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Game Recap: Seattle 21, Arizona 10 (Longer Version)

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Hey, kids! Defense wins championships!

Really!

   
    Sea-Tac Airport officials demonstrate their new security procedures on an unknown volunteer.
? AP ? Elaine Thompson

 
For the first quarter of today's 21-10 win over the Cardinals, Qwest Field felt, once again, like the biggest house of horrors in the NFL. Shaun was scoring, Matt was passing, Jackson looked like a player possessed (or fully intent on having a job next week), and the defense was swarming like an E! Network field reporter who just discovered he had press credentials. The Hawks were up 14-0 at the end of the period. Fans had the swagger back, beer concessionaires cracked more jokes, and even Jared from Subway looked like he'd shed a few more pounds.

Then, from the 2nd quarter on, it felt like we were just Waiting for Deion.

Maybe it had something to do with the presence of Cortez Kennedy, as he was entered into the Ring of Honor at halftime, but the only reason this game never felt like it was in serious doubt was because the Seahawks played outstanding defense.

   
'Tez steps into a burning Ring of Honor (after raising the XXIIth Man flag)
? AP - John Froschauer

 
   
And it was pretty well-spread around: Lofa got 12 tackles, Herndon had 10, the Seahawks had five sacks with a different player getting the sack credit each time, the line would not leave Warner alone or give much quarter to Edgerrin James, and Hamlin was hitting like the NFL kept stats for pressure pounds per square inch. Leroy Hill, after sitting out last week, might have had the best overall game of the unit. They were terrific. It's hard not to think the Seahawks are in for a golden year on D.

Yes, I'm trying to avoid discussing the offense. We had a problem or five. I don't know how drastic it has to get for our offensive line to improve, but the breakdowns up front disrupted Hasselbeck and restricted Shaun Alexander to one touchdown and 89 yards on about a million carries. We had our biggest breakthrough runs from Mo Morris and Mack Strong (and in one hilarious sequence, Bobby Engram), in plays that felt designed to fool the Cardinals defense into losing the ball carrier.

   
    For your consideration: Jackson hauls in TD pass
? AP - John Froschauer

 
Hasselbeck had, statistically, a terrible day, with only 12 completions, one TD and two picks. One decision I questioned in particular was with about 11:30 left in the game, Hawks up 21-10, and despite our ground troubles I felt we should really try running the clock down. Instead Hasselbeck threw a first-down pass into some active coverage and got intercepted. I felt we should have started the endgame right there, with an 11-point lead and a frazzled Arizona offense.

Darrell Jackson had a great game, with over 100 receiving yards and a TD under his belt before the second quarter. I commented to our seat neighbors that it seemed Darrell was really hoping to have a job next week. And to be honest, his game was far superior to his mates on the outside. The Deion-in-the-wings jitters instead seemed to afflict Nate Burleson, who really shouldn't be watching tapes of the 2003 receiving corps.

But we're doing pretty damn good, considering. A division victory against the most formidable opponent in the NFC West at this point, and a game that wasn't in too much serious doubt after the first quarter. A 2-and-0 start, even with the sense that our offense can only get better. And we should, soon, with the New York Giants coming to town next week after an incredible comeback win in Philadelphia this afternoon. For some reason the Giants are ticked off about their last Seattle experience. Whatever for?

   
"We're trying to hear the f****** song!"
? Paramount

 
   
The Section 328 Drunk Fan Moment of the Game goes to the woman one row behind us, and a few seats to the right. She had this title wrapped up at the National Anthem. As everybody stood up and the anthem began, she spotted a man at least ten rows ahead who had not removed his hat. "Take off your hat!!!!!" she screamed. He didn't hear her. So she screamed it again at the "whose bright stars" verse: "Take off your hat!!!!!!"

Look, I realize if we don't take off our hats for the Nat'l Anthem then the terrorists win (even though bare heads are clearer targets). But I think perhaps she could have let this one go, since everyone in Section 329 was shooting us dirty looks because of her, and not the hat-wearer. Section 329 was not impressed that we'd found the lost sister of the Hanson Brothers from Slap Shot.

Drunk Super Patriot Girl, you are this week's Section 328 Drunk Fan of the Game!