Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Monday Night Football Returns

from Seahawks.com

Monday Night Football returns to the Emerald City this week when the Seahawks (6-5) host the Dallas Cowboys (4-7) on December 6. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (PT).

Despite losing to the Bills last week, Seattle remains atop the NFC West after St. Louis dropped to 5-6 on Monday Night after losing to the Green Bay Packers 45-17.
This will mark the Seahawks' 20th appearance on Monday Night Football and their first appearance against the Cowboys. The Seahawks are 12-7 all-time on Monday night, including losses in their last two prime time appearances.

The Seahawks have never lost more than two consecutive games on Monday Night Football in their 19 appearances. Seattle last hosted Monday’s prime-time audience on October 14, 2002, in a game against San Francisco, which the 49ers won 28-21.

The last time Seattle hosted a Monday Night game before 2002 was November 30, 1992, when the Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 16-13 in overtime.

The Seahawks did not play on Monday Night from 1993-98, but returned on November 1, 1999, when they traveled to Green Bay and won 27-7. That win capped a five-game Monday Night Football win streak from 1988 to 1999. The Seahawks lost an October 2, 2000 matchup at Kansas City by a 24-17 final score.

The Cowboys trail only the Miami Dolphins (70) with 64 all-time Monday Night Football appearances and are 37-27 in those games.

This will be the ninth all-time meeting between Seattle and Dallas, with the Cowboys holding a 5-3 advantage.

Seattle has won the last two contests in the series with a 17-14 win at Dallas on October 27, 2002, and a 29-3 win at Seattle’s Husky Stadium on December 16, 2001.
Before the 2001 meeting at Husky Stadium, the Seahawks played three consecutive games at Texas Stadium, notching a 31-14 win on November 27, 1986, before dropping two games in 1992 and 1998.

Before that 1986 Seahawks win, the Cowboys won the first three all-time games played in 1976, 1980 and 1983.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Keep on Rolling

from the offical site of the Seattle Seahawks

SAN FRANCISCO - Remember that Seahawks team a year ago that used to run and throw the ball up and down the field and seemingly scored at will? That high-powered offense made a welcome return Sunday, and San Francisco found out about it the hard way in a 42-27 Seattle win.

This was a Seattle team fit for it's own episode of MASH coming into the game after a recent bout of injuries. But credit the toughness of some hobbled veterans and the depth on the roster for some inspiring play.

"That's the kind of commitment the players have made to the team and their teammates," said Matt Hasselbeck on the walking wounded. "The mental toughness is inspiring."

Matt Hasselbeck's hot arm garnered him a 130.8 quarterback rating for the day while completing 17 of 28 pass attempts for 285 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Shaun Alexander had a sub-par day on the ground compared to last week's 195-yard outing. But his 160 yards on 26 carries (6.2 yards/carry average) was the key to the Seahawks putting together a number of long scoring drives.

Even Jerheme Urban, called up from the practice squad last week, caught two passes for 50 yards: the first good for 17 yards in the second quarter, and topped by a 33-yard reception in the third quarter. Both plays were key parts of two touchdown drives by the Seahawks.

Hasselbeck connected with 8 different receivers during the course of the game, with Jackson the high man with 5 receptions for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. Jerry Rice received a warm ovation from the fans in his return to the stadium that made him famous, and he caught one pass for 5 yards.

The Hawks once again used the run and pass combo to great affect, putting together a 15-play, 86-yard drive in the second quarter that resulted in Alexander's first touchdown. The 7 minute, 29 second drive ate up half of the quarter clock.

"We run right at people, and after I get in the hole I become an athlete," said Alexander on his carries. "I think the power game is easier if you know you're going to get the ball again. It's easier to pound it in there."

But the drive of the season came in the third quarter with the Seahawks pinned back on their own six yard line. Facing a 3th & 10, Mike Holmgren dialed up a running play for Alexander, who broke loose for a 13-yard carry off left tackle to get the Seahawks out of trouble. "I think it was a great call that Mike made," said Hasselbeck on Alexander's 13-yard carry. "They played soft and rushed four, and we worked on that play in training camp and it's paying off."

Alexander followed with three successive carries of 9, 9 and 7 yards to put the Hawks at their own 44, and Hasselbeck followed with a 17-yard completion to tight end Ryan Hannam, yes, Ryan Hannam, to spot the ball at the 49ers 40. Facing a 3rd & 9 from the 39, Hasselbeck rifled a bomb down the right sideline for Koren Robinson, who ducked the defender and raced down the sideline for his first touchdown of the season. 94 yards in 11 plays.

The game didn't start off well for the Seahawks, or Hasselbeck for that matter, who was sacked twice on the first possession for a quick three and out. "They came with pressure early, and that happens sometimes," said Hasselbeck on the opening drive. "We made some adjustments at halftime and then it wasn't a problem."

A 27-yard punt by Donnie Jones gave the 49ers good field position at the Seahawks 21. Running back Kevin Barlow accounted for all the yardage in a 3-play scoring drive to put the 49ers on the board 7-0.

Both teams traded possessions, and a 27-yard punt by the 49ers had the Seahawks set up at the San Francisco 33. Alexander was stopped for no gain on the first play, and on 2nd & 10 Hasselbeck hooked up on a 33-yard pass to Darrell Jackson down the middle to tie the game at 7.

"The guys in the training room did a great job getting me ready," said Jackson on his recovery from the ankle sprain he suffered in the Carolina game. "It's a little sore now, but it will get better."

The 49ers came back with a 69-yard drive, and quarterback Tim Rattay's 28-yard touchdown pass to receiver Curtis Conway put them back on top 14-7.

The Seahawks got a scare early in the second quarter when Ken Lucas landed awkwardly on his chest while defending a play, and was later placed on a cart and sent to the locker room. "He'll be in the hospital overnight, he has a chest contusion," said Mike Holmgren on the cornerback. "We'll say a prayer for him, and he should be alright."

Both teams traded possessions, and then the Seahawks put together their 86-yard scoring drive, with Alexander's 1-yard carry at the end to tie the score at 14.

Three carries by Barlow netted 8 yards, and the Seahawks got the ball back with 4:33 remaining in the first half. Seattle's drive appeared to stall at the 49ers 39 when a Hasselbeck pass to Robinson fell incomplete. But a pass interference call on defender Shawntae Spencer spotted the ball at the 25. On the following play, Hasselbeck hit Jackson with a 21-yard completion down the right sideline to the 4, and Alexander followed with a 4-yard carry into the endzone to put Seattle on top 21-14.

"Our offensive line is really putting it together now, and I'm so proud of those guys," said Alexander on the blocks and holes he was getting. "We've been putting together good games and drives, and our passing game opened it up for us today."

The 49ers ran their two-minute offense to pull to the Seattle 9 with 11 seconds remaining, and Tod Peterson's 27-yard field goal made it a 21-17 game at the half.

San Francisco drew first blood in the third quarter with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Rattay to receiver Brandon Lloyd for a 24-21 49ers lead.

The following possession had the Seahawks offense barely on the field. Starting from the Seattle 27, Hasselbeck hit Jerheme Urban up the middle with a 33-yard completion to the SF 40. Hasselbeck followed with a 15-yard completion to Jerramy Stevens to the 25, and then came the coup de grace: a 25-yard touchdown pass to Koren Robinson for a 28-24 Seattle lead. Hasselbeck was 3 for 3 for 73 yards on the drive, and he wasn't done yet.

The Hawks put together their 94-yard scoring drive with a little over 6 minutes to play in the third quarter. Alexander accounted for 39 yards of it on 5 carries, and Hasselbeck's 39-yard touchdown pass to Robinson capped the 11-play drive for a 35-24 Seahawks lead.

Tod Peterson's 30-yard field goal closed the gap to 35-27 with 11 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks next possession got as close as the SF 47 followed by a punt, with Maurice Hicks muffing the catch and then tackled by Tracy White at the 15.

In the sequence that followed, Anthony Simmons describes how he sealed the win for Seattle:

"He didn't see me, and I saw the 'outside flood', as we call it, and we ran zone pressure. I cut underneath the tight end and made the play."

Simmons' description of his interception and 23-yard touchdown return off a Rattay pass intended for receiver Cedric Wilson effectively broke the 49ers' back, as the Seahawks hang on for a 42-27 final score. The Hawks have now had at least one interception in each of their last 13 games.

"It was a wild one, and we feel very good," said Holmgren following the game. "I'm staying with plays a little bit longer, and I sense we have a pretty good thing going now."

Shaun Alexander topped the 5,000 yards rushing mark for his career, and is now in third place on the Seahawks' all-time list behind Chris Warren (6,706) and Curt Warner (6,705).

Seattle has now swept the 49ers for the second-straight year and are now 6-6 in the all-time series. More good news for Seattle: with St. Louis losing at home to New England 40-22, the Hawks now have a 1-game lead atop the NFC West over the Rams. And the Seahawks have a score to settle with those very same Rams on the road next week.

The Seahawks totaled 453 yards of offense: 269 passing and 184 rushing, with 26 first downs and a 9-for-14 3rd-down conversion rate. The 42-point total tops the 41 scored in last year's 44-41 overtime lost at Baltimore, and was six short of the 48 scored against Minnesota on Sept. 29, 2002 at Qwest Field.

The 5-3 Seahawks now prepare for a divisional showdown next Sunday against the 4-4 Rams, who have lost two of their last three games at home.