Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Seahawks 27, 49ers 25

There are some days when you remember why, as a Seahawks fan, you are doomed to heart palpitations, high blood pressure, and the need to indulge in a Fat Tire (or two) on various Sunday afternoons.

This was one of those days.

Let's get real here. This wasn't all the fault of the Seahawks. The 49ers started to play extremely well. Ken Dorsey was playing as well as he ever had in the NFL, reminding me why he was an extremely good quarterback at Miami. Brandon Lloyd always seems to turn it on against us. I remember the game (what, 2 years ago?) where he almost singlehandedly kept the Seahawks out of the postseason the last game of the regular season. I thought he would turn into a superstar that day. So did the Niners, who felt that they could get rid of T.O. because they had another #1 receiver in the wings. Well, he has mostly disappointed, but the type of catches he was making on Sunday were unbelievable. Honestly, how many one handed catches can a human being make in one game?

Maurice Hicks found gaping holes and had the speed to take advantage of said holes, running up 83 yards and a TD on only 11 carries.

The whole "winning with backups" notion that some members of the media are playing is ridiculous. Dorsey (18/29, 249 yds, 1 TD) is the best of the three Niner quarterbacks. Hicks could very easily be the best of the three Niner running backs. He is definitely better then Barlow, and could be better then Gore. And Lloyd (7 rec, 119 yds, 1 TD) is the #1 receiver.

Now, honestly, how did those Seahawks play?

Offense:
Matt Hasselbeck - 19/31, 233 yds, 1 TD
Shaun Alexander - 24 att, 115 yds, 2 TD
Bobby Engram - 6 rec, 93 yds
DJ Hackett - 6 rec, 67 yds, 1 TD

This was a story of two halfs (AGAIN!!) for the Seahawks offense, which is why I'm grouping everyone together. The 4th quarter especially was terrible. Look at these lines....

Drive 1:
1-10-SEA36 (14:11) S.Alexander up the middle to SEA 35 for -1 yards (T.Hall, A.Carter).
2-11-SEA35 (13:36) M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete to J.Stevens (B.Moore).
3-11-SEA35 (13:29) M.Hasselbeck pass to J.Jurevicius to SEA 45 for 10 yards (M.Adams). Caught at SEA 44.

So we try Alexander once, lose a yard, have Stevens drop a ball (he dropped a few this game, by the way), and have Jurevicius run a 9 yard route when we needed 11. That's just stupid, and played right into the 49ers hands.

Drive 2:
1-10-SEA41 (10:45) S.Alexander left tackle to SEA 45 for 4 yards (M.Adams).
2-6-SEA45 (10:12) M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete to D.Hackett (B.Thornton).
3-6-SEA45 (10:06) M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete to D.Hackett (J.Peterson).

This drive is even worse from a play-call perspective. We have a 2nd and 6 and don't hand the ball to Alexander again on the possession. That's, frankly, ridiculous. Holmgren needs to reconsider his play-call philosophy at this stage.

Drive 3:
1-10-SEA31 (7:46) S.Alexander up the middle to SEA 33 for 2 yards (B.Moore, R.Fields).
2-8-SEA33 (7:03) M.Morris left end to SEA 38 for 5 yards (M.Douglas).
3-3-SEA38 (6:27) M.Hasselbeck pass incomplete to B.Engram.

Once again we have a 3rd and short. We have been making these with the running game all game long, but once again Holmgren decides to go with the passing game and it doesn't work. Now, obviously, this doesn't all lie with Holmgren, as Hasselbeck was admittably bad in the 4th quarter, bringing to mind the fact that all those 4th quarter comebacks in previous years were the fault of BOTH sides of the football. Sure, the defense couldn't stop them, but the offense couldn't stop the bleeding either.

We need to give the ball to Alexander in these situations. Three times. Again and again. That is our strength, and we need to play off of that. Sure, we can mix in a play-action every now and then, but Shaun needs to be the focus.

Basically, that 4th quarter scared the beejeebers out of me, and I almost blame the offense more then I blame the defense.

Speaking of....

Defense:
Michael Boulware - 7 tackles
LeRoy Hill - 7 tackles, .5 sack
D.D. Lewis - 8 tackles
Lofa Tatupu - 6 tackles, .5 sack
Rocky Bernard - 5 tackles, 2 sacks

Who do I blame in this game?
In no particular order....

Kelly Herndon - Wow. You do play in the NFL, remember? Because that was a terrible performance. You were out of position virtually the entire game.

Marcus Trufant - You did not make me proud to be wearing your jersey. When are you going to wake up and play to your potential? Brandon Lloyd took you behind the shed.

Grant Wistrom - These are not All-Pro tackles you were going up against, yet once again you were nowhere to be found, collecting 4 tackles and no sacks. At some point you have to play to your talent level, unless you are at this point, in which case your contract is absolutely ridiculous.

Ray Rhodes/Josh Marshall - Whatever schemes you came up with for this game really did not work. Whatever in-game changes you came up with during this game really did not work. Basically, nothing you did worked in this game. It took a great play by Rocky Bernard to close this game out, because Morton was wide open in the end zone. Back to the books, guys. Back to the books.

Special Teams:
They suck. Even Brown missed a field goal, albeit a 50+ attempt. Tom Rouen makes my teeth hurt.

Next week is huge against the NY Giants. A win might actually get us some respect in the eyes of the pundits the way that Chicago's win over Carolina is, all of a sudden, vaulting them into "Best Team in the NFC" category.

We need to get to Eli early and often. I am fine to let Tiki roam a little, because it now seems like the Giants rise and fall on Eli's shoulders. Their defense is playing well, but this is not a great team on the road, and we need to take advantage of that.

Early Happy Thanksgiving to all!

posted by colin_hesse @ 2:57 PM  0 comments

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