Just Like Old Times

The Seahox play like they did for Chuck Knox.

At some point, somebodyevidently fed the Seattle Seahawks that bromide about the best offense being a good defense. The Hawk offense, maybe waiting for the cornerbacks and linebackers to take charge, did not score during the second halves of the season's first two games. Then, one imagines, during a spirited locker room address at halftime of the Sunday, Sept. 25, feather-flap against the division rival Arizona Cardinals, coach Mike Holmgren must have said: "We checked, and, in fact, the best offense is a good offense."

Whatever happened, the Hawk O-unit opened the third quarter by putting up 14 points in three minutes, 39 seconds on the way to a 37-12 victory, the first dominating performance in a long time. It leaves Seattle at 2-1 and showed that the offense and defense both can perform well just by being themselves. The defense forced its first two turnovers of the season. The offense, predictably led by Shaun Alexander and Matt Hasselbeck, had several lengthy drives, even if a relieved Holmgren said after the game that, when it comes to an 80-yard scoring march or a 1-yard plunge following a fumble recovery, "I like the 1-yard better."

Holmgren might have reminded scribes of a plain-speaking predecessor, and the win recalled that earlier era. During halftime, Chuck Knox was inducted into the Ring of Honor. ("Knox Tox Hox," said billboards for KIRO-AM in the 1980s.)

Speaking of Seahawk faves, Alexander, father of two, is certain to be a hero of pediatricians everywhere. His obligatory post-touchdown celebrations included a baby-burp pantomime, with the football as baby. Laboring toward the league rushing championship, Alexander the Great finished with four running touchdowns and 140 yards on 22 carries. Hasselbeck threw 21 for 30 for 242 yards.

Darrell Jackson, who let passes slip away like greased pigs last season, had eight sure-handed grabs for 125 yards. The offensive line was dominant, and the young, mostly untested defense appeared ready for a run at playoff contention—which the 2-1 record, going to Washington and St. Louis, makes possible.

Such an admirable performance is partly due to playing at home against an Arizona team that is now 0-3 and hurting at quarterback. Both backups were used after starter Kurt Warner came up lame. Some had the red team picked for playoff glory, but the only playing these Cards can hope for in January is a few hands of hold-'em.

The Hawks, meanwhile, might yet prove they have at least a good, if not the best, offense and defense for a season in which greatness is eluding all 32 teams.


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