TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Seattle Seahawks are 2-0 for the first time in five years, thanks to a smothering defensive performance on a sweltering Sunday.
"It's the building blocks for a good season," Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said.
The temperature was 98 degrees at kickoff and 102 at halftime, but it was the Cardinals who collapsed in the heat.
It was their the most onesided home loss since a 52-10 beating by Philadelphia on Nov. 8, 1981, seven years before the franchise moved from St. Louis to Arizona.
"We gave them that ballgame early, then we didn't fight to get it back," said Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis, whose team has lost 11 of 12. "That disappoints me more than anything else."
Reggie Tongue intercepted two passes as the Seahawks, under new defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes, shut out an opponent for the first time since a 38-0 victory over Philadelphia to open the 1998 season.
"When you have such a powerful leader as Ray, it can't help but rub off on everybody," Seattle linebacker Chad Brown said. "Ray is awesome. I think he's the reason we're doing so much better defensively."
Arizona (0-2) lost quarterback Jeff Blake with a bruised left heel with 1:55 left in the first quarter when 310-pound defensive tackle Norman Hand fell on him. X-rays were negative, but backup Josh McCown played the rest of the game.
The Cardinals, shut out at home for the first time in 12 years, committed six turnovers, giving them nine in two games. Arizona's first two opponents did not have a turnover.
A total of 23,127 tickets were distributed for the game, but actual turnout at Sun Devil Stadium was much smaller.
"One of the things we said is, 'Hey, the stadium is not going to be full, we've got to create our own atmosphere. We've got to create our own emotion.' Our defense for sure came out and did that," Hasselbeck said.
Hasselbeck, who was 8-of-19 for 175 yards and was not intercepted, ran 2 yards for a touchdown after Arizona's Bryant Johnson fumbled on the first play from scrimmage. Marcus Trufant recovered and returned it 31 yards.
McCown's pitch bounced off Emmitt Smith's shoulder pad and Randall Godfrey returned it 54 yards and Seattle led 14-0 with 14:11 to play in the first half -- even though Hasselbeck was 0-for-5 passing at that point.
McCown completed 18 of 32 passes for 150 yards and was intercepted twice. Smith, in his home debut for Arizona, gained 54 yards on 14 carries.
Smith spoke to his teammates in the locker room after the game.
"He wanted everybody to understand that this thing is real. We don't want to be the same team from last year," McCown said. "We can't play like that. We have to come out with more heart than that."
Seattle receiver Koren Robinson was suspended for an unspecified violation of team rules, but he wasn't needed.
After Arizona's Bill Gramatica missed a 53-yard field goal try, Hasselbeck split two defenders on a 55-yard scoring pass to Jackson to give the Seahawks a 24-0 lead.
Seattle made it 31-0 on the third play of the second half, Hasselbeck hitting a wide-open Jackson on missed coverage for 66 yards.
McCown directed Arizona to the Seattle 15 midway through the third quarter before Tongue's interception in the end zone.
Seattle punctuated the rout with a 13-play, 96-yard touchdown drive that consumed 7:31 and culminated in Shaun Alexander's 2-yard scoring run.
Rookie free safety Ken Hamlin figured in Arizona's first three turnovers, then intercepted a pass on the next-to-last play of the game. His hard hits caused a fumble and interception, and he deflected another pass for a pickoff.
The Cardinals were without three injured wide receivers, leaving rookies Johnson and Anquan Boldin as the starters.
The Cardinals were last shut out at home by Minnesota 28-0 on Oct. 27, 1991.
- Blake said he expects to be able to play next week, even though he could not put any pressure on the injured heel.
- Hasselbeck left briefly in the first quarter with a hip pointer.
- Boldin, who set a record for an NFL debut with 10 catches for 217 yards last week, had eight catches for 62 yards.
- The last time the Seahawks started 2-0, they improved to 3-0, but finished 8-8 and didn't make the playoffs.
- Arizona lost defensive end Fred Wakefield with a concussion in the fourth quarter.
The Associated Press News Service
Copyright 2003, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved