Matt Hasselbeck sure played like shit, didn’t he? More and more, he’s starting to resemble Dave Krieg at the end of his run. Which is sad, but means that he makes dumb mistakes, looks battered and beaten in the pocket, and gets yanked from games like he was yesterday. Unfortunately, it also means the fans boo and start chanting the name of the backup.
What is there to say? The Falcons are methodical and balanced. They have a sound, up-and-coming quarterback. They have a quality running back with a good offensive line. And they’ve got leadership up and down keeping the talented youth in check. Everything about that team screams fundamental and Super Bowl-bound.
On the flipside, Mike Williams came back. We found out John Carlson is alive (1 catch for 31 yards). And our rush defense is insanely better when we have both Cole and Mebane in the lineup.
But, this game was all about our quarterback. Beleaguered doesn’t even begin to describe what’s going on with Hasselbeck. He made a horrendous throw that looked like the defender was running the intended route; he tried to lodge another one in traffic that was tipped and also picked off; and that fumble in the end zone is probably the most unforgivable thing I’ve ever seen him do. I mean, I can’t possibly imagine what he was thinking – that he was going to elude the grasp of a 300 pound lineman who was right on top of him? – but that’s not even a rookie mistake. That’s a Brett Favre-ian mistake. And I don’t know anyone who’s as less-liked than Brett Favre.
Which is why I was glad to see Football Jesus get his chance. He didn’t look horrible, he led us on a touchdown drive when things were already out of hand, and that touch pass on the 2-point conversion was about as pretty a play as you’ll see.
I say: Fuck it. Let him start in Tampa. Give Hasselbeck a chance to think things over. I mean, Christ, he’s thrown 10 interceptions in the last 4 games! You can’t reward that kind of play with continued play! I don’t care what kind of a nice, stand-up guy he is; I don’t care if he’s fundamentally better right now than Whitehurst … you can’t fall back on the line, “He gives us the best chance to win.” Because, right now, the way he’s playing, he DOESN’T give us the best chance to win.
Pete Carroll already threw Whitehurst under the bus when he started him in that Giants game – a completely un-winnable situation where he never had a chance to succeed. Pete Carroll should turn around and give him one more chance, in a very winnable situation against the Bucs – who are hurting and falling off the map at a rapid pace.
“Earn Everything” is the catch-phrase our coach loves to use. Well, Hasselbeck hasn’t earned squat the last four weeks and he deserves a 1-game benching. It’s only fair.
(and then you put Hasselbeck right back in the starting lineup for the all-important Week 17 game against the Rams; because I don’t want to miss this chance to go to the playoffs because we got Whitehurst’d).