Matt Hasselbeck has never been flawless. No quarterback has or ever will be. And one bad a game is not reason to bench him. In 2004, the season before Hasselbeck led the Seahawks to the Super Bowl, he completed 14 of 41 passes and threw four interceptions against the future 6-10 Arizona Cardinals. No, no one is pointing towards last week and saying Hasselbeck should be benched because of one bad performance.
To pretend this is one bad game or that a run of interceptions is somehow a low point in the trajectory of Hasselbeck's career is deluded. Hasselbeck has been the exact same quarterback he was last Sunday for years. Benching Hasselbeck is not an indictment. It's a practical move towards the future. No single player has so personified the Seahawks franchise spinning its wheels like Hasselbeck. The problem is not that Matt had a bad game or that he has had multiple poor seasons, it's that there is virtually no chance that Seattle can become a contender again with Hasselbeck as their starting quarterback.
Kurt Warner led a 9-7 team that stumbled into a hot streak in the playoffs. That's the big, weighty name people like to toss around, and Warner's 2008 Cardinals team, a fluke squad in the history of one of the most poorly run and unsuccessful franchises in the history of the NFL, is the prime example people exploit to prove that a Hasselbeck led squad can still be a contender.
Maybe I'm a little less defeated, desperate, but a chance run that ends in defeat from a terrible franchise mired in failure, is not the model I want for the Seahawks. I would rather Seattle burn first round pick after first round pick looking for a young, developing talent that can become a Peyton, Eli, Ben, Tom or Drew and watch my Seahawks become ass-stomping world beaters that other teams hate but only half as much as they fear, than clutch to fairy tale scenarios of near victory.
1-10-SEA 20 (3:48) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short right to 89-J.Carlson.
John Carlson is lined up wide right, one on one opposite Brian Dawkins. This is the matchup Jeremy Bates exploited earlier. Bates wants more easy yards. Carlson dashes up field. Hasselbeck drops three steps, targets and tosses the ball high and out of bounds incomplete.
2-10-SEA 20 (3:44) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short right to 89-J.Carlson to SEA 26 for 6 yards (33-N.Jones, 56-R.Ayers).
Hasselbeck and Seattle expertly sell play action before rolling right. Carlson cuts underneath and behind the line and squirts free on the right. Hasselbeck looks off Deon Butler before finding Carlson underneath for six.
3-4-SEA 26 (2:59) (Shotgun) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short middle to 83-D.Branch to SEA 32 for 6 yards (33-N.Jones).
Deion Branch runs from the left slot into a dig, but accomplishing this, must wrestle through a determined and persistent press by Nate Jones. That's no mean feat for Seattle's lithe, oft-injured receiver. Hasselbeck surveys. Branch is working to get open, but an outside linebacker is mugging the throwing lane, making any pass ill-advised. Justin Forsett releases in a hook route on the right and that draws the linebacker down, opens the lane and Hasselbeck fires high but Branch reaches and pulls down the first.
1-10-SEA 32 (2:25) 22-J.Jones up the middle to SEA 38 for 6 yards (20-B.Dawkins).
Chris Spencer and Stacy Andrews double Ronald Fields and that's about the long and short of the run. Tyler Polumbus misses a cut block that proves incidental. No other noteworthy blocks or failures. Julius Jones sprints straight up field and falls forward for six.
2-4-SEA 38 (1:50) PENALTY on SEA-77-S.Andrews, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at SEA 38 - No Play.
2-9-SEA 33 (1:26) 22-J.Jones up the middle to SEA 36 for 3 yards (79-M.Thomas).
Ben Hamilton and Chris Spencer double out Fields, Jones runs up, Spencer disengages and tosses D.J. Williams to the turf, but Hamilton can not sustain the block and Fields closes, and from the left, Marcus Thomas tackles.
3-6-SEA 36 (:46) (Shotgun) 8-M.Hasselbeck sacked at SEA 33 for -3 yards (94-J.Moss, 55-D.Williams). Penalty on SEA, Illegal Shift, declined. WATCH HIGHLIGHT
Seneca Wallace runs himself into sacks in agonizing fashion. This is how Hasselbeck runs himself into a sack.
Receive from shotgun, one second passes, no pressure, Hasselbeck runs forward, Robert Ayers, playing this snap as the right defensive end, reaches out from Polumbus and hooks Hasselbeck, stopping him. Williams and Jarvis Moss jumps the pile and finishes the sack, respectively.