Seahawks Insider

Final: Falcons 34, Hawks 18

Post by Eric Williams on Dec. 19, 2010 at 4:13 pm with 45 Comments »
December 19, 2010 4:13 pm
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll (Joe Barrentine/TNT)

Well, I think this is what we all probably expected today.

Talented ultimately prevailed in this one, as the Atlanta Falcons clinched a playoff berth with a dominant performance in the second half in defeating Seattle 34-18.

And after another dismal performance by Matt Hasselbeck we’re left with this — have we seen the end of No. 8 in a Seattle Seahawks’ uniform?

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has been steadfast in his preaching of taking care of the ball offensively. In Seattle’s six wins, Hasselbeck has five turnovers. In the Seahawks eight losses, Hasselbeck has 17 turnovers, including 10 turnovers in the last three games.

Check out the stats here.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (Joe Barrentine/TNT).

As much as the defense was on the field, they actually did not play that bad against a pretty good Atlanta defense.

Charlie Whitehurst came in with just over a quarter left and moved the ball.

And unbelievably, this team still has a chance to make the playoffs at 6-8 overall, even though they’ve lost six of their past eight games. St. Louis also fell to 6-8 after losing at home to Kansas City, 27-13. And San Francisco is a game back at 5-9 after losing to San Diego on Thursday.

The simplest scenario is for Seattle to win their last two games, including a win in the season finale against St. Louis, and win the division at 8-8.

As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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Leave a comment Comments → 45
  1. Hasselbeck needs to go away now.

  2. SandpointHawk says:

    I called 77-14 ATL last week so I think this was a great game……

  3. Dukeshire says:

    Interesting game. They looked so strong and balanced on their first drive, but never came close to recapturing that again.

    The real issue, I would think though, is who starts at QB? Personally, I don’t see how you can’t start CW in Tampa. Coming back home on Jan 2 vs the Rams might be a different story. But Hass is simply playing at a level that makes it impossible for this team to win, right now. And they are running out of opportunities to really evaluate CW in game situations. This will be an interesting week.

  4. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I think this is the first time this year that we lose the special teams battle.
    However we lost the turnover battle and the penalty battle!
    Can’t win that way !

  5. Unless Whitehurst goes gangbusters the final 2 games, there simply wont be enough time for a proper evaluation.

  6. “The real issue, I would think though, is who starts at QB? Personally, I don’t see how you can’t start CW in Tampa. Coming back home on Jan 2 vs the Rams might be a different story. But Hass is simply playing at a level that makes it impossible for this team to win, right now. And they are running out of opportunities to really evaluate CW in game situations. ”

    Right. And CW looked decent enough while in there to merit a look.

    I thought a lot of our team played pretty well today, really. The QB, and the CBs, looked poor. I saw real improvement from the rest of the units.

  7. Whew! Outcome about what was expected, but I sure didn’t believe Hass would produce the turnover’s he did….. we definatly have a prob at QB …
    I’m not sure anymore if it will change…. Tough, tough coach’s call….

  8. m2mnelson says:

    I have been a huge Hasselbeck supporter and I can honestly his time is done as the Seahawk QB. He certainly isn’t as talented as he was before and he has now lost his ability to lead the team. When it rains, Hass makes is pour! I could blame it on the WR’s earlier in the year, but now it’s all on Hass.
    It is time to move on and put Whitehurst in. This is crazy since we still have a pretty good shot at the playoffs, but who cares at this point. Give Charlie a chance.

  9. Dukeshire says:

    pabuwal – Good or bad play is irrelevant regarding evaluation. The play is what it is. But the fact that there are only 2 games left is what limits evaluation, IMO.

  10. Well, if he goes gangbusters in the final 2 games, there will be more games left to play.

    Colin Cole is an absolute stud against the run. Both he and Bryant went out at the same time causing most of us to put the blame for the decline of the run defense on the loss of Bryant.

  11. @pab – agree re Cole. He played great today. A little continuity on our lines, and things look better on both of them. And this against a quality opponent.

    BTW, anyone else happen to watch Detroit the past few weeks? I’ve see Lawrence Jackson making plays. Did we cut the cord on that guy a year early?

  12. bulldog80 says:

    This should be Matt’s last game as a Seahawk starter. That endzone play was absolutely atrocious.

    What a difference a year has made for Cole. The Heater continues to be our best linebacker. Man, our corner play has sucked for a long time now.

  13. I’m looking forward to seeing Matt in Cleveland next season. He will be a tremendous mentor for Holmgren’s young quarterback.

  14. Dukeshire says:

    pdway – re: L. Jackson, no. He’s a Kentwan Balmer in this D. In only 9 games he’s put together nice numbers, but he’s a product of the talent around him. Moreover, in Carroll’s “under” 4-3 he’s not quick enough to play weak side not big and strong enough to play the strong side. Good for him, but they did the right thing.

  15. whew. Tough day in Qwest today. In the first quarter, it felt like the Seahawks offense and the 12th Man were back. It felt good for awhile.

    By the end of the game I had lost faith in Hass. His ball handling is obviously affected by injured hand, but its his decision making the past couple of games that has become unacceptable. If he’s back next year, he can no longer be considered starter material.

    I’m glad Whitehurst had a chance to play and show something. But watching him lock in on BMW every play, unable to look off his first option and move through a progression, did not make him look like an NFL starter.

  16. edstang45 says:

    Sorry to see this day come as I am a big FAN of Matt. He led us to the SB and will always be a big Favorite of Mine. He is a class act, I’m sure he’s embarrassed right now. In my opinion he was a west coast type of QB and Holmgren had to reign him in all the time. he has always been a presser trying to do to much in certain areas. Holmgren utiliized him in his offense, but was always coaching him , he used to enfuriate Holmgren but was his guy. He probably got more out of Matt than the current staff can. He’s never been down the field accurate, his forte has been running Holmgrens offense.

    But I think we need to turn the corner on our once probowler. I think we are in bad trouble a the QB position going forward, The Rams have the Star, we need to find one this off season. It looks like we should get a good pick this year. Let the competition begin I am now officially looking forward to the draft.

  17. So if we lose in Tampa Bay — as everyone except the most diehard Seahawks fans expect — and the Niners beat the Rams, the NFL West will go into the final week with three teams tied at 6-9.

    Wow.

    The Cardinals must be muttering that old Brando line: “I coulda been a contender!”

  18. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Proper evaluation for a blogger? Or a coaching staff that evaluate’s daily?

  19. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Funny Mr_Fish!

  20. Yolohawk says:

    Goobye Matt,

    I was really pulling for you, and there were many times early on in your career when your receivers couldn’t hang on reguardless of your accuracy.

    I’m ready to move on, and I hope you’ll stick around to help coach.

    Please retire as a Hawk, and keep your head high.

  21. a loss with tampa up next. ..time to prepare 4 the playoffs… enough said… look back and i’ll kick u’r arse

  22. We’re going to lose to Tampa Bay no matter what, so i would like to see what Whitehurst can do before we make the decision on who is the starter for the all important St Louis game.

    I’m slipping off the MH bandwagon, though not yet ready to jump on the CW bandwagon either.

    While the last few weeks it feels to me like the officials have also been on the opposing team, Matt really seems to need a strong supporting cast to shine, & face it, we don’t have one at this time. matt also just doesn’t look confident, whatever the reason.

    Unless 2011 is also going to be a rebuilding year, PC needs to come up with a viable plan for the 2011 QB position. CW looked great in his 1st drive, but so did Matt. I’m not at all convinced that either is the solution for 2011, unless we draft some stunning QB & retain Matt as mentor.

  23. Yolohawk, I know why people say things like that, but what evidence is there that Hasselbeck knows anything about coaching?

    Former players, no matter how well they played, don’t automatically become good coaches. It’s a very different skillset. It’s one thing to understand the game well enough to do your part, it’s another thing altogether to be able to teach someone else to do the same.

    Many of the game’s best coaches never played, or were mediocre players at best.

  24. irrationalexuberance says:

    Man a completely different tone nowadays of these blogs. Im glad people are starting to overlook who they like and start looking at winning games. I think its going to interesting for Pete Carroll in that 2 games isnt a good enough time to evaluate CW and at the end of the season hindsight 20/20 he will get questioned as to why he didnt bench Hasslebeck alot earlier in the season. This is going to be an interesting situation. Its funny how QB can make or break Head Coaches.

  25. @Mr_Fish: If i understand correctly if the 49’s win out, the division is there’s unless the Hawks also win out. If the 49’s beat St Louis my understanding is they’d hold the tie breaker over both Seattle & St Louis, & I really don’t expect SF to lose to Arizona (or Seattle to beat Tampa Bay on the road in a morning game). So Hawks fans, as frightening as it sounds, I think we need to root for St Louis next week, & hope we then beat St Louis in the season finale.

  26. Yolohawk says:

    Fish,
    I’m just not ready to throw Matt to the streets.
    I know he lacks the patience to coach, and his attitude isn’t one you’d look for in a coach,,, but he’s funny, and he’s been to the big show.

  27. This has been an unusual season in so many ways.

    Usually, when a team is 6-8, its playoff chances are slim to none, and coaches are accordingly more willing to experiment with their QB.

    Hasselbeck has had spurts of good play this year, and there have been enough another things going wrong that it’s hard to say all of the losses have been his fault.

    So, given that we’re still in the hunt, I can see why Carroll has stuck with Hasselbeck so long. And why he might still go with him in Tampa Bay.

  28. nighthawk2 says:

    This game was 7 points at halftime. It was winnable until Hasselsuck’s 3 turnovers in the 3rd quarter, including the fumble in the end zone. He’s done this game after game after game. The guy’s first play of the season was an interception. He needs to be gone, yesterday. I was a supporter of his until that pick in the overtime playoff game at Green Bay in the “We want the ball we’re going to score” game. Then I started seeing his mistakes in judgement and poor play cost us game after game. I haven’t liked the guy personally or professionally for a long time now, and the sooner he’s gone the better. Hasselbeck needs to be benched and not offered a contract next year. If Cleveland wants to let him “mentor” Colt McCoy into throwing interceptions and fumbling, by all means let them.

    The coaching staff needs to let Charlie Whitehurst start these last two games, with no fear of being benched, and just tell him “It’s OK to check down, it’s OK to throw the ball away. Just don’t try to force anything no matter what the game situation is”. Something Hasselbeck never figured out. He never got over Favreitis, or figured out he didn’t Favre’s arm. Short of being able to trade for Kevin Kolb, whom I think Philly trades to an AFC team like Buffalo, Cincinnati or Miami if they trade him at all. And forget about Carson Palmer, that guy has as big a fork sticking out of him as Hasselsuck does. Go with Whitehurst.

  29. Dukeshire says:

    Being a mentor and being a coach are not the same thing. Hass is a pro’s pro from the way he handles himself in front of the media to how he studies to his leadership. He has all the intangibles one would want a young QB to emulate, I would think. Whether he would actively embrace that role is another story all together. As far as coaching a young QB and teaching him the scheme and all that entails, that will be left to, you know, the coaches. Not Matt’s department.

  30. nighthawk2 says:

    Yolohawk, Rex Grossman has been to the Big Show too. I don’t want that guy as our quarterback either.

  31. Matt’s a smart guy and I’ll bet he’s managed his money well. I seriously doubt he’ll be living on the street even if this is the end of his playing career.

    He’s been well-rewarded for his contributions to the franchise, and nobody needs to feel sorry for him.

    If we let him go and Holmgren or someone else gives him a chance to play a few more years, well, good on him. I’ll root for him, just as I rooted for Dave Krieg and some of my other favorite Seahawks after they left to play somewhere else.

    But Pete and John need to make decisions based on what’s best for the team.

  32. Hass has been my favorite player on the team for the last eight years. And I really wanted him to have a late-career resurgence. I still think he’s capable of flashes of greatness and could help a team like Minnesota that has a good supporting cast, but it’s time for the Seahawks to move on. I don’t think Hass will accept a contract as a backup, not when other teams come calling. So it looks like the QB competition next year will be between CW and the QB that PC drafts or trades for.

    As for the rest of the season, I’d prefer that CW start, ever if it means that the Seahawks might not make the playoffs. Let’s see what he can do in Tampa Bay anyway. If he doesn’t play well, but the Rams beat the Niners (keeping the Seahawks alive for the playoffs), then PC will have a tough decision to make.

  33. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Goobye Matt,
    Hope you find a better team!

  34. I was a supporter of his until that pick in the overtime playoff game at Green Bay in the “We want the ball we’re going to score” game.

    Wow, can’t believe a Seahawks fan can hold a grudge against Hass for that long. He did plenty to make up for that Green Bay game in my book.

  35. irrationalexuberance says:

    I had a hard time believing that Hasslebeck is going to be the starting QB on any team in the league. I guess time will tell.

  36. I have been a Matt supporter all along but he should have come out last week and I am glad they did it this week.

    I hope CW starts next week, although his QB rating of 49 is less than stellar so I would hope he could improve that if he plays next week. But he needs to play.

    My biggest disappointments of the day.

    1. Our “elite” special teams today were terrible. Ryan didn’t have a single good punt, our coverage teams were terrible and we constantly gave Atl. a huge field advantage all day (NM the play of our Off/Def)

    2. Play selection was curious again. We move the ball down the field on the first possesion covering 90 yards (counting the holding penalty) then on the 2nd possesion I loved the first down call to go deep. but to do it again on 2nd down are you kidding me!!! After that we didn’t go back to what worked, bubble screens – inside running – 6-8 yard ins and outs again until they brought in Whitehurst and then all of a sudden we went back to those plays again and boom we scored – huh – amazing. a naked bootleg in the endzone – give me a break!! TERRIBLE call, TERRIBLE execution, The result that caused the team to fold IMO.

    3. I am curious to hear what people have to say about how things looked on the TV. But I am really frustrated at how this game was officiated (I know again – but in no way am I saying the reffing lost this game it just gets totally frustrating )
    – The first time they went for it on 4th and inches, in the stadium and on the screen it did NOT look at all like he even got up to the LOS let alone acrossed it.
    – Multiple times in the 2nd drive there multiple pretty obvious holding not called on ATL. On one Mebane was literally tackled around the waist. They we constantly talking to the white hat and he would just walk away.
    – I saw a number of times where the OL we hitting or grabbing Cole right in the face mask – I thought that was illegal.
    -on the play right before the FG to give them 34 points – Clemons had a free ride straight at Ryan – the LT literally took his jersey off of his shoulder pads – no call
    – The roughing Penalty on the hit on CW didn’t look any different than what we had done to Ryan a time or 2 earlier, was it the timing of the hit or the fact that he landed on him?

    I am not looking forward to the next few games. I will be watching – but I really don’t want to fork over huge bucks for playoff tickets in a game we could be embarassed!

  37. letsworkitout says:

    lol. How can you people honestly sit back and pin it all on Hass? This team has so many problems besides the qb. I laugh thinking back to the comments made before the season on ESPN about how Hass would be the difference for Seattle because he is the most experienced qb in the NFCW. Now you say he is the reason for the demise of the Hawks? As If. How about a coach trying to run an NFL team like a college team for one. Carroll isn’t cut out for the NFL. How about the abysmal depth? They suck all over the place. lol. Hass the problem….the whole team is screwed.

  38. @xcman: Re the officiating: as the commentators pointed out, there was a face mask on Matt’s fumble. Instead of an Atalanta Touchdown, it should have been a Seahawks 1st down by 15 yard penalty.

    There were also at least 2 spots on 4th down where it looked to me like an official was being awfully nice to Atlanta.

  39. I’m not saying Hass is the complete problem what I did say is he’s the type of player who needs a strong supporting cast to shine & the Sehawks don’t have that.

    I’m sure there’s been a season somewhere where both the O line & receiving corp were worse then 2010, but I’d have to think really hard to come up with it!

    I’m starting to wonder if we’ve all overrated BMW based on a total of 2 strong games, & other then underutilized possession receiver Stokely the rest of the WR corp is a joke. Tate may be good next year, but for this year they’re pretty awful.

  40. The situation in front of the coaching staff and GM is much harder than just deciding whether to start Whitehurst the next two games. That’s easy.

    They’ll probably start Charlie if he has shown improvement in practice lately. If they don’t start Charlie, that tells you that after watching him in practice for five months they don’t like what they see.

    But next week is not the hard decision. The hard decision will be whether to resign Hass for a few more years or sign some other mature FA QB who becomes available. Not an easy choice since every FA QB who will be made available has flaws, and anyone but Hass will spend a year learning Bates’ offense. The Seahawks will likely draft a young QB to develop, but they will want a veteran presence at QB also. However they work it, this offseason’s decisions could make or break our GM. Its going to be a nail-biter of an offseason.

  41. Yolohawk says:

    Nighthawk,
    Is Rex coaching?

    I too love to see Matt shine, but the pouting fit he has when making a bad throw, and the fact that lay-men like me are left to think it’s always the recievers fault have led me to believe a “pros pro” has seen his day,,, and it’s not alway the way the route is run.

  42. It’s certainly an exaggeration to say that the losses have been all Matt’s fault. There’s a lot of people who share the blame, and most of them, including Coach, have owned up to it.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that Matt’s play has obviously declined since his glory days. He wasn’t playing very well even before he hurt his hand.

    It hasn’t all been his receivers’ or his o-line’s fault either.

  43. I’d thought maybe it was lack of QB/WR continuity between Matt & Hawks receivers, plus lack of a running game that was the biggest reason for Hawks passing offense’s woes this season. Matt has played with Williams, Obo, Stokely & Tate (& Butler ’till today) for most of the season now, but instead of improving, SEA’s passing offense has regressed. The problem is mostly something other than the lack of continuity, and the lack of a run-game, though they still add to the difficulties.

    CW played better despite having almost no game-experience with our WRs. The lack of familiarity between CW & WRs resulted in drops & errant throws (or routes) today. ATL’s secondary was at a disadvantage vs CW because they had little tape to find his problem tendencies. Matt has lotsa tape to expose his problem tendencies. Opposing DB coaches and players have studied Matt’s tendencies and they’ve designed defensive schemes to take advantage of them. Result = picks. I haven’t slowed down the actual films of the plays leading up to the picks and played them back and forth, but only in my mind, and opponents have done it with film. Duke could find them. Morgan at FieldGulls could find them. And most of you all could, too. And so should Matt, CW, Hawks receivers, PC and Bates have found and corrected them, too.

    I think Matt’s main problem is he is a better fit in the short version of Holmgren’s WCO than he is in Bate’s Broncos-style passing offense. Holmgren’s WCO required that the receivers have learned to run their routes perfectly even in their sleep or blindfolded, and the QB is relied on to fit the ball perfectly into tiny windows, knowing that his receiver would be exactly at that spot at an exact moment, hitting them in stride on short throws with the receivers making max YAC. Holmgren’s passing offense needs the QB to know, presnap, not only the protection requirements, but also whether the defense is playing man or zone, and in each, which receiver has the best odds of making the catch. Going through his progression is more like going through a checklist of his presnap reads. Matt’s race-car driver temperment fit’s Holmgren’s short WCO, with the ball often thrown before the receiver breaks. Holmgren’s short-version WCO (unlike his Favre-version WCO) had Matt throw short high-percentage passes to go with a very good run game and a superior OL. Matt took shots downfield mostly when his receivers were uncontested, or the DB had fallen down. Drives usually ate the clock, kept SEA’s defense off the field, and often took a dozen or more plays.

    Bates’ vertical-oriented WCO requires the QB distribute the ball to whomever has the best odds of making the catch for the most yards possible (point-guard analogy). If the receiver is one-on-one with a defender, that’s good enough for Bates to have Matt throw the ball. Bates expects SEA’s receivers to outmuscle their lone defender and come down with the ball. So, Hawks receivers have opportunities on each drive to make big plays, especially when the SS is pulled into the box to defend the run, one of the receivers should be one-on-one. Otherwise, the QB merely has to throw to a spot at about the right time on short routes like come-backs and shallow crosses. The goal of the more frequent long passes is to reduce the number of plays it takes per drive to score. If no downfield receivers are open, the QB hits the outlet receiver for a short gain, or throws the ball away. As much as possible, the QB is to ensure no losses and especially no turnovers. The downfield shots should spread the defense and allow SEA to get back into games quicker if they have fallen behind.

    At least that’s the way it’s sposed to work. Matt looks like he’s pressing – trying to fit the ball into tight windows too far downfield. Something he’s seen Favre do for years, but what Holmgren didn’t let him do in the past. Now maybe Bates seems to be tempting Matt to show that he can make throws like Favre used to. Matt can throw the ball that far, but doesn’t have the velocity to prevent bushwacking DBs from closing and making the pick. Seduced by pride?

  44. jaybrank says:

    I didn’t like Matt’s decision making today. He pressed and tried to do too much. It’s been a trend for the last few games, and PC made the right move to sit him down. Having said that, the OC’s play calling was just as bad. That 1st drive was perfect. I don’t understand why the ‘Hawks went away from those plays/strategy for most of the game. There was no need to do that. Make the defense stop it, then move on to something else.

    I believe Matt will start next week, but he will be on a short leash. He’s got to take what’s there or throw it away. He’s trying to make up for all the team’s deficiencies (which are many) and sometimes it makes things worse.

  45. SandpointHawk says:

    klm008…nice write

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