In week 7 of the 2006 NFL season, at the ripe old age of 34, Drew Bledsoe threw his last NFL pass in a home game against the New York Giants. He wasn't injured--Bill Parcells was just fed up with his play. Strahan and company sacked Bledsoe four times in the first half, and Bledsoe threw a costly pick at the Giants four yard line with 1:33 left in the first half. Tony Romo started the second half, and the rest as they, is history.
It's not hard to see the similarities between 35 year old Matt Hasselbeck and a 34 year old Drew Bledsoe. In five and a half games, Drew Bledsoe threw for 1,164 yards, completing 90 of 169 passes (53.3%, 6.9 YPA) with 9 TD's (two rushing) and 8 interceptions. Worst of all, he took 16 sacks. Through six games, Matt Hasselbeck has 1,248 passing yards, completing 122 of 204 passes (59.8%, 6.1 YPA) with 8 TD's (2 rushing) and 6 interceptions. He has been sacked 14 times. The Cowboys had a 3-2 record heading into the Giants game, and they were fresh off a convincing 34-6 victory over a hapless Texans team. The Seahawks currently have a 4-2 record, and while the Raiders are next up on the schedule, it's their matchup at home against the Giants in less than two weeks that is weighing heavily on my mind.
Will Matt Hasselbeck go down in flames the same way Bledsoe did against the Giants in 2006? Or does he have more left in the tank than most of us are giving him credit for?
One thing is for sure, when I watch Hasselbeck play this Sunday against the Raiders, I'm going to savor it. Even if he struggles, the unfortunate way that Bledsoe ended his career has reminded me that each throw Hasselbeck makes may be his last. Bledsoe was one of the best pocket passers of his generation, but after he threw one strike to Sam Madison in the end zone he was replaced for good by an undrafted kid from Eastern Illinois.
Now Bledsoe is selling wine.