After the debacle in Seattle against the Cardinals, the Seahawks had a bye week to do some self scouting, dust off the playbooks, work on fixing some problems and get healthy.
Getting healthy was a mixed bag as Seattle got cornerback Marcus Trufant back for the first time this season as well as left guard Rob Sims and linebacker Leroy Hill. At the same time, the Seahawks lost Lofa Tatupu to a torn pectoral for the season and put all universe left tackle Walter Jones on the injured reserve list for 2009. Jones will not play this season at all. Whether he comes back next season is a question mark. Personally, I believe Walter Jones on one leg is better than at least half the left tackles in the league but it’s important that Big Walt gets healthy before deciding if he still has the desire to play or not. With all he has accomplished, there is no doubt he will be in the Hall of Fame so there is nothing he has to prove. It all comes down on his desire and only he will be able to say that. Get well soon Big Walt.
Looking at the score, this game looks like a blowout but once again, the reality is not what the final score would indicate. Seattle was leading early, 3-0, before Dallas scored a touchdown. On Seattle’s next drive, Justin Forsett fumbled, Dallas recovered and scored again to make it 14-3. Some Cowboys, and their fans, thought the rout was on but Seattle brought it with one of the best passes I’ve ever seen from Matt Hasselbeck to Deion Branch to make the score 14-10. Dallas drove but missed a field goal giving the Seahawks the ball with about five minutes left. Seattle had a three and out here with a horrible job blocking on third down that let Cowboys linebacker Brian Carpenter shoot the A gap at the snap and crush Hasselbeck. Dallas took the ball and scored again to make it 21-10 going into the half.
Another Dallas touchdown made it 28-10. Seattle was still feeling good and playing hard when the Seahawks punted to Patrick Crayton. This was the play of the game for me. Crayton caught the ball at his own 18, makes a couple of nice moves and is gone, 82 yards for another touchdown. This was the straw, the dagger, the killer blow for the Seahawks. Down by 18 with a lot of time to play and able to move the ball on Dallas, the Seahawks felt like they were getting somewhere. Not down by 25, this game was essentially over.
1. Hasselbeck to Branch. It was a quick slant from the slot but Hasselbeck threaded the needle perfectly. The Dallas corner never saw it coming, Branch was celebrating the touchdown before the corner saw the ball. Absolutely one of the best passes and catches I’ve ever seen.
2. Julius Jones. His stats were just okay, 15 carries for 56 yards, but compared to last year’s game against the Cowboys, Jones was an All-Star. He ran hard and proved that teams can run on the Cowboys.
3. Offensive Line. The Seahawks are on their fifth string left tackle. The Cowboys dialed up extreme pressure on the Hawks, knowing Hasselbeck is playing hurt with a broken rib. For the most part, the O-line handled it.
1. Offensive line. Dallas had two A-gap sacks. I didn’t see what happened on the second one but on the first, right guard Max Unger let Cowboys linebacker Carpenter just blow by him without laying a hand on him.
2. Late hits on Hasselbeck. I’m the last person to complain about QBs getting hit but Dallas put in several very late hits on Hasselbeck, designed to try and injure him worse than he already is. If it was Tom Brady or Peyton Manning out there, Dallas would have had at least 10 roughing the passer penalties called against them.
3. Pass rush. For the most part, Seattle’s pass rush was pretty lousy. Although they did a good job of mixing it up, the key to bringing pressure is to get to the QB. If you bring an extra man or two, you are putting pressure on the people in coverage and if the rushers get stonewalled, the QB has way too much time to pick the secondary apart.
1. Referees. Okay, maybe this is just me not understanding the rules properly but how is it pass interference when the receiver runs directly into the cornerback? On all three PI calls against Trufant, Miles Austin ran directly into him. Trufant did not grab Austin, did not try and hit him or do anything to warrant a PI call. Of all three calls, the second was the worst. Trufant was in zone coverage. Austin turned into Trufant and ran him over! If this is pass interference, wouldn’t every receiver do this just to get a first down? Seriously, either I do not understand or someone needs to teach the line judge on that side how to call it because that was just ugly. Even worse, all three calls led directly to Dallas touchdowns.
2. Announcers. Dick Stockton and Charles Davis were the absolute worst announcers I’ve heard so far this season. Besides the normal wrong names, they reached new lows when one commented that the Cowboys were used to going deep into the playoffs since Jerry Jones took over. Really? Since when? The Cowboys haven’t won a playoff game in about a million years, right?
3. Slam Dunk. On Miles Austin’s touchdown, he tried to dunk the ball over the goal post. Um, yeah, probably should grow a couple more inches, get some springs for your shoes or try out for the WNBA there Miles.
4. Trash Talking. Dallas is running onto the field late in the 4th quarter. The sideline reporter, whatever her name was, told Stockton and his sidekick that she heard Tony Romo tell his offense to come on, we’ve got another touchdown in us. What happened? Romo was sacked, fumbled the ball, Seattle recovered and scored. Maybe that’s why Dallas can’t win in the playoffs. Romo can’t back up his big words.
At 2-5, Seattle is pretty much out of the mix barring a miracle revival. Then again, with the Detroit Lions coming to the Emerald City, maybe that miracle is closer than we think.