Seahawks Insider

Answers to your questions, vol. 80

Post by News Tribune Staff on Dec. 28, 2006 at 8:16 am with No Comments »
December 28, 2006 8:16 am

One thing I’ve heard in various emails and again this morning on the blog: People are focusing too much on the Chargers’ late TD pass when, in fact, Mike Holmgren was simply too conservative when he called three consecutive running plays while trying to protect a late lead deep in Seattle territory. This is one of my favorite recurring themes because it’s so easy to analyze, yet so seldom analyzed with much reliance on verifiable information.

To review, Holmgren called a running play to Shaun Alexander on third-and-5. The play gained three yards and Seattle punted while leading 17-13.

A pass would have been more aggressive and perhaps it even would have been a wiser decision (although that is debatable given the problems with dropped passes, interceptions and sacks; if he calls a pass and the Chargers pick it off, we have visions of the fourth quarter against the Giants, when Matt Hasselbeck tossed three fourth-quarter INTs while being “aggressive” in defense of a lead).

Back to the SD game. Seattle faced a third-and-5 situation a short time before the one that gained three yards. The Hawks handed off to Alexander on this one and the result was an 11-yard gain. So, if we’re going to criticize the third-and-5 run that gained only three yards, we need to tell the rest of the story, too. And the rest of the story says a running play on third-and-5 produced an 11-yard gain a few minutes earlier, and that a running play on third-and-8 produced a 33-yard TD in the same game.

Add up those things and I think it’s much more relevant to focus on a secondary that let a receiver run free in the end zone with 29 seconds left and the opponent needing a touchdown, not a field goal, to win the game.

warchief: All too comfortable with a loss? Too bad you couldn’t have been in the locker room Sunday. I’d like to see someone walk up to any of those players and mention that he seemed all too comfortable with a loss. There were guys dying in there. Holmgren was the one who put the happy face on things, trying to salvage the positive heading toward the playoffs. Most guys in that locker room were ticked and rejecting the silver-lining talk. …

kyledmb: I don’t know which players have taken performance-enhancing drugs at some point in their careers. I do know who has been caught in league testing, and that’s pretty much what we go by. …

cougrdave: Holmgren pretty much acknowledged what you are saying, that it would make some sense to take Boulware off the field in a pass-only situation late in a game. …

jzulaski: I did not think the holding call on the KOR fell into the “phantom” category. I’ll have to watch the NFL Network’s officiating segment to see if that play is covered. …

The pass rush will be the key to handling Joey Galloway. Rocky Bernard and those guys need to get in Tim Rattay’s face. Julian Peterson needs one sack to reach double digits. He has only one sack in his last seven games. They need him to get pressure.

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