Seahawks 42, Eagles 0
A cross-country trip to Philadelphia for a Monday night game in the snow hasn't exactly been a formula for success. Then again, these are not the same old Seattle Seahawks.
Using big plays on defense, including interception returns for touchdowns by Andre Dyson and rookie Lofa Tatupu, and smaller ones from their top-ranked offense, the Seahawks routed the Eagles, 42-0.
The Seahawks (10-2) dominated from the outset, winning their eighth straight game, tying a team record set in 1984. They gained only 194 yards overall -- the Seahawks were averaging 386 -- but didn't need to do much after taking a 35-0 halftime lead.
"I've never been ahead like that against a good football team," Coach Mike Holmgren said. "It was kind of new territory."
Seattle, which got two short touchdowns runs from NFL rushing leader Shaun Alexander, sort of sneaked its way to the top of the conference and barely survived the New York Giants last week. In the Monday night spotlight, though, the NFC West champion filled the scoreboard.
"We just jumped on them and didn't let them breathe," said Dyson, who was on crutches and wore a protective boot on the left ankle he sprained when he returned Ryan Moats's fumble 25 yards for another touchdown on the first play of the second half. Dyson was carried off the field by several teammates.
It was Philadelphia's worst loss since a 38-0 flop against Seattle to open the 1998 season. Indeed, as Dyson scored on his fumble return, the Lincoln Financial Field pretty much emptied out. The majority of fans stayed that long only because the Eagles retired Reggie White's No. 92 at halftime.
The Eagles (5-7), who had six turnovers, were shut out for the first time since 2003 when Tampa Bay beat them 17-0 in the first game in the new stadium. It was the Eagles' worst home loss since they were beaten 49-0 by Green Bay in 1962.
"Embarrassing may be a good term for it," Eagles end Jevon Kearse said. "It was embarrassing and everything else bad that goes with it."
And, they lost running back Brian Westbrook with a sprained foot.
It didn't take along for Seattle's powerful offense to begin the scoring. Well, it actually took more than eight minutes on the opening drive, a relentless march featuring four third-down conversions and 16 plays. Matt Hasselbeck, flushed to the right, found Bobby Engram wide open in the end zone for an 11-yard pass after Philadelphia's Jeremiah Trotter and Quintin Mikell collided.
Three plays earlier, Trotter's illegal contact penalty negated Mikell's interception in the end zone.
When the Eagles staged their own productive drive, it ended ignominiously as Mike McMahon stared straight at wide receiver Greg Lewis. Dyson read the pass perfectly, picked it off and raced 72 yards down the left sideline for a 14-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter, McMahon threw directly to middle linebacker Tatupu, who raced 38 yards to make it 21-0.
"Maybe it was a little reaction, but it wasn't the greatest decision on the QB's part," Tatupu said. "But he has a strong arm and he thought he could force it in there and I just undercut it at the right time."
Alexander got his first touchdown of the night on a two-yard run one play after Koy Detmer, in for the inept McMahon, had his pass tipped by Tatupu and picked off by Michael Boulware. He added his league-leading 22nd touchdown of the season with a one-yard run set up by Hasselbeck's 42-yard pass to D.J. Hackett.
Owens finished his team suspension for conduct detrimental to the franchise and, as expected, was deactivated for the rest of the season.