Here's eight things that you can chew on over the next week that pertain to the Seahawks and what condition their condition is in.
1) On the 4th down play when Matt snookered the Lions into a encroachment penalty for a first down, Matt showed his experience and veteran leadership.
It was Matt's idea to do the freeze play on 4th down according to Mora. Mora said that Matt is an astute player who comes up with ideas like that all the time. If he played for the Giants or Dallas, Hasselbeck would be touted as one of the top three quarterbacks in the league. It's only because he toils in obscurity in Seattle that Hass isn't considered an elite quarterback. He carried the Seahawks yesterday setting team records for passing and becoming Seattle's all time passing leader.
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2) This team may only need three players to turn it around.
Sando basically agreeswith the assertion I made last week in comments during discussions of what the team needed. While many fans would like to completely tear this team apart and start over, in reality, if we acquire an above average left tackle, another guard of Unger's abilities, and a stud pass rusher like Kerney was two years ago, this team could well be an NFC West contender sooner rather than later. Sando almost mirrored my comment in response to a question of how long it would take the Seahawks to return to prominence:
"The Seahawks can compete for the NFC West title quickly if they can fix their offensive line and find ways to replace what Patrick Kerney provided a couple of years ago. Matt Hasselbeck seems to have conquered the back issues that bothered him last season. Those can come and go, so there's always a risk for recurrence, but that part of him has held up better than I would have anticipated. He could conceivably have a couple of more good seasons left -- if only Seattle could protect him. Fixing the offensive line would also help the running game and take pressure off the defense."
I can add that it would be good to get a young fireball of a running back and another defensive back whether a safety or corner who can cover the taller receivers in the NFC West but if we acquired two high quality offensive linemen and a stud pass rusher, that would go a long way towards fixing our weaknesses right now. I believe that we would have been competitive in both the Arizona and Dallas games if we had mounted a pass rush and kept the defense off Hass and those three players mentioned could have made that kind of difference. Comments? Agree or disagree?
3) For those Ruskell bashers who think Holmgren never made a mistake like they credit to Ruskell with respect to Hutchinson, I submit that he pulled as big a mistake with Ahman Green.
Over the weekend, Ahman Green became the Green Bay Packers all time rushing leader. Reminding some of the trade Bum Phillips made trading Steve Largent to Seattle, Holmgren traded Ahman to Green Bay for Fred Vinson who never played a down for Seattle. That was a huge blunder too in retrospect as this new article entitled Tim Ruskell & Mike Holmgren Both Average GMs for Seattle Seahawks points out when comparing the two GMs and their respective moves.
4) The Seahawks didn't fold when they were behind Sunday as many thought they would. Down 17 points before the game even got underway similar to the way the Cardinals game unfolded, this time the Seahawk' defenses not only limited their opponents offense for the rest of the game as they did against Arizona but mounted a blitzkrieg offensive thrust of their own to score 32 points before the game was concluded.
For the first time this season, they showed some guts in getting tough and coming back to win the game. First, they stopped the bleeding and then outscored the Lions 32 - 3 the rest of the way. They held the number one pick in the draft to a 7 quarterback rating for three quarters of the game according to Hugh Millen. I know that it's only the lowly Lions but would you rather the Seahawks had folded instead? How many of you Addicts expected them to fold after that first quarter 4th down play had failed? Be honest.
5) Hawthorne is becoming a stud in the Seahawk's defense. Is Lofa's job in jeopardy?
Two sacks last week. Two interceptions this week. Enough said? Not yet. He also led the team in tackles this week. He has been playing at a pro bowl level for the three weeks that he's filled in for Tatupu. People are talking about him having good trade value at the end of the year. First of all, do we really want to trade away our young upcoming talent? Second, if he continues to play like he has so far, is the trade to be made Lofa instead of Hawthorne? What do you guys think? Fans are asking if the Seahawks should consider going to a 3 - 4 defense because of their linebacker talent. I say a 3 - 4 defense doesn't just need 4 great linebackers but it needs the right kind of linebackers and Seattle doesn't have the kind of linebackers or defensive ends for that matter to play a 3 - 4. Opinions?
6) When fans call for Knapp's head on a stick for calling the game they see on the field, they don't realize that what they're seeing executed isn't necessarily the game that was called. Huh?
Hugh Millen broke it down today on KJR. There were 23 plays Knapp sent in that were supposed to be downfield or intermediate range passes yet Matt checked every one of them down to a underneath route. Matt completed 17 out of those 23 called downfield pass plays. That means that Knapp is calling a different game than we see executed and that means we must be having problems executing what has been called. Maybe it's not as much Knapp's fault as we believe. He seems to be calling a more vertical game as some have wanted to see happen and because of either Matt's reluctance to make those downfieldthrows or the fact they are well covered, those calls are being transposed into short underneath passes to the check-down receiver as the play unfolds.
Does that mean our receivers aren't getting open downfield or Matt doesn't trust his arm because of his ribs or that the offensive line isn't giving Matt enough time to let the downfieldplay develop before he has to check down? On another note, so far all Knapp's razzle dazzle plays have worked for good yardage except when Wallace fell down in the Dallas game with no one within ten yards of him and Hass threw the pass incomplete. We all wanted to see some trick plays and almost every game has had at least one. Wildcat plays, passes to Wallace, a fake punt, and double reverses to name a few off the top of my head. It's not all bad out there and maybe it just needs more time to gel. Ya think?
7) Mora was asked if they would continue to go to the pass instead of a more even mix with the run at the press conference.
Basically, Mora said that if that's what's working they would continue to exploit it. It's a shame they can't get the running game going but you've got to credit Mora and Knapp for seeing that the passing game was what was working and going with the hot hand so to speak instead of continuing to beat a dead horse. As a result, Matt threw for over 300 yards for the first time this season. Oddly enough, also for the first time this season the Seahawks came back on an opponent and won the game. Coincidence? What do you guys think?
8) How did you Addicts feel about the 4thdown play early in the game with the Seahawks already down 14 points and on the Green Bay side of the field to boot? Too risky? Stupid?
Today, Mora said it wasn't a good decision even if they had made it but that he had let his heart overrule him. He was frustrated and needed to make something happen. My take on it initially was that it was a stupid move but in retrospect, I think that 4th down play may have well sent the message to the team that this was a vitally important game and that there was some desperation involved.
As it turned out, even though the play itself didn't work, in the long run it did. The Lions may have scored 3 points off that drive but then were outscored 32 - 3 the rest of the game. It became the turning point in the game. In my opinion, the Seahawks looked like they would not accept defeat after that play was launched. They realized the importance that was being attached to the game when the coach called for a play like that early in the game rather than as a desperation move late in the game. How did you Addicts see the play? It was discussed on the radio today and the knowledgeable football analysts like Hugh Millen and Brock Huard also thought it was the pivotal point after reflection and decided it turned out to be a good move in the end. Your mileage may vary on this one. Some fans called in to say it was the worst move they had ever seen. What say you Addicts?
Well, there's eight things to reflect on and think about as we move forward and onto our next "must win" game this weekend at Arizona. What really makes you realize how bad the NFC West continues to be is that with a victory against the Cardinals this coming weekend, the 3 - 5 Seahawks are right back in contention for the division title. That's almost scary.
Watch for the Bold Prediction Contest coming your way on Friday.