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Seahawks score on all five first half possessions

11/10/2002

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- For one half, Mike Holmgren must have
thought he was watching his glorious old Green Bay Packers, not his
sputtering Seattle Seahawks.

Question on the Seahawks: Can you attempt to make sense out of their Jekyll and Hyde act?
They're able to perform well against teams with their talent level. But the bottom line is, the Seahawks are short on talent. When they play teams with a similar talent level, they have a chance to win. But against more talented teams, they need to hope for an off day by their opponent.

Question on the Cardinals: Is it time to jump off their bandwagon?
With the realignment this season (from the NFC East to the NFC West), the Cardinals are in a tougher division. They looked good at times earlier this season, but I see Jake Plummer as a .500 quarterback. And the way the Cardinals are built personnel-wise, they're a .500 team. Owner Bill Bidwell hasn't done a very good job running his team, and it's reflected in the results.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

A 30-minute, methodical manhandling of the fading Arizona
Cardinals was more than enough to send the Seahawks to a 27-6
victory on Sunday.

Passing the ball and running the ball, the Seahawks scored on
all five possessions in the first half.

Matt Hasselbeck completed 23 of 31 passes for 260 yards -- 4
yards shy of the career best he set a week ago against Washington.

Neither team scored in the second half, when Arizona fumbled the
ball away three times inside the Seattle 10.

"It was ugly,'' Arizona's Jake Plummer said. "It just kept
getting worse and worse.''

Marcel Shipp fumbled after Arizona had reached the 1- and 5-
yard line in the third quarter. Both were recovered by linebacker
Marcus Bell -- who grew up in tiny St. John's, Ariz., and was a
collegiate star at Arizona.

Plummer fumbled a bad snap from backup center Jason Starkey at
the Seahawks 8 with 7:30 to go in the fourth.

Seattle (3-6) -- a 24-13 loser to Arizona in week two -- rolled up
293 yards in the first half, 209 passing by Hasselbeck, who threw
16 yards to a wide-open Ryan Hannam for one of the Seahawks' three
touchdowns. Shaun Alexander ran 5 yards and 1 yard for the other
two TDs, and Rian Lindell kicked field goals of 23 and 30 yards.

"We just got in a rhythm, in a groove,'' said Koren Robinson,
who caught seven passes for 96 yards and gained another 20 on an
end-around. "We all know we're capable of moving the ball on
anybody. We all just clicked today, and played to our
capabilities.''

All Arizona could manage were field goals of 40 and 27 yards by
Bill Gramatica.

The Cardinals (4-5) lost their third straight, all to NFC West
opponents. Arizona had four turnovers, Seattle none.

The Cardinals had no explanation for their listless defensive
performance in the first half.

"I don't know what happened,'' linebacker Raynoch Thompson
said. "I'm clueless right now, speechless.''

Coach Dave McGinnis was stunned by how badly his team performed.

"It just sickens me that we could go out there and do that,''
he said.

It was a matchup of two injury-riddled teams, with the Seahawks
probably in worse shape than the Cardinals were.

"We were kind of limping in here with the M.A.S.H. unit,''
Holmgren said. "It's a really good win for us.''

The crowd of 29,252 in 73,000-seat Sun Devil Stadium heartily
booed Plummer, running back Thomas Jones and the Arizona defense,
which missed tackle after tackle, then gave it to the whole
Cardinals team as it left the field at halftime. Jones, who rushed
for 173 yards in Arizona's victory in Seattle, had just 24 yards on
11 carries.

Hasselbeck rolled out often, and that usually resulted in a
completion.

"We didn't necessarily take a lot of shots downfield,'' he
said. "We just kept the chains moving. We could have executed
better in the red zone, but we came away with points.''

The Seahawks, last in the NFL in rushing defense at 173 yards
per game, held Arizona to 111 on the ground, 29 in the first half.

"You just get tired of getting ripped on -- verbally,
physically,'' Holmgren said, "and you start playing.''

Lindell's 23-yard field goal gave Seattle a quick 3-0 lead.

After rookie Jason McAddley's tough catch of Plummer's wobbly
42-yard flea-flicker pass on Arizona's first play of the game,
Gramatica's 40-yard field goal made it 3-3 with 6:04 left in the
first quarter.

Seattle went 58 yards in seven plays, with Alexander bursting up
the middle for the score to make it 10-3 with 3:16 left in the
first quarter. Lindell's 30-yarder put the Seahawks ahead 13-3 with
11:54 left in the half.

The next time Arizona had the ball, Plummer's pass was deflected
by defender Reggie Tongue, and Curtis Fuller intercepted at the
Cardinals 46. The Seahawks scored in three plays, with Hasselbeck
throwing to a wide-open Hannam in the end zone.

After Gramatica's 27-yarder cut the lead to 20-6, Seattle went
71 yards in 8 plays. Alexander's 1-yard touchdown run capped the
drive to make it 27-6 with 16 seconds to go in the half. Robinson
caught seven passes for 96 yards.

Game notes
McAddley, starting in place of injured David Boston, caught
five passes for 113 yards in his second NFL game. ... Alexander has
25 career rushing touchdowns, two shy of Sherman Smith for third on
Seattle's career list. ... Arizona has had crowds of fewer than
30,000 for three of its five home games.