Reflecting on Deion Branch's recent past, one can be thankful that this play ended in a fumble and not dismemberment.
- If Bill Walsh and I were contemporaries and I covered the 49ers, these notes sections would be incredibly boring*. Timing patterns run out of three step drops are bad television if efficient football, and when I'm note taking, I'm left writing "good timing" with a sketch of the route and the defender and the spacing, and little else. It's just "good timing," doodle, fast forward to the next play. So:
- Good timing, doodle.
- Good timing, doodle.
- (Navigate to the play-by-play section on NFL.com)
- (See Van Goghgurt ad. Wait for interminable load)
- One yard loss on stretch right. Luis Castillo schools Stacy Andrews, someone else is awarded the tackle.
- Mike Williams curls in front of Antoine Cason in the left flat, loses him on the redirect, breaks the tackle of Eric Weddle and drags Kevin Burnett five yards before Siler can pile on and complete the tackle.
- Force receives and wiggles, wiggles, shimmies, controls the dance floor, back and forth in front of Cason. Cason looks on. Steve Gregory and Shaun Phillips rally and tackle. Just run, Justin. Leave the Grind for the off-season.
- Pass rushers close on Hasselbeck (San Diego sends five) but Hasselbeck stays calm and finds John Carlson for nine.
- Brandon Lang walks back Ben Hamitlon, Hasselbeck retreats back and to his right, Phillips works around Sean Locklear, Andrews attempts to assist, but Matt's had enough and breaks the pocket right, allows Phillips a clean release and throws the ball away, sort of towards Williams.
- Then it's the big reception that ends in a fumble. Not much left to say about that.
- Pass rush line: Chris Clemons - Raheem Brock - Brandon Mebane - Dexter Davis: pressures Rivers into an incomplete pass.
- Lofa, sudden blitzing dynamo, Tatupu blitzes, Davis loops from left defensive end towards the left "B" gap and Seattle again forces a errant, incomplete pass through pressure.
- And again, this time on a six-man blitz. Three incomplete passes resulting in a three and out, and all three incomplete as a result of pressure.
- Alfonso Boone breaks free of Spencer and Andrews and pressure Hasselbeck into an incomplete pass. Deon Butler was open on a crossing pattern.
- Chargers attempt that two defensive end, no tackle thing that's all the rage, Hasselbeck audibles out shotgun and into a run, and Forsett runs just as far as Spencer rides the interior linebacker desperately attempting to control the middle, nine yards. Yes, the NFL is a passing league. No, a defense can not work without a minimum amount of run-stopping ability. Take note, defensive coordinators.
- Seahawks break two tight ends, "I" formation with Butler alone on the right. Bates really seems to like this formation and personnel grouping. Hasselbeck targets Butler deep and Quentin Jammer commits textbook pass interference, body blocking Butler while making no apparent attempt at the ball. Butler, to his credit, still almost catches the pass.
- Hasselbeck hits Carlson on his right shoulder, the shoulder away from the defender, it's a hell of a pass is what I'm trying to say, and Carlson sorta kinda secures it for the touchdown. It's not conclusive one way or the other, but two defenders swat at it and the ball definitely appears to move.
- This is the drive that ends in failure.
- This drive started in failure.
- Matt overthrew, yes, overthrew a wide open John Carlson. I mean, not by a little. Carlson was open about five short of the end zone. The ball falls in the far-left corner of the end zone.
- Forsett motions into the backfield and then runs an arrow route that steals Eric Weddle's lunch money and nets Seattle 13 and the first.
- Golden Tate receives on a slant and, for whatever reason we will never know, somersaults for his final yard. He stands, ball in hands, as an official shouts at him to hand it over. Tate's progress stops with 29 seconds left on the game clock and Seattle snaps and clocks the football with 19 seconds remaining. Tate may be a knucklehead but he didn't cost Seattle points.
- Bates too clever by half quarterback draw does. Time runs out as Seattle scrambles to set and kick.
* and I would be an insufferable twat lording my team's success over all.