The Seahawks were beat by a better opponent. Sometimes that's the truest analysis you can give. The Packers, in Lambeau with the snow and Favre playing out of his mind? Yeah, that'll beat about anyone.
I think it's fair to say this was the perfect ending for Holmgren's career. Really, I know nothing about Mike Holmgren, Packer's coach, but I know what he did for the Seahawks. The day he signed, a moribund franchise was given the big name coach promise of contention. Unlike so many, 'Gren fulfilled that promise. Seattle has enjoyed its greatest run of success in its short history under Holmgren. He brought the refined Walsh offense. Hasselbeck. He recognized Steve Hutchinson's talent. A guard so good, he was the second best or best player taken in his entire draft class.
It's tough to see him go out like this. He, like all great NFL coaches, is an unhealthfully competitive man. I think a few weeks from now when he's playing with his grandchildren instead of worrying about free agency (and after Hutch, you know that keeps him up) it'll start to be okay. Until then, well, the Walrus is known to bark.
The next coach of the Seattle Seahawks has a lot of talent to build from, but a hell of a legacy to live up to. For the next Super Bowl run, it's pretty clear the Hawks will need homefield throughout. Seattle's offense was significantly worse on third down than it was on 1st and 2nd down. Regression to the mean can and usually does mean a big offensive bounceback the next season. Simply removing Chris Gray and Shaun Alexander with league average players will provide a huge boost. The defense is very young. Essential players like Marcus Trufant, Leroy Hill, Kelly Jennings, Lofa Tatupu, Brandon Mebane and Darryl Tapp can be expected to play better next year. Tubbs will contribute.
Seattle's front office faces some big challenges but also big opportunities this offseason. Seattle enters the offseason with its head pushing the cap. But the Hawks have become very adept at hoarding talent, especially wide receiver talent, and moving it for extra picks. Then turning those picks into difference makers, contributors and depth. The Seahawks have the core of talent and weak division to compete in 2008, and a front office with a commitment to accurate, modern talent-evaluation.
We'll tackle the first half Tape on Sunday. Second half Monday.
Game Balls: Beck, who held up, kept his poise and played very well all game, despite innumerable drops by his receivers. Brian Russell, who brought some of his late season gains into the postseason. Guy really showed up. Russell can't consistently wrap up and takes some bad angles, but he had a number of nice plays.
Cuts: Marcus Pollard who looked downright arthritic out there. Sayonara, Time Machine. Jordan Babineaux is not an NFL caliber talent. I really like Babs and I bet he brings it in practice, but he was nearly the worst player on the field every time he took the field. He might float around on various team's benches for awhile or just enjoy his 6 figure savings. I'll always remember you for taking Tony Romo down a notch, man.