<
>

Simplified playbook helps Seahawks

SEATTLE (AP) -- After losing three straight, the Seattle Seahawks
decided to go back to the basics against Carolina.

It worked.

Shaun Alexander gained 195 yards rushing on 32 carries and Matt
Hasselbeck recovered from a dismal performance last weekend,
throwing for 201 yards to lead the Seahawks to a 23-17 win over the
Panthers on Sunday.

"We went back to the simple things," Alexander said. "Like,
'Let's throw it to D-Jack (Darrell Jackson). He's one-on-one and
he's got a guy to beat. All right, Shaun, run through the hole. The
safety's going to be there. Beat him.'

"We just kind of vanillaed our offense, and it let us make
plays."

While the Seahawks (4-3) broke their three-game losing streak,
the Panthers (1-6) lost their fifth straight.

"Until you win the next one and kind of wash away some of the
bad taste, it's tough," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "The
players bounced back, and the win is huge for us."

Josh Brown kicked three field goals in the second half,
connecting from 27, 45 and 22 yards to give the Seahawks a
comfortable cushion. His final kick put Seattle up 23-10 with 5:42
remaining.

This win wasn't spectacular, and the Seahawks made plenty of the
same kind of mistakes that hurt them in recent weeks.

Holmgren's stomach churned after Jake Delhomme threw a 63-yard
pass to Keary Colbert, moving the ball to Seattle's 2-yard line at
the 2-minute warning. That led to a 7-yard TD pass to Muhsin
Muhammad with 1:39 to play.

It was reminiscent of Seattle's fourth-quarter collapse and loss
three weeks ago against St. Louis.

"Deja vu all over again," Holmgren said. "Was anyone nervous?
Holy Toledo."

Still, the Seahawks showed the substance was there in little
ways that were missing during their skid.

Hasselbeck threw to tight end Itula Mili for a 17-yard gain on
third-and-14 in the fourth quarter, and Alexander broke a 38-yard
run in the second period and a 44-yarder in the fourth -- showing
the Seahawks made the plays they needed.

"That's the start of us going back into the offense we think we
all have," Alexander said.

Before their final TD, the Panthers missed a shot for another
late score when Delhomme threw an interception straight to
Seattle's Marcus Trufant, who returned it 57 yards.

"When you're good, you're lucky. You can create your own
luck," said Delhomme, who was 19-of-36 for 248 yards with two
touchdowns and one interception. "We're just not creating enough
right now."

The injury-riddled Panthers have been competitive in their five
straight losses, though it was little consolation.

"It's a loss," coach John Fox said. "Right now, we're not
playing well enough to win. I don't think it was a lack of
effort."

Hasselbeck was 21-of-30 for 201 yards passing with one TD and
one interception.

Holmgren stripped down the playbook this week, trying to
simplify things for Hasselbeck and force the ball to Alexander. It
worked from the start, with Hasselbeck completing his first nine
attempts.

"The plan was to get me to think less, and relax and play
more," Hasselbeck said. "As a quarterback that's hard to hear,
but the approach I took this week was a good one. These guys know
what they're talking about."

The Seahawks coasted to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.
Hasselbeck threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Alexander, who added a
4-yard TD run and had 119 yards rushing by halftime.

Things weren't perfect. Hasselbeck, who had four interceptions
in last week's loss at Arizona, was booed when he threw another
late in the first half -- with Seattle at Carolina's 7-yard line.

The Panthers had one solid drive in the first half, trailing
14-7 after Delhomme threw a 15-yard TD strike to Muhammad. They
made it 14-10 early in the third quarter on John Kasay's 30-yard
field goal.
^Notes:@ Seattle WR Bobby Engram (ankle) and OT Chris Terry
(shoulder) were inactive. ... Carolina LB Dan Morgan sustained a
concussion. RB Joey Harris and DT Kindal Moorehead each had a
bruised shoulder. ... Seahawks WR Jerry Rice got a big cheer in the
second quarter after a 6-yard pass reception, his first catch at
home since joining the Seahawks almost two weeks ago. He left a
short time later with a sprained right ankle.