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Matt Hasselbeck's Bad Day: Passes One through Eight

What if I told you Matt Hasselbeck played worse than his numbers indicate? He did through the first half. After all, six for eleven for 38 yards and a score isn't that bad, it's positively Trent Dilfer-esque. But the writing was on the wall. Hasselbeck was playing very poorly and it was only a matter of attempts before he results caught up with ability. As you'll soon see, his successes were largely not his own, but he owned every failure.

This is a break down of the first eight passing plays. Twenty four passing attempts, three days until Dallas, eight attempts a day - makes sense, right? I've done my best to provide as much relevant information as possible.

Play One:

2-4-WAS 44 (12:47) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete deep left to 18-K.Robinson (24-S.Springs).

Seattle sets 2 WR (left), 2WR (right), RB. All four receivers are tight.

Inside receivers run flats, outside receivers run corner routes.

Koren Robinson beats Shawn Springs.

Hasselbeck underthrows.

Springs defenses the pass.

Prognosis: Hasselbeck has little deep strength. Add in the additional distance to the sideline and this ball is sorely underthrown.

Play Two:

Image 1

3-4-WAS 44 (12:42) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short right to 83-D.Branch.

Seattle sets WR (left), 2 WR (right), I formation.

Washington in a 4-2 nickel.

Robinson runs a go.

Bobby Engram runs into the flat.

Deion Branch runs a fifteen yard square in.

Hasselbeck throw.

Hasselbeck overthrows (Image 1).

Prognosis: Well, Branch is hardly Randy Moss, so it's not exactly hard to overthrow him, but Hasselbeck needs to bring the ball down. The pass also has a ton of zip behind it. The combination makes for a very hard catch.


Image 2

Play Three:

2-10-WAS 16 (7:35) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete deep right to 84-B.Engram [99-A.Carter].

Seattle sets WR (left), 2 WR (right), TE (left), Rb.

Washington has four DL, it looks like a 4-3, but it's unclear.

Washington blitzes six.

Engram and Koren Robinson are running crossing routes (Image 2).

Matt Hasselbeck takes a five step drop, fakes play action to Morris, and overthrows a wide open Bobby Engram running to the right corner of the end zone.

Engram is covered by Shawn Springs.

Robinson's route is a little lax.

Hasselbeck targets Engram almost immediately after the play action. It looks like a designed play. Play action, no read and pass.

Hasselbeck is hit by Carter after the pass, but his throw is unaffected by pressure.

Prognosis: Hasselbeck overthrows a wide open Engram costing Seattle a touchdown.

Image 3
Image 4

Play Four:

3-10-WAS 16 (7:29)8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete deep right. PENALTY on SEA-8-M.Hasselbeck, Intentional Grounding, 10 yards, enforced at WAS 16.

Seattle sets 2 WR (left), 2 WR (right) Rb.

Washington is in a 3-2 Dime. The linebackers are in the "A" gaps and the corners are walked up outside the defensive ends.

Washington blitzes the nickel and dime cornerback, but drops both linebackers and the nose tackle. It's a four man pass rush. (Image 3)

Seattle's pass routes look like this (Image 4):

They're mirrored.

Washington doesn't attain pressure.

Hasselbeck throws it out of the right side of the end zone and is flagged for intentional grounding.

Prognosis: The Redskins call the right coverage, the Obejectivist doesn't look for an open man and throws it away. Seahawks charged for intentional grounding on a throw away.

Play Five:

3-13-SEA 30 (1:50) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short left to 43-L.Weaver to SEA 36 for 6 yards (96-C.Griffin).

Seattle sets 2 WR (left), 2 WR (right) Rb.

Washington in a 4-1 Dime.

The receivers clear, all running deep.

Walter Jones pulls left.

Leonard Weaver fakes block and curls under Jones.

Floyd Womack does not release from his defender.

Hasselbeck dishes to Weaver, Weaver follows Jones, but is caught from behind by Griffin.

Prognosis: Conservative play call almost works.

Image 5

Play Six:

1-10-SEA 20 (11:51) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short right to 83-D.Branch.

 Seattle sets 2 WR (right), 1 WR (left), I.

Washington in a 4-3.

Play action.

Routes (Image 5 (Koren Robinson not pictured)):

One read, pass targets Branch (?), but is five yards wide right.

Prognosis: Wildly errant throw.

Play Seven:

2-10-SEA 20 (11:46) PENALTY on SEA-8-M.Hasselbeck, Delay of Game, 5 yards, enforced at SEA 20 - No Play.

Seattle sets 2 WR (left), 2WR (right), RB. All four receivers are tight, right inside receiver is tight end John Carlson.

Washington breaks in 3-2, with Jason Taylor defensive left, standing.

Skins show a bunch of presnap looks. Walk the strong safety down, position London Fletcher over the left "A" gap and also drop Taylor down into a three point.

Seattle motions outside-right receiver Deion Branch wide right. Then it moves Carlson into a true tight end position offensive right. Inside-left receiver Koren Robinson is most the way into motioning wide left when Seattle is called for a delay of game.

Prognosis: Hasselbeck is playing spooked. Jim Zorn has his number.

Play Eight (A):

Image 6

False start Leonard Weaver.

Prognosis: Why the hell is Weaver in the slot?

Play Eight (B):

Time out.

Prognosis: Seattle is split in a rare five wide. The Redskins are in a 4-2 nickel with wide splits between the tackles and ends, the linebackers walked into those splits and the strong safety challenging the outside right. Hasselbeck sees blitz and calls time out. That's...troubling.

Play Eight (C):

3-10-SEA 20 (10:28) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short right to 83-D.Branch.

Seattle switches out of that zany five receiver set and instead splits 2 WR (left/right), TE (left), split backs.

Washington breaks in a 4-2 nickel with the nickelback challenging outside left.

Left WR Deion Branch motions in.


Here's the routes (Image 6).

Springs blitzes, Weaver throws a nice block.

Branch runs a drag, good shallow route, maintains speed while working through traffic.

He has about a half a step on DeAngelo Hall.

Branch is five yards before the first down marker.

Hasselbeck throws the ball to Branch's back shoulder, Branch slows, attempts to catch, Hall closes and Branch cannot hold on.


Prognosis: Bad read, bad throw; Branch drops a pass that wouldn't have converted the first.