 17, Vikings 13
Linebacker Tracy Rogers returned a fumble for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to spark Kansas City.
The Chiefs (3-1) also got a 1-yard touchdown run from J.J. Smith to hand Minnesota (2-2) its first home exhibition loss in eight games since Dennis Green became head coach in 1992.
The Chiefs started the game without three defensive starters and had most of their regulars out by the second quarter. Coach Marty Schottenheimer saw enough of starting quarterback Steve Bono after two possessions. Bono, who will replace the retired Joe Montana, gave way to Rich Gannon with 26 seconds left in the first quarter after leading the Chiefs to a 10-0 lead.
Rogers' 14-yard TD return got the Chiefs rolling. End Neil Smith caused the fumble by barging past guard Chris Hinton into the backfield just as Warren Moon was trying to hand off to Amp Lee.
Panthers 6, Giants 3
Carolina used two second-half field goals by John Kasay to beat New York, giving the expansion Panthers a 3-2 record in an exhibition season in which their offense didn't produce a single rushing touchdown.
With the remnants of Tropical Storm Jerry enveloping the region and dumping heavy rain on Clemson's Memorial Stadium, the contest turned into a barrage of dropped balls and other miscues.
The Giants (3-1) appeared to have more trouble with the conditions. They had seven fumbles and were penalized 12 times. The result was the first loss since November for New York, which closed the 1994 regular season with seven consecutive victories and won its first three exhibition contests this year. Giants quarterback Dave Brown sustained a concussion and watched the second half from the bench.
Brown said the injury would not keep him out of the season-opening Dallas game next week.