Bobby Engram had an 83-yard punt return for a touchdown and caught a 34-yard scoring pass to help the Seattle Seahawks to a 35-14 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
"I tell those guys all the time it's kind of their show," Engram said. "I'm just the supporting cast, and I enjoy that.
"Don't get me wrong. I'll compete just as hard. Everyone comes into the league wanting to be the starter, to be the man. But I feel what I have here is a little more important than being a starter somewhere else."
The Seahawks (7-3) improved to 6-0 at home and maintained a share of the NFC West lead with St. Louis. The win was wrapped up by halftime, when Seattle had 300 yards and a 35-14 lead.
"We came out and took some of the starch out of the Lions," coach Mike Holmgren said.
After Detroit's two home victories gave the Lions (3-7) a modest winning streak for the first time in three years, they couldn't avoid their 21st straight defeat on the road.
"Can't explain our record on the road," safety Corey Harris said.
Another loss next weekend at Minnesota would tie Detroit with the Buffalo Bills (1983-86) for the second-longest road skid in NFL history. The NFL record is 23 games by the Houston Oilers (1981-84).
The loss also spoiled Joey Harrington's return to the Pacific Northwest. A native of Portland, Ore., he was welcomed by cheers from thousands of fans.
"I'm not going to lie," Harrington said. "Losing isn't easy, especially when I personally had a lot of emotions coming back this week. When you see all those people coming out to support you, it would have been nice to get a win."
Harrington threw a 72-yard TD pass to Scotty Anderson, pulling Detroit to 14-7 late in the first quarter. He also added a 15-yard TD pass to Az-Zahir Hakim just before halftime.
It wasn't enough to counter the Seahawks, who scored on four of their first five possessions and converted their first six attempts on third down.
"I don't think it's that our offense has played bad," center Robbie Tobeck said. "It's just that we want to play better. It felt good to keep following it up, score after score after score."
Nearly everything broke in Seattle's favor, including a 61-yard punt by Tom Rouen that Willie Williams downed at the 2. When Kris Richard fumbled the ensuing punt by the Lions, Williams was there to recover for the Seahawks.
Matt Hasselbeck scored on a 5-yard draw to cap the opening drive and Shaun Alexander had a 1-yard TD plunge. The Seahawks made it 21-7 when Hasselbeck's fumble into the end zone was recovered by Robinson for another score.
"We'll take that. If it falls our way, it falls our way," Robinson said.
Then it was Engram's turn. On his TD reception, he was uncovered near the left sideline, then split the safeties and linebackers for an easy score.
A short time later, Engram fielded a punt at the 17 and a huge seam opened. He faked Detroit punter Nick Harris near midfield and stepped through an attempted tackle by Brian Walker at the 20.
"I gave him a hesitation," Engram said. "I gave him just enough of a pause that he wasn't able to get a solid lick on me."
Seattle's defense, meanwhile, twice turned the Lions back from inside the 10-yard line in the second half.
Detroit's 15-play, 77-yard third-quarter drive ended when Harrington's pass to Hakim was knocked away. In the fourth, Shawn Springs ended another Lions threat with his first interception of the season.
"We made a couple of mistakes to let them get down there, but to come up twice in goal-line situations is big for our defense and big for our team," Seattle safety Ken Hamlin said.
Shawn Springs and Seahawks DL John Randle celebrate Springs' fourth-quarter interception. (AP)
|TD||Matt Hasselbeck, 4 Yd run (Josh Brown kick is good), 11:33. Drive: 8 plays, 80 yards in 3:27.|
|TD||Shaun Alexander, 1 Yd run (Josh Brown kick is good), 0:52. Drive: 13 plays, 87 yards in 7:41.|
|TD||Scotty Anderson, 72 Yd pass from Joey Harrington (Jason Hanson kick is good), 0:38. Drive: 1 play, 72 yards in 0:14.|
|TD||Koren Robinson, 0 Yd fumble return (Josh Brown kick is good), 11:05.|
|TD||Bobby Engram, 34 Yd pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Josh Brown kick is good), 6:38. Drive: 1 play, 34 yards in 0:07.|
|TD||Bobby Engram, 83 Yd punt return (Josh Brown kick is good), 3:51.|
|TD||Az-Zahir Hakim, 15 Yd pass from Joey Harrington (Jason Hanson kick is good), 0:41. Drive: 9 plays, 71 yards in 3:10.|
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