SEATTLE (AP) The Seattle Seahawks found out what the Baltimore Ravens discovered last season: Trent Dilfer is a winner.
Dilfer, replacing the injured Matt Hasselbeck, made his first start at quarterback since the Super Bowl and helped the Seahawks beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 24-15 Sunday.
Dilfer, who won his last 11 starts in Baltimore last season on the way to a Super Bowl victory, teamed with backup tight end Itula Mili for a 1-yard touchdown pass in the opening quarter and a 41-yarder to Mili to set up Seattle's third touchdown in the second quarter.
He got plenty of help from second-year running back Shaun Alexander, who rushed 31 times for 176 yards and two touchdowns in his second NFL career start.
Alexander took over for Ricky Watters, who was lost last week for 6-to-8 weeks with an injured right shoulder. Alexander's 176-yard effort was the fifth-best rushing game in Seattle's history and the most yards rushing in a game since Watters gained 178 against Indianapolis on Dec. 20, 1998.
Dilfer practiced all week with the first team because Hasselbeck was sidelined with a pulled groin after a lopsided loss in Oakland last week. Dilfer sustained a concussion against the Raiders, but bounced back this week.
Dilfer, signed as a free agent Aug. 3 by the Seahawks as insurance in case Hasselbeck got hurt, completed 15 of 23 passes for 219 yards and one touchdown, with one interception.
It was a huge win for the Seahawks (2-2) and coach Mike Holmgren, criticized this week for the direction the franchise has been going.
The Jaguars (2-2) lost their second straight game in quarterback Mark Brunell's return to Husky Stadium, where he played his college football for the University of Washington in the early 1990s. Brunell couldn't muster much offense against a Seahawks defense that was vastly improved after defeats to Philadelphia in the home opener and in Oakland.
Brunell was 21-of-39 for 233 yards and one touchdown, with no interceptions.
The Seahawks led 21-12 at halftime despite giving up a touchdown and a field goal in a 22-second span of the second quarter because of major mistakes by their special teams.
Trailing 14-3, the Jaguars got a 48-yard field goal by Mike Hollis after the Seahawks were penalized for having 12 men on the field on a punt by Jacksonville into the end zone. The Jaguars scored again on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Brunell to Elvis Joseph after Kiwaukee Thomas recovered a fumble by Seattle kickoff returner Charlie Rogers at the 18.
But Seattle scored its most important touchdown of the game by driving 62 yards to go ahead 21-12 at halftime, with Alexander scoring on a 3-yard run with 5:06 left in the first half. Dilfer had a 41-yard completion to Mili to the 3 to set up the score. Mili caught a ball that deflected off the left hand of linebacker Kevin Hardy and then dragged cornerback Jason Craft 12 yards before being pulled down.
In the second half, both teams had field goals, and Seattle stopped Jacksonville twice on fourth-and-1 in the fourth period, the first time at its 35 and the second time at the 37.
Joseph fumbled at the 35 on the second play of the final period after being hit by Willie Williams. Defensive end Michael Sinclair recovered and returned it 12 yards.