Ryan's Place

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Seahawks Advance to Championship With 20-10 Win Over Redskins!!



From NFL.com:

His head pounding and his day over, Shaun Alexander walked off the field at halftime and flashed the "OK" sign.

He was right.

Despite losing the NFL MVP to an early concussion, the Seattle Seahawks ended their 21-year playoff drought by beating the Washington Redskins 20-10 behind Matt Hasselbeck and a stout defense.

"I told Matt at halftime that he had to shoulder the load," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said. "We always put a lot on his shoulders, but I told him that now he had to do a little bit more."

Hasselbeck did.

He passed for a touchdown and ran for another as the Seahawks advanced to the NFC title game next week against the winner of the Jan. 15 game in Chicago between Carolina and the Bears.

Holmgren said he was optimistic Alexander will be able to play. Alexander, injured in the first 10 minutes, did not talk to reporters.

The victory ended the longest run without a postseason victory by any NFL team -- Seattle had been 0-6 since its last playoff triumph on Dec. 22, 1984. The contest next week will be the second title game in its 30-year franchise history -- the Seahawks played for the AFC championship after the 1983 season.

"I don't know if it was me. Those other guys stepped up," Hasselbeck said. "It was really a team win today."

Alexander, who scored an NFL-record 28 touchdowns this season and led the league with 1,880 yards rushing, lost a fumble without being hit at the Washington 11 on Seattle's opening drive. He was then hurt with 5:28 left in the first quarter and did not return.

Without Alexander, this became Hasselbeck's game.

Not only did he complete 16 of 26 passes for 215 yards and a 29-yard second-quarter touchdown pass to Darrell Jackson, but he scrambled around the right side for a 6-yard TD in the third quarter.

"I think he was awesome," said wide receiver Joe Jurevicius, one of the few Seahawks with Super Bowl experience. "He loses his starting running back and he's able to overcome that with no problem."

Indeed, Hasselbeck's work helped overcome three costly turnovers -- one that kept Seattle from scoring in the first period, a second that led to a Washington field goal and a third in the fourth quarter that the Redskins squandered.

Jackson had nine receptions for 143 yards despite playing with a bad back.

The Seahawks (14-3) stopped Washington's six-game winning streak. The Redskins (11-7) were inept on offense for the second successive week -- they had 140 yards in the first three quarters after getting a total of 120 in last week against Tampa Bay.

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