02-19-2017  3:55 am      •     
McMenamins
     

 Matt Hasselbeck

 Nate Burleson

 T.J. Houshmandzadeh

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.

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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