I’ll say one thing: Charlie Whitehurst has a mean drop back. It’s so quick to the point that it’s almost comical. But hey, zero sacks taken. Jeremy Bates got the toolsy quarterback he wanted: tall, mobile, big arm. A combination of protection, scheme and mobility kept Charlie upright all game. Not one sack taken against a New York defense that’s knocked out its share of quarterbacks this year. Jesse, you owe me a beer. Hell, you were so off the mark you owe me two.
Like I mentioned in my last post, we got a glimpse into the type of offense Jeremy Bates will run in Seattle once he’s got a QB that can execute it effectively. You might be thinking “if that offense was the future of the Seahawks, Jeremy Bates can go something something something”.
Listen, the deck was just about as stacked against Charlie as it could have been. Charlie’s first start came after a whopping 3 days of practice, it relied on a patchwork offensive line against a pass rush that has knocked out five quarterbacks; a top ranked passing defense; and an injury riddled Seahawks defense that would most certainly give up a grip of points and put Seattle on its heels. No pressure, Charlie. His one saving grace was playing at home.
He was nervous early on, it was evident. Hell, I could hear his heart pounding from the 300 level where I was sitting. He missed some easy throws, and generally looked a bit frenetic. As the game carried on, he calmed down a bit. Over all, he was well protected, but often by six or seven blockers. That left fewer receiving targets among a lot of defenders. I’m surprised he didn’t throw more interceptions, honestly.
In my last post, I mentioned that I hoped that Charlie would throw one touchdown. In reality, he threw two. The first was perfect strike to Mike Williams in the end zone. Williams bobbled the catch into the welcoming arms of his defender and it went the other way. Some say the defender hit the ball when they tangled. I watched the play many, many times and I didn’t see that. Williams, I’m sure, was upset. But not more so than Charlie, I’d be willing to bet. It came when the Seahawks were still sorta competitive within the game. That was the kind of pass that Seattle fans haven’t seen in many, many years: accurate, and with the kind of zip needed to get the ball into small windows. The second touchdown was in the 4th against a secondary that likely had sat many of its starters. But hey, a TD is a TD. It was a well-thrown deep pass that hit a streaking receiver in stride.
Personally, I’d rather have Whitehurst start all season. I’m not saying the season is over, but I honestly don’t think Seattle is much of a better team with Matt Hasselbeck. He’s near the bottom of the league in DVOA, EPA and WPA. And has been for the past two seasons. Even if the Seahawks do make it to the playoffs, how well will they fare?
Going forward, barring any unforeseen disasters, offensive playmakers (Okung, Tate, Robinson) should return from injury, the overall quality of Seahawks’ opponents will go down and Charlie would have more reps with the starting offense (not three days, like before the Giants game). Each of those factors would contribute to his ability to execute under center.
Charlie was thrown into probably the most difficult game situation he could face. And he wasn’t a complete disaster. That says something.