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Hasselbeck returns, leads Seahawks to win

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By Bob Baum, AP Sports Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz.(AP) — Nothing like a return to their sputtering brethren of the NFC West to resuscitate the Seattle Seahawks.

Matt Hasselbeck, back after a one-game absence, threw for 333 yards and Mike Williams had the biggest game of his rejuvenated NFL career Sunday in the Seattle Seahawks' dominant 36-18 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Williams, who spent the past two seasons out of the NFL after flopping in Detroit, caught 11 passes for 145 yards, both career highs, for the Seahawks (5-4), who swept the Cardinals for the first time since 2006.

With St. Louis losing to San Francisco in overtime, Seattle is alone in first place in the NFC West.

Arizona (3-6) lost its fourth straight, its longest skid since dropping eight in a row in 2006, Dennis Green's final season as coach.

The Seahawks, outscored 74-10 in losses to Oakland and the New York Giants in their two games since beating Arizona in Seattle, could have made this win far more one-sided. Seattle had to settle for four of Olindo Mare's five field goals when second-half drives stalled at the 16-yard line or closer. Two of them ended at the 1.

Mare missed a sixth field goal, from 29 yards, when it bounced off the left upright.

Arizona's Derek Anderson completed 23 of 45 for 322 yards. He was intercepted once, fumbled the ball away once and was sacked five times, two apiece by Aaron Curry and Chris Clemens.

Hasselbeck, who missed last week's home debacle against the Giants because of a concussion, hurt the Arizona secondary for 273 yards passing in the first half.

He repeatedly threw with success toward cornerback Greg Toler and safety Adrian Wilson, often defending against Williams.

Hasselbeck had a 63-yard touchdown pass to Deon Butler who evaded three defenders, including Toler and Wilson, on the catch and run that put Seattle up for good 17-10 midway through the second quarter.

Hasselbeck didn't start the second half after injuring his left wrist late in the second quarter on a failed sneak attempt on fourth-and-1 at the Arizona 16. Charlie Whitehurst replaced him, but Hasselbeck returned for the third series after the break.

The Cardinals had a wisp of life late. Anderson's 2-yard touchdown pass to Early Doucet, followed by a 2-point conversion toss to Larry Fitzgerald, cut it to 29-18.

Arizona went for an onside kick and recovered, but was called for touching the ball before it went 10 yards.

In his big first half, Hasselbeck had completions of 44 yards to Chris Baker and 40 yards to Ben Obomanu.

LaRod Stephens-Howling, who took one back for a touchdown last week at Minnesota, returned the opening kickoff 52 yards to the Arizona 48. Anderson threw 13 yards to Stephens-Howling, then connected with Fitzgerald on the sideline for 33 yards to the Seattle 2. Tim Hightower ran it in from there.

Seattle responded with a 12-play, 77-yard drive that included three third down conversion passes for 53 yards to Williams. Marshawn Lynch's 1-yard TD run tied it at 7-7.

Stephens-Howling injured a hamstring in the first half and played sparingly after that, with Steve Breaston taking over return duties.

Game stats

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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