What can you say about this one? Almost as familiar a site for the Seahawks in this Holmgren era. Under two minutes to play in the fourth quarter, game tied, ball inside the opponents 40 — in essence everything you need for winning field goal to go 2-0 in the young season and bam! it’s all washed away with an utterably inexcusable, fundamental gaffe.
With the game tied 20-20, with 1:48 to go on the Cardinal’s 35 yard line with a 1st and 5 play, Matt Hasselbeck dropped back and turned to hand the ball off to Shaun Alexander. The only problem was Alexander wasn’t running to take a hand off. So instead of perhaps a run gaining 2 yards or so, Alexander and Hasselbeck collided and in the ensuing confusion the ball fell to the turf as defenders stormed towards them and took them to the ground.
Well you just can’t put the ball on the ground in NFL especially in a situation like that. Needless to say the Arizona defense recovered the fumble and went on to run into field position and kick the winning field goal to walk away with a lucky 23-20 win, a win that they certainly didn’t deserve to have whether they played well or not.
Make no mistake about it, the Seahawks should have won this football game. It was theirs. Another first down from 1st and 5 on the 35 and the clock is down to 5 and Josh Brown sends all the Arizona fans in the stadium on a long drive home. Wam, bam, thank you mam, just like Brown and co. are so used to doing.
Regardless of coughing up a sure win, the Seahawks are still a football team that has some things to fix. First off, is the first quarter performance. For two straight games the Seahawks offense has been non-existant in the first quarter and basically looking extremely conservative. All of these stupid passes into the flat to Alexander, Strong or Pollard are ridiculous! All they do is gain 2 yards when you should be picking up 5,6 or 7 on first down.
And it’s not just the offense that needs to clean up its game, the defense needs to learn how to stop the run. They caught a break in week 1 when they knocked Cadillac out of the game but if the Bucs would’ve continued their pace the Seahawks would’ve given up a 100 yard rusher and then week 2 they did with Edgerrin James gaining 125 and 1 touchdown. They just need to get bigger up front and control the line of scrimmage better. I don’t think this is an issue of missing assignments as the majority of the problem. Sure there are cases on certain plays where a missed gap assignment causes a longer gain or a missed tackle does, but to me the biggest issue is the defensive tackles giving up too much ground at the point of attack. The Hawks need to get bigger and the sooner the better. Losing Marcus Tubbs hurt big time but why do you cut Russell Davis who is even bigger? Now you’re left with four undersized tackles (in both height and weight) in Rocky Bernard, Chuck Darby, Brandon Mebane and Craig Terrill. Why are we drafting and keeping smaller defensive lineman? It’s not like big defensive tackles who can clog gaps and rush the passer to a decent degree aren’t as readily available. I look around the league and I see countless other teams with guys just like that. So what’s the deal? I don’t know.
Another issue is the offense needs to get better in the red zone but for the most part the issue remains the conservative play calling rather than execution. Just get more aggressive in your gameplan and the Hawks will be fine. We got Cincinnati coming up this week and their defense has as many holes in it as a fucking pomegranate. Let’s air it out and pound Shaun Alexander at a run defense that gave up 215 to a past-his-prime Jamal Lewis!!
Let’s do it Hawks!!!