First Reactions: Hawks Beat Jags 41-0

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This game was a little different from the beginning. I could have sworn I saw a thick red glob of blood running down Owen Schmitt’s forehead after he banged his helmet into his head, but the big screen cut away before I could be sure. No video I have seen captures what I saw as the wound was initially inflicted. It doesn’t much matter as everyone got to see the Hawks treat the Jags the way Schmitt treats his forehead.

There was lots to talk about in this game. Matt Hasselbeck returning with a 4 TD, 0 INT game. TJ Houshmandzadeh breaking out with two TDs. But the thing that jumped out most was the ferocity with which our defense got after the quarterback. FINALLY!

We saw blitzes from multiple angles. We saw pressure from a four-man rush. There were QB hurries, QB hits, QB sacks, QB fumbles and even QBs getting steam-rolled by defensive ends acting like running backs.

Daryll Tapp was a revelation today. Patrick Kerney who? Tapp was constantly in the backfield. He ends up with four QB hits, 2 tackles for loss, a sack and the statistically hidden feat of setting the tone for this defense. Tapp was not alone. Lofa Tatupu stood out from the stands. I was shocked when I got home to see he was only credited with eight tackles. The guy was everywhere today. His protege made a huge impact as well. Aaron Curry once again forced a crucial QB turnover (it’s great to see he has a knack for causing turnovers when he does get to the QB), and made countless ferocious hits while leading the team in tackles. Curry played his most confident game. Let’s hope he can build on it.

And what would a review of the Seahawks defense be without mentioning Nick Reed? He should have been credited with two sacks (the second was given to Josh Wilson), and applied pressure whenever he was in the game. This guy makes plays every time he is on the field. Not most of the time. E-v-e-r-y time. And it’s not just pressuring the QB. He pursues the ball carrier with the same passion as he does the QB. Someone more clever than me needs to nickname this kid because he’s something special.

The best player on the Seahawks defense in 2009? Lawrence Jackson. He put together another solid outing, including his team-leading fourth sack. His effort has been undeniable, and the results have been outstanding.

The offense didn’t play quite as magnificently as the score indicates. The defense had the Jags pinned back all afternoon, giving the Hawks offense excellent field position. That said, they scored TDs, not FGs. Matt, after starting 10-19 with zero TDs, finished 8-11 with 4 TDs. Housh’s demeanor was better, even back into the pre-game warmup where he was shadow boxing with his rave green gloves. We need more of that from him. Carlson was forced to stay in and protect Matt more than normal, but Burleson and Housh more than made up for it.

Justin Forsett finished the game with a 7.2 YPC average, which raises his season YPC total to 5.6. Can we stop dicking around here, and just declare him the starter? The guy is far and away our best runner, our best receiver (out of the backfield), and a great blocker. He is worth at least a full yard per carry more than Julius Jones. I hope they recognize that soon and make the switch. Forsett as a starter doesn’t mean we become a fantastic rushing team, but it makes us better. With every other obstacle we are facing, ignoring something that makes you better is unacceptable.

Lastly, I’d give a little plug to our battered kicker, Olindo Mare. He got us on the board with a 47-yard FG into the wind toward the always challenging North end zone. It was a foot note in a blow out, but it got us moving in the right direction.

Nice win.