It’s just a little delayed this year, that’s all. Last year, Seahawks Death Week happened in mid-November, when I was under the erroneous impression that Tim Ruskell would be given a 2-year extension to be given a chance to work with his boy Jim Mora. Guess THAT didn’t work out.
There are two ways we can look at this game:
Scenario #1 – Charlie Whitehurst starts and we lose to the Rams. The game isn’t even close, and the NFL executives breath a sigh of relief, because at least a 7-9 team didn’t win their division. If you choose to believe this, then you might go a step further with me and picture a feverish Roger Goodell squatting over a voodoo doll with a bald head and an 8 on its back, poking him in the left buttock over and over again with a dull needle. I know your game, Goodell. You can’t sneak one over on me (in exchange for a New Orleans Super Bowl win last year, he was given dark, magical powers; don’t say I didn’t warn you).
Scenario #2a – Matt Hasselbeck makes a miraculous recovery and the Seahawks lose because he (and others) play like crap.
Scenario #2b – Matt Hasselbeck makes a miraculous recovery and the Seahawks win a tight game, putting to bed all the complaints about a 7-9 divisional champion because, hell, we just saw the game of the week! Then, the Seahawks go on to host someone in the first round of the playoffs and get their shit kicked in, because hey! We’re not really a playoff team.
At that point, I’ll come in and say that Seahawks Death Week is on Life Support, but for all intents and purposes the season will be brain dead and this will be a Terri Schiavo situation.
So, the question is: are we better or worse than we were last year at this time?
A lot of people are drawing a lot of similarities to the 2009 Seahawks, especially with all the lopsided late-season losses. We’re 2-7 in our last 9 games. We finished 2009 2-6. All of our losses have been by double-digits this season. All but 2 of our losses last year were by double-digits. We’ve averaged 19.6 points per game in 2010; we averaged 17.5 points per game in 2009. We’ve given up 26.7 points per game in 2010; we gave up 24.4 points per game in 2009.
Slightly better on offense? Slightly worse on defense? At least a 1 game improvement due more in part to an easier schedule?
I’d say overall we’re on the right track, but that’s not really saying much. Because ahead of us on that same track you can see the Detroit Lions, who are clearly better than us even though their record doesn’t necessarily reflect that. You’ve also got the Cleveland Browns ahead of us, with a fairly solid defense playing out of their minds, and some good skill players starting to develop. A little further ahead you’ve got the Oakland Raiders, who have everything seemingly locked down except consistent play out of their quarterback (seems to me an ideal spot for one Donovan McNabb). Even further down the right track, you’ve got the Tampa Bay Bucs and even further still the Kansas City Chiefs. All of these teams – like us – were God-awful last season. And all are now further along in their development (KC going so far as to win their division in impressive fashion).
At least we’re not the Redskins, Vikings, Panthers, Bills, Bengals, Broncos, Cardinals, 49ers, or the Dolphins. Those teams, at best, are treading water (seriously Miami, you CAN’T win a home game against the Lions?) and, at worst, are the Redskins with an owner who doesn’t know WHAT the fuck he’s doing.
Simply put, now is the time. We NEED NEED NEED a quarterback of the future. Old Man Hasselbeck has served this team and this community well, but it’s time for him to do what Favre should’ve done five years ago. It’s time for him to walk away with most of his dignity intact. At least Matt never texted his wiener to anyone (that we know of).
If we can somehow lock that guy down – a rookie who shows promise in actual NFL games, a young backup who’s done a little more than be San Diego’s 3rd stringer – then we too will be further along on that right track.
6-10 is a lot easier to swallow when you’ve got an up-and-comer like Bradford or Freeman or Stafford, or hell even McCoy. It’s shitty when you’ve got a guy who needs to retire before he breaks every bone and pulls every muscle in his body out there on the football field.
The 2010 Seahawks everywhere else are a team with promise. Injuries hurt our development along both lines (would’ve been nice to have Unger and Willis and Bryant for full seasons); Earl Thomas will be a defensive ROY candidate; our running backs are pretty spry and our linebackers are pretty lethal. But our quarterback situation is a gasping fish flopping around outside of his bowl. Fix that and I’ll be happy.
Because as so many have shown lately, you can go to the playoffs with a rookie quarterback. We could be right back in this same position next season, only with more hope for the future.