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Alexander, 'Hawks too much for Cards

SEATTLE (Sept. 17, 2006) -- Standards have risen so high in Seattle that some members of the Seahawks aren't happy -- despite being 2-0.

None of those would be on defense.

"Everybody expects us to be the team that was in the Super Bowl," running back Shaun Alexander said after a 21-10 win over Arizona. "This is only the second week. So I think we have a good, second-week offense instead of the team that walked into the Super Bowl."

Last year's year MVP ran for a relatively modest 89 yards on 26 carries -- most of those late -- and scored an early touchdown.

Then Seattle's swarming, blitzing defense continually harassed quarterback Kurt Warner and the Cardinals into missed opportunities in the Seahawks' second consecutive underwhelming win.

"Our defense really stepped up today. I think they have a chance to be a special group, I really do," said Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, who calls Seattle's plays.

"Offensively," he added, "it is a work in progress."

Seattle is 2-0 for the third time in four seasons despite Pro Bowler Matt Hasselbeck throwing two interceptions and going just 12-for-27 for 221 yards -- his first game under 50 percent passing in two seasons.

And Alexander, last season's league rushing champion, was held below 100 yards for the second consecutive game for the first time since November, 2004. He had 51 yards in a field-goal filled win at Detroit in the opener.

"Well, I'm happy we are 2-0," Hasselbeck said. "There are definitely things can correct. We're a little sloppy ... we all need to play better. I need to play better.

"There's obviously things on the film we are not going to enjoy watching."

Such as five dropped passes, a blocked field goal, a 14-yard punt, and Arizona driving into their territory seven times.

But the Cardinals (1-1), who said this game was their NFC West measuring stick, still haven't been 2-0 since 1991 because they squandered most of those opportunities. They didn't score a touchdown until Warner, sacked five times and pressured about a dozen more while playing again without injured right tackle Oliver Ross, found Bryant Johnson behind two defenders on a 40-yard score with 11:26 remaining.

On the next scrimmage play, Hasselbeck woefully underthrew a pass that Adrian Wilson easily intercepted. Hasselbeck's second interception gave the Cardinals the ball at their 47.

Poised for a game-turning score, Arizona failed again. Adam Bergen caught a 10-yard pass, but Kelly Herndon twisted the ball from Bergen's arms. Lofa Tatupu recovered at the Seattle 29 to end Arizona's last chance to get back in the game.

"We are not as good as them," a humbled coach Dennis Green said. "I think they are indeed the No. 1 team in the National Football Conference.

"And we are not."

One week after not scoring a touchdown in a 9-6 win at Detroit, the Seahawks had two touchdowns in the first 10 minutes.

Alexander ran 2 yards for the first score, and punctuated it by taking a bow in the end zone. He could have been bowing to thank the Cardinals for the drive.

Extra defensive back Robert Tate allowed Darrell Jackson to run by him on a simple seam route for a 47-yard reception on third-and-12. And on third-and-10, Wilson was penalized for illegal contact with Burleson on his cut toward the end zone.

The Seahawks made it 14-0 when Jackson sped by the flat-footed Wilson on a post route. Hasselbeck's pass found Jackson in stride at the 12.

Jackson had five catches for 127 yards, his most yardage since Week 2 last season -- before knee surgery knocked him out for 10 of the final 12 regular season games.

Arizona had 37 total yards until Warner led a two-minute drill to end the first half. Warner -- 24-for-38 for 231 yards passing and one interception -- was 7-for-8 on the drive. But a hurried Neil Rackers missed his second field goal wide left from 54 yards as the half ended. The 2005 All-Pro also had a 51-yard try clang off the crossbar.

"We made a lot of mistakes out there and didn't capitalize on some things," Warner said. "Against a good team, at their house, if you do that it's tough to win."


Alexander's touchdown gave him 101 for his career, tying Steve Largent for most in Seattle history. ... Arizona WR Larry Fitzgerald had his streak of six consecutive 100-yard receiving games within the NFC West end. Fitzgerald had four catches for 52 yards. ... Former eight-time Pro Bowler and 1992 NFL defensive player of the year Cortez Kennedy was inducted into Seattle's "Ring of Honor" at halftime. ... Seahawks TE Itula Mili, starting because Jerramy Stevens is out until at least October after knee surgery, left the game late in the fourth quarter with his own knee injury.

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