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Keep the Rhythm but Sell the Hooks

My friend Uncle Mike taught me how to freestyle. He said: You memorize the good lines and improvise the filler. It should sound smooth, integrated and uncontrived. The filler keeps the beat and the money lines punctuate the point. He said: Count off the beat and be ready.

Greg Knapp may not know hip-hop, but he gets the good and the filler.

Chris Spencer was blown back and dropped by Jay Ratliff and Ratliff virtually stood atop Spencer when he tackled Julius Jones for a loss of one. It was a worrying start for Seattle's offense compounded by miserable field position. Matt Hasselbeck was working from his own end zone on the next play, and the man with two busted ribs and a Fangoria-spread of aches and pains stood tall in the pocket, keeping his eyes at the marker and turning to read right just long enough to target Nate Burleson and connect for ten. Seattle converted the first on a screen pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Housh was grouped with John Carlson and John Owens in trips right and turned two good blocks, a little too much patience and a veteran spot into a first down.

Spencer got revenge. He forced back Ratliff and turned him allowing Julius Jones to cutback left and rush for six. Seneca Wallace handed off to Jones on the next snap and Jones glided for seven. Seattle had escaped jail, was first and 10 on the 29, and after keeping beat for a string of snaps, was about to punctuate the action with a series of big plays.

First Hasselbeck found Carlson for 18 out of play action. Then Jones snaked the ball for three. Then Knapp dropped mathematics.

The screen pass is a money play in the Knapp playbook. We've seen it's a worthy one when executed. Dallas was blitzing off left end. Justin Forsett was the sole receiver on the left. Hasselbeck skated back and slung it to Forsett curling under on the left. Dallas is boned. If only.

Spencer shoves out nose tackle Junior Siavii and then flops, cutting inside linebacker Bradie James. Forsett does not curl in quite enough, and Damion McIntosh struggles to set a block in front of him. Seattle loses time. Forsett jukes behind McIntosh, attempting to zigzag forward while keeping the tackle between him and the defender. Seattle loses time. Forsett runs up Rob Sims legs and Sims stumbles but regains and runs straight ahead. Seattle loses time. Forsett finally releases from his lead blockers, but without great speed - without sufficient speed to evade Keith Brooking. Max Unger never gets round from the right and in front of Forsett to throw a block. He can be seen jogging just outside the action. Sims runs past Brooking, when if he had stopped and blocked, Forsett could have evaded him. But Brooking was not supposed to matter. Forsett splits his blockers and releases clean into the second level, but Seattle had already lost too much time, and Forsett doesn't have that gear to recover and outrun a linebacker with the angle.

And so the first money play was clever but it lacked teeth. 14, stings when it could have been 50.