The Seattle Seahawks got their second shutout this season with a 41-0 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Qwest Field Sunday improving their record to 2-3. Seattle is now within a game of San Francisco for the division lead.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck returned to the starting lineup after suffering a fractured rib in week two's loss in San Francisco and threw four touchdown passes, two each to receivers Nate Burleson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Hasselbeck completed the game 18 of 30 throws for 241 yards.
"The energy, enthusiasm and confidence he showed made a huge impact on our team today, a huge impact, and that signifies the importance of starting quarterbacks in the NFL, it's a good win for us." Coach Jim Mora said. "Good teams have strong locker rooms and good leaders."
Seattle scored early on with two field goals of 47 and 27-yards by Olindo Mare then in midway through the second quarter Hasselbeck completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to Houshmandzadeh and a 44-yard pass to Burleson putting the Seattle up 20-0 at the end of the half.
"It was good to get in the end zone and more importantly, to look up at the scoreboard and know that we're winning," Burleson said. "T.J. brings a lot of momentum to our offense… we have others players we gotta get going, I can only imagine what's gonna happen when you see myself, T. J., Deion Branch and John Carlson out there catching a ton of balls every game, just to think about it is scary so I'm really looking forward to that day."
Early in the third quarter Hasselbeck completed a 13-yard touchdown pass to Houshmandzadeh and then later connected with Burleson for a 5-yard touchdown pass.
"It was just a great throw by Matt, he put it up in the right place, all I had to do was catch it, " Houshmandzadeh said of his second touchdown pass, joking that is was such a great thrown pass a reporter could of caught it.
"It was a big game," Houshmandzadeh said. "It's one game, I'm happy we won, we're gonna enjoy it but we gotta long way to go, we've gotta get ready for Arizona next week, their one of the team at the top of our division and I look forward to playing them."
Seattle's defense sacked Jaguars quarterback David Garrard four times and Jacksonville finished with just 199 total net yards. On Seattle's final scoring play in the fourth quarter, defensive end Lawrence Jackson forced a fumble, rookie Nick Reed scooped it up and returned it 79 yards as Qwest Field was shaking from the thunderous noise culminating from Reed's touchdown. Reed also had a sack, two QB hit and three tackles.
After the game Hasselbeck talked about his excitement and the importance of the 12th Man.
"The home field advantage that we've established here really matters to me," he said. "We haven't played our best football yet and last year I really felt like we lost that home advantage. That Chicago game lit a fire in me a little bit, seeing all the orange in the stadium, that should never happen here. I was excited, our crowd was there, we matched their intensity today which is something we gotta do, we cannot lose that home advantage."
Mora is expecting the same intensity and toughness when the Seahawks face Arizona and said during Monday's press conference he didn't want mistakes.
"I want to do things right," Mora said. "I didn't want it to be 41-7. I wanted it to be 41 to nothing."
The Seahawks face the NFC West division rival Cardinals (2-2) Sunday at Qwest Field and then will head into their Bye week.