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Fill-in Watson shows why Seahawks defense a mess

11/3/2002

SEATTLE (AP) -- Kenny Watson was steady, so it didn't matter that Shane Matthews wasn't spectacular.

Question on the Redskins: So is Shane Matthews all of a sudden a lot better or has he just exploited bad defense?
The latter is true. Patrick Ramsey should be given a chance to play against inferior defenses. He would have looked as good as Matthews does now against the teams the Redskins are playing.

Question on the Seahawks: Do the Seahawks have any concept of the word "consistency"?
No, they don't. Their organization is struggling. The Seahawks aren't sure what their strength is. They have quarterback issues. Now they have Jeff George. He is probably the best person to play, but nobody wants to play him. They have so many problems. It's difficult to point at one thing. The Seahawks lack talent at some positions and structure at others. It's a huge mess.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

Watson ran for 110 yards in place of injured Stephen Davis, and
Matthews threw two first-half touchdown passes to lead the Redskins
past the struggling Seattle Seahawks 14-3 Sunday.

"That was one of the most unusual games I have ever coached,''
Washington coach Steve Spurrier said. "We just didn't do much. We
didn't throw or catch very well the whole game, but fortunately we
won.''

Matthews was a modest 10-of-27 for 114 yards with one
interception. But he preserved his status as Spurrier's starter of
the moment by throwing an 11-yard TD pass to Darnerien McCants and
a 19-yarder to Rod Gardner.

"He is still our best quarterback,'' Spurrier said.

With the Washington defense forcing two fumbles by Seattle
quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and keeping the Seahawks out of the end
zone, the Redskins (4-4) didn't need any offense in the second
half.

"We're playing close football games and we're losing them, for
whatever reason,'' Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "The
cumulative toll is starting to catch up with us.''

Seattle (2-6) came in allowing 177.4 yards rushing per game. One
week after they let an aging Emmitt Smith run for 109 yards and get
the all-time rushing record against them, the Seahawks gave up a
respectable 146 yards to the Redskins.

But because of their offensive mistakes -- including four sacks
and the two fumbles -- the Seahawks needed a much better defensive
game to have a chance to win.

"We have improved the last two games,'' Seattle linebacker
Isaiah Kacyvenski said. "But the fact is, it's still not rocket
science. Someone has got to make the plays.''

Seattle moved beyond Washington's 25-yard line four times but
scored only once, on Rian Lindell's 23-yard field goal on the first
play of the second quarter.

"Our defense did a good job holding them down to 14 points,''
Holmgren said. "I thought we needed more points. When we had the
shot, I thought we needed to take it.''

Seattle threatened late, reaching the 15 near the three-minute
mark. But on fourth-and-4, Hasselbeck couldn't find an open
receiver and ran into the teeth of Washington's defensive line.

"If they kick field goals and hit one touchdown, they win,''
Spurrier said. "Fortunately, they kept going for it and we kept
stopping them.''

Hasselbeck, who was 28-of-44 for 264 yards, made his second
start in place of the injured Trent Dilfer, who's out for the
season after tearing his right Achilles' tendon last week at
Dallas.

Holmgren said the Seahawks also lost linebacker Chad Brown for
the rest of the season. He broke his right foot in the second
quarter and will have surgery Monday.

"It's unbelievable,'' Kacyvenski said, shaking his head when
asked about Seattle's series of injuries. "I've never seen
anything like this in high school or college..''

Holmgren spoke last week about the importance of giving
Hasselbeck another chance with Seattle's fans. When Hasselbeck
struggled last year, they called for Dilfer.

This time, they booed after Hasselbeck fumbled on a
second-quarter sack by Washington safety Sam Shade, and they let
him have it again when Bruce Smith sacked him on fourth-and-goal at
the end of the first half.

"I was trying as hard as I could,'' Hasselbeck said. "That's
all I can say. I was doing all that I could. There are some things
I've been working on to be a better quarterback ... and I felt I
improved in those areas. I just wish we could have won.''

Hasselbeck's troubles continued in the second half. After
driving to Washington's 21, Smith sacked him again, this time
forcing a fumble that was recovered by Renaldo Wynn.

"They did run up some yardage on us, which we're not very happy
about,'' Smith said. "But the important factor is we held them to
three points. When you're able to hold a team to three points,
you've done a good job.''

Game notes
Bruce Smith's two sacks gave him three for the season. ...
Seattle WR Koren Robinson had a career-high eight catches for 100
yards. ... Jeff George, who signed with the Seahawks last week, was
inactive but suited up as the team's emergency quarterback. ...
Seattle S Marcus Robertson left with a concussion after a
helmet-to-helmet hit against McCants on Washington's first score.
Holmgren said he could return for next week's game at Arizona.