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Monday, September 19, 2005

Seahawks Hold On To Beat Falcons 21-18

From Mike Kahn at Seahawks.com:

Shaun Alexander recognized something different about his teammates on Sunday.

It isn’t as if the Seattle Seahawks weren’t together during training camp, so that wasn’t it. Maybe it was the knowledge that defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes is recovering from a stroke, but still brought himself to the game and was watching from the upstairs press box.

Or maybe, just maybe, it has to do with this young team growing up.

“I told some of the guys before the game started, playing aggressive and playing with passion is a choice,” Alexander said. “Everybody just made the choice today.”

The choice was palpable, as they played physical and fast, and despite a difficult second half, the result was a 21-18 win for the Seahawks over the Atlanta Falcons at Qwest Field. Now 1-1, the Seahawks play host to the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday.

Alexander rushed for 144 yards on 28 carries, including a 14-yard touchdown run, and quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was 20-of-31 for 281 yards and touchdown passes of six yards to Joe Jurevicius and 35 to Jerramy Stevens.
The Seahawks raced to a 21-0 lead in the first half, then held off the Falcons – bottling up explosive quarterback Michael Vick for virtually the entire game – with the exception of one 32-yard scramble midway through the fourth quarter. Nonetheless, the Falcons did regain their poise in the second half when it appeared the Seahawks were going to blow them out of the stadium, and made things just a little bit too interesting.

Nonetheless, it was a win, and the game ball was going to land in the hands of Rhodes.
“I asked the team and we’re going to give him the ball,” Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. “He was upstairs. He minded the doctor’s orders pretty much. Now I have to send him home and he can’t go out tonight.

“In the second half, a lot of things just happened in clumps. But in the end, our defense just played really good defense.”

Take your pick of guys who made plays. It was impact by committee on the defensive line. Grant Wistrom was on the ball all day, Marcus Tubbs kept clogging up the middle, with Rocky Bernard and Bryce Fisher making huge plays down the stretch.


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