From Hasselbeck to Jackson, now Wilson
After the Seattle Seahawks signed Matt Flynn this off season, one of my readers (Todd) asked me if I would compare Flynn’s first 8 games as a starter to that of Matt Hasselbeck’s and Tarvaris Jackson’s. He wanted to see how the new quarterback stacked up to those two, since they were the most recent Seahawksstarters.
I agreed to write it if he would remind me after the 8th game of the season.
All three quarterbacks became starters in vastly different ways. Matt Hasselbeck spent his first two seasons backing up future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre before being acquired by Seattle, via trade. Matt was named the starting quarterback of the 2001 Seattle Seahawks.
Tarvaris Jackson started for the first time on week 16, the Vikings 15th game of the season, after spending most of the season backing up Brad Johnson.
Russell Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft by the Seattle Seahawks. Most people, including myself, expected Wilson to spend his first season backing up Matt Flynn, unless Flynn fell flat on his face, or was injured.
Instead, Wilson won the job in training camp. Flynn didn’t lose it. RW did enough to impress Pete Carrolland beat out Flynn to become the starter at the beginning of the season.
Matt beat the 10th best passing defense, Tarvaris lost to the leagues 17th ranked passing defense, and Russell lost to the leagues 4th best passing defense.
Russell Wilson was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft
Jackson had the roughest outing, managing only 50 yard on 20 pass attempts. Ironically, Hasselbeck and Wilson each had 34 attempts in their 1st game. Matt had two more completions for 15 more yards but unlike Russell, he was unable to find the end zone.
All three quarterbacks faced top 10 defenses in their second start. Russell Wilson was the only one of the three who was victorious.
Jackson’s 213-yards were the only time he surpassed the 200-yards mark during his first 8 starts.
It was Matt Hasselbeck’s worst game in his first 8 starts.
Russell Wilson didn’t do anything spectacular. He just played extremely efficient football, completing 75% of his passes and ending up with a 112.7 passer rating.
For the third straight week Matt Hasselbeck faced a top 10 passing defense, but Jackson and Wilson got a bit of a break. Tarvaris faced the 23rd ranked Falcons while Russell faced the 19th ranked Packers.
Hasselbeck was the only quarterback to lose his third start, but he did throw for the most yards. Matt injured his groin during the game and was replaced by Trent Dilfer for the next 2 games.
“Autobots, roll out”
That was the message that Peter Cullen (the voice of Optimus Prime from the “Transformers” movies) left onRichard Sherman‘s voice mail, according to the Fox game broadcast of the Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions. Peter learned that Richard changed his name on twitter to “Optimus Prime” in response to Lions’ receiver Calvin Johnson’s nickname “Megatron”.
Of course the media jumped all over Sherman’s name change, and it made for great bulletin board material for in Lions’ locker-room. I had to jump on it because I grew up watching the cartoon. Between “G.I. Joe” and “Transformers” I was a very happy kid on Saturday mornings.
For the fun of it I decided to match a few players to characters from the movie:
|Optimus Prime – Richard Sherman||Megatron - Calvin Johnson|
|Jazz – Earl Thomas||Starscream - Titus Young|
|Ironhide – Brandon Browner||Frenzy - Matthew Stafford|
|Bumblebee – Kam Chancellor||Bonecrusher - Brandon Pettigrew|
Optimus Prime and the Autobots were able to contain Megatron as expected. Unfortunately, Frenzy was able to find Starscream and Bonecrusher whom were open all day, and the Decepticons stole the show.
Okay, I got the little boy out of me, now I am ready to get down to the nitty gritty.
Every loss is tough to handle, yet I actually feel pretty good about this one. The offense really stepped up and played well Sunday morning, in Detroit. Russell Wilson and company did more then enough to win the away game, if the defense had shown up to play.
Jazz and the Autobots are nothing like the 2000 Ravens quite yet.
It is difficult, yet in defeat we cannot lose sight of how big of a step forward the offense took.
I am left with a feeling of hope. Despite all the talk about how good theSeahawks defense is, they are not elite, they have not arrived.
They are nothing like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens, which is a prime example of what an elite defense looks like. What they are, is a very good, very young, up and coming defense who’s window is a season or two away from opening.
They are loaded with talent but lacking in experience.
Watching the offense Sunday, particularly Russell Wilson, I am left with a feeling of optimism that by the time the defense is ready to become elite, the offense will be good enough to make the Seahawks serious Super Bowl contenders.
Time of Possession
The Seattle Seahawks are built to control the time of possession. On Sunday they couldn’t even keep it close. During the first half, the Lions held the ball for five more minutes then the Seahawks.
Seahawks drop passes and an opportunity
Seattle Seahawks 6, San Francisco 49ers 13
When: 5:20 PM PST, Thursday, October 18, 2012
Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California.
The only player who seemed to be able to catch Russell Wilson‘s passes on Thursday, Doug Baldwin, was out of the game before the end of the first half. It is no wonder the Seahawks could not get anything going offensively in the second half.
Marshawn Lynch #24
For the third time this season, Marshawn Lynch ran for over 100-yards. Unfortunately, the Seahawks are now 1-2 when he hits the century mark.
The 49ers averaged 3.6-yards per carry coming into the game, yet Marshawn was able to average 5.4-yards per attempt.
Currently, Lynch is ranked third in the league with 652-yards on the ground, and he is fourth in the league averaging 4.4-yards per carry.
Brandon Browner #39
The Seattle Seahawks defense only gave up 140-yards through the air on Thursday, that is an achievement earned by the entire secondary.
Brandon Browner‘s interception is what separated him from the rest of the players.
The 49ers were driving the ball down the field when Browner intercepted Alex Smith’s pass in the end zone. Brandon should have kneeled the ball down taking a touchback, but instead he made the mistake of trying to return it. He only made it out to the three yard line.
Lynch had this third 100-yard game of the season, Thursday against the 49ers. Photo Credit: SFGate
As soon as he caught the ball I think he had flash backs to his 94-yards touchdown return against the Giants last season. More…
Dropped passes and missed opportunities
When the Seattle Seahawks 2012 schedule was released I knew that going down to San Francisco on such a short week was going to be a tall order. To make maters worse, it was the 49ers third straight home game.
Both teams only had 4 days to prepare for the big divisional matchup. The Seattle Seahawks were coming off a big home win against the Patriots, one of the best teams in the AFC.
In contrast, the San Francisco 49ers were coming off an embarrassing loss to the New York Giants in San Francisco.
The funny thing about winning and losing, it is a lot easier to focus on the next weeks game after a loss than it is after an emotional win.
The difference was evident on the field Thursday.
When you look at the stats from the game, it looks like the Seahawks defense had another great game. Unfortunately, stats do not tell the entire picture.
Both teams only had 4 days to prepare
During the first half of the game defense played fine.
Then, at halftime, the 49ers made an adjustment.
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman realized that the Seahawks were vulnerable in the middle of the defense and once the 49ers started attacking it, there was nothing the Seahawks defense could do to stop the onslaught.
(Insert any trap play you like)
In the second half, San Francisco had 4 drives (excluding the final 2 plays from victory formation).
Those four drives went as follows:
- 85-yards and a touchdown.
- 68-yards, but Brandon Browner intercepted in the end zone on an ill advised pass from Alex Smith that was intended for Randy Moss. Moss had been wide open while he was in the middle of the field. His drag route, in the back of the end zone, was outside of the hash marks by the time Smith released the ball and Browner was able to step in front of the ball.
- 3 runs up the middle that totaled 40-yards. After a 49er tripping penalty More. . .
Seahawks Sherman vs. Pats Brady
The post game focus in the media has been the confrontation between Richard Sherman and Tom Brady. Clearly there was a lot more to the Seahawks‘ victory over the Patriots, but I love the way Sherman handled himself.
Backs it up with his play
Richard Sherman is not the first Seahawks player who ever talked smack, not by a long shot. The most infamous of the Seattle smack talkers has got to be former University of Washington tight end Jerramy Stevens.
In 2006, during Super Bowl Media Week, Jerramy Stevens said, “The Story of Jerome Bettis returning to his hometown is heartwarming, but it’s going to be a sad day when he doesn’t walk away with that trophy.”
At the time I saw nothing wrong with that statement. The trouble was, Stevens dropped 3 passes in that Super Bowl and didn’t back up his words with his play on the field.
The trouble was, Stevens dropped 3 passes in that Super Bowl and didn’t back up his words with his play on the field.
In contrast, Sherman does back up his words with his play on the field. He deflected a would-be first down pass on third down pass to Brandon Lloyd, deflected a would-be touchdown intended for Wes Welker, and intercepted a pass intended for former Seahawks wide receiver Deion Branch.
I firmly believe in the saying, “Walk softly and carry a big stick.” That doesn’t mean I have a problem with players who talk a lot of trash, as long as they back it up on the field. What annoys me is when you have a player who runs his mouth, then avoids physical altercation in the game.
Early in the game Richard Sherman and Deion Branch were jawing at each-other when Branch gave Sherman a little push. Sherman snapped around, grabbed Branch and said something.
My guess would be that he warned Deion that touching him would not be a good idea. More. . .
Seattle made the plays that mattered
Seattle Seahawks 24, New England Patriots 23
When: 1:05 PM PST, Sunday, November 14, 2012
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
After the Seahawks imploded in the second quarter, and stumbled their way through the 3rd quarter, they found themselves down by 13 points with less than 10 minutes to play.
From that moment on, both sides of the ball made every play they had to.
Sure, Tom Brady and the Patriots racked up 475-yards in total offense. But, when it mattered the most, theSeattle Seahawks defense held the Patriots two yards short.
Russell Wilson #3
I have to throw out his line for everyone. Partially because it seems like people like to talk about his stats, and partly because I love numbers.
16/27 for 293-yards, 3 touchdown and no interceptions. Plus, 5 rushes for 17-yards. It all adds up to a 133.7 Rating and a QBR of 91.4. If you felt like you have read that before, I stole it from my MMQB piece last night.
In case you didn’t read that piece, let me point out that the last time a Seattle Seahawks quarterback had that much of an impact (QBR) in a game was week three of the 2008 season.
Sidney Rice made several nice plays throughout the game. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
We were able to see Russell Wilson air the ball out quite a bit on Sunday. I have to be honest, I am extremely impressed with the way he throws a deep ball. The last time I saw someone throw a ball like that, for the Seahawks, was before Matt Hasselbeck.
From here on out, defenses will have to game plan against big passing plays. That should limit the amount of defenders opposing teams are willing to stack in the box.
Which should really help the running game, not that it isn’t pretty good already.
Sidney Rice #18
Sidney Rice made several nice plays throughout the game. He also messed a few up, we will skip over those for the purpose of this piece. After it was all said and done, two plays put Rice on my list. More. . .
What a crazy game we witnessed Sunday Afternoon. Seahawks win 24-23 after a 13 point 4th quarter deficit. Below are a few of the photos I took at the game.
One is “too short”, one came up short
Just as the Grinch’s heart grew “three sizes that day!”, Russell Wilson must have grown three inches in his play.
16/27 for 293-yards, 3 touchdown and no interceptions. Plus, 5 rushes for 17-yards. It all adds up to a 133.7 Rating and a QBR of 91.4.
You may already know, but in case you don’t, QBR is a rating system that is scored from 0-100, based on how the quarterback’s play increased his teams chances of winning.
The last time a Seattle Seahawks quarterback had that much of an impact in a game was week three of the 2008 season.
On His Back!
He put the offense on his back in a game where star running back Marshawn Lynch ran for just 41 yards. Down by 13 points in the fourth quarter, Russell lead the Seahawks to 2 touchdown drives.
Wilson’s other touchdown was a great pass, followed by a great catch by Doug Baldwin, who had 2 receptions for 74 yards on that scoring drive.
Welcome back Doug! Baldwin, had 2 receptions for 74 yards and a HUGE TD!
The New England Patriots got the ball back with 1:14 to go in the 4th quarter. They had already squandered all of their time outs. Tom Brady threw a pass out of bounds, got sacked by Jason Jones, and skipped a pass to Aaron Hernandez which brought up a 4th down withe 17-yards to go from their own 13 yard line.
After a quick pass to Wes Welker, Bobby Wagnerdrilled Welker at the 29 yard-line, 2 yards short of the first down.
Bring on the Victory Formation!
Of course, the Patriots had several chances to put the Seahawks away long before that final drive.
At the end of the first half, Russell Wilson fumbled the ball near mid-field and the Patriots recovered it. With 1 second left in the half, Tom Brady threw the ball out of the back of the end zone. More. . .