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Matt Hasselbeck's Bad Day: Passes Nine through Sixteen

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Through eight passes, it's clear Matt Hasselbeck is playing poorly. What is not yet clear is how Hasselbeck played worse than his numbers. The next eight evidences how.

Play Nine:

1-10-SEA 28 (4:27) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short right to 20-M.Morris to SEA 30 for 2 yards (54-H.Blades).

Seattle sets 2 WR (Right), WR (Left), TE (Left), Rb.

Washington sets in a 4-3, linebackers shaded left.

Matt Hasselbeck runs a play-action to Morris.

Seattle's wide receivers appear to "clear". That is, they run deep, but without observable patterns.

Morris slips into the right flat.

He's well covered by Blades.

Hasselbeck targets Morris for two.

Prognosis: The first in a disturbing series of nerfed pass plays. The play looks designed for Morris and though he's well covered, Hasselbeck dishes it to him.

Play Ten:

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Image 1

2-8-SEA 30 (3:47) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short middle to 18-K.Robinson to SEA 44 for 14 yards (27-F.Smoot).

Seattle sets 2 WR (Right), 2 WR (Left), Rb.

Washington sets with five defensive linemen, one linebacker.

Washington, surprise, rushes five. Seattle picks it up ably.

Taylor and Engram each run go routes.

Branch, running from the right, runs a square in after 10.

Weaver runs into the flat.

Robinson, running from the left, runs a post route after 10.

Hasselbeck reads right, left, right.

Hasselbeck passes to Robinson. The ball is overthrown. Robinson makes a great diving catch (Image 1).

Prognosis: Hasselbeck's second longest pass play of the game was overthrown. Nevertheless, every quarterback gets a few bailouts from his wide receiver. Not an indictment of Hasselbeck, but further evidence that Hasselbeck's achievements were largely not his own.

Play Eleven:

1-10-WAS 22 (1:53) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short left to 43-L.Weaver to WAS 14 for 8 yards (52-R.McIntosh).

Seattle sets TE (Left), TE (Right), 2 WR (Right), Rb.

This is a rare unbalanced formation in Holmgren's offense.

Washington sets in a 4-2 nickel. Fred Smoot is walked up along the right defensive end (offensive right). Washington is playing sides of the field rather than individual receivers. Perhaps an indication they foresee something tricky in the works from Holmgren.

At the snap, Seattle's tight ends and wide receivers again "clear".

Hasselbeck looks right, left and then passes.

Leonard Weaver runs a "stop" to the left. A stop is a route where the running back runs out and around the tackle and then curls some short yardage past the line.

Hasselbeck's pass connects with Weaver. Weaver runs for four.

Prognosis: Another nerfed pass play, which, combined with four play action passes in eleven pass plays makes one wonder what really separates the Seneca Wallace training wheels playbook from the Matt Hasselbeck professional quarterback playbook.

Play Twelve:  

1-8-WAS 8 (:44) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short left to 89-J.Carlson to WAS 4 for 4 yards (27-F.Smoot).

Seattle sets WR (Left), 2 WR (Right), TE (Left), RB.

Washington in a 4-3.

Branch (left) motions in.

At the snap, Carlson blocks in.

Engram runs from the slot runs into the flat.

Robinson runs a slant.

Branch runs what looks like a "China": The receiver starts a drag but after 3 or 4 steps stops and turns towards the quarterback.

Floyd Womack and Walter Jones pull.

Carlson disengages the pile, turns towards the quarterback and takes two sweep steps offensive left.

Hasselbeck passes, Carlson overruns his blockers, the reception goes for four.

Prognosis: Another screen pass.

Play Thirteen:

2-4-WAS 4 (:35) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short left to 20-M.Morris for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN.

Seattle sets 2 WR (Left), WR (Right), TE (Left), RB. There's that imbalance again.

Carlson is positioned wide a ~yard outside Walter Jones.

Engram is within but recessed behind the resulting gap.

Deion Branch motions from outside left to the inside, creating a brief trips-like bunch on the left.

Snap.

Robinson runs a lazy route on the right.

Branch slants in, blocks.

Carlson pulls up, blocks.

Engram runs a "mean it" route left, blocks.

Morris runs up behind the line, curls left, receives Hasselbeck's pass and-

Runs behind a dominant block by Floyd "Porkchop" Womack?

You better believe it.

Chris Spencer falls, but Womack saves the day running a defender into the ground. Defender's name withheld to protect the victim. (Double agent Brian Russell, is that you?)

Morris lowers his shoulder and drives it into the end zone.

Prognosis: Another screen pass. Robinson's lazy route is all about the play call, no knock on his effort. Engram is the only receiver who really leaves it all out there on the route and block.

Play Fourteen:

1-10-WAS 45 (14:50) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass short right to 84-B.Engram to WAS 32 for 13 yards (24-S.Springs).

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

Left receiver Robinson is in the slot.

Washington breaks in a 4-3, left defensive end and tackle spaced wide, left outside linebacker challenging the resulting gap.

Engram is uncovered.

Play action.

Robinson runs a laggard shallow cross. I'm not thrilled with Robinson's route running or the consistency of his effort.

Branch runs deep.

Hasselbeck rolls out.

Engram runs a quick out.

Engram is uncovered.

Defensive end Demetric Evans pursues Hasselbeck.

Hasselbeck passes to Engram, Engram receives and runs for an additional eight.

Prognosis: Again, not an indictment of Hasselbeck, but he's asked to do the bare minimum on this play. Hasselbeck rolls right in vintage Alex Smith fashion and finds his Arnaz Battle, Bobby Engram, wide open.

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Image 2

Play Fifteen:

1-10-WAS 32 (14:18) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short middle to 89-J.Carlson.

The route (Image 2):

Washington sets in a 4-3.

Late pass to Carlson.

London Fletched lays the wood, incomplete.

Prognosis: Hasselbeck never looks away from Carlson. Washington's linebackers drop into the natural short zones of a Cover 2. The only hope for this pass is a quick, decisive delivery. Why Hasselbeck stares down Carlson before slow-delivering despite not being under pressure is a mystery to me. Carlson does his best to come back to the ball, but this play is hopeless.

Play Sixteen:

I'm not counting sacks, so we'll skip ahead...

2-12-SEA 32 (5:29) 8-M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete short right to 18-K.Robinson.

Seattle breaks WR (Left), WR (Right), TE (Left), I formation.

Washington breaks in a 4-3 with Chris Horton walked into the box for some reason.

Redskins blitz five.

Play action.

Morris attempts to get into the flat but is caught in the wash.

Weaver run blocks Horton for some reason.

Carlson runs a ten yard square in.

Robinson runs a beauty of a quick hitch: snappy, disguised and clean. Carlos Rogers falls attempting to defend it.

Beck makes one read, sees the down defender, delivers a strike and Robinson drops it.

Prognosis: That's nice. End on something positive. Tomorrow, Interceptions! Intrigue! The "Wobbler!"