Matt Hasselbeck - Tolja So Dept.

I/O:  Seahawks Nation marvelling over 'the difference that Matt Hasselbeck makes in this offense'.

CRUNCH:  It is important not to think of Matt Hasselbeck as Player X in Offense Y. 

Hasselbeck is an NFL offense.  As we noted here, before the season started, Hasselbeck's ability has been camoflaged for two years, but he is one of half-a-dozen NFL QB's who have "solved" football.

Put ten average (not below-average) vanilla players around Matt Hasselbeck, and you have a contending-quality NFL offense.


I/O:  The Seahawks score 41 points with a left tackle they called at about 11:30 a.m. the day of the game.

CRUNCH:  See paragraph one.  This is also because of Matt Hasselbeck.  Seneca Wallace might have been killed, or at least maimed, by the Jaguars.


My first heroes were the 1971-72 New York Jets, and then switched over to the 1973-78 Dolphins, before getting into the Seahawks.  We're old enough to have seen the game go through several evolutions.

People think that the modern NFL offense originated with Bill Walsh, but actually it was invented by Don Coryell.   He was the one who first asked, "Hey, what if you just take a 3-step drop and throw the ball?  BOOM!  You don't get sacked that way."


Dan Fouts was a master of this flag-football, 7-yard slant game, and it was eventually perfected by Dan Marino.   Marino in 1986 was sacked only 17 times, and then in 1987 was sacked only 9 times, and in 1988 was sacked a grand total of 6 (!!) times the entire season.

People thought it was quick release, as though the 0.1 seconds difference in windup was the key.  (Imagine the knockdown totals if release speed were the difference!)  Actually it was Dan's feel for the rush and ability to find receivers early in the play.


QB's like Fouts, Marino, and now Hasselbeck are entire self-contained offenses unto themselves.  They make the pass rush practically obsolete.

Mike Holmgren, in my view, handcuffed Hasselbeck by wedging Hass into his own preconceived notions.  But Mora has the flexibility of humility, and is willing to script to Hasselbeck's strengths (e.g., his ability to find receivers, and to adapt to breakdowns, earlier than other QB's can).

Hasselbeck has been sacked 2 times in 3 games.  I'll be surprised if he's sacked more than about 15-18 times the rest of the year.


I/O:  Hasselbeck's yards-per-pass up from 5.8 last year, to 7.3 this year.

CRUNCH:  based in large part on yards after the catch.

Branch and Houshmandzadeh are capable of yards after the catch, and of course Burleson is one of the league's best at it.

Again, given the ability to flow with the game, Hass will be able to get his receivers the ball with more space (than under Holmgren).  That doesn't mean a breakaway every time, but it can mean a breakaway run once or twice a game.


I/O:  Seahawks 8th in points, 13th in yards, despite injuries to LT Walter Jones, LG Ron Sims, RT Sean Locklear, and 16 different left tackles.

CRUNCH:  See above.  This is an awfully good time to have a QB who makes the offensive line obsolete.*


I/O:  Seahawks -3 Arizona.

CRUNCH:  The Seahawks' Pythagorean record is 3.5 - 1.5, their defense is having fun, and right now the Seahawks are one of the 10 best teams in the league.

Warner has been hot too, and we have common opponents to go on (SF, Indy, and Jax).   Based on the 372 yards that Arizona gave up against Jax, and the way the Hawks' defense is playing right now, I'd give the Cardinals 3 points on a neutral field.

In Qwest, I'd make the Seahawks 2:1 faves.


Dr D


blissedj's picture

You just had to go and remind me of some of those horrilbe losses to SD. Joiner. Jefferson. Winslow. And their defense always seemed to play their best games of the year against the Hawks. Chargers were a real thorn in the side for several years...
I thought the Hawks worst game ever was against the Chargers, but then decided maybe it was the Rams instead. Checked football reference to be sure. Remember this one?
Back to 2009, it's amazing how Seattle is a playoff team with Hass and picking top 5 without him. I can no longer watch if he isn't playing (that and 2 young boys keep me away from a fulll 3 1/2 hour mid-day sitdown at the t.v.).


Remember Louie Kelcher, Fred Dean, Gary Johnson and da crew?
They'd line up before the game, "He my man.  He your man.  He your man.  Now, take 'em out."  And they'd take out the Seahawks...

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