In his Qwest Field debut, Seattle Seahawks head coach Jim Mora earned his first official win as the leader of his hometown team in a 28-0 victory over the St. Louis Rams in the season opener for both teams. Mora seemed somewhat subdued when talking to reporters after the game, but he acknowledged the win was significant.
"I have thought about this day for a long, long time," Mora said. "To go out there and listen to our crowd and see the effect that they had on the game, and the penalties, it was kind of a surreal experience for me."
The Seahawks offense struggled early, with Seattle turning the ball over on three of its first four possessions. Seahawks starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who saw his first action since missing nine games last season with a bulging disk in his back, threw two interceptions inside St. Louis territory in the first quarter.
"Part of it was being a little indecisive on my part," Hasselbeck said about his sluggish start. "And then another part of it is not really committing to the throws, being a little unsure. ... You really can't play that way. You have to be decisive."
The defense held strong, however, keeping the Rams to just 247 total yards offensively, until the offense got on track. And Hasselbeck did get going, finishing 25 of 36 for 279 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
His favorite target was tight end John Carlson, who totaled six catches for 95 yards and two scores. Nate Burleson, in his first game since suffering an ACL knee injury in the first season of 2008, contributed seven catches for 74 yards and a score.
At 1-0, Seattle now turns its attention to the San Francisco 49ers, who earned a surprising 20-16 win at Arizona in their opener. The winner of Sunday's contest will start the season 2-0 in NFC West Division play.
"We're going to celebrate for a couple hours," Seattle fullback Justin Griffith said. "Then we're going to get back to work on Monday, and hopefully we can go down there and get a win."
TRENDING: The Seahawks have had Rams running back Steven Jackson's number over the last couple of seasons. In the last five games against the Seahawks, Jackson has averaged just 76 yards a contest.
LINEUP WATCH: Free safety Jordan Babineaux got his first start in place of Brian Russell, who the team released because they said Babineaux beat him out during a position battle in exhibition play. Babineaux did not live up to his nickname, "Big Play Babs", but he didn't get beat deep either and played solidly, finishing with five tackles and a pass deflection.
UNDER THE RADAR: Rookie defensive end Nick Reed, who finished with four sacks during the preseason, got a few snaps in passing situations as the team works to find a role for the talented pass rusher.
BY THE NUMBERS: Seattle has won three of its last four games against the Niners, including two in San Francisco.
-- LB Lofa Tatupu suffered a mild hamstring strain in the second half against the Rams, but Mora said it doesn't appear serious and the team was just playing it safe in taking him out.
-- LB Leroy Hill suffered a slight groin strain against the Rams in the first half and did not return. Mora believes the injury is minor and the team caught it before it got worse.
-- LB Aaron Curry finished with four tackles in his rookie debut at Qwest Field, and also spent a lot of time jawing with Rams running back Steven Jackson.
-- WR Deion Branch was a game-time decision and did not play, as the Seahawks placed him on the inactive list. Branch did not practice most of the week because of a hamstring strain.