Seahawks improve in 30-13 win over Vikings

SEATTLE -- Matt Hasselbeck said it felt like the season opener. Fortunately for him, it wasn't.

But at least his Seahawks feel far better about themselves than they did a week ago.

Hasselbeck, playing for the first time since he had a single series in the exhibition opener two weeks ago, completed 12 of 17 passes for 129 yards and threw an interception in Seattle's 30-13 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday night.

Most of his throws were short and many sailed from where he wanted them in the final extensive rehearsal for both team's starters before the season begins Sept. 9.

"Some good, some bad," Hasselbeck said. "I didn't play at the highest level tonight, so I have a lot to work on."

But Hasselbeck took advantage of an average starting position of the Seattle 46 in the first half to lead the Seahawks to scores on four of five drives. He left a 16-10 halftime lead for backup Seneca Wallace.

Seattle's offensive line looked far better than it did while getting run over in a 48-13 loss at Green Bay last week in which the Seahawks allowed seven sacks.

Neither Hasselbeck or Wallace was taken down Saturday night.

"Well, that was a little better," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said.

Tarvaris Jackson looked far busier. The Vikings' second-year quarterback, who threw just four times while defensive scores and the running game controlled last week's win against the Jets, overcame a lost fumble on the game's first snap to complete 9 of 18 passes for 117 yards against Seattle's blitzes from all sides.

"This is what I expect, me being a young guy. Everyone is going to come at me," Jackson said.

Vikings coach Brad Childress said Jackson "didn't seem star struck," but the coach was bothered by Jackson's fumbled snap. He mentioned it three different times.

"They were coming after him ... but he had the answers," Childress said. "That's good for him, because we are going to see that in the first game. That's Atlanta's defense."

Chester Taylor ran for 61 yards on eight carries as Minnesota's first-team offense scored 10 points and gained 220 yards in the first half plus one drive of the third quarter. Rookie Adrian Peterson ran 10 times for 41 yards.

Seattle has been limiting the chances for preseason opponents to hit Hasselbeck's surgically repaired non-throwing shoulder. But on the second drive, E.J. Henderson sprinted unblocked and plowed into Hasselbeck's back as he threw and then rested on him momentarily.

"I told myself that if I got a good, clean shot on him I would take it," Henderson said.

The last time those two collided, in October, Henderson rolled off a block and into Hasselbeck's knee. The quarterback missed a month. This time, Hasselbeck got up off his chest, threw too far for D.J. Hackett in the end zone on third down and watched Josh Brown kick his second short field goal of the game's first six minutes.

The first came after Jackson, who started two games as a rookie last season, fumbled away the snap from center Matt Birk to begin the game. The lone touchdown for Minnesota's starters came after three field goals by Josh Brown -- and after Antoine Winfield stepped in front of Bobby Engram to intercept Hasselbeck's pass and return it to the Seattle 43.

Jackson's pump fake left Bobby Wade wide open behind Marcus Trufant for a 35-yard reception to the 8. Jackson then handed to Wade on an end around. As Seattle's defense charged, Wade lofted an easy touchdown pass Visanthe Shiancoe in the back of the end zone to make it 9-7 midway through the second quarter.

Wade also caught five passes for 85 yards before spraining his ankle, but he said he was OK.

Seattle answered with a sharp, 9-play drive to go ahead 16-7.

Hasselbeck found Marcus Pollard, his new tight end, three straight times for 38 yards to set up a 1-yard touchdown dive by Shaun Alexander.

Alexander, who missed six games with a broken foot sustained in last season's opener, was busier than he usually is in the preseason. He ran eight times for 30 yards before leaving with Hasselbeck after one half.

"It's been a year since I've known I can run and really see what I can do," Alexander said. "I was getting upset when I wasn't getting the ball. And Mike's over there saying, 'Calm down. It doesn't really count."'

Robert Ferguson, whom the Vikings signed last week after Green Bay released him, caught an 11-yard pass from Jackson to help set up Ryan Longwell's first of two field goals just before halftime.

Wallace threw a 57-yard touchdown to Ben Obomanu late in the third quarter and played into the fourth. Kevin Hobbs intercepted a pass from Brooks Bollinger and ran 39 yards for a touchdown in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to make it 30-13.

Minnesota defensive end Erasmus James played for the first time since a season-ending knee injury in Week 2 of last season. The 18th overall pick in 2005 was on the field for 16 plays, by unofficial count, but did not get near a ball carrier or quarterback.

"Felt good. Felt really good," James said, vowing he will be ready for the season opener. "I'm definitely going to be sore, but there's no pain."

Cameron Siskowic, Minnesota's first-year free-agent linebacker, fell to the turf at the end of a running play with 2:00 left and was driven from the field while strapped to a board. The concerned Vikings said a prayer for him in the locker room after the game.

Though Childress said he believed Siskowic briefly lost consciousness on the field, a Vikings spokesman said later that a CT-scan and X-rays at a nearby hospital revealed no fractures. Siskowic was to stay there overnight for observation.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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