KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It was far from perfect and certainly wasn’t what the Seahawks planned, but it worked.
That was the play-by-play description of Matt Hasselbeck’s two-handed shovel pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh on a third-down play in the second quarter. It was also a pretty accurate summary of Seattle’s 14-10 victory over Kansas City in an exhibition game at Arrowhead Stadium.
“Yeah, just how we drew it up,” Hasselbeck joked.
He was talking about the shovel pass that came off an aborted run play, but he very well could have been describing the game.
Seattle certainly didn’t plan to win by missing three field-goal attempts and allowing an interception to be returned for a touchdown on the Seahawks’ first passing play.
“What I liked was the way we responded to some adversity on the road,” coach Jim Mora said. “Realizing it’s preseason, but still, it’s a chance to build something.”
There were some positive signs. Hasselbeck was sharp, completing 19 of 25 passes; the offense gained more than 400 yards; and the running game showed improvement, even though Edgerrin James did not dress for the game.
There were also some things the Seahawks must address. Olindo Mare missed two field-goal tries in the first half, and Brandon Coutu missed one in the third quarter. Seattle’s first-string defense was gashed for a 31-yard gain on a draw play at the end of the first quarter, and the Seahawks allowed Kansas City to move 39 yards in 40 seconds to set up a field-goal attempt at the end of the first half.
Seahawks cornerback Marquis Floyd and linebacker Will Herring each picked off a pass in the second half as the Chiefs couldn’t really move the ball without quarterback Matt Cassel, who was knocked out of the game on Kansas City’s first possession.
Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane pulled him down for a sack on the Chiefs’ third play from scrimmage, and Cassel left with what was described as a left leg injury.
Seattle allowed only one third-down conversion in the first half, and that was because of a penalty. And for the second consecutive week, the Seahawks put together an impressive drive to end the second quarter.
Forget last-minute preparations for the regular season; Seattle’s two-minute drill has been sharp. Against Denver last week, Seattle drove 80 yards in less than 3 minutes to take the lead. Against the Chiefs, the Seahawks drove 48 yards in seven plays and consumed just 1:11.
Both drives ended the same way: a Houshmandzadeh touchdown catch. Last week: a 2-yard catch to give Seattle the lead. This week: an 8-yard scoring reception that tied the score 7-7. It was Houshmandzadeh’s fifth catch of the first half and his third reception on the touchdown drive.
His most unlikely reception came earlier in the second quarter on a play that resembled a two-handed chest pass you might see on the basketball court.
“Bob Cousy-esque,” Hasselbeck said.
No, Cousy would opt for the bounce pass.
“OK, Larry Bird then,” Hasselbeck said.
It was a third-and-2, and the Seahawks planned to run to the right. But Hasselbeck and center Steve Vallos didn’t have a clean exchange, and Seattle’s quarterback improvised with a quick pass that produced a 17-yard gain.
“The way I looked at it, he preferred if somebody was going to get hit, it was me, not him,” Houshmandzadeh said of Hasselbeck.
That made it the right decision in Mora’s eyes.
“I’m rather he did that rather than try to run for the first down,” Mora said.
Rookie Max Unger started at right guard. Mansfield Wrotto entered the game in the third quarter at left guard. … Safety C.J. Wallace sat out the second half with sore ribs. Quarterback Seneca Wallace left in the fourth quarter after his groin muscle tightened up, but the injury isn’t thought to be serious.
Seahawks 14, Chiefs 10
KC—Flowers 28 interception return (Succop kick)
Sea—Houshmandzadeh 8 pass from Hasselbeck (Mare kick)
Sea—Carlson 28 pass from Hasselbeck (Mare kick)
KC—FG Succop 35
|Total Net Yards||406||260|
|Time of Possession||36:39||23:21|
RUSHING—Seattle, J.Jones 15-57, Forsett 12-45, Moore 7-12, Teel 3-(minus 1), Hasselbeck 1-(minus 1). Kansas City, Charles 7-54, L.Johnson 8-36, Thigpen 3-10, Battle 2-8.
PASSING—Seattle, Hasselbeck 19-25-1-216, S.Wallace 8-11-0-84, Teel 1-3-0-6. Kansas City, Gutierrez 10-13-2-113, Thigpen 8-15-0-56.
RECEIVING—Seattle, Carlson 5-68, Houshmandzadeh 5-60, Forsett 4-23, Burleson 2-49, Butler 2-27, J.Jones 2-14, Branch 2-13, Taylor 1-19, Newton 1-10, Obomanu 1-9, Payne 1-6, Griffith 1-4, Kent 1-4. Kansas City, Lelie 4-52, Engram 4-11, Bowe 3-38, Lawrence 3-31, Wright 1-16, Toomer 1-13, Charles 1-7, Battle 1-1.
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