Tuesday, November 28, 2006

MNF - Seattle 34, Green Bay 24

  • Previous two Monday Night Football games for the Seattle Seahawks: 16-0 vs Oakland in Week 8, 42-0 at Philadelphia in 2005. Both were shutouts.
  • It was not quite so easy this time around, however, with hail and snow falling on a 35 degree night, the worst weather conditions for a game in Seattle ever (Quest Field is five years old and the Seahawks played in the Kingdome before).
  • Matt Hasselbeck made his return after missing four games with a sprained knee. First half: Three interceptions, one fumble returned for a touchdown.
  • Here is the thing with Hasselbeck. He is a prideful guy. Remember the "we'll take the ball and we're going to score" back in 2004? He probably felt that, in his return, he needed to come out and make a bunch of big plays to make up for his time away. Compound that with rustiness and weather conditions, and Hasselbeck started to press, forcing throws under pressure making some bad decisions.
  • How bad are the Packers that your offense can only score once in the first half even with the aid of those three interceptions?
  • Craig Terrill blocked a field goal, second time this year. I cannot believe I cut him in my Madden franchise...
  • Josh Brown is a stud. Four for four, including one from 45 yards out, all in the freezing first half with snow and hail. Paul Allen, please open your checkbook for him soon.
  • Halftime: Packers 14, Seahawks 12. It stops hailing/snowing.
  • Back to Hasselbeck's first game back. Either the easing of the weather helped, he shook off his rustiness, or whatever Holmgren said to him at the half worked, or a combination of it all. Whatever the case, Matt comes out and leads three long drives hitting D.J. Hackett, Darrell Jackson, and Jerramy Stevens for touchdowns. Welcome back.
  • Speaking of welcome back, anytime the weather is like it was last night in Seattle, you know that the rushing game is going to be crucial, even with a Mike Holmgren offense. Shaun Alexander entered the game with only 424 yards the entire season. He nearly doubled that with FOURTY carries for 201 yards.
  • Chris Spencer started for Robbie Tobeck at center again. Tobeck is a smart team leader who is tight with Hasselbeck. However, it appears that the younger, healthier, and stronger Spencer may be better for the running game.
  • Jerramy Stevens had two big drops, drawing heavy boos from the normally forgiving Seattle crowd. If he did not make up for it with a two-point conversion and touchdown, he would be the goat of the game. The team's two most important people in Hasselbeck and Holmgren support him though, so it would take a lot for him not to remain a large part of the offense.
  • Nate Burleson is never going to earn his $49 million, but he is slowly inching forward. He had a punt return of 17 yards and a kickoff return of 45 yards, consistently setting up the offense with good field position, something the Seattle has never really had.
  • D.J. Hackett is a stud. The former CSUN Matador (!) is filling in for ill Bobby Engram, caught a couple of third down conversions and a touchdown, leading the team with 5 receptions for 67 yards.
  • The Seattle Seahawks' cornerbacks had a grand total of zero interceptions this season. Enter Brett Favre. Whenever he gets down, he starts to force throws into coverage trying to make a big play. All three corners picked him off! Marcus Trufant, Kelly Herndon, and rookie Kelly Jennings, who was in the third grade when Favre began his career.
  • About that rougher the passer penalty. Matt Hasselbeck threw an incompletion on third down but was slightly hit on the back of the helmet on his way to the ground. Is it a good call? No, of course not. I would be in an outrage if it cost my team the game like it did the Packers. However, the referees is not the problem; it is the rule and the NFL's mentality of protecting the quarterback at all costs. Exhibit A: The Giants' defensive end letting Vince Young go from his grasp on fourth down. Vince went on to run for the first down, throw for the tying touchdown, and win the game. The explanation was that he let Young go in fear of the roughing the passer penalty, which would have given the Titans the first down anyway. Now I hate seeing so many teams' seasons go down the drain because of quarterback injuries, so the league may have an impossible task on its hands in finding a balance between keeping football a man's game and protecting its stars.
  • Call me ridiculous, but I can turn anything into something good, so this is easy. At 7-4, Seattle is in position to make a run at a first-round bye with the injuries beginning to fade away. This game showed off Hasselbeck's poise with the ability to fight through such a terrible first half and still find a way to come back and win. Alexander and the offensive line finally pulled off a good game. Heck, even the defense, which has been atrocious this year, made huge stops late in the game. With two should-win divisional games against Arizona and San Francisco coming up, the Seahawks could be back on track very quickly. First thing is first though - a visit to Denver to take on Jay Cutler in his first professional start and the Broncos on Sunday Night!