The last stand
Matt Hasselbeck had hoped his 74th all-time win as the Seahawk starting quarterback would come before this week. In fact as he entered the San Francisco game stuck on 73 and it looked like the clock was winding down to 0:00 on his Seahawk career.
Hasselbeck will be a free agent after this season and it’s not sure yet what the Seahawks plans are or his own plans are. Having come to Seattle in the off-season of 2001 from Green Bay no one knew the former back-up to Brett Favre would go onto lead the Seahawks to a Super Bowl appearance and multiple division crowns.
It’s been a career that started off slow. He was benched for Super Bowl champion and ex-Raven quarterback Trent Dilfer. It looked like he was trying too hard at times, but as he earned the confidence of his coach Mike Holmgren and the fans he started to develop into a Pro Bowl quarterback. His potential didn’t end there- he would develop into an elite quarterback in the NFL as well and not just his conference.
Just like everyone else in the NFL Hasselbeck aged. In 2008 he missed nine games and for the first time since 2001 threw more interceptions than touchdowns in a season. In 2009 he rebounded under Jim Mora playing in 14 games, but still led the Seahawks to a losing record and a top 10 draft pick.
Mora left and Pete Carroll came in giving Hasselbeck his third different offensive game-plan in three-years he would have to run. Under Carroll, Hasselbeck would win six games and the Seahawks were in contention for winning the division.
As the season winded down and the chances of the Seahawks winning the West looked possible it looked like Hasselbeck would get a chance to win his 74th career game as the Seahawks starting quarterback at Qwest Field against the St. Louis Rams – advancing the Seahawks into the NFC Playoffs.
That’s when everything came falling in Tampa Bay in week 16 of the NFL Season. Hasselbeck rolled out for a one-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, but quickly went down in pain- he had injured his hip due to the left wrist injury he suffered earlier in the year.
Hasselbeck sat out the regular season game against the St. Louis Rams. It was a win and you’re in game and lose and go home game. Charlie Whitehurst would start and earn the win for the Seahawks advancing them into the playoffs with the NFC West title crown in their hands.
Against the Saints in the Wild Card round Hasselbeck looked like his old self. He passed for four touchdowns and had 272-yards off of 22 completions. Advancing them to the Divisional rounds against the No. 2 seeded Chicago Bears.
Out of all of the NFC play-off quarterbacks remaining Hasselbeck has the most play-off experience. He’s been to the Super Bowl and played in games that mean more than Sunday’s upcoming match-up. He knows what it takes to win and that’s- smart, consistent football.
Sure Hasselbeck has turned the ball over more the past three-years than before, but Saturday against the Saints he showed why his experience in the play-offs means more than anything.
He played smart football. The Seahawks established their running game and let Matt do his part to win. Seattle won’t have the success they had in the mid-2000s running the ball, but if they can continue to keep it consistent, Hasselbeck will know what to do to work his magic.
With a Green Bay win Saturday and a Seahawks win Sunday the 12th Man will get to host another NFC Conference title game and Hasselbeck could send Seattle out on top again.
Pete Carroll has said he will welcome Matt back, but if Matt is shown the money somewhere else who’s to say he stays put? Matt doesn’t seem like the type to chase the money, but could a better Viking team or another team be enough to reel him in?
Whether or not Matt’s on a limited time clock in Seattle his contributions to the organization will never go un-noticed. He brought us to a Super Bowl- no other quarterback has done that in Seattle and his good humor has made the media a favorite of his.
74 wins is a lot in the NFL, but so would be 75 and if the right pieces keep coming so would 76. Unlike Dave Krieg, Matt’s Super Bowl XL appearance has earned him a spot in the 12th Man hearts for as long as they keep ticking.
That means more than any of his other 74 wins.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Zack Bellerdine on 01/13/2011 at 10:43 pm, and is filed under Seahawks. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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