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Arizona opens game with four straight turnovers

9/14/2003

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Seattle is 2-0 for the first time in five
years, thanks to a smothering defensive performance on a sweltering
Sunday.

The Arizona Cardinals turned the ball over on their first four
possessions and Matt Hasselbeck threw touchdown passes of 55 and 66
yards to Darrell Jackson in Seattle's 38-0 romp.

Question on the Seahawks: Has Ray Rhodes affected the defense that much or is the jury still out?
Once again, I think it's a little premature to judge a defense on their performance against the Cardinals. Rhodes has done a good job with this defense and will do a better job when he gets the personnel he needs for his defensive scheme.

Question on the Cardinals: Should they already start thinking about the No. 1 draft pick?

No. Football isn't the type of sport that should be played at less than a 100% intensity level. It'd be a terrible idea for these players or coaches to try and mail it in at practice or in games.

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

"It's the building blocks for a good season," Seahawks coach
Mike Holmgren said.

The temperature was 98 degrees at kickoff and 102 at halftime,
but it was the Cardinals who collapsed in the heat.

It was their the most onesided home loss since a 52-10 beating
by Philadelphia on Nov. 8, 1981, seven years before the franchise
moved from St. Louis to Arizona.

"We gave them that ballgame early, then we didn't fight to get
it back," said Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis, whose team has lost
11 of 12. "That disappoints me more than anything else."

Reggie Tongue intercepted two passes as the Seahawks, under new
defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes, shut out an opponent for the
first time since a 38-0 victory over Philadelphia to open the 1998
season.

"When you have such a powerful leader as Ray, it can't help but
rub off on everybody," Seattle linebacker Chad Brown. "Ray is
awesome. I think he's the reason we're doing so much better
defensively."

Arizona (0-2) lost quarterback Jeff Blake with a bruised left
heel with 1:55 left in the first quarter when 310-pound defensive
tackle Norman Hand fell on him. X-rays were negative, but backup
Josh McCown played the rest of the game.

The Cardinals, shut out at home for the first time in 12 years,
committed six turnovers, giving them nine in two games. Arizona's
first two opponents did not have a turnover.

A total of 23,127 tickets were distributed for the game, but
actual turnout at Sun Devil Stadium was much smaller.

"One of the things we said is, `Hey, the stadium is not going
to be full, we've got to create our own atmosphere. We've got to
create our own emotion.' Our defense for sure came out and did
that," Hasselbeck said.

Hasselbeck, who was 8-of-19 for 175 yards and was not
intercepted, ran 2 yards for a touchdown after Arizona's Bryant
Johnson fumbled on the first play from scrimmage. Marcus Trufant
recovered and returned it 31 yards.

McCown's pitch bounced off Emmitt Smith's shoulder pad and
Randall Godfrey returned it 54 yards and Seattle led 14-0 with
14:11 to play in the first half -- even though Hasselbeck was
0-for-5 passing at that point.

McCown completed 18 of 32 passes for 150 yards and was
intercepted twice. Smith, in his home debut for Arizona, gained 54
yards on 14 carries.

Smith spoke to his teammates in the locker room after the game.

"He wanted everybody to understand that this thing is real. We
don't want to be the same team from last year," McCown said. "We
can't play like that. We have to come out with more heart than
that."

Seattle receiver Koren Robinson was suspended for an unspecified
violation of team rules, but he wasn't needed.

After Arizona's Bill Gramatica missed a 53-yard field goal try,
Hasselbeck split two defenders on a 55-yard scoring pass to Jackson
to give the Seahawks a 24-0 lead.

Seattle made it 31-0 on the third play of the second half,
Hasselbeck hitting a wide-open Jackson on missed coverage for 66
yards.

McCown directed Arizona to the Seattle 15 midway through the
third quarter before Tongue's interception in the end zone.

Seattle punctuated the rout with a 13-play, 96-yard touchdown
drive that consumed 7:31 and culminated in Shaun Alexander's 2-yard
scoring run.

Rookie free safety Ken Hamlin figured in Arizona's first three
turnovers, then intercepted a pass on the next-to-last play of the
game. His hard hits caused a fumble and interception, and he
deflected another pass for a pickoff.

The Cardinals were without three injured wide receivers, leaving
rookies Johnson and Anquan Boldin as the starters.

The Cardinals were last shut out at home by Minnesota 28-0 on
Oct. 27, 1991.

Notes: Blake said he expects to be able to play next week,
even though he could not put any pressure on the injured heel. ...
Hasselbeck left briefly in the first quarter with a hip pointer.
... Boldin, who set a record for an NFL debut with 10 catches for
217 yards last week, had eight catches for 62 yards. ... The last
time the Seahawks started 2-0, they improved to 3-0, but finished
8-8 and didn't make the playoffs. ... Arizona lost defensive end
Fred Wakefield with a concussion in the fourth quarter.