Seahawks Survive Late Scare to Top Redskins 35-14
The Seahawk defense clinched the win for Seattle with two interceptions returned for touchdowns, which helped make up for the inconsistent offense.
Marcus Trufant rambled 78 yards after his fourth-quarter interception to give Seattle a 28-14 lead, and some much-needed breathing room.
Trufant had an easy pick after Washington receiver Santana Moss gave up on the play. Moss didn't even see the pass headed his way, which allowed Trufant to catch the ball like a punt returner and take off down the sideline for the score.
Jordan Babineaux's 57-yard INT return for a touchdown was simply the icing on the cake, as the 'Hawks had the game in hand with less than a minute to go.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw for 229 yards and a touchdown, but was picked off twice at crucial moments. His throwing touch was off and on as he overthrew open receivers several times, but at other times completed pinpoint passes. Hasselbeck could be seen flexing his sore wrist throughout the game.
The running game was again weak, totaling just 77 yards on the day. Shaun Alexander picked up 46 yards on 15 carries, while Maurice Morris had just four carries for 13 yards. Morris also had no receptions on the day.
Morris' touches continue to be limited, despite his clear advantage over Alexander in speed and agility. In the first quarter, Morris converted a third-and-two by breaking tackles behind the line of scrimmage and picking up six yards.
Alexander had one good run for 13 yards but otherwise looked as he has all season—slow and indecisive with the ball.
D.J. Hackett was the star of the Seattle receiving corps, hauling in six catches for 101 yards, including the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram had six and four receptions, respectively, to help make up for the absence of Deion Branch.
The Seattle pass rush swarmed Washington QB Todd Collins throughout the first half, sacking him twice, and hitting him many other times.
In the second quarter, Patrick Kerney ripped around the corner and hit Collins' arm, forcing what looked like a fumble—but ultimately was ruled an incomplete pass.
The highlight sack of the day came from Leroy Hill, who pushed Ladell Betts backwards into Collins, then jumped and reached over Betts to grab Collins and drag him to the ground.
Seattle also limited the damage by Clinton Portis, holding him to 52 yards rushing and 28 yards receiving on four catches.
While the Seahawks' defense saved Seattle in the end, some untimely fourth-quarter breakdowns and an oddly conservative second-half pass rush allowed Washington to make a game of it.
The Seahawks had taken a 13-point lead thanks to two Josh Brown field goals and a 17-yard touchdown run by fullback Leonard Weaver.
Weaver showed excellent speed and agility on his score, bouncing to the right side and bursting past Redskin defenders to the end zone.
But Seattle allowed Washington to drive 84 yards and score to climb within six points at the beginning of the fourth.
The crucial play on the drive was pass interference, called on Brian Russell as the Redskins went for it on fourth-and-one from the Seattle 27.
Still, the Seahawks had a chance to stop the Redskins on third-and-six from the seven-yard line, but Babineaux blew his assignment and left Antwaan Randle-El open for the TD strike from Todd Collins.
Matt Hasselbeck then put the pressure on his defense by throwing an interception to LaRon Landry.
On the third play of the ensuing drive, Collins threw a perfect deep ball to Moss down the middle of the field for a 30-yard touchdown reception and a crowd-quieting 14-13 lead.
Disaster struck for Seattle on the kickoff, as the wind knocked the ball down so that it dropped in front of Burleson, bounced over his head, and was recovered by the Redskins at the 15-yard line.
But here was where the Seahawks' D truly bent but did not break, as they forced Washington into a three and out and a 30-yard field goal attempt.
Somehow kicker Shaun Suisham pushed the ball to the left, and with the miss the Redskins' momentum was stifled.
Hasselbeck once again applied the screws to his defense with an interception on the next drive—but once again the defense held, forcing another three and out.
This time the offense took advantage of the D's strength, driving 42 yards in five plays and regaining the lead on a 20-yard touchdown pass to Hackett.
On the next drive, Rocky Bernard hit Collins as he threw, and the long high pass was picked off by Trufant and taken to the house, setting off wild celebrations by the 12th man.
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