Sunday, September 24, 2006


AP photo -- Ted S. Warren

I'll add to this later [later came at 2:21a Monday morning] since I have other pressing needs to get to throughout the rest of the day.

I said last week that the Seahawk receivers needed to cut down on the drops this week and that the defense needed to cut down on the third-down conversions. The third-down thing was more than snuffed (the Giants finished 2-for-9) and the drops were severely cut down, with the only ones I can remember offhand being one to Nate Burleson (who was actually a factor today) and a short one to Mack Strong with about a three-yard cushion.

What do they take away from this? Well, the running game still needs to get going.

But the obvious thing?

They need to play SIXTY MINUTES of football, NOT forty-five. I said it in the thread, and I'll say it again: things like Week 5 against the Rams in 2004 need to stay in the past and never ever come back.

I'll add to this later now...

I don't have anything really thought out in terms of layout or outline or structure, so I'm just going to riff...

--- Deion Branch played and though he only caught two passes for 23 yards, you could see the impact he already has on the offense. People have brought it up already, but the Seahawks have a whole new facet to their offense with the four-wide/single-back sets they can throw out there now. Branch got eight yards on that end-around play. Anyway, something different with the offense is something the Seahawks can really use in future weeks, starting in a big way with next week.

--- Branch was in, and Chris Cooper was cut to make roster room for him. That meant DJ Hackett stayed, which I was happy about, but Hackett is still the odd man out. Hackett was on the list of inactives for the game. I'm really glad the Seahawks didn't cut Hackett though. He might not play, though I'll still want him on the team. The obvious thing is that the Seahawks have a receiver like Hackett, and he wasn't even active for the game...which means the depth at wide receiver on this team is now incredible. That and the Seahawks are still well aware of Darrell Jackson's proclivity for injury.

--- Nate Burleson, welcome to Seattle. The Seahawks' home opener was last week, but Burleson's real homecoming on the field was in this game. He had one pretty icky drop, but for now I'll take the four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. That's even with a messed-up thumb that very few people knew about.

--- What happens when Jerramy Stevens comes back? If Hasselbeck has all these receivers and Stevens or Itula Mili as targets at tight end, sheesh. That was Will Heller out there catching three passes for 28 yards and a touchdown. Do we call him this year's Ryan Hannam?

--- The running game averaged 2.6 yards a carry. Shaun Alexander got 20 carries for 47 yards (though he did have two catches for 12 yards), and he's still got that sore foot. Despite the low per-carry yardage, what good comes out of the running game? Well...

--- That third-quarter drive was truly a thing of beauty. The Seahawks marched from their own 30-yard line and marched to the end zone in 17 plays (with the aid of only one Giant penalty) and ate up an incredible 9:58 of clock en route to increasing their lead to 42-3. I know they've got 13 games to go and everything, and I don't want to say this drive might be the best they have all year, but...this drive might be the best one they'll have all year. Other future drives might be good, but they'll be good in different ways.

--- A key thing to that third-quarter drive was that 11 of the 17 plays were running plays. In the first half, the offense threw 24 times and ran 17 times. I might be reading into it too much or drawing crazy conclusions, and I do know the game seemingly got out of reach somewhere late in the second quarter, but Mike Holmgren never abandoned the running game.

--- People in the national media were buying the Steve Hutchinson departure thing as a reason the offense hadn't clicked. I think I even heard Mark Schlereth last week say Hutchinson was "the embodiment of the offensive line" as a Seahawk (I say bullcrap since there's this guy named Walter Jones). I think Hutchinson departure argument might only be valid when talking about the running game, which hasn't taken off yet. Floyd Womack got injured last week, and Chris Spencer was plugged in at left guard. In the second quarter, Chris Gray left the game with a left knee sprain and rookie Rob Sims was plugged into the line as well. Quick, how many times was Matt Hasselbeck sacked in this game? It's the same number as the number of times I'll be watching the just-added reruns of Scrubs on Comedy Central. It's also the same number of times I sat through reruns of Sports Night too. Bring back the Saturday Night Live and Kids in the Hall reruns, stat. The only time Hasselbeck was close to getting hit was when his arm was batted on the Fred Robbins interception.

--- The Giants might be thinking of running a no-huddle offense, though they have two weeks to think about it (along with the New York media) before they host the Redskins in Week 5. From what we saw in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks might have one week to think about how to defend against the no-huddle offense. Of course, if it happened next week, it'd be against a Rex Grossman-led offense. The Chicago offense is doing some things this year, but all told, they still make their bread and butter with their defense. Rex Grossman is also Rex Grossman, and he doesn't have a lot of NFL starts under his belt. I have a feeling Grossman might be on the way to a season like Jake Plummer had last year. Plummer rediscovered himself in the AFC title game.

--- Before that third quarter, the Seahawk defense was simply on fire. Ken Hamlin picked Eli Manning twice, and Michael Boulware chipped in with a pick as well. Marcus Trufant forced the Plaxico Burress fumble that Leroy Hill recovered.

--- The success of the Seahawk defense in this game isn't something that can be measured in sacks, though Darryl Tapp had a bigtime sack for the second straight week (also the their only sack of the day). The Seahawks had the ball for 38 minutes to the Giants' 22. Though the Giants' defense watched the Seahawks' third-quarter possession for 9:58, the Seahawks also had the ball for a combined 9:58 in the second quarter as well. Nonetheless, Lofa Tatupu had six tackles and a pass defensed, Trufant had five tackles and the forced fumble, Jordan Babineaux had four tackles and three assists, and Boulware had the four tackles, two assists, the interception, and two passes defensed. Hamlin had three tackles, an assist, the two picks, and two passes defensed.

--- The only good thing that can come out of the fourth-quarter ickiness by the defense is that it'll eat at them all week and hopefully they'll come out ticked off next week. You can bet Tatupu is ticked off about all of it. Look no further than this for proof.

That's it for now. I still have the game notes, and I'll get to the drive-by-drive stuff hopefully sooner than I did last week.

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