Originally created 09/02/01

Hasselbeck lead Seahawks to win



SEATTLE -- They can start calling Matt Hasselbeck "Mr. September," too.

Hasselbeck passed for two touchdowns in his first two series and the Seattle Seahawks completed their exhibition schedule with a 28-14 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Saturday.

Hasselbeck earned the nickname of "Mr. August" as Bret Favre's backup in two seasons in Green Bay. The Seahawks got Hasselbeck in a trade with the Packers on March 2.

"You want a quarterback who has trust in his receivers," said Darrell Jackson, who led all rookie receivers in the NFL last season with 53 receptions for 713 yard and six touchdowns. "He'll buy time back there and allow us to get open."

Deuce McAllister, New Orleans' first-round draft pick from Mississippi, rushed for 108 yards on 19 carries, all in the first half, as Ricky Williams sat out the game. McAllister also had a 36-yard punt return in the second half.

"That was probably the best he's run the whole year," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "I don't think he's where he should be yet, but we're just starting to see what he can do."

McAllister, who caught four passes for 20 yards, was happy with his performance.

"As far as running the ball and catching the ball, I felt pretty good," he said.

Hasselbeck, who will be the starting quarterback in Seattle's opener in Cleveland, had a 60-yard TD pass to Jackson and a 12-yard scoring pass to Karsten Bailey in the opening quarter before he came out.

Hasselbeck had three touchdown passes in the first quarter in a victory over San Francisco last week.

As with the 14 other games this weekend, replacement officials were hardly noticeable although there were a couple of key calls in the second quarter.

A fumble by McAllister and the recovery by Cedric Woodard at the Seattle 2 with 1:18 left in the opening half was challenged by the review assistant, but the call was upheld.

McAllister said there wasn't any question his fumble was caused by a hit by safety Maurice Kelly.

"The guy made a good play," he said. "He put his hat right there on the ball."

Bailey, who caught Hasselbeck's second TD pass, was realistic about the officials.

"You just have to play and not worry about it," he said. "If they call it, then deal with it."

The Saints' first touchdown, in the second quarter, was set up by a personal foul penalty called against cornerback Harold Blackmon that gave New Orleans the ball on the Seattle 12. Blackmon delivered a blow with his helmet on receiver Robert Wilson when Wilson was out of bounds after catching an 18-yard pass from Jake Delhomme.

Delhomme then passed 12 yards to rookie Onome Ojo for the touchdown.

Seattle coach Mike Holmgren talked to official Blake Lozo about the call, but it appeared to be the correct one and Holmgren wasn't upset.

"The officials did a great job," Holmgren said. "I had one question that the official answered. They did not have a profound effect on the game."

Haslett agreed.

"I thought they did a great job," he said.

While the Seahawks (2-2) finished the preseason with a victory over a team that was 10-6 and made the playoffs last season, the Saints (1-3) looked shaky on defense for the third straight week.

On Hasselbeck's touchdown pass to Jackson, Saints safety Sammy Knight fell down at the New Orleans 15 and Jackson went into the end zone.

In their final three exhibitions, the Saints surrendered 11 plays of 25 or more yards, including three Saturday.

Delhomme, New Orleans' third-string quarterback, also had a 26-yard scoring pass to Ojo, a fifth-round draft choice from Cal Davis, with 5:50 to go. Delhomme was upset at the officials on the TD drive after he had an 11-yard run and was hit after sliding to the ground.

Shaun Alexander scored on a 4-yard run in the third quarter.

After Delhomme's second TD pass, the Seahawks scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Brock Huard after Huard and Alex Bannister teamed on a 43-yard pass.

Notes: The Seahawks had two key injuries in the first half. Starting DE Lamar King had a foot injury and starting CB Ike Charlton had a right knee injury. Both players will have MRIs on Sunday. Charlton appears to be the more seriously injured of the two. "With Ike, we'll know more tomorrow," Holmgren said. "There might be something to fix in there." Charlton became the third CB to be lost to injuries during the exhibition season. Shawn Springs (hamstring) and Willie Williams (fractured left forearm) won't be ready for the Cleveland game. The Seahawks are expected to try to add a veteran CB next week. "It's unfortunate and unusual to get that at one position," Holmgren said. "We'll probably have to do something there." ... The Saints escaped the game without serious injuries.