Worst case scenario turned into reality Sunday as Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was hit by Minnesota Vikings linebacker E.J. Henderson, injuring his right knee's medial-collateral ligament. The hit was eerily similar to Carson Palmer's severe knee injury against the Steelers in last year's playoffs. Minnesota went on to rout the Seahawks in Seattle 31-13. Hasselbeck is expected to miss around a month, returning towards the end of November. Backup Seneca Wallace will take over an already banged up offense which is without MVP running back Shaun Alexander, possession receiver Bobby Engram, and left guard Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack. Tight end Jerramy Stevens has just returned from injury while left tackle Walter Jones is playing hurt.
The triple crown of curses continue to plague the Seahawks. The Super Bowl Loser Curse is well in effect, the Madden Curse has already taken out Shaun Alexander and now the we have the Chunky Soup Curse, whose victims include Kurt Warner, Terrell Davis, Jerome Bettis, Donovan McNabb, and Ben Roethlisberger.
Can Seattle survive the bombardment of injuries? Chances are slim, but a soft schedule provides a slice of hope. Say Hasselbeck is out through the entire month of November. The games he would miss: at Kansas City, Oakland, St. Louis, at San Francisco, and Green Bay. With a great group of receivers and the return of Shaun Alexander, it is possible for Seneca Wallace to go 2-3 during that stretch, leaving the Seahawks at a modest 6-5. Hasselbeck's return could ignite a wild card playoff push, or even, depending on how the Rams do during their tough month, squeak out the division. However, a playoff berth would be quite an achievement, which means home-field advantage and a Super Bowl run are out of the question.
- Good thing basketball starts soon. Now that the Seahawks are done, maybe the Sonics will give Seattle a going-away gift of a surprise playoff run. Otherwise, I may have to turn to SoCal teams in the inconsistent Chargers and *gasp* Clippers.
- The San Diego Chargers stud linebaker Shawne Merriman is going to be suspended for four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. No wonder he was such a beast...
- The Philadelphia Eagles are this year's Chargers in that they always have the game won in the fourth quarter, yet somehow lose it anyway.
- How does Arizona's Dennis Green make it through the week as head coach after losing to the Raiders?
- The Michael Vick show in Pittsburgh was a form we had never seen before. FOUR touchdowns in such a up and down game. Wow.
- The Denver Broncos keep on winning with defense. Then again, they have not played any playoff teams. They need to have confidence in the passing game and put up some points to win come playoff time. We will find out if Jake Plummer is ready when Peyton Manning comes to town this weekend.
- Speaking of Manning visits, I am already looking forward to the November 5 Sunday nighter at Foxboro as the New England Patriots are quietly rolling through everyone.
- Other Week 8 showdowns: Atlanta at Cincinnati, both coming off of close road wins. Baltimore at New Orleans, both coming off of byes. The Sunday nighter, Dallas at Carolina. Good stuff.