In a battle of NFL graybeards, youth was served. John Elway, a frisky 37, outdueled Warren Moon, a still spry 40, in what proved to be a historic day for the Broncos quarterback.
Elway, who threw two touchdowns to Moon's three, completed a 49-yard pass to Shannon Sharpe to set up Jason Elam's 22-yard field goal with 7:28 left, lifting Denver to a 30-27 victory over Seattle on Sunday.
Denver took a 20-10 lead on the opening play of the second half, but thanks to two Broncos turnovers, the Seahawks twice drew into a tie, the last time at 27 on Moon's 8-yard scoring pass to an open Brian Blades with 12:02 remaining.
Denver then went 69 yards for what proved to be the clinching field goal. With NFL rushing leader Terrell Davis throwing two downfield blocks, Sharpe turned a short pass into a 49-yard gain on the first play of the drive.
Both teams mounted scoring threats after that, reaching the opposition's 36-yard lines, but punted.
The Seahawks reached their 46 on their last possession, but on fourth down Blades tipped a pass apparently intended for teammate Joey Galloway, and it fell incomplete with 1:02 remaining.
Elway reached two milestones. He accounted for 276 total yards for 50,273 in his career, becoming the third player _ after Dan Marino and Fran Tarkenton _ to reach the 50,000 plateau.
With 252 yards passing, Elway also moved past Tarkenton into second place in career passing yardage with 47,019, trailing only Marino.
"It means a lot to me," Elway said, "but the way I look at it is I've still got something left. Fifty-thousand is nice and getting past Tarkenton is nice. If this was my last game, I'd probably be crying in front of you guys. But I get to play next week."
Moon completed 28-of-46 for 256 yards, and Elway was 19-of-30. Davis, despite losing 10 yards on a fumbled pitchout on his last carry, rushed for 101 yards in 21 carries.
Elway's 10-yard touchdown pass to Willie Green and two field goals gave the Broncos a 13-10 lead at halftime.
Six minutes into the game, Seattle's Todd Peterson kicked a 52-yard field goal, his longest of the season. The Broncos responded with a 14-play, 85-yard drive capped by Elam's 23-yard field goal.
Denver then went 67 yards for a touchdown. Elway completed back-to-back 11- and 16-yard passes to Rod Smith, and Elway found Green on a fade pattern in the left corner of the end zone with 11:10 left in the half.
Moments later, Moon fumbled when hit from behind by safety Tyrone Braxton, but Denver had to settle for Elam's 48-yard field goal.
Elway vs. Moon
Two of pro football's all-time great quarterbacks faced off Sunday. How John Elway's and Warren Moon's career numbers compare:
Name Yrs. Com-Att Yds. TD INT
Elway 15 3,790-6,666 47,019 266 212
Moon 20 5,077-8,700 67,287 412 295
Note: Moon's totals include six seasons with Edmonton of the Canadian Football League (95 games, 1,369-of-2,382 for 21,228 yards, 144 TDs and 77 INTs).