KIRKLAND – The 2006 Seattle Seahawks are giving credence to the old adage about going as far as your star players will take you.
After Sunday night’s 23-20 win over the Denver Broncos, the Seahawks are now 5-0 this season when quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and running back Shaun Alexander are in the lineup together. Without Hasselbeck and Alexander, Seattle is 3-4.
“They’ve played together for awhile, and they’re kind of in their primes as far as their football careers,” coach Mike Holmgren said of the Pro Bowl duo. “… It’s no accident that we’ve won with them. They’re good players.”
The Seahawks have been nearly unbeatable when their two most notable stars are in the lineup, as witnessed by a 20-4 record since the beginning of the 2005 season. One of those losses came in the Super Bowl, and another in the meaningless 2005 regular season finale.
The last time the Seahawks lost a regular season game in which both Hasselbeck and Alexander played the entire game was Oct. 2, 2005, when the Washington Redskins beat Seattle 20-17 in overtime.
After missing four games with a sprained right knee, Hasselbeck has played in the past two. Alexander has played in three consecutive games following an eight-week absence with a broken bone in his left foot.
With both players back in the lineup, Holmgren is hopeful his team can find its stride on offense.
“We have to do better and be more consistent,” he said. “And if we can ever get there then we’ll have something big going.
“But I have hope. I’m more encouraged then discouraged.”
Record-tying kick: Josh Brown’s 50-yard field goal was his fourth game-winner of the season, matching the NFL record that was recently tied by Green Bay’s Ryan Longwell (2004) and Carolina’s John Kasay (2003).
With four games left to go, Brown could conceivably have sole possession of the record by season’s end.
“He sure has been tough in those situations this year,” Holmgren said.
Scobey done for year? The Seahawks got good news on injured Pro Bowlers Robbie Tobeck and Mack Strong on Monday, but things weren’t so rosy when it came to special teamer Josh Scobey.
The backup running back and special teams captain suffered a cracked bone in his shoulder that could sideline him for the remainder of the season.
“He’s such a tough guy that I sometimes think he’s indestructible,” Holmgren said. “But he took a shot last night.”
Holmgren initially believed that Strong suffered a high ankle sprain in Sunday’s game, but the coach said Monday that the veteran fullback could practice later this week and be available to play at Arizona on Sunday.
Tobeck, who has missed three games, could start working out this week after doctors discovered that antibiotics have diminished the abscess on his hip. Tobeck is unlikely to play against the Cardinals, but Holmgren is encouraged that “hopefully he’ll be able to play before the season’s over” after the lineman gets his strength back.
Reining it in: Holmgren said Monday that he might have been too conservative in his play-calling Sunday, especially when it came to the lack of deep throws.
“I probably should have thrown down the field more, but I have respect for who’s playing over there on the Denver defense,” Holmgren said, referring mostly to Pro Bowl cornerback Champ Bailey. “The one time (Hasselbeck) threw (deep), Champ Bailey made the interception.
“I didn’t think they were going to score too much, the way the game was going, so we got into one of those games. I didn’t want to do anything careless.”
Curse cracked? The Seahawks took one step toward exorcising the so-called “Curse of the Super Bowl Losers” on Sunday night by earning their eighth win of the season.
None of the previous five Super Bowl losers has had a .500 record, while the worst the 2006 Seahawks could do is finish 8-8.
The next step would be to clinch a playoff spot, which none of the past five Super Bowl losers – the 2004 Philadelphia Eagles, the 2003 Carolina Panthers, the 2002 Oakland Raiders, the 2001 St. Louis Rams and the 2000 New York Giants – were able to do. Seattle can clinch a spot as soon this weekend.
Quick slants: The false-start penalty late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game was not called on a single player because center Chris Spencer forgot the snap count. “Everyone moved but Spencer,” Holmgren said. “He was on (a snap count of) two, and everyone else was on one.” … As he’s done after several victories this season, Holmgren gave the players Monday off. Today is the team’s weekly off day, meaning most players won’t be at the practice facility for the first time until Wednesday.