Week 2 matchups to watch
There are many intriguing games this weekend. The most-anticipated matchup is Sunday night's tilt between the Chargers and the Patriots in a rematch between two of the best teams in the league. As we get ready for all of the action, Gil Brandt takes a look at eight matchups worth watching in Week 2. Full story ...
Seattle lost its last three division games last year to finish a mediocre 3-3 within the NFC West. The Seahawks, though, were buoyed by a 6-4 record outside the division as they captured their third straight West crown and their fourth playoff appearance in five seasons since moving to the NFC.
Arizona went 4-2 within the division, but was just 1-9 outside it to extend the franchise's misery. The Cardinals haven't finished in first place since winning the NFC East in 1975.
"You don't want to see anyone get hurt seriously," said Seattle linebacker Julian Peterson, who had two sacks, seven total tackles and a forced fumble. "But this Seattle defense is different. We're coming to hit. We're coming to hurt. We want to get that reputation around the rest of the league, because that will help our offense."
The offense was bolstered by Shaun Alexander's 105 rushing yards. Alexander, the NFL MVP in 2005, was playing pain-free for the first time since suffering a foot injury a year ago.
After completing 61.8 percent of his passes and averaging 238.7 yards per game in his last six contests of 2006, quarterback Matt Leinart went just 14-for-28 with one touchdown and two interceptions Sunday.
"I'm very disappointed in myself, the way I played as the leader of this football team," Leinart said. "It starts with me getting the ball to the right guy and making the plays. I didn't do that. That falls on me. We're not going to win football games if I play like that at quarterback."
"Those are the things that we've got to learn from, and we've got to get better," Whisenhunt said Tuesday. "We had a chance to finish the game and win a game -- a game that we didn't play our best offensively -- and learn from it, and we didn't get it done."
"We've got to move on," he said. "It's one game. There are 15 other teams that are in the same situation as us."
Wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who had 83 catches for 1,203 yards last season, was held to four receptions for 22 yards on Sunday. Boldin, though, could benefit from a return to University of Phoenix Stadium, where he has 100 catches for 1,352 yards in 15 games over the last two seasons.
One of Seattle's primary wide receivers, meanwhile, won't be available. D.J. Hackett, who totaled a career-high 104 yards on four catches with a touchdown in the teams' last meeting, is out indefinitely after suffering an ankle injury in the season opener.
"He's going to be down for a while. I can't tell you for how long. Those things are very unpredictable," coach Mike Holmgren said Monday.
Nate Burleson could take Hackett's spot as Seattle's No. 2 receiver. Bobby Engram could also get more opportunities.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press