Ryan's Place

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Magic Start Season With 109-94 Win

From Sportsline.com:

Orlando Magic coach Brian Hill thought his team had no chance against the Bulls Wednesday night after watching Chicago rout the defending champion Miami Heat to open the season.

"They just drove the ball everywhere they wanted to go," Hill said.

Hill was happy to be wrong.

Dwight Howard had 27 points and 11 rebounds and Jameer Nelson scored 21 points as the Magic surprised the Chicago Bulls 109-94 Wednesday night in Orlando's season opener.

The Bulls beat the Heat by 42 points the night before, but couldn't find their stroke Wednesday. Howard took control, grabbing lobs in the low post on fronting defenders and running the baseline for backdoor dunks.

"Dwight's going to be one of those guys in this league that are going to make it hard, make it tough for anyone who comes into this building to get a win," Bulls center Ben Wallace said of the third-year player.

Ben Gordon flashed a dazzling array of reverse layups, drives and fadeaway jumpers on his way to 24 points that kept Chicago in the game -- barely. Kirk Hinrich had 14 points and four assists and Luol Deng scored 12 for the Bulls.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Defense Can't Stop Anybody in 28-35 Loss to Chiefs

From NFL.com:

There is a way to hold onto the ball for two-thirds of the game, move it some 500 yards, get your best player in the end zone four times and still nearly lose the game.

Just ask the Kansas City Chiefs.

At the end of their wild 35-28 victory over the depleted Seattle Seahawks, the Chiefs were feeling more lucky than good, more grateful than boastful.

"That goes to show you what happens in the National Football League," Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said, "when you miss opportunities and turn the ball over in the wrong area of the field and give up big plays."

Larry Johnson, Tony Gonzalez, Damon Huard and Eddie Kennison all had outstanding days for Kansas City (4-3), which went over .500 for the first time all year. The Chiefs had 499 total yards to 240 for Seattle, and 42 minutes, 15 seconds of possession time compared with Seattle's 17:45.

But outrageous mistakes let the Seahawks (4-3) score two unanswered touchdowns and grab a 28-27 lead with about six minutes left.

"We just made some silly mistakes, including myself," said Huard, who was a game-day decision because of a sore groin.

"When you've got a chance to jump on people, you've got to do it. And we didn't."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

With Hasselbeck Out 3-4 Weeks, Hawks Sign Hamdan

From Seahawks.com:

The Seattle Seahawks released wide receiver Willie Ponder and signed quarterback Gibran Hamdan to the 53-man active roster, the team announced this afternoon. Hamdan, whom the Seahawks signed from the San Francisco 49ers practice squad, was released by Seattle on August 28 during training camp and then signed with San Francisco. He originally was a seventh-round pick (232nd overall) by the Washington Redskins in the 2003 NFL Draft and has played in one career game going one for two for 7 yards. Ponder was signed by Seattle on September 5 and played in all six games returning kickoffs. He recorded 25 returns for 587 yards (23.5 avg.) with a long of 41.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Magic Stink in Loss to Vikings 13-31

From NFL.com:

For years, teams facing the Seahawks at home have tried silent snap counts, blaring music during practices and other tricks to combat Seattle's notoriously raucous crowd noise.

Minnesota Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson figured out a way to take the crowd and the Seahawks out of it on the same play.

Henderson rolled into Matt Hasselbeck 's right leg early in the second half of a tie game, sending the Pro Bowl quarterback to the locker room for the remainder of the game with a sprained knee.

Then the Vikings' Chester Taylor romped for most of his career-high 169 yards on a pivotal, 95-yard run -- the longest in Minnesota history -- as the Vikings stunned the battered Seahawks 31-13 to end Seattle's team-record 12-game home winning streak.

Qwest Field was so quiet, you could hear another Seahawks star fall.

"I think they were a little shocked a little rattled without their leader out there," Henderson said after his knockout, which did not appear to be intentional. He also had a team-high nine tackles and intercepted backup Seneca Wallace.

Already without his league MVP Shaun Alexander, Seattle coach Mike Holmgren announced Hasselbeck will have an MRI on Oct. 23 to determine the extent of his injury. When pressed on how injured the most important player of his intricate offense is, coach Holmgren turned terse.

"I'm not going to say anything about what it is. He's getting pictures taken tomorrow," Holmgren said.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Seahawks Win Wild One in St. Louis, 30-28

From NFL.com:

The luck of the Rams finally ran out.

Twice this season -- against Arizona and Green Bay -- St. Louis was on the verge of losing, only to be saved by late-game fumbles by opponents. It almost happened again, but Seattle's Josh Brown kicked a 54-yard field goal as time expired to give Seattle an improbable 30-28 win.

"It was a great game to watch, I'm sure," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "A tough game to coach. Fortunately, Josh was on today."

The win put Seattle (4-1) back atop the NFC West, a half game ahead of the Rams (4-2), who have a bye next week. Seattle won with MVP running back Shaun Alexander still out with a broken foot, and without wide receiver Bobby Engram (thyroid condition) and tight end Jerramy Stevens (knee).

The game shaped up early as a Rams blowout. Two touchdown passes from Marc Bulger to Torry Holt and a 2-yard run by Steven Jackson gave St. Louis a 21-7 lead at the half.

As dominant as the Rams were in the first half, Seattle was better in the second, scoring 20 straight points to go up 27-21 late in the game.

Then the fun began.

After Bulger's first interception in 204 attempts this season gave Seattle the ball deep in St. Louis territory, the game seemed over. But Leonard Little stripped Maurice Morris at the St. Louis 7 with 2:48 to play, and Jimmy Kennedy recovered.

From the St. Louis 33, Bulger threw deep over the middle. Holt, in single coverage, got a hand on the ball at the Seattle 20, tipped it into the air, then grabbed it and ran into the end zone for a career-best third touchdown catch.

"It was a shot," Bulger said. "As long as I could get one-on-one coverage, I just wanted to give him (Holt) a chance. Great players do things like that."

The Rams have had plenty of luck on their side this season. Against Arizona, the Cardinals had the ball deep in Rams territory and were setting up a winning chip-shot field goal when quarterback Kurt Warner fumbled. The Rams recovered, securing a 16-14 win.

Last week, St. Louis was up 23-20 with the Packers moving. But Little stripped the ball from Brett Favre at the Rams 11, and St. Louis had another gift.

This time, Seattle had an answer, led by Matt Hasselbeck, who was 19 of 34 for 268 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.

Starting at the Seattle 17 and with no timeouts, Hasselbeck hit D.J. Hackett for 14 yards, Darrell Jackson for 19 and Deion Branch for nine. Two runs moved the ball to the St. Louis 31.

As Hasselbeck spiked the ball with four seconds left, the Seahawks were whistled for an illegal formation. The Rams began to celebrate, believing a 10-second clock runoff would give them the win.

"The 10-second runoff people are familiar with is a false start, or when the players never get set before the ball is snapped," referee Ed Hochuli said. "This is not a 10-second runoff situation."

Brown then made his third field goal of the game, the ball sailing well past the goalpost.

"I really didn't have a whole lot of worries," Brown said.

Seattle sacked Bulger six times, often with just a three-man front. Former Ram Bryce Fisher and Julian Peterson had two sacks each.

"We have too high of a sack number right now," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "We don't want to give away any, but for them to get us in a three-man rush is not good."

Branch, making his first start since coming to Seattle in a trade from New England earlier this season, had six catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson had four catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.

The wild ending might not have happened if not for a wing-and-a-prayer play by Seattle in the third quarter.

Down 21-7 and facing third-and-15, Hasselbeck threw the ball about 60 yards in the air to Jackson, who split triple coverage and slid under the pass for a 42-yard score.

"To be honest, I really didn't think he was going to get there and catch it," Hasselbeck said.

Brown's 49-yard field goal got Seattle within four. Then Kevin Curtis fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Seattle's Kevin Bentley recovering at the St. Louis 22.

Two plays later, Hasselbeck threw a perfect fade pass and Branch easily beat Travis Fisher to give Seattle its first lead.

Brown added another 49-yarder with 10:33 to play, setting up the wild ending.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Seahawks Pathetic in 6-37 Loss at Chicago

From NFL.com:

Lance Briggs couldn't hide his emotions. He smiled, he broke into a rap and even showed off his dance moves as he got dressed after the Chicago Bears showed how serious they are about contending for the NFC title.

The Bears linebacker had reason to be giddy. Chicago just finished dominating the defending conference champion Seattle Seahawks.

Rex Grossman threw for 232 yards and Ricky Manning Jr. intercepted two of Matt Hasselbeck's passes to lead Chicago to a 37-6 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night.

"Thirty seven-six just shows what we're capable of, but we're a lot better than that," Grossman said. "They're a lot better than they played tonight and we realize that. ... We realize we may face them down the road at some point, and we're glad we got the win."

Grossman had another solid performance, completing 17 of 31 passes with two touchdowns and no interceptions, and the Bears improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1991.

Bernard Berrian had three receptions for a career-high 108 yards and a touchdown.

The Bears also got their running game going after three sluggish performances, with Thomas Jones rushing for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

And the league's fourth-ranked defense shut down a Seahawks team that was missing injured running back Shaun Alexander.

"We definitely sent a message," Briggs said. "We're out to send a message every week. Every week, we gain another believer."

With the Bears leading 10-3, Manning intercepted Hasselbeck twice in the second quarter to set up a field goal and touchdown.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Seahawks Cut Kacyvenski, Make Room For Weeks

From Seahawks.com:

The Seattle Seahawks have released seven-year veteran linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski and signed running back Marquis Weeks from the team’s practice squad to its active roster, the team announced Saturday afternoon.

Kacyvenski, drafted by Seattle with the second of two fourth-round picks (119th overall) in the 2000 NFL Draft, has played in 90 career games with 22 starts, amassing 184 tackles (136 solo), one sack, three interceptions and one forced fumble with the Seahawks.

This season he has played on special teams only and has three tackles, giving him 84 career special teams stops along with a fumble forced and fumble recovery.

Weeks signed as a rookie free agent from Virginia in 2005 and spent last season on the team’s practice squad, where he has also spent the first three games this season.

This preseason he played in all four games, carrying 23 times for 81 yards (3.5 avg.) with a long of 24 and one touchdown. He carried once for six yards vs. Dallas with his remaining numbers against the Oakland Raiders in the preseason finale.