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What's Wrong With John Carlson, Part 2

Through 25 targets and 13 receptions, I have the plays broken down into four buckets. 13 passes, no player is at fault. These are the receptions. Eight passes, Matt Hasselbeck is at fault. Three passes, fault is undefined. These are the route confusion passes. I didn't include Hasselbeck's wide open miss against the 49ers because even if we assume some level of route confusion, missing a wide open receiver in the middle of the field still strikes me as a mistake by the quarterback. Matt isn't a machine, he can adjust his target. And only one pass -- the drop on a pass thrown against his momentum, justifiably so, into a tight window and above a fallen defender -- can I truly blame on Carlson.

That would certainly imply nothing is wrong with John Carlson, but let's look at the final 14 targets.

St. Louis

1. Carlson aligns in the right slot, tight, and runs a slant. Hasselbeck throws to avoid a sack by James Hall. The pass is near Mike Williams feet but is marked as targeting Carlson. This is an erroneous stat.

2. Carlson motions in from left tight end and then out to the left slot. He runs an in-breaking pattern but Hasselbeck throws it wide left and out of the end zone. Na'il Diggs is called for illegal contact on Carlson.

3. Carlson motions from tight right to the left slot and then runs an out. Hasselbeck throws it left but the ball is tipped at the line by Eugene Sims and sails high and to corner Bradley Fletcher, who intercepts it and runs it back to the Seattle three.

4. Carlson is split out in the left slot. He runs a 15 yard curl and receives for 15.


1. Carlson runs a crossing pattern from left tight end towards the right and receives and makes a shoestring catch before falling backwards and being touched down for 14. Hasselbeck boots right and tosses the underthrown pass under pressure.

2. Carlson runs a ten yard curl from right tight end. The pass flies wide right and Brian Urlacher slaps it down attempting to intercept it.

3. From right tight end, Carlson crosses over the middle and settles down in the soft spot of the zone, a china pattern. He catches and turns up field but is tackled short of the first. The play results in a seven yard gain on third and nine.

4. Carlson runs a deep cross from right tight end. Matt throws a perfect pass but Carlson drops it. That's his final target of the game.


1. Carlson runs a short curl from left tight end. He's covered. Hasselbeck throws the pass to the turf, incomplete. I think this pass slipped out of Matt's hand.

2. Carlson starts in trips on the left. He runs behind the line and towards the right flat. This is another ill-fated roll out. Clark Hagans pressures Hasselbeck into a very low pass towards Carlson's feet. He attempts to scoop it but Adrian Wilson tips it away. Speaking of scoops, I don't think the roll outs are working, Jeremy Bates. Feel free to take note of that sometime this season.

3. Carlson runs a drag route from left tight end and receives in front of Daryl Washington for, wait on it, three yards.

4. Carlson runs a speed out from trips right. Hasselbeck pumps and pumps until he's under pressure and finally throws it away towards Carlson's feet.

5. Carlson runs a 15 yard out from right tight end. Hasselbeck hits him as he breaks, but the pass is wide right, not terribly, but wide right and into double cover. It's possible it's also early, because Carlson just stabs a hand at it, kind of like "what the hell?" Rashad Johnson pops him after the pass falls incomplete.

6. Carlson runs a curl from right tight end and shields Wilson out of coverage. Hasselbeck is hit by Alan Branch as he releases and the ball skips in front of Carlson's feet. He's visibly frustrated. And he should be. Before the skipped pass, Hasselbeck cocks and looks down Carlson before pulling down and restarting his throwing motion. The delay allows Branch to fight in and hit Hasselbeck.