I am disgusted with the amount of discussion I am reading and hearing (ESPN, KIRO, KJR, etc) about whether Matt Hasselbeck made an irresponsible decision diving for the goal line considering he knew his health condition and his importance to the team. Before anyone should question our team leader for doing everything he could to get points on the board for his team, how about we take a step back and ask why the hell he was forced to make that decision in the first place?
Rewind to 1st & 10 at the SF 18 with 1:08 left in the 2nd quarter. Offensive coordinator Greg Knapp calls a running play to Justin Forsett that results in a 14 yard gain. It was a tough run dragging people between the tackles. Timeout Seahawks. Fifty-seven seconds left in the half with one timeout left.
It’s now 1st & Goal at the 4 yard line. Julius Jones comes in for Forsett. Screeeeeech! Why? What happened to going with the hot hand? If Jones wasn’t good enough to unseat Duckett last year at the goal line, why in the world is he good enough to sub in for the guy that just dragged defenders down to the 4?
Alright, well I can chalk that up to personal bias a bit. We’ll surely keep the ball on the ground, right? We’ve been beaten up to this point and have a chance to gain some psychological recovery by running it down SF’s throat into the endzone. The ball is snapped and….what the hell?!?!? It’s a pass play. There is no excuse to call a pass in that situation. If Hasselbeck audibled to it based on something he saw, okay, but I saw no evidence of that. The pass falls incomplete.
Now it’s 2nd & Goal from the 4 with 0:53 seconds left. Plenty of time to redeem yourself with 1 or 2 runs and a timeout to spare. Instead, what’s this? Matt is rolling out to pass again?!?!?! Worse yet, the play yielded no open receivers and Matt is forced to improvise. He sees a seam and goes for the goal line. Great. Now we’ve got zero points and possibly lost out franchise player for the season.
On 3rd down, we pass yet again, and this time get our lone TD for the game. You can’t criticize a TD, but I’ll say that if we want to be a “snot bubble” tough team, we better never see these guys call three passes from the four yard line again, especially after reeling off a 14 yard run the play before.