Monday, September 12, 2005


Reuters photo -- Joe Skipper

[for Jeremy's quick take on the game, scroll down a post or click here if you're wading through the archive]

Since I won't be in the Seattle market this year (no guaranteed local telecasts), and since I'll be in two different places for parts of the football season (no sense getting Sunday Ticket if I won't be at my place for five months and it'd probably be weird taking a laptop to a bar), there's no way I can count on video feed for every Seahawk game this season. Through pure luck, they did air Seahawks/Jaguars in the Hawaii market, so I was able to watch it, though I didn't want to go crazy with the game posts like last year because I knew there'd be no way I'd be able to keep that up.

So, I start with a completely different format. I have no idea if it'll hold up, but here it is for now.

Off the top of my head, and what's apparent from the NFL.com gamebook...

-- much less dropped balls
-- two third-down stops in the red zone by the defense (from the 5 and the 11)
-- other third-down defensive stops from the 23, 25 (missed field goal), 39, and 23
-- sacks from Marcus Trufant, Bryce Fisher, and Rocky Bernard (helmet loss on the play)
-- less getting torched on jump balls like games in the past that I remember in Minnesota or Baltimore
-- Shaun Alexander busting the 36-yard run on the touchdown drive

In my abbreviated game notes...
-- Grant Wistrom bulldozed Byron Leftwich into a bad throw on 3rd-and-10 on the ensuing possession after the Seahawks' first touchdown
-- with the ball on the Seattle 33 after the first Hasselbeck pick, the defense allows a nine-yard run, then holds the Jags on 2nd-and-1 and 3rd-and-1, forcing a missed field goal
-- Shaun Alexander's 36 yard run was great...he was huge on that touchdown drive right before the half
-- Jordan Babineaux plowed Pearman on a kickoff
-- Marcus Trufant forced a Leftwich fumble, but it was recovered by the tri-state area's favorite son, Kyle Brady
-- somehow the defense held the Jags to a field goal after the idiotic Hasselbeck pick in the fourth quarter; that drive started at the 15
-- Jerramy Stevens moved the sticks on the 3rd-and-13 play on the final drive

-- last three possessions ended in an interception, fumble, and an interception
-- trouble establishing the run until the touchdown drive right before halftime
-- Matt Hasselbeck throwing three picks and fumbling once
-- that play where the interception was caught with the Deon Grant's left foot out of bounds
-- third quarter time of possession...Jacksonville 11:55, Seattle 3:05
-- Jimmy Smith grabbing the ball out of Marcus Trufant's hands in the left sideline of the end zone
-- Jimmy Smith in general
-- would Itula Mili have been able to make a difference?
-- would Ray Rhodes in the stadium have made a difference?
-- Hasselbeck hurried and hit a lot; how good do you feel about this offensive line?
-- sure, there were third-down stops, but the defense managed zero takeaways
-- I hate when trick plays work against my team; end around, fake end around, I don't care
-- that tipped ball that went to Greg Wrighster? That kind of crap only happens to Seattle teams

In my abbreviated game notes...
-- how could I forget Josh Scobey's fumble on the opening kickoff?
-- the Jaguars threw at will on the first drive until the defense stopped them on 3rd-and-1
-- first possession collapsed after two first-down passes to Darrell Jackson
-- defense blew a 3rd-and-7 after a false-start penalty
-- first decent running play didn't come until the second set of downs in the third possession on a Shaun Alexander 10-yard draw
-- first Hasselbeck interception had Bobby Engram with three Jaguars around him
-- offense goes three-and-out after Jacksonville misses the field goal, with Alex Bannister unable to catch a third-down ball at his shoulders
-- I don't care what anyone says, the Jags ran the play clock past zero before the play where Smith caught the 45-yard pass
-- Smith catches a 35-yard touchdown on the play right after the Rocky Bernard sack...I have "defensive confusion" in my notes
-- first Jacksonville drive after the half, Chuck Darby encroached on 3rd-and-3...that drive ended in a touchdown about five minutes later
-- that drive included Greg Jones running over Andre Dyson for a first down, then the tipped ball to Wrighster for 27 yards
-- Hasselbeck delay of game on a 3rd-and-15 play, first possession of fourth quarter, down 20-14
-- after defense stalls a Jag drive near midfield, Hasselbeck throws the braindead pick on the first play
-- then there was Hasselbeck getting steamrolled and fumbling
-- Hasselbeck picked one last time on the final drive, which reeked of the final drive last year in New England and wouldn't have made a difference even if they scored a touchdown on it
-- I mean, they could have scored a touchdown, but plays like the Dallas on-side kick on Monday night last year NEVER GO THE SEAHAWKS' WAY

Well, I don't know exactly what to say about this game or this team, but I'll try to say something, and it might rehash the above, I have no idea.

I'm glad there were less drops and I'm glad the defense could get off the field every once in a while on third down (Jacksonville was 4-for-13 on third down). I'm not glad that Josh Scobey coughed up the good field position and set the tone for the entire game with that fumble on the opening kickoff. That wasn't Trent-Dilfer-getting-injured-in-the-first-possession-of-a-preseason-game bad, but it was still a bad omen and a tonesetter. The passing game ran lukewarm and cold, and Hasselbeck wasn't totally sharp, and his decisionmaking was horrible on the picks. On the other hand, there were some instances where the pass protection suffered massive breakdowns and allowed guys to get to Hasselbeck nearly unimpeded. Coming into this game, everyone was unsure of how the defense was going to perform, but coming out of it, I'm unsure about this offensive line. Is the Jacksonville front seven just that good, or is the Seattle offensive line just worse than we thought? I thought the latter when Chris Gray drew that false start penalty. Sure glad we kept him. Of course, if the offensive line was suspect, that didn't help the running game either. Alexander was a big factor only on the one touchdown drive, and the rest of the time holes were closing up on him very quickly or he danced around too much, and the latter isn't the line's fault.

I wish Itula Mili would have been available.

Well, there goes Week 1. Jeremy will say it again if he hasn't already, but the Seahawks can't afford an 0-2 start. Too bad they have to wrestle a win from Ron Mexico and the Atlanta Falcons to do that.

It's bad when the only solace a Seahawk fan can take after Week 1 is that the Rams lost and the Cardinals got the crap pounded out of them, but that's what we have to do this week. Just tell yourself that the Vikings got beat and the Broncos got smeared too. Maybe that'll elicit a smile from someone.

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