Wednesday, September 23, 2009

San Francisco

The past two years I have made a long weekend out of a couple road trips up to Berkeley. Each culminated on a Sunday in which the Seattle Seahawks were in San Francisco to take on the 49ers. Last year I had the thrill of seeing Seneca Wallace and Leonard Weaver combine for 338 yards of total offense as the Seahawks trounced the 49ers, 34-13. Recall it was Mike Singletary's first game as the head coach of the 49ers, when he pulled down his pants in the locker room at halftime in an effort to show his team what body part was getting kicked out on the field. As fun and fascinating as it was to witness such a game, it was of course a meaningless one.

One year later, we perhaps had an even more enjoyable weekend up in the Bay. This season though, the Seahawks and 49ers each entered this Week 2 matchup 1-0, with realistic hopes of the game being a meaningful one this time around. Of course, Matt Hasselbeck gets nailed by Patrick Willis trying to run for the endzone. He gets up, waves for Seneca Wallace to replace him, and slowly collapses onto the field in pain. Although Seneca scored on the very next play, the game was a disaster for the Seahawks.

I know injuries are a part of football, every team has them, deep rosters are built to survive them with players who step up, the good teams power through, and all that good stuff. But I hope I do not have to remind anyone of the unprecedented disaster that was the Seattle Seahawks health situation last season. I do not mean to begin whining or making excuses, but here is a quick summary of injuries to Seahawks starters just two weeks into this young season:

Seattle Seahawks starters injured before Week 2:

Walter Jones (LT)
Mike Wahle (LG) retired
Chris Spencer (C)
Leroy Hill (OLB)
Deion Branch (WR)
Marcus Trufant (CB)
Brandon Mebane (DT)
Josh Wilson (CB)

Seattle Seahawks starters injured during the game at San Francisco, none of whom returned:
Matt Hasselbeck (QB)
Lofa Tatupu (MLB)
Sean Locklear (T)
Josh Wilson (CB)
Justin Griffith (FB)

Count ‘em. That is THIRTEEN STARTERS, including the four best players on the team.

As for those 79 and 80 yard touchdown runs by Frank Gore, note that the Seahawks were missing their starting DT as well as two of the NFL's top linebackers. When you have such a defense, there is simply an enormous drop off when the top guys are out with injuries. You can take it to the bank that those 79 and 80 yard touchdown runs by Frank Gore would never happen with Lofa Tatupu on the field. I know this is unreasonable, but take those two runs away and Seahawks win 10-9.

That being said, this season is not the same as last as most of these players are said to be returning soon. However, if they do not return to form, then we are heading for a similar fate.