Monday, September 19, 2005


AP photo -- Elaine Thompson

[for Jeremy's postgame piece, scroll down one post or click here.]

That number 51 is different when you know it's not Anthony Simmons, isn't it? Except Anthony Simmons isn't playing for anybody right now and has a bad wrist. Yes, the man above is Lofa Tatupu. If he keeps going like he has in the first two games, he won't be a reach like he was labeled on draft day.

Here it is, the piece for Week 2. The stuff right under the headings is off the top of my head, and the other stuff is as labeled. The link to the Gamebook is here.

--handled Falcons in first half
--pressure on Michael Vick
--no catches for Alge Crumpler until second half
--Vick had only 35 passing yards at the half
--not much of a running game for Atlanta
--able to eventually establish the run
--Shaun Alexander much better production than last week
--Matt Hasselbeck leaps and bounds better than last week; NO INTERCEPTIONS
--offensive line much much better with protecting Hasselbeck and opening lanes for Alexander
--Joe Jurevicius catches only one ball, but it's a very important one
--another flash of brilliance by Jerramy Stevens on the touchdown catch
--ran a three-minute drill for a touchdown drive to end the first half
--not getting lit too much on third down
--though not able to score in second half, did manage to chew up decent amount of clock

other good times from my notes or the gamebook...
first half
--Rocky Bernard nailed Vick on the third-down play of the first Falcon possession, nearly resulting in an interception
--Ken Hamlin "horse-collared" Vick to end the first quarter, according to Steve Raible, and I did see the play later on a highlight reel...what was the kind of tackle that was made illegal in the offseason?
--Seahawk offense converts two third downs on the first touchdown drive, one of the converting runs is Alexander for 16
--Lofa Tatupu smears Vick on the first play of Atlanta's first possession of the second quarter; Atlanta goes three and out
--on Atlanta's second possession of second quarter, TJ Duckett runs for nine yards on the first play; Duckett and Vick get stood up for no gain on second and third down, and the Falcons punt
--correction, the drive before halftime was a 2:05 drill that started at 2:33
second half
--defense holds Atlanta to field goal after allowing 30-yard bomb to Crumpler and the Hamlin 15-yard facemask on the first play of Atlanta's drive that made it 21-10
--defense forces Atlanta into three and out from midfield after Seattle offense goes three and out
--on the drive in the fourth quarter that ended with the Engram fumble, the Seahawks managed to eat 7:06 of clock with the Falcons down 21-10
--after Vick pulled up with the hamstring on the first-down play late in the fourth quarter, Grant Wistrom added to it, pounding Vick on a first-down pass; Matt Schaub entered the game on the next play
--offense goes three and out with just under four minutes left; third down play had Hasselbeck throwing behind a wide-open Stevens
--last gasp for Falcons; Warrick Dunn stuffed, DD Lewis plows Griffith, then the crowd helps force a false start to force a 3rd-and-13...then Vick sacked on third down by Bryce Fisher
--ball nearly picked on Falcons' last offensive play from scrimmage
--final 11-yard run for Alexander seals the deal

--Leo Araguz, whose only good punt was because a Falcon special teamer mistakenly let it bounce and roll
--the Engram fumble
--three-and-outs by the offense in the second half
--horribly untimely penalties in second half by both sides of the ball
--DBs beaten on a couple of balls that were under/overthrown by Vick and could have gone for a billion yards
--no takeaways by defense
--Alex Bannister having his right clavicle X-rayed during the time and coming back in street clothes
--offense shut out in the second half

other bad stuff from my notes or the gamebook...
first half
--the Brad Finneran non-fumble on the second Falcon possession; I didn't see the video, but if you ask Jeremy, Finneran was on top of another player and therefore not down when he fumbled the ball
--Keith Brookings plowing Hasselbeck on a 3rd-and-7 to kill a promising drive (Josh Brown punt after a fake field goal on fourth down)
--crazy Peter Warrick punt return to the Atlanta 36 negated by an Alex Bannister hold to start the second quarter
--Seahawks hold ball for 11:22 of second quarter
second half
--after a good Alexander run to move the sticks, the first Seahawk drive of the second half stalls
--terrible punt after that first drive, and a 27-yard return too gives Atlanta great field position, leading to a touchdown drive
--Seattle offense goes three and out on their second possession of the half, then Araguz punts 34 yards
--first play after that three and out was a 30-yard bomb to Crumpler AND a major facemask penalty on Hamlin that put the ball on Seattle's 33
--holding backs up Seattle to their 15 after the field goal; Hasselbeck has forever to throw and overthrows a wide-open Jackson on a 2nd-and-7; pass tipped on third-down play; second straight three and out
--on Seattle's last possession of third quarter, Hasselbeck sacked for loss of seven on 2nd-and-3, then Jackson ran before catching a slant pass on third down
--offense penalized four times (25 yards) on first possession of fourth quarter, two straight penalties from the Atlanta 27 took it way out of field-goal range to the Atlanta 42; the possession ended with Engram's fumble
--the 32-yard Vick run that started the Falcons' final touchdown drive that made it 21-18
--Seahawks' fourth quarter time of possession is 10:10 to 4:50
--seven penalties for 59 yards in the half by Seattle
--punted on five of six possessions before game-ending possession; the one that wasn't a punt was a fumble
--Hasselbeck 7-for-15 in second half

They needed this win. Sure, it wasn't the biggest must-win in recent memory. It wasn't any of the three games against the Rams last year. However, the alternative was worse. A loss and an 0-2 record would have made me incredibly glad I'm not in Seattle within KJR airwaves. It would have been an all-out crisis line with endless cries of "same old Seahawks."

Not that they didn't try to be the same old Seahawks in the second half. Like Jeremy alluded to in his post, it'll be inevitable for all Seahawk fans to have the Week 5 game from last year in the backs of their minds whenever they have a fourth-quarter lead. Hell, I had it in my head when they went into halftime with the 21-point lead. The bottom line is that if the Seahawks get any sort of lead, I'm already focused on the worst-case scenario. Why? This is a trained behavior. This is being a fan of Seattle sports. This is nothing new.

From a team perspective, this game is a lot easier to stomach with the Seahawks winning. They bended but didn't break. It would have been unbearable for me going through the next week with this team 0-2. Instead, the Seahawks with a 1-1 record are in a three-way tie for first place. Next week, they face the trendy pick to win the NFC West, the Arizona Cardinals. After getting drubbed in Week 1 by the Giants, the Cardinals never reached the end zone at home against the Rams.

Also from a team perspective, it was an emotional win given the condition of Ray Rhodes, who was in the stadium for the game, though not carrying on with normal duties.

To sum it up, the Seahawks had a very good first half, and damn near took the second half off. If they get up 21-0 on any team, they should stomp on that team and put the victory out of doubt. When that happens, we'll truly know that this team has made some kind of leap, and maybe even the leap.

Next week at the Q, it's the 0-2 Arizona Cardinals, picked by a bunch of media types to win the NFC West. Neil Rackers was the all-star for the Cardinals yesterday, kicking four field goals. Kurt Warner was able to throw for 327 yards and the Cardinals never reached the end zone. They were 4-for-13 on third down. They managed only 82 ground yards. Eight penalties for 72 yards didn't help either. Keep in mind that the Cardinals were at home yesterday.

Also, the Cardinals' new uniforms are terrible.

See you next Sunday. Of course, if you want to wade through Mariner stuff, we've got that throughout the week. Also, the Canucks start preseason play on Wednesday.

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