Seahawks Insider Blog

Houshmandzadeh: The defense won the game

Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said on the 32-yard completion to Deon Butler that set-up the game-winning field goal, Butler was on the backside of the designed play and not the primary receiver. However, because of the situation and the fact that Butler had press coverage with no help over the top against corner Kevin Smith, Hasselbeck took a shot downfield and Butler made the play.

“There are certain coverages where you could get the ball,” Hasselbeck said. “And that is THE coverage, if they give you that coverage. It was a great call by Greg, and it was a good job by Deon for winning.”

The play was even more important because I think for the most part Seattle’s receivers did not win the one-on-one battles against San Francisco’s defense, which was the reason the two teams had 12 straight punts spanning three quarters of the game.

Hasselbeck said on the third-and-1 where he had to be helped off the field, he injured his shoulder and needed some extra time to get right.

Seattle’s defense should get some credit for holding the Niners to just 17 points. San Francisco was 1-of-13 on third down, and gained a total of 356 yards.

Seattle also held Frank Gore to 25 yards on nine carries. Gore gained 207 yards against them in the first game. Although for whatever reason, the Niners decided to throw the ball more today.

Seahawks receiver T.J. Houshmandazadeh gave all the credit for today’s win to the defense.

“Without the defense we lose,” Houshmandzadeh said. “We didn’t do anything on offense. I mean y’all watched the game, and I played in it. We didn’t’ do anything. Period. The defense won the game. They kept us in the game.”

Housh is right. Seattle finished with 292 yards of total offense and just 4-of -16 on third down. Hasselbeck passed for less than 200 yards for second straight game, finishing 25 of 34 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. Seattle did rush for 107 yards on the ground, but 31 of those yards were from Hasselbeck.

But even with the ugly stats offensively, Seattle earned its first, two-game winning streak in almost a year, with the Seahawks beating St. Louis and the N.Y. Jets in back-to-back games at the end of the season in 2008.

Seattle head coach Jim Mora said it’s something to build on, particularly in a week where the team president and general manager Tim Ruskell stepped down early in the week.

“I don’t want to overstate it; it’s just two wins in a row,” he said. “I feel like it might be an indicator of that. We were able to overcome some adversity, some distractions and stay on point.

“That’s what we’re trying to develop as a football team. That’s what we’re asking those guys to do every day.”

Mora said his team suffered no major injuries during the game.

Some tidbits

* Olindo Mare broke established a new franchise record today by making field goals from 25 and 30 yards, and now has made 18 straight since missing two field goals in the Chicago game in Week 3.

“It’s just a testament to the type of professional he is,” Mora said. “Whether I said anything to him or not, he has a lot of pride in his performance ,and he takes it very serious, and that’s one of the reasons that he’s had so much success in this league as a kicker.”

* Seattle won the turnover battle, 2-1, scoring 10 points on those turnovers. San Francisco head coach Mike Singletary wasn’t pleased with the execution of his team.

“We just found a way to screw it up,” he said. “It’s as simple as that.”

* Safety Jordan Babineaux led the team in tackles for a second straight game with six sole and three assisted for a total of nine combined tackled. He also forced the fumble that Josh Wilson returned 46 yard the other way.

* With all the punts, Seattle’s punt return coverage was pretty solid, holding San Francisco to -3 yards on five returns.

* Besides the touchdown drops in the end zone, San Francisco’s Vernon Davis was pretty much unstoppable, finishing with six catches for 111 yards and a score.

* Julius Jones finished with 67 yards on 20 carries, and also had five catches for -3 yards, as Mora stuck to his word and Jones returned to the starting lineup after missing two games with a bruised lung.

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