That game was the single most frustrating game I’ve watched in a long, long time. Phantom calls, fumbles, stuffed runs, ticky tack penalties. Nothing seemed to go the Seahawks’ way on Sunday at the Superdome. Watching Drew Brees convert 3rd down after 3rd down while the Hawks blitzed six or seven defenders nearly put me into a murderous rage. What’s worse? My wife was napping in the room beside me. I couldn’t even yell at the TV. I’ve never felt so close to a heart attack in my life.
Apologists say Hasselbeck is back. He’s thrown for close to 700 yards in two games, but one ended up a convincing L and the other was a barely a convincing W (come on, it was against the Cardinals; that team is right beside Vikings and the Panthers in the we’d-be-better-off-without-fielding-a-QB club). Red zone efficiency is abysmal – three touchdowns in nine red zone visits in the last two games. Is it all Hasselbeck’s fault? No. The offensive line isn’t doing any favors, and hasn’t played well in the run game all year. Okung returned, and that’s helped in pass protection, but it wasn’t enough.
I’ll admit, Hasselbeck is a tough cat. That wrist has got to kill every time he takes a snap, or takes contact. Playing as well as he has is very impressive. It appears that Jeremy Bates has changed the offensive scheme a little to suit Hasselbeck’s skills; he’s used less moving pockets, roll outs, and other QB movements that do not favor a quarterback with below average arm strength. So what happened?
By the way: did the defense forget how to tackle? Or did the Saints have an orgy in kiddy pool filled with Crisco just before the game? Chris Ivory isn’t good, but by God did the Seahawks make him look good. And that stiff arm to Jordan Babineaux … holy cow. What a perfect microcosm for the entire defensive showing that night.
It’s funny how the season has flip flopped for the Seahawks. Early on, the strength was in the defense: a brick wall against the run, creative blitz packages kept opposing quarterbacks confused or on their back, and secondary play that was good enough. But the offense sputtered like a laughing baby eating apple sauce.
Now, the tables are turned: the offense is finding a passing game, the rushing game is still bad, but not a complete liability, but the defense is now the weak point. Injuries have taken their toll: Red and Cole’s absence has softened the run defense, the pass rush is starting to disappear against good offensive lines and the secondary is still to young to hold it’s own against QBs with too much time to throw.
Up next is the Chiefs, one of the more overrated teams in the league. And at home. Let’s hope Mike Williams’ or Marcus Trufant’s injuries aren’t as bad as feared. Losing to the Saints, last year’s world champion, is one thing. But losing to any team from Kansas City is another.