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Seahawks Dominate

September 08, 2003|From Associated Press

SEATTLE — The Seattle Seahawks showed last season they can move the ball. And while it's only one game, the biggest difference this year appears to be that they can stop it, too.

Matt Hasselbeck threw two touchdown passes, Shaun Alexander ran for 108 yards and scored twice and Seattle's retooled defense looked good Sunday in a 27-10 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

"We had to play well to win this game," Coach Mike Holmgren said. "I think you saw we have a chance to be improved on defense."

Seattle's defense held the Saints to 103 yards rushing, meaningful because the Seahawks ranked last in the NFL last season, giving up 152.6 yards rushing a game.

It's harder to measure the number of hard hits the Seattle defenders put on the Saints, but the influence of new defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes was evident in the team's more aggressive play.

"That's what we talked about all week, being physical with these guys," cornerback Willie Williams said. "We're coming out with a different attitude this year. Hopefully, we can play like that every week."

The Seahawks scored 21 unanswered points in the second quarter, reaching the end zone on each of their possessions to erase the Saints' early 3-0 lead.

"We missed a couple of tackles in the second quarter that led to big plays, and we didn't move the ball very well," New Orleans Coach Jim Haslett said.

"It was a combination of everything."

Alexander started the binge with a one-yard dive, Hasselbeck threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Koren Robinson and, later, a 10-yard touchdown pass to Alexander. Josh Brown added a 37-yard field goal in the third quarter.

"We wanted to wear them down," Alexander said.

"Those guys are big, and we wanted to run them sideline to sideline. But we had the most success when we ran straight at them."

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