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Sunday, November 20, 2005

Whew! Seahawks Hold off 49ers 27-25



From NFL.com:

Collapses have long been commonplace for the Seattle Seahawks, and this one was shaping up as a shameful classic. They were one pass away from blowing a 15-point lead and going to overtime after failing to stop the backups on one of the NFL's worst teams.

But these Seahawks believe they can change their flop-filled history. And when Ken Dorsey's final pass bounced in the end zone, Seattle changed, all right -- into the conference's winningest team.

Shaun Alexander rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns, and the Seahawks stopped the 49ers' two-point conversion attempt with 28 seconds left in their sixth straight victory, 27-25.

After the color returned to their faces, the Seahawks (8-2) realized they matched the best start in franchise history, also accomplished in 1999 and 1984 -- the last time the Seahawks won a playoff game. The '99 team was a more typical Seattle squad, losing five of its last six in coach Mike Holmgren's first season.

"In the past, we might have let this one slip away, but this is a different team and a different season," Holmgren said. "You have to win a game like this. It was important for us to win a game like this. You go in and everyone is talking about it all week -- what a lopsided game it could be -- because the players and the coaches are human beings."

Matt Hasselbeck was 19 of 31 for 233 yards and a TD pass to D.J. Hackett as the league's most prolific offense dominated the first three quarters, racking up 357 yards. But Seattle stalled in the fourth quarter, managing just 16 yards and no first downs while awakening those memories of embarrassing midseason losses.

And with coordinator Ray Rhodes back home in Seattle after his second stroke-like episode this season, the Seahawks' defense nearly blew a victory that put them alone atop the NFC after Carolina's loss to Chicago.

But the defense barely held, the offense still had good numbers -- and the Seahawks tried to get used to getting the breaks.

"My brother used to always tell me that when you are really doing good, you start to make things that are great, normal," said Alexander, who leads the NFL with 1,229 yards rushing. "That's what I'm trying to do, and our team is trying to do that, too. We are trying to make winning normal. We are trying to make 100-yard games normal ... because after that, the sky is the limit."

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