Seahawks at Cardinals – First quarter

Matt Hasselbeck

Peephole perspective: A goal-line stand. A 99-yard touchdown drive. Seahawks 7-0.

Player of the quarter: Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck. He threw (for 96 yards). He scrambled (for 6 yards). He dropped a perfectly thrown pass to WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh for a 53-yard completion from his own end zone.

Play of the quarter: The long pass from Hasselbeck to Houshmandzadeh got the Seahawks off the doorstep of their own goal line. But it was CB Marcus Trufant and LB Leroy Hill teaming up to stop Cardinals RB Tim Hightower for no gain on a 4th-and-1 run.

Line of the quarter: 131-38. It was total yards, with the Seahawks holding a huge advantage thanks to the six-play, 99-yard drive that ended with Justin Forsett’s 11-yard TD run.

The bigger picture: The Seahawks took the opening kickoff and drove to the 50 in 9 plays. The series stalled when Cardinals LBs Karlos Dansby and Clark Haggans got to Hasselbeck for an 8-yard sack on second-and-10 from the Seattle 44.

The defense, meanwhile, held the Cardinals to a three-and-out series and then a six-play possession that fizzled when CB Josh Wilson stopped Larry Fitzgerald for no gain on a second-down pass and DE Darryl Tapp dropped Tim Hightower for no gain on a third-down run.

The field then became to slant in the Cardinals’ favor, however, when Michael Adams downed Ben Graham’s 51-yard punt at the Seattle 1, and the Seahawks went three-and-out.

The Cardinals got the ball to the Seahawks’ 8 when Wilson was flagged for pass interference on Fitzgerald. It appeared Trufant picked off a Warner pass in the end zone, but the Cardinals challenged the ruling on the field and it was overturned because Trufant had gone out of the end zone and not reestablished himself before making the interceptions. But the Seahawks denied the Cardinals, as Trufant (low) and Hill (high) combined to stop Hightower for no gain on a fourth-and-1 run.

Pinned at their own 1, Hasselbeck laid a perfect pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh along the right sideline for a 53-yard completion and it became a 68-yard gain when Cardinals CB Ralph Brown was penalized for a facemask on the tackle. Five plays later, Forsett went off right guard to score from 11 yards out. The drive also included a 6-yard scramble by Hasselbeck and his 6-yard completion to rookie WR Deon Butler on third-and-5.

Forsett was carrying the load for the Seahawks because leading rusher Julius Jones left the game with a chest contusion.


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