Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thank you. Thank you, Seahawks, for standing up and fighting today. Any hope of resurrecting this season ended with the loss to the Cardinals, but any realistic hope ended back in the week three loss to the Bears, and again in the loss at home to the Cards. This game today was about self-respect. There was plenty of reasons to expect a massive butt whupping today, but the Seahawks finally played with the resolve and confidence that has been missing for nearly two years.
The defense, especially, started the game by setting a nasty tone. Good tackling, tight coverage and hard hits were abundant. The goal line stand and subsequent 99-yard TD drive was by far the best five minutes of Seahawks football all season long. In the end, though, the better team prevailed.
This game came down to two things: red zone production and pass rush. The Seahawks finished with 1 TD in 4 red zone trips compared to 3 TDs in 5 trips for the Cardinals. When the Seahawks had a 1st and Goal at the 1 yard line, tied at 17, and had to settle for a FG, you knew we probably had lost our edge. We ended the game with zero QB hits and zero sacks compared to 7 QB hits and 4 sacks for the Cards. It was pretty obvious that our game plan was to sit back in coverage and force Warner to throw underneath. Even so, we never came close to getting to Warner with four down lineman.
- Justin Forsett proved what I've been saying for since last pre-season: he's our starting running back until we find someone better. Julius Jones is a waste of money and snaps. Forsett runs with purpose and creativity that Jones simply is incapable of. He also made at least one fabulous block on a blitz that saved a potential safety or defensive TD.
- Louis Rankin was a great partner in crime. He was a blur once he had the ball and ran hard. Glad to have him aboard. Let's just hope Jones is shown the door or the bench so we can really see what we have here.
- Offensive Line play was suspect in pass protection, with Locklear and Ray Willis getting beat on multiple occasions. The zone blocking in the run game finally started to look like it was working. I even saw a few effective cut blocks. We just need to see this group play together the rest of the year before we can be sure what we have (or don't).
- Matt played his heart out, but I have to admit he looked old. He was a step slow running and looked like he was pressing all day. He has the heart of a champion, but his grasp of this new offense is suspect. We can hope that another off-season of practice will quicken his reads and improve his decision making, but it begs the question, would the offense be better off returning to what Matt knows best?
- David Hawthorne. Another game, another pile of (team-leading) tackles and another tackle for loss.
- Josh Wilson really stood out today in the secondary as a competitor and tackler.
- Housh had his breakout performance.
I firmly believe this franchise is better off with Mike Holmgren running it, and so I take a little solace in the fact that this loss gets us a little closer to that possibility. Hold your heads high Hawks fans. Your team played tough today.