Seahawks Insider

A rare victory indeed

Post by News Tribune Staff on Dec. 4, 2006 at 10:28 am with 32 Comments »
December 4, 2006 10:28 am

12 04 2006 Hasselbeck Road Ratings Sub60.jpgIt’s fair to say the Seahawks won last night in spite of themselves and because of the Broncos. The chart at right shows just how unusual it is for Seattle to win a road game when Matt Hasselbeck’s passer rating fails to reach 60. In fairness, he played better than that last night. Five dropped passes hurt his rating while short-circuiting drives. If his teammates make some catches, perhaps the offense gets going and Hasselbeck gets hot. It did not happen. Seattle is now 2-8 in road games when Hasselbeck’s rating is sub-60.

Game coverage
Leave a comment Comments → 32
  1. tezzer21 says:

    Mike, do you have any insight or personal opinions about what’s happening with Lofa? He was such a lightning rod for energy last year and he played really well. What’s going on with him? Last night when the guy took the pass and ran 70+ yards for the TD, I saw Lofa just kind of give up at the endzone. He didn’t even bother to throw himself at the guy as a last ditch try to prevent the TD. He actually slowed up as the guy got within two yards of the TD. And all the other poor tackles, slow mo moves. He looks like the fire has been snuffed completely out. Or am I missing alot of the nuances of his game????

  2. Obviously turn overs played a big part into our win last night, I know we didnt turn most of them into points. However, that stopped the Broncos from putting on points. With out the turn overs last night, based on the way they could run on us, it could have been real ugly out there for the Hawks…

  3. the play calling lately is very suspect. We have so much sucess going vertical with Jackson and Branch. What are we doing running off-tackle and passing the quick outs all game long. Madden was right for once: Offenses that live by the West Coast, die by the West Coast. And it’s been killing us lately.

    We need to Branch out, literally.

  4. For the people who are interested in Benny Joppru, he was the #5 ranked TE in the 2003 draft. Below is a pre-draft blurb I found.

    Bennie Joppru (Michigan) – Has possibly the best hands of all the tight ends this year. Joppru made several outstanding catches this past season, and seems like a natural receiver. More of a finesse player and simply lacks the overall strength to become a dominant blocker. Had a sensational senior campaign and has increased his stock with solid workouts. His receiving abilities will get him drafted and while he may never be an every-down player, he would be an excellent addition to a team looking for another 3rd down weapon.

  5. I think Lofa’s in his sophomore slump…so is Leroy. They don’t want to admit it, but it’s true.

    We are long past due for turnovers. We’ve been negative for months, so it’s high time we started changing that differential in our favor. Last night was +4.

    I believe Champ Bailey and John Lynch had more to do with our lack of passing game than Hass’ abilities. You had to wonder why they were throwing dump-offs to Mack Strong.

    Lastly, Madden is an idiot :P He should be retired to the old announcers’ home for Brett Favre-lovers in Stumpwater, MS.

  6. ashleykeltner says:

    What a teeter-tawter event. After the game I had a visual of the future ESPY’s. The presentation was given by a slew of Seattle fans that played out something like this… “And for Best drama in an NFL series the award goes to…. the Seattle Seahawks!
    Games like this are nuts…go figure?
    (Wife of Ash K.)

  7. I don’t know Regis, it seemed that every time we tried to stretch the field it was open. There was good coverage on plays, but we killed ourselves by poor play calling and audibles. There needs to be better reads on soft zones coverages, and Matt just seemed unprepared to read their man-coverage schemes. It hurt us when they dropped LBs into the middle as robbers, or 1-overs…then matched up man-man on the outsides.

    They knew our offense, we didn’t know their defense.

    Yes, Madden is terrible, but he was right about that one 100%.

  8. drmossguy says:

    I believe Denver has terrific pass defense, and that played a big part of why we were ineffective offensively. HOWEVER, the dropped passes are killing our momentum. It visibly affects the mood of the offense, its easy to see this even from the stands or the TV. Branch is such a good receiver, he draws defenses toward him. This COULD help our other targets be open but it does not ensure a caught pass.

    Run the football, run the football. It wont work every single play, but, along with protecting the QB, its the key to our victories.

    That implies a good offensive line, which I think we have. The question in my mind remains–will they pull it together?

    Arizona could be a much tougher game than I previously thought. Heck, this year, you can’t count on anything being easy!!

  9. One thing we all have to keep in mind when we complain about the play calling – what we see run on the field isn’t necessarily what was called. Hasselbeck changes the called play pretty often, it would seem, based on the opposing defense and what he reads when looking it over pre-snap.

  10. vichawkfan says:

    4 delay of game penalties….so much for quick tempo.

  11. wrath00 – that was my point. Hasselbeck did an atrocious job reading the defense and calling audibles this game. A couple times he stuck with the play and they went for 15 yards down field. We also were alot quicker on that drive, getting to the line, getting set and setting the pace.

  12. dyoshida says:

    Does anyone have a good explanation about why the tackling has been absolutely attrocious this year? I am REALLY sick and tired of seeing guys arm tackle and not wrap up. What is it going to take to improve on the fundamentals of the game? This can’t go on and if it does, Seattle is only going to make the playoffs because of the weak division and get eliminated early. Any thoughts?

  13. Every time Hass audibled it was a run play, not too tough to read for any defense.
    The HAWKS played scared, Hass played scared. Most of the throw plays he threw the ball to the flats before the receivers even had time to run their routes. We didn’t even look like our offense until we scored the TD (Only offensive TD last night)…

  14. PhilKenSebben says:

    Wins against: Detroit, Arizona, New York, St. Louis (x2), Oakland, Green Bay & Denver

    Losses: KC, Chicago, Minnesota & SF

    It feels like a playoff team to me. Two of their losses were winnable, (KC & Min)

    This win feels alot like the Dallas win last year.

    I however am weary of the 2 games in 4 days gauntlet that the schedule presents.

  15. Willmore says:

    Hass also made some poor decisions, like passing on 3-rd down to a well-covered D-Jack 7 yards short of a first down.

    Also, some play-calling was suspect. I understand that Mack Strong had some lucky 1st-down runs on 3rd and long, but to make it a habbit to run on 3rd and long is preposterous. Sure, Hass wasn’t great, but he could have extended a few drives if the play-calling was different.

    A somewhat lucky win, but I guess you need a few of those to get to the big game. Still, I hope there aren’t many more like this, and we see more games like the one in Philly last year.

  16. roddychops says:

    those thursday night games really should have been scheduled with late bye weeks or somehting.

    two games in four days is BS for any team stuck in that position.

    pretty soon we’ll be seing the wednesday night game on TNT, tuesday midnight madness on ABC, hosted by ted koppel, and friday afternoon iron chef game on the food network.

  17. buddhabrad says:

    Another defense of the play-calling: These games are being played with the whole season and the whole game in mind.

    By whole game, I mean that we ran predominately to the right in the 3rd Q, not because it would be game-breakingly successful. This was done to get the D to commit to that side. Then in the 4th Q, we ran predominately to the left, which is our strength. The combination of running to our strongest side AND having run to the opposite side prior really softened up the D and yielded great success. Sixteen 4th Q points proves this point. This is something we’ve done all year and last year too.

    By whole season, I mean that this week’s play-calling sets up next week’s play-calling. Nearly every week, there is a different go-to guy. This week it was Burleson. So now, the Cards D will react to that, and we in turn, will go to someone else. It’s predictable. Last week, it was Shaun, this week it was Nate, next week ?? To say that Hackett lost his edge to Burleson after one game is short-sighted. I think criticizing the play calling in most cases, is short-sighted too.

    Denver’s D is one of the best. We won on the road, in the cold and with a lot of guys still banged up. For 30 years, we would typically lose that game. Now we win them. I’ll take that.

    You want to complain about play-calling? Think of how the Broncos fans feel. A fake punt?!?!

  18. Mike- How many times did Hass audible? It seemed like 10+ times and always on 2nd and long and 3rd down. Anytime Denver flexed or showed 8+ in the box, Hass would audible to a run? Seemed like maybe a quick pass/slant and let our receiver try and beat one guy to get some yards would have been a better option. So in more defense of the play calling, we dont really know what kinds of plays that Holmy had dialed up..

  19. Willmore: I agree with all of your points.
    Yes Hass’ mental game was very poor last night. Four delay of game penaltys? Look at the play clock!
    Like I said in a previous post, the 3rd and long draw plays over and over after none of them worked was in insane.

    BTW did anybody notice the run where SA ran to the left and went out of bounds making it 3rd and one? It appeared that he could have easily gotten the 1st down had he dove or put his shoulder into the defender. But he didn’t,and then a delay of game penalty made it 3rd and 6 and Hawks didn’t convert. I like Shawn, but the criticism that he’s soft isn’t totally untrue.

  20. tmcclurkan says:

    That was actually a fake field goal, only to set up another FG. Stupid.

    That was about as bad as you can play and still win. I have lots of complaints, but since most points have been raised here I won’t repeat. Bottom line, it was a win, but we have to get a lot better in the last four if we want to have any chance of doing damage in the postseason…on both sides of the ball and in the coaching booth.

  21. andelero says:

    I like the schedule and the Thursday night game. It’s not going to be so bad. We’re playing it at home, against a well-known division opponent. Then we get ten days to prepare for the toughest game of the month. Lines up nicely.

    Holmgren took the blame for some of those delay-of-games, saying he didn’t get the call in quickly enough.

    On that pump-fake pass to Jackson at the one, the pump fake receiver was Branch, and he didn’t have a man within ten yards. Feels to me like Hasselbeck didn’t want to stray too far from his Djack security blanket, even with a couple of defenders in the neighborhood.

    No presser today? Thought it was usually Monday and Wednesday.

  22. aelliott11 says:

    Mike – The last two games have been very similar in terms of an opponent’s game plan against us defensively. Green Bay did a great job jumping the slant routes. You could see their DB’s creeping up on it and anticipating it. And last night, it seemed the Broncos DB’s were camping out in the slant routes before the snap. Hard to tell on TV, but whenever the camera pulled wide, it looked like Denver had guys already sitting in the areas where we usually run short routes.

    I also noticed that Denver really seemed to be showing blitz but not actually blitzing a lot. Matt confirmed as much post-game. I can’t recall exactly, but I seem to remember Green Bay doing the same thing.

    So my question is, is there now a book on beating Seattle? Take away our short passing game, dare us to go vertical, and show blitz to try and get Matt to check into a running play. It seems we’ve seen this now a few times. To our credit, we’ve made adjustments at the half the last two games that gave us the edge in the end. But I’m wondering if Holmgren, Matt, and this offense have become too predictable?

    Also, to the board, don’t underestimate the effect that Denver’s DB’s had on our passing game. Their zone defensive coverage is OUTSTANDING. On replays, you could see how tight their zone D is. It’s incredible, and I was actually jealous. I wish our secondary was that tight. Also, I don’t care what they say on TV, in the bitter cold like that the football is a rock. Tough to throw, tough to catch.

  23. PapaHawk says:

    Its pretty clear to me that Holmy is very into “what type of game is this?” In a high scoring type of game he chucks it deep and calls more exotic pass plays. In games against weak offenses he calls it more close to the vest. Hasselbeck gets that, and in situations where he sees the middle-blitz, he tries to get out of the pass play, especially with a young center. It was very frustating seeing so many conservative plays on third down last night. It was very frustrating seeing so many passes dropped early. But Holmy doesn’t want to take risks against a team who’s offense is much worse than their defense.

    One thing I actually appreciate is how he stuck with the run, even though it wasn’t effective in the first half. Tackling would be my biggest concern. Get used to conservative play calling.

  24. drmossguy says:

    One thing I appreciate is that I can not see everything as a spectator. I think as spectators, unless some people out here have special knowledge or sources, we really dont see the whole thing as if we were in the meetings, or on the field.

    I am not slandering anyone at all for writing their opinions because I enjoy reading it immensely, also, but it seems like we really see very little of the whole picture. We try to put together little slices of what we see into something we can rationalize, make sense out of, and explain. I think its human nature.

    I appreciate that Holmgren might not think like me and my buddies, which is “HOW MANY POINTS CAN WE POSSIBLY SCORE TO ANNHILATE THE OTHER TEAM?” He seems to think more like “How do I win?” or “How do I avoid a loss?” might be even closer to the truth.

    Not as fun, maybe. Not as aggressive, definitely. But it gets the job done most of the time.

  25. It seemed to me that a lot of the Audibles matt called required formation changes. I think Holmgren had a few 4 wide sets called that Matt audibled out of, and adjusting the formation just takes longer, especially when Strong isn’t in there. That’s coaching.

    If you call a play that can’t be run from and the defense dictates that the QB audible to a run, then you have a problem.

    I’d sure like to see more of the fantastic 4 stuff we saw vs. the Giants. I don’t know why we’ve gone away from that.

  26. My concerns:
    1 – Bad tackling
    2 – Dropped passes
    3 – Giving up 180+ yards rushing
    4 – 4 delay of games penalties
    5 – Offense was AWOL for 3 quarters of the game

    But I still enjoyed the game – it was fun watching us getting all those TOs.

  27. jeffmenold25 says:


    When was the last time the Hawks beat a team on the road that finished the season with a winning record? There was the Vikings game in 04, but they finished 8-8. I think we may have to go back to the Faclons game in 2002, I think the falcons finished 9-7 or 10-6 that year….can you look this up?

    Assuming Denver can go 2-2, which may be difficult with Cutler, this would be the Hawks best roda win in 4 plus years

  28. blacktie says:


    Interesting note: both of our wins with Hasselbeck’s rating under 60, last night and 9/9/2001 at Cleveland, come when he (in spite of bad rating) completed over 55% of his passes.

    Scarier note: Seahawks are 0-8 on the road when Hasselbeck completes under 55% of his passes, heh. And people say the offense flows through Alexander =p

  29. bobbyk03 says:

    If you want to know a question like that…

    …go to a search engine and look up the Seahawks schedule/results from previous years… not that hard to do… when you find out who they beat on the road, look at their records for the year… sometimes we’re asking too many things we could easily do ourselves…

  30. In my opinion, the only chance Seattle has to go far, dare I say Super Bowl, is if the passing game is opened up (7 yard slants not included). We simply cannot run on the best defenses.
    They need to run their offense like the first half of the Giants game. Let Hass throw a pick or two, he always does and always will; he has to get one out of his system a game. But when he’s on, (especially with the addition of Branch and development of Hackett), and he’s given time, I think any defense can be shredded.
    It just seems that we have this great weapon in Hass and our receivers which we don’t utilize to its full potential.

  31. Tompage says:

    I am frustrated with the play calling as many of you are as well. Holmgren has been a head coach in the NFL for fifteen years, and not sure about the rest of you, but I have not been a head coach in the NFL (although I would consider the job with the Cardinals if it was offered). He is conservative, but he has been that way for years and it has paid off. I think he is getting more conservative every year, but I still don’t want anyone else as our coach. I have resigned that I will be bitching about the play calling as long as Holmgren is the coach.

    Hass was really infuriating me last night with the audibles. I think the oppositing defensive teams are manipulating him into audibling too often by faking blitzes or other junk defenses. Calling an audible does no good if you can’t get the play off in time it just puts the offense in a hole. In the NFL you never know whether a play is going to work no matter what the defense is. Sometimes the perfect play is called against a particular defense and it doesn’t work. On the flip side sometimes a play is run against the worst defensive call and it works anyway. If the clock is running down: RUN THE DAMN PLAY!!

  32. pabuwal says:

    Everyone blames the playcalling, but Hasselbeck is simply not back yet. He is mentally and physically rusty.

    The old Hasselbeck would scan the field, sometimes throwing to the 3rd or 4th read. Now he drops back, stares down the primary read. If the primary read is open, he throws it to him and if not, he dumps the ball off. Physically his mechanics are off and his passes seem to die before they get to the target.

    We don’t know how many games it will take for him to get where he needs to be. He seemed like he was almost there at the end of last night’s game.

    Everyone blames the playcalling, but what do people want – another 4 turnover game??

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