The fans welcomed back Ricky Watters with boos. By the end of the game, they were booing the Eagles.
Watters played three seasons in Philadelphia, collecting 3,794 yards, 32 touchdowns and a ton of criticism for his attitude, which ranged from selfish to uncaring, according to his critics.
During the off-season, he signed a four-year, $13 million deal with the Seahawks and may have gotten out of town just in time. Seattle appears to be a team on the rise, while Philadelphia is going nowhere -- literally.
Without Watters, the Eagles had no serious scoring threats and the only touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Bobby Hoying was to Seahawks cornerback Shawn Springs, who returned it 42 yards for the game's first score.
That set the tone for the day as Seattle's defense dominated, posting its first shutout since a 37-0 blanking of the Los Angeles Raiders on Dec. 8t 1986. The Seahawks allowed just 175 total yards -- 12 through the air -- while forcing three turnovers and collecting nine sacks.
Also making a triumphant return to Philadelphia was linebacker Darrin Smith, who had two sacks and a fumble recovery.
It was a remarkable turnaround for the Seahawks, who suffered a 41-3 home loss to the New York Jets in their 1997 season opener. Coach Dennis Erickson won an opener for the first time in four years with Seattle.
The lone highlights for Eagles fans came very early, as they booed Watters when he came out for pregame warmups and gave him a Philadelphia cheer when he dropped a short pass on Seattle's first possession.
Moon, 41, who held out for half the preseason, was 13-of-21 for 204 yards before sitting down in the final period. Hthrew a pair of TD passes to Joey Galloway, who caught six passes for a career-high 142 yards.
| Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Bobby Hoying is sacked by Seattle Seahawks' Darrin Smith for a nine-yard loss in the first quarter. (AP) |
Hoying fumbled on the second play after the kickoff and defensive tackle Sam Adams recovered on the Philadelphia 25. On the next play, Moon found Galloway in the right side of the end zone and the rout was on.
After a scoreless second quarter, Moon hit Galloway with passes of 34, 18 and 19 yards before finding fullback Mack Strong with an 11-yard touchdown pass to cap the first drive of the second half.
A 16-yard rumble by Watters set up Moon's second TD strike to Galloway, a 35-yarder that made it 28-0 just over six minutes into the third quarter. By that time, the defeated Eagles fans turned their boos on the home team, saving derisive cheers for the few positive plays.
Hoying was 9-of-23 for 63 yards and an interception. Among a handful of Eagles sidelined with injuries was Charlie Garner, who was supposed to replace Watters but sat out with a sprained ankle. Duce Staley started and gained 95 yards on 20 carries, most of them meaningless.
After Watters, Moon and Galloway departed in the fourth quarter, Todd Peterson kicked a 42-yard field goal and Ahman Green -- the rookie understudy to Watters -- ripped off a 64-yard run before scoring from six yards out. Green finished with 100 yards on just six carries.
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