Seahawks Run By Bengals


Mike Holmgren is halfway there.

If the Seattle Seahawks play as well in the second half of the season as they played in the first, their 11-year playoff drought should end.

Jon Kitna passed for three touchdowns in the first half and Ricky Watters scored his first touchdowns of the season as the surging Seahawks beat the struggling Cincinnati Bengals 37-20 Sunday.

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Game Summary

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  • Under Holmgren, their new coach and general manager, the Seahawks (6-2) moved into sole possession of first place in the AFC West with their best first-half record since 1984. Kansas City (5-3) fell to second in the division with a loss at Indianapolis.

    "I'll take it. I feel great about it," said Holmgren, who left the Green Bay Packers after seven seasons to become the NFL's highest paid coach with the Seahawks. "We did some good things today."

    It was the second win in six days for the Seahawks, who were coming off a Monday night win over Green Bay. The team could get more good news on Monday, when top receiver Joey Galloway is expected to end his season-long holdout.

    "When I see him, I'll believe it," Holmgren said.

    Cincinnati (1-8) lost its fourth in a row for the second time this season. The Bengals, who are 2-18 in their last 20 games, committed a season-high 16 penalties for 107 yards.

    "We made a lot of mistakes," said receiver Willie Jackson. "There's no excuse for that."

    Jeff Blake threw a 75-yard TD pass to Carl Pickens in the first quarter for Cincinnati's longest play of the season. But Blake, starting in place o injured rookie Akili Smith, also threw two interceptions.

    "We moved the ball effectively against them. We just didn't get it in the end zone," said Bengals coach Bruce Coslet.

    Watters, who rushed for 133 yards on 27 carries, ran for a touchdown and caught a TD pass from Kitna. The three TD passes were a career best for Kitna, who was making his 13th career start.

    "We're just a different team now," said Kitna, who started the final five games last season in place of Warren Moon. "We're not the old Seahawks. We expect to win every game now. We have virtually the same personnel. I think it's just a change in our attitude, in our perception."

    Bengals linebacker Canute Curtis was carried off the field on a stretcher in the third quarter after injuring his neck while tackling Watters. Curtis was taken to a hospital for X-rays, but Cincinnati officials said he was able to move.

    "I saw him moving his hands before he was taken off the field," said Coslet, who added that the tests were negative.

    Watters gave Seattle a 7-0 lead on a 19-yard touchdown run with 2:54 gone in the game. After Doug Pelfrey kicked a 50-yard field goal for Cincinnati, Kitna found Watters in the end zone with an 8-yard pass with 6:36 left in the first quarter.

    After getting his helmet knocked off on a sack by Myron Bell earlier in the series, Kitna threw a 20-yard TD pass to Mike Pritchard in the second quarter. Kitna threw this third TD pass of the half with 4:59 left, a 10-yarder to Derrick Mayes.

    Seattle's Darrin Smith intercepted Blake in the end zone with 1:49 left in the opening half.

    In the second half, Blake had a 1-yard touchdown run and Pelfrey kicked a field goal. Peterson kicked two field goals for Seattle.

    The Seahawks lost starting defensive linemen Michael Sinclair (groin) and Sam Adams (knee) in the first half because of injuries. They did not play in the second half.

    Notes

  • It was the second straight 100-yard rushing game for Watters, who had 125 yards against Green Bay last Monday night.
  • Corey Dillon of the Bengals gained 81 yards on 16 carries.
  • Blake completed 18 of 35 passes for 387 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. Kitna was 14-for-24 for 202 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions
  • Holmgren benched his punt returner, rookie Charlie Rogers, after Rogers fumbled two punts in Green Bay. "I love Charlie Rogers, but he has to learn that he can't drop two punts in a game." Rogers is averaging 16.3 yards on punt returns, second in the AFC.
  • The Seahawks got their first rushing touchdown of the season. They were the last team in the NFL to do that.
  • The 75-yard touchdown pass by Blake was the longest play against Seattle's defense this season.

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