The first quarter was busy, but the second was a bit like watching paint dry. I'll detail the highlights, but don't be surprised if this article is a bit brief. For those who think I came down a bit too hard on the officials last night, I think J.C. Pearson said it best when praising the superlative coverage by Fakhir Brown: "Good job on pulling down Burleson's arm. You pull the arm down, you can't catch the ball." Indeed.
- Here's Brian Russell's charted stats for the half: Blown Tackle, Blown Assignment, Blown Tackle, Blown Assignment, Blown Tackle.
- Mebane recorded two forced double teams. His play and the Hawks improved short yardage play since he's started has a lot to do with Seattle's two huge and, in fact, game saving goal line stands.
- Weaver put an end to the madness and blocked a blitzing Witherspoon on a crucial third down conversion. Weaver has improved tremendously as a run and pass blocker since the preseason contest against the Pack.
- Craig Terrill is a real unheralded star on this defensive line. For a part time player, he's ridiculously disruptive. First down, with the Rams on the Hawks 1, he sprints through the line and forces Jackson up the gut and into the waiting hands of Rocky Bernard. Bernard is healthy and once again looks like a top tier, and criminally underrated, three-technique tackle.
- What else to say? Tats got a nice tip, but I don't like him blitzing. It's simply not his strength. I hope Tatupu can one day correct his inconsistent tackling, it's a minor bugaboo and about all that keeps him from being among the league's truly elite MLBs.
- Peterson had an abnormally quiet half. The first time I really noticed him was when he was chasing Bruce after an 11 yard completion. Not many linebackers can match against Bruce, but the play still nets Peterson a blown coverage.
- The Hawks ran 2 play-actions passes and just one run. Methinks there's something fishy about that play calling.
- Finally, as Mr. Pearson pointed out (and Pearson isn't a bad color analyst, despite the built in handicap of being teamed with Mad Matt Vasgersian who, I swear, is either blind or doing his taxes) Nate Burleson's blown assignment - that is: giving up on his route - was the primary culprit for the Hasselbeck pick. It near-surely cost the Hawks 3+ points. Despite his contributions as a special teamer, I am completely sick of this guy. Burly, you've made my list.