OT: Matt Hasselbeck

This post isn't to talk hypothetical about Hasselbeck in Seattle, it's a look at his performances in Tennessee and why I hope he retires.

According to The506 maps, Seattle has been spared the disaster of watching Sanchize intercept and fumble his way out of New York, and we instead will get the Titans @ Texans, presumably because of the QBs on Tennessee's roster. If the Titans win and the Bengals lose to the Ravens, then Tennessee is in the playoffs and will rematch Houston next weekend. Any other result and they're eliminated.

Lost in all of the talk of Tarvaris Jackson, is how our ex-QB is performing in Tennessee. If we just want to look at the raw numbers, here they are:

Started 15 games, 297-483 (61.5%), 3274 yards, 16 TDs, 14 INTs, 80.5 QB rating, sacked 16 times.

That's right, Tennessee has one of the best offensive lines in football and Hasselbeck is on pace for the fewest sacks taken in his career. And yet, his numbers are essentially worse than his 2009 and 2010 seasons. He has lost Kenny Britt and Chris Johnson has been inconsistent, but the stats are still pretty bad for an NFL starting QB. His YPA is 6.8 yards, which has essentially made him Captain Checkdown yet again.

The same problems persist from the 2010 season. Solid start, and then a breakdown in play coinciding with injuries. In the Titans' loss to New Orleans, he suffered an achilles injury simply running towards the football trying to bat down a pass that was already deflected at the line of scrimmage. It invokes memories of him running for a touchdown against Tampa Bay last year and pulling his back. Even when he is finally given the luxury of a quality offensive line he still cannot maintain his own health.

After starting the season with 13 TDs and 6 INTs, he has now thrown just 2 TDs and 8 INTs in the last 8 games and was benched after being "that guy" to help give the Indianapolis Colts their first win of the season. Every time he has been forced to sit due to injury or for poor play, Jake Locker has come in and outperformed him. Locker has yet to throw an interception in 66 throws and nearly led comebacks against quality teams like Atlanta and New Orleans, and getting a touchdown throw against Indianapolis to close the gap within 7, before Donald Brown clinched the game with a TD run. Locker is averaging 16 yards per completion and 8 yards per attempt and also has a rushing touchdown. He's stretching the field and forcing the defense to respect mid-range and long throws, something Hasselbeck does not command anymore.

Matt Hasselbeck is 36 years old and playing like it. He was once on the cusp of elite in his prime and probably the greatest QB in Seahawks history. Hass has given us legendary moments on the field as recently as January 9th, 2011. But it appears that just like in Seattle, his time at Tennessee has already worn out its welcome and now he faces a Houston Texans team that bumrushed him in their first meeting en route to a blowout defeat. I don't expect the Texans to lose this game despite having nothing to play for beyond momentum.

I don't want to see Matt go out like this. Way back in January I was hoping that after the playoff defeat in Chicago he'd announce his retirement. Unfortunately he still believes (as most athletes normally do) that he can play for multiple seasons at a high-level, and so far in year 1 of his 3 year contract he's looking like a finished man. For all intents and purposes, as a Seahawks fan and a fan of Matt Hasselbeck, I hope he calls it quits if there is no postseason play to be had after Sunday. His body cannot handle a 16 game season without some freak injury, and his arm cannot make throws into tight coverage anymore.

There are two potential outcomes on Sunday - He has an effective enough game and leads the Titans towards a chance at the playoffs, or he plays like garbage against Houston for the 3rd time in 3 years and sees himself no longer in a guaranteed starting position in the NFL. I'm thinking it's the latter, and if so, I would like nothing better than for Hasselbeck to ask for his release, sign a one-day contract with the Seahawks, and announce his retirement from football. He's accomplished so much in his career and has achieved more than what was expected from him when he was Brett Favre's backup, it's time to hang them up, Matt. Don't damage your career any further and don't get yourself into even more injury problems that could present serious issues after your playing career is over.

I want to remember you as the guy who came along with Mike Holmgren and found himself as part of the revival of the Seahawks franchise all the way towards a Super Bowl and perennial NFC West champions, not the one whose last two seasons have resulted in calls for the backup guy. I'm sure other Seahawks fans think that, too.

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