Why People Are Calling For Matt Hasselbeck’s Head

or:

Why ARE People Calling For Matt Hasselbeck’s Head?

Well, for one, the offense stinks!  We’ve scored 6 touchdowns on offense in 4 games (not counting kickoff returns).  The telling number for why there’s discontent (aside from that brutal loss to the Rams) is that 3 of those touchdowns were achieved on drives of 7 plays or more.  1 TD in the first game was set up by a turnover; another TD in the Denver game came off of a 22-yard drive, and another TD in the San Diego game was set up by a turnover.

Anyone can score a touchdown in the NFL if they don’t have to go the majority of the length of the field.

There have been 12 3-and-outs in the first four games.  We’re also looking at 6 interceptions and a fumble from our starting quarterback.  That’s 19 possessions right there; 19 of the most frustrating possessions you can have in the NFL.

Overall, we’ve punted 19 times, turned it over 7 times, turned it over on downs another 3 times, had the ball at the end of a half 5 times (without scoring), and fell to a safety once.  That accounts for 35 possessions out of a total of 45 where we came away with 0 points (there’s a slim margin for error here, as I’m getting these figures from ESPN and don’t know how exact these figures are; but go with me on this).

Now, I don’t know what the league average is, but we’re scoring on something like 22% of our possessions.  And that number goes down significantly when you factor out scoring drives made easier thanks to our defense getting turnovers.

I’m not saying I agree with the people who want to see Charlie Whitehurst get a shot.  But that’s probably one reason.

I do find it odd, though, that Hasselbeck’s career with the Seahawks – one that will certainly find him in our Ring Of Honor, going down as the best quarterback in franchise history – will be bookended by fans chanting for his backup to replace him.

Remember those woebegone days where Trent Dilfer infected all of our lives with his sub-adequate quarterbacking play?  Remember at the turn of the century when fans in Husky Stadium – our temporary home as Qwest Field was being built – literally called for Dilfer’s presence in our starting lineup (causing coach Holmgren to lash out in a rare display of displeasure with the 12th Man)?

Remember how we WEREN’T all that much better with Dilfer under center, even though his record spoke otherwise (I would submit he played inferior opponents on the games he happened to start, but I don’t have the proof in front of me)?  Remember how Dilfer got hurt and Hasselbeck finished off one of those seasons in hot fashion, never relinquishing his status as starter thereafter?

Those chants are only going to get louder as the season continues and the offense continues to sputter.  Truth be told, the only reason we haven’t heard anything like this the last two years was because Hasselbeck got hurt and we all got to see what his replacement could do (turns out:  not much).

So, why?  Why would fans want Whitehurst?  I mean, after all, we’re all intelligent human beings.  We can see that Whitehurst is a raw, unpolished arm who hasn’t played in a meaningful game … since college?  We HAVE to know that our best chance at winning right now is with Hasselbeck under center.

Maybe that’s it.  Maybe the fans are ready to give up on a season that sees us at 2-2 with a share of the division lead (in a very winnable division, I might add).  Maybe the fans look at the Seahawks play, see a team they know without a doubt – even if the ‘Hawks DID make the playoffs – will never contend this year, and would rather take this opportunity to give a young man a shot.  I can’t argue with that, I guess.  I would say that there’s still time to give up on this season later, when circumstances dictate (instead of now, when things are up in the air).  After all, a playoff appearance – even if we’re overmatched – is still better than no playoffs at all.

I imagine part of the discontent with Hasselbeck is with his being injury-prone the last couple years.  If that’s the case, then why don’t you wait a while; surely he’ll get injured again this year!

And probably some people just want change for change’s sake.  They’re tired of watching a guy they believe is on the down-side of his career; they want to see someone new.  Even if Someone New is worse, would play worse, and make our team worse.  At least it’s different.  And so what if he’s not ready.

I’ve said it before and I’ll continue saying it until they make a change:  I DON’T think they should make a change.  You can’t ignore the futility of this offense though.  It’s not just losing to the Rams, it’s a consistent failure throughout the first four games of sustaining drives and keeping the other team off the field.  Our defense has been tremendous; they’ve done everything you could possibly ask of them, including generating turnovers to make it easier on our beleaguered offense.  But, you can’t hang your hat on turnovers.  You can’t hang your hat on special teams.  You need to be able to do it yourself, on offense, going 80 yards on 8 plays, moving the chains, and punching it across that goalline when you get it down there.

Matt Hasselbeck’s a big reason why we’re NOT doing that.  But, I contend he – along with everyone else – will turn it around if given the chance.  Don’t make me look like a jackass, Seahawks Offense!

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