You know the saying, “it’s just too good to be true”? Well, the way Seattle opened the 2009 NFL season, you would have been saying the opposite.
Playing at home in front of a packed Qwest Field, Seattle played much of the first half against the St. Louis Rams as the Seahawks did against nearly every team in 2008.
Turnovers, an injury and a whole lot of headaches were the early orders of the afternoon.
After recovering a Donnie Avery fumble on the opening kickoff, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and the rest of the Seahawk offense took the field and stood 19 yards away from putting up its first points of the season.
On third-and-ten, Hasselbeck took the snap out of a shot gun formation and looked for his new favorite receiving target, TJ Houshmandzadeh.
Hasselbeck threw the ball deep over the middle, but, instead of hitting Houshmandzadeh, the football found itself in the arms of Rams strong safety James Butler.
St. Louis’ offense took over at its own 20, but couldn’t manage much and had to punt after going three-and-out.
After both teams exchanged punts, Hasselbeck completed an 11 yard pass to Nate Burleson, only to have the wideout cough the ball up. St. Louis recovered.
Another Hasselbeck interception, this one coming with 3:21 left in the first quarter, and an injury to Leroy Hill that forced the linebacker to leave the game for good, forced the Seahawks and their fans to wonder if the sky was falling again like it had last year.
In the second quarter, the Seahawks came to life.
Hasselbeck connected with second-year tight end John Carlson on a one-yard touchdown throw and catch to put the Seahawks up 7 – 0 with 5:50 left on the clock.
Later in the half St. Louis’ Quincy Butler returned a blocked field goal 51 yards for a St. Louis touchdown. A penalty on the play gave Seattle second life, as the touchdown came off the scoreboard and Seattle’s fourth-and-five became a first-and-ten situation on St. Louis’ 26.
Three plays later, Nate Burleson was on the receiving end of a 12 yard Hasselbeck touchdown. Seattle went into the half up by two touchdowns, 14 – 0.
Midway through the third quarter, John Carlson and Hasselbeck connected for back-to-back receptions that went for 38 and 33 yards respectively. The latter put the Seahawks up by another score.
Hasselbeck’s three touchdowns capped off his 279 yard passing performance, in which the veteran completed 25 of his 36 pass attempts.
Coming out of the preseason, St. Louis had to work on limiting giving big rushing plays. The Rams gave up seven rushes that went for over 22 yards, three of which went for at least 40, in the team’s four games in August.
Some how, they must have forgot about that.
After going three-and-out late in the third quarter, St. Louis gave the ball to Seattle at the Seahawks’ 38 yard line.
It only took one play.
Julius Jones took the handoff from Hasselbeck and went off the left tackle taking the play to the big house 62 yards for the running back’s first touchdown of the season.
Jones would finish the game with 117 yards on the ground on only 19 carries.
Steven Jackson and Laurent Robinson were the Rams’ lone stars of the game.
Jackson had a long run of 22 and en route of totaling 67 yards on 16 carries.
Robinson reeled in the game’s longest reception, with a 45 yarder later in the fourth quarter. He finished the game with 87 yards on five catches.
Joining the Seahawks’ Leroy Hill on the sidelines with an injury was fellow linebacker Lofa Tatupu. It is unclear if their injuries are serious enough to cause them to miss practice in the upcoming week.
Seattle’s next game will take the Seahawks on the road, as the team heads to San Francisco to play a 49ers team that knocked off the defending NFC Conference champion Arizona Cardinals 20 – 16.