Seattle won. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't exciting and the Seahawks never looked like a playoff team, but halfway through its season, Seattle is a game away from last year's win total. These are the slow steps to rebuilding. Seattle started behind by 17, but gutted out a win against a team it could have stomped. It's not satisfying but it's something.
The offensive line is still disorganized and Seattle's run game is a liability. This line needs practice together. The organization needs to thoroughly scrutinize its line talent. Much of it may not return next year. I doubt Seattle re-signs Damion McIntosh. Ray Willis is cheap enough to stick at depth, but does not fit Greg Knapp's system. Sean Locklear will likely stick. Max Unger is a Seahawks. The rest of Seattle's linemen better pick it up in the final eight. Some, like Mansfield Wrotto, may not make it through the season.
It is possible that Tim Ruskell has been shy about drafting talent on offense because he didn't know what offense to draft talent for. Whatever the explanation, Seattle is not renovating, it's building a new offense. What it can salvage from this year's unit is like recycled mortar from the Kingdome.
The defense is built. Seattle will cash in when the pick is right. It needs a young athletic defensive end. It could use another disruptive defensive tackle, but should entertain re-signing Cory Redding. There's holes to patch. The talent must develop for it to be great. This defense is young and talented and capable of looking elite if paired with a great offense.
That might take a while. Seahawks fan must be brave, because the tables will be flipped soon enough. Matthew Stafford is a 21-year old rookie playing for a team that finished 0-16 last season. If he pulls it together someday, these trials will make his fans love him. Seattle will get its Stafford soon enough. Matt Hasselbeck played fierce and his effort helped lead Seattle back, but scraping for yards against a bad defense is not some miracle turnaround or rebirth for the Seahawks offense.
It took 51 attempts to get 329 yards. 17 passes were to his backs or fullbacks. Hasselbeck played like the aging game manager I think he now is. Seattle won around him, but mostly because of Stafford's five interceptions (worth 225 or 300 yards* depending on your interpretation). It didn't win because of him. Hasselbeck dinked and dunked against the 30th ranked pass defense. He stared at his wide receivers like there wasn't a throw he could make. Hasselbeck checked down like he was facing a gifted young secondary. He was facing Kevin Hobbs.
(*Corrected from 350)
Today wasn't fun but it was a win. Remaking this offense will be a struggle, but it can't be pushed back anymore. The defense is starting to click. The Seahawks are branching two directions. The team is getting better as a whole, but worse at critical positions. I won't remember Matt Hasselbeck leading the game with a pick or picking his way back on top, but I will remember Hawthorne's two and Josh Wilson sprinting down field for six.
Game Ball: Josh Wilson recorded his first tackle a yard before the first down marker. Hawthorne would follow with a tackle for no gain to force the field goal attempt. Jason Hanson missed. From there he was pretty quiet. He might be seen tackling his receiver where he stood like against Bryant Johnson in the second quarter, but he wasn't seen much.
Detroit is a bad passing offense and Kelly Jennings could disappear in the folds of their failure, but for Wilson, this was step up time against a corps of tall, powerful receivers. He wasn't leapt over or bullied out. When Megatron went high over him on a critical fourth quarter pass attempt, Wilson stuck in and disrupted the catch. Today was a training wheels step towards starting, but Wilson kept it level and finished off flying. The Seahawks need Pistol to turn his quiet day with an "!" into the beginning of a beautiful career at right corner.