Seahawks Insider

Morning links: 5 keys for Hawks vs. Bears

Post by Eric Williams on Oct. 17, 2010 at 7:08 am with 24 Comments »
October 17, 2010 9:24 am

Good morning. I’m headed out to Soldier Field in a little bit, but before I take off here are five keys to the game for the Seahawks today.

Compete: The Seahawks need to take Pete Carroll’s well-worn slogan “Always compete” to heart today. They’ve lost by an average of 20 points on the road for the past three seasons, so they need to find a way to stay in the game.

Execute: Seattle’s coaching staff has had two weeks to prepare for the Bears, so they should have a solid game plan in place on both sides of the ball. Now it will be up to the players to execute that game plan and keep mistakes to a minimum.

Leon, Golden to the rescue: Seattle’s offense likely will struggle to move the all against Chicago’s defense, so special teams play will be important in terms of controlling field position. The Seahawks have two of the best returners in the game in Leon Washington and Golden Tate, and both need to make some big plays in the kicking game.

O-line gets physical: The Seahawks are averaging just 3.6 yards per carry on the ground, which will not get the job done against Chicago. Specifically, the Seahawks interior line needs to do a better job of getting a push up front in order to create some running lanes for Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett.

Hasselbeck’s time: I don’t think this is a make-or-break game for Matt Hasselbeck, but if he plays poorly again on the road the conversation will continue to heat up with calls for Charlie Whitehurst to replace him. Hasselbeck doesn’t need a super-human effort, just solid, mistake-free play and directing a couple touchdown scoring drives would get the job done.

My story today focuses on what Seahawks players believe they need to do in order to get a win today in Chicago.

Dave Boling of The New Tribune outlines some things he’ll be watching for in today’s game, including the play of Hasselbeck and Lynch.

Greg Johns of offers five things to watch for in today’s game.

Danny O’Neil of he Seattle Times notes that the Seahawks are ranked in the bottom third in the league in pass defense for the third straight season.

Clare Farnsworth of previews the game here.

John Boyle of he Everett Herald does the same thing here.

Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler is ready for the Seahawks.

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune offers four things to watch for in today’s game.

Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times breaks down the game here.

Matt Bowen of the Chicago Tribune offers a blueprint for the Bears to stop Marshawn Lynch.

Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune says the Bears must run the ball to keep Cutler from getting smacked.

Fox Sports analyst Brian Billick previews the Hawks-Bears game in this video link.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 24
  1. I actually think this game can be titled “Hasselbeck’s Last Stand.” If he puts up his typical deer in the headlights, hold the ball forever, refuse to make an NFL throw performance, I’d be shocked if he starts next week.

    Some people say he gives the Seahawks the best chance to win, but if his average road loss is 20+ points, who cares? Not even Rick Mirer was this bad on the road.

  2. thesagaciousman says:

    It seems as though the members of the Seattle media are all trying to lower our expectations for Matt Hasselbeck.

    Seattle Blog Writer: “Well, If Matt can complete a pass or two today and look really sharp in warm-ups I’d say we’d be able to call that a successful outing.”

    Does the Hasselbeck family secretly own all of the newspapers in Seattle?

  3. One thing that makes me happy, is going on and looking at team stats. The 2nd best rushing defense in the National Football League is the Seattle Seahawks ONLY surpassed by the Steelers.

    One thing I’m afraid of in this game, is Matt Forte. With out rushing defense, I’m pretty sure that we can contain him that way, but he is just as dangerous in the passing game, and remember what those two running backs from the Rams did to us on the screen passes?

  4. Dukeshire says:

    pabuwal – You’ve made that Mirer / Hasselbeck claim three times now and I’ve challenged you to state you case with facts after the first time. Still waiting… ;)

    JacDG is right, have got to contain the bubble screen they like to throw to Forte. They live on those.

    Cutler has been sacked 17 times (Bear QBs 20 times in total this season) that has to continue today.

    And o line play today is huge. Got to keep Peppers and Idonije (team leader in sacks) under control.

  5. Does anyone know Mebane’s status for today?

  6. Dukeshire says:

    The inactive list isn’t out yet, but I’ve got to believe he’s playing. I imagine sitting Friday was preventative.

  7. Not only are Mirer and Hasselbeck’s win % in road games played against teams that finished the year with winning records nearly identical, Hasselbeck has lost more times on the road by over 20 points since the GB playoff loss (9) than Mirer in his 4 year career (1 in 1996). Even the 1992 team with the worst offense in the history of the NFL lost just once by over 20 points on the road (SB Champs Dallas, 27-0).

    While the Seahawks historically never were great on the road, they were generally respectable. This is easily the worst 3 year stretch since I became a fan in 1983. And the funny thing is, most fans don’t realize/care because they see number 8 back there and pretend its 2005 all over again.

    How would this team have done over the last few years playing in a tougher division? 2-14? How many veteran QBs can survive those type of years like this man has?

  8. Good for you Duke calling out the blow hards. It’s about the only drawback to this blog, not enough to deter me.

    Hass has been a favorite without a decent line or running game for a long time but…he still fails to throw the ball downfield consistently which I think is a staple of Jeremy Bates’ offense. I’ve read a lot of people suggesting that the cb’s that face us play our WRs with everything in front of them plus crowd the line to frustrate our running game. Unless he’ able to hit BMW, Top Pot, Stoke This and The Butler did it, I for one will be very interested to see if Whitehurst can stretch the field. It’s one of a few things I thought he did well in the Preseason.

    Today, Hass needs to make quick reads and get rid of the ball quickly. If he holds it for too long and takes sacks or fumbles the ball because he can’t make a decision soon enough, I’ll be here next week calling for Charlie.

    Hass is the greatest QB this city and franchise have ever seen, but his confidence has been shakey. Hopefully, Lynch/Forsett can get things going and the line gives him time, WRs are open and running the right routes…ok, I’m dreaming a bit, but I think this guys can do it.

    On Defense, I expect our running defense to continue to be stout, but our secondary has to hold on 3rd and long. This seasons, as its been in many seasons like Eric’s article suggests, has been terrible for a long time. ET is awesome, but we need one more guy to step up and be another playmaker. I love Lawyer, but don’t expect the stellar play. Personally, I’d like to see Walt do something opposite Tru and pick one off, sack or something…anything.

    New running and receiving parts getting promoted through PC’s youth movement. The line has had a little extra time to gel. Special Teams…can they continue to be special?

    I’m rooting for Hass but ready for Charlie…today will determine a lot about the future of our franchise.


  9. Dukeshire says:

    Seattle has lost 9 road games by 20(+) since ’07 but Hass started 6 of those (Seneca 3). Mirer also started 6 games that Seattle lost by 20(+) during his 4 years in Seattle. (Friez started another 2) So I’m not sure where you got your numbers, but they are inaccurate. No time today, but I’m going to put together a thorough comparison and post it tomorrow. We’ll both learn some things that we didn’t know.

  10. “Hass is the greatest QB this city and franchise have ever seen”

    I love when folks like you say this. He has just slightly above a .500 record as a starter and a very average 82 QB rating for his career. He has just put up 2 years with a QB rating above 90 in his 10 year career as a starter (2005, 2007). Once he lost his HoF left side and running game he basically became a very average to below average QB.

    So as a Seahawks fan, this is the greatest QB ever? Really? An overall body of work that is very medicore? A QB in crunch time in road playoff games that always throws the big INT late (GB 2003, Pit 2005, Chicago 2006)? There is actually another Seahawks QB with more wins, higher win % , a similar QB rating in a less pass friendly era, yet he had to face muitiple HoF QBs (Fouts and Elway) in the toughest division in football limiting his postseason success.

  11. Mebane is out according to the ticker in the bottom at NFL network, not good for out defense.

  12. Dukeshire says:

    It’s a good argument; Kreig vs Hasselbeck. And statistically one can make a solid case for Kreig. But Hass was apart of the franchises greatest success and that resonates with people. It’s a bit surprising you fail to recognize that or understand that most people on blogs weren’t fans when Kreig was here.

  13. Briggs is out for the Bears, at least that’s some good news.

  14. Dukeshire says:

    Indeed. Mebane out. I guess that calf is worse than I suspected. Damn.

  15. The comparison stat is OVER 20 points and NOT 20+ points. I chose that because 3 TDs is 21 points. It just shook out that way that Mirer had a number of road losses by 20 points even. But my stats are correct.

    Hasselbeck’s road losses by OVER 20 points since the GB playoff loss:

    at GB 2007, 22 pts
    at Buff 2008, 24 pts
    at NYG 2008, 38 pts
    at Dallas 2008. 25 pts
    at Dallas 2009, 21 pts
    at Minn 2009, 26 pts
    at Houston 2009, 27 pts
    at GB 2009, 38 pts

    I made a mistake here – it was “only” 8 games he has lost by 21+ points over 2+ years. The average loss is 27.6 pts so it’s not like most of these were right at your 20 point line.

  16. Duke – you are right about the Krieg point and most were fans after his time period. But maybe we should all preface how long we have been following the team when proclaiming who is the best ever among non-hall of famers.

  17. If you take a team to the Superbowl, have multiple franchise records and Pro Bowl appearances and aren’t in the top three for all time fumbles (like Krieg), by default, he’s the greatest QB in franchise history. With that being said, his play lately has left a lot to be desired, but to suggest the Krieg, who as I said fumbled a ton and threw plenty of pics, to be better…well, I guess I just made my case.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Hass IS past his prime and am ready to see what Charlie can do, but to date, no QB has taken us further or given us an opportunity at a World Championship…period.


  18. Dukeshire says:

    pabuwal – I guess I got confused when you said this –

    “…but if his average road loss is 20+ points, who cares? Not even Rick Mirer was this bad on the road.”

    To me, that reads as 20 or more points, or more than 20 or 21+, etc…

  19. Fair point – I used Eric’s 20 point number because I was responding to Eric’s number about average road loss. That was my initial post and the first of this thread.

    After you requested specifics, I pulled out my spreadsheet and used the numbers from the spreadsheet – but in each case the stats were correctly labeled.

  20. “at GB 2007, 22 pts
    at Buff 2008, 24 pts
    at NYG 2008, 38 pts
    at Dallas 2008. 25 pts
    at Dallas 2009, 21 pts
    at Minn 2009, 26 pts
    at Houston 2009, 27 pts
    at GB 2009, 38 pts”

    To be honest, most of those are really really though games to win (Excluding Buffalo), and they certainly aren’t easy to win with the way the ENTIRE TEAM played in those games, you can’t just put all the blame on big #8. Matt certainly had his part in those loses, and as a quarterback it’s all on your shoulders, and you shouldn’t lose this big.

    I agree, Matt has been disappointing the last few seasons, and this season doesn’t look better at all. I would say this is his worst season (so far at least) because this time around there is actual talent on both sides of the ball.

  21. Dukeshire says:

    pabuwal – That’s cool. In any case, I’m going to still do a thorough breakdown of their road games (Mirer / Hass). Despite the team’s failures on the road, I’ll be surprised to learn that Mirer is statically superior to Hass (TD / int ratio, completion %, etc…) in those games.

    But if I may, let’s put this on the shelf for now. Big game today…!

  22. Over the entire career, Hasselbeck has far superior stats and overall road record. When breaking it down to games against teams with winning records over the entire career, the win/loss records similar (1-13 for Mirer and 2-25 for Hasselbeck). The 1993-1996 teams had a rough division with 1-2 HoF QBs at any given time so it doesn’t surprise me when you adjust for strength the career records are similar. And the 1994 Chargers who did not have a HoF QB did go to the SB.

    If you break it down from 2008 on for Hasselbeck and compare that to Mirer’s career, you ‘ll see Mirer is better in some, possibly most respects.

  23. Dukeshire says:

    But what you are doing here is creating a false argument. You are presuming that QB play is the sole reason for the Seahawk’s struggles against teams with winning records, on the road. What I will be pointing out is that despite a similar team record in said situations, Hass’ individual numbers are superior to Mirer and so a comparison of the two is unwarranted.

  24. “If you break it down from 2008 on for Hasselbeck and compare that to Mirer’s career, you ‘ll see Mirer is better in some, possibly most respects”

    To anyone who watched the nightmare that was the Mirer era (and I was one of them) that comparison is ridiculous. I don’t know Pabuwal, I think you’re position on Hass is really well understood by now – and you’re certainly entitled to it – but we get it, just repeating the same arguments isn’t going to win any new converts.

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