"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.
|Shaun Alexander is pinned in by Lemar Marshall, far left, and LeVar Arrington. (AP)|
"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."
- 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.
The Associated Press News Service
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