SEATTLE (Nov. 6, 2006) -- Mike Holmgren showed a new side of his coaching persona. The passing game guru motivated his defense by dressing down his players and made sure he stuck to a game plan for the Seattle Seahawks that relied heavily on a backup running back.
It was the same old Oakland Raiders. They capped yet another Monday night meltdown with a knee to the groin that led to defensive end Tyler Brayton's ejection.
Craig Terrill had three of Seattle's nine sacks and Maurice Morris ran 30 times for a career-high 138 yards to help the Seahawks end a two-game skid with a 16-0 victory over the Raiders.
The victory got the Seahawks (5-3) back on track after injuries to reigning MVP Shaun Alexander and Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck left the defending NFC champions struggling to match last season's success.
But it was the defense that had Holmgren most concerned and led to the harsh talk following last week's 35-28 loss at Kansas City.
"They took it to heart," Holmgren said. "Our defense had a few things to prove. I think they played very hard and very smart, which is something we needed."
His players heeded the message and took advantage of Oakland's weak offensive line to pressure Andrew Walter relentlessly and take pressure off an offense missing Pro Bowlers Alexander and Hasselbeck.
"Right now it should be on us," linebacker Julian Peterson said. "On offense, we've got guys banged up. We're missing a lot of Pro Bowl guys. It's on us to make plays ... that's what we've been missing."
The Raiders (2-6) looked just like they did in the season opener, when they also allowed nine sacks in a 27-0 loss on to San Diego on a Monday night. They became the first team to be shut out twice in one season on Monday Night Football and are scoreless in their last 167 minutes, 3 seconds on the NFL's prime time showcase.
The lasting memories from this loss will be Walter on his back after numerous sacks and Brayton kneeing Jerramy Stevens in the groin in the final minutes to earn an ejection and likely further punishment from the NFL.
"I made a mistake," Brayton said. "I'll be the first to admit I made a mistake. I let my emotions get the best of me and that's not a good thing when you do that."
Seattle, which had lost three of four games with Alexander sidelined with a broken foot, took a one-game lead over St. Louis in the NFC West heading into next weekend's game against the Rams.
While Wallace threw a TD pass to get his first win as an NFL starter, the offense relied mostly on Morris. Holmgren even wrote himself a reminder on his play card to "STAY WITH THE RUN."
After rushing a season-low 18 times for 47 yards last week, Seattle had 39 carries against the Raiders and finished with 207 yards rushing.
"For any offense, if you get your running game going, it takes the pressure off the quarterback," Wallace said.
But it was the defense that won this one. Seattle had allowed at least 28 points in five successive games for the first time since its first five games in existence in 1976, and held the opposition scoreless in only one of the previous 17 quarters.
But the Seahawks had little trouble shutting down Oakland's last-ranked offense on a wet and windy night. The Raiders gained only 185 yards and failed to score an offensive touchdown for the fifth time in eight games this season.
Seattle sacked Walter five times in the first quarter, including on three successive plays -- the last two by Terrill. The Seahawks added four more in the game, raising Oakland's NFL-worst total to 44 on the season.
"It was just a matter of time," said defensive lineman Grant Wistrom, who got his first two sacks of the season. "We know we haven't been playing very well the last few weeks."
Walter was 16 of 35 for 166 yards and couldn't get the ball deep to Randy Moss against a defense that had been susceptible to the long pass.
"It seemed like when we dropped back to pass, something bad happens, a sack or something like that," Oakland coach Art Shell said.
Oakland's offensive line was once again overmatched as it has been most of the season. Starting left guard Barry Sims missed the game with an abdominal strain and Corey Hulsey struggled in his place.
"That's the way it is," Raiders offensive lineman Langston Walker said. "Unfortunately you can have 10 guys doing everything perfect and one guy screws up or loses a battle."
The Seahawks got into the end zone on their opening drive, moving the ball 68 yards with help from a personal foul against the Raiders' coaching staff. Wallace used an exaggerated pump fake to get Fabian Washington out of position on the 22-yard scoring strike to Branch.
A 29-yard punt by three-time All-Pro Shane Lechler set up Josh Brown's 20-yard field goal on Seattle's next drive and Brown added a 25-yard field goal in the second quarter to make it 13-0. His final field goal was from 20 yards with 1:17 left in the game.
Notes: The shutout was the Seahawks' first since Dec. 5, 2005, when they beat Philadelphia 42-0 in their most recent appearance on Monday night. ... Wallace's 37-yard scramble in the third quarter was Seattle's longest run of the season. ... The Raiders have lost five straight overall on Mondays, being outscored 116-27.