Of The Day: With eight minutes remaining in the game, Seneca Wallace
hit Nate Burleson on a short pass near the right hashmark.
Burleson proceeded to juke DB Chris Houston out his shoes and outran the rest
of the Atlanta secondary to the end
zone to cut the Falcons lead to 7.
to the Standouts:
Josh Brown enjoyed his finest game of the season booting two 50+ yard field
goals, getting all but one of his kickoffs to the two yard line or deeper
and making two touchdown saving tackles on kick coverage, the second of which
featuring him tacking the correct angle and running down Falcons return man
Adam Jennings from the other side of the field.
Maurice Morris, Shaun Alexander and
Leonard Weaver all had success on the ground, finishing the game with a combined
156 yards and two touchdowns. Special credit goes the the offensive line for actually opening holes for the backs
to run through. Better late than never!
Nate Burleson caught two touchdown
passes including the aforementioned "Play of the Day" and had over
100 yards receiving in his best day as wideout for the Seahawks.
That Made Me Go "Blech": Lofa Tatupu's total failure to wrap up Alge Crumpler allowed the
big TE to careen off of Tatupu's failed tackle right past Brian Russell and
rumble 55 yards for a touchdown.
Seneca Wallace's two consecutive turnovers
on two consecutive touches gave the ball to the Falcons twice inside
the Seattle 20 yard line. On
the first turnover, Wallace went to scramble from the pocket holding the football
like the proverbial loaf of bread and was, predictably, relieved of possession
of the ball. As a guy who has played more wide receiver than quarterback
this season, Seneca should know better.
The Seattle kickoff coverage team was poor to begin with, but without Niko
Koutouvides, they were frighteningly bad. It's a miracle (and thanks
to Josh Brown!) that the Falcons didn't return a kickoff for a score or two
during the game.
Matt Hasselbeck ran backwards thirty
yards before attempting to throw the ball away and failed to get the ball
anywhere near the line of scrimmage resulting in an intentional grounding
penalty. On the ensuing 3rd and 40, he was stripped of the ball and
the Falcons recovered deep in Seattle
Offense: Matt Hasselbeck played a solid
first half of football finishing the afternoon 15-25 for 147 yards, a touchdown,
a fumble and no interceptions. Most of Hasselbeck's incompletes were
throwaways, which demonstrates good decision-making
by a veteran who has been known to push the ball into coverages at times.
Seneca Wallace enjoyed a feast or famine type game in relief of Matt in the
second half, completing 17 of 22 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns,
but also being responsible for turning the ball over deep in Seahawks territory
twice that led directly to 14 points for the Falcons.
offensive line did a better job run blocking then they have in the pass despite
having Walter Jones on the bench for the game. On the other hand, the
pass blocking left much to be desired with Hasselbeck forced from the pocket
with alarming regularity.
running backs all enjoyed solid outings with Shaun Alexander showing more
burst to the outside than he's shown all season. Maurice Morris turned
in a solid performance rushing for 91 yards and a score, and Leonard Weaver
had a breakout game, rushing for 34 yards on 8 carries, including making all
of his third and short runs. Weaver also caught 6 passes for 34 yards
and did a great job at picking up blitzes in the backfield.
Seahawks caught passes in the game led by Nate Burleson who snagged 7 passes
for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Bobby Engram continued his best season
as a pro, snagging another four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown. In
the "Sight For Sore Eyes" category, D.J. Hackett contributed four
catches while matched up against DeAngelo Hall for most of his snaps.
Both Will Heller and Marcus Pollard contributed important catches from the
tight end position, including a key fourth down conversion by Pollard.
Defense: The first team defense played
well with the major exception of Craig Terril who
demonstrated why Rocky Bernard may just be the most underrated piece of the
Seahawks defensive puzzle. Terril was swallowed
up at the point of attack all game long allowing the Falcons to exploit the
middle of the line all day long. The front seven managed to generate
solid pressure off of the edges for most the game despite only registering
two sacks on the day.
Tatupu's one missed tackle, the linebackers played well and Leroy Hill in
particular had a banner day racking up five tackles including several key
run stuffs, not the least of which was tackle for a loss on a 4th and one
in the second quarter.
Special Teams: On one hand there was the solid kicking game of
Josh Brown, and on the other was the atrocious kick coverage game of his 10
teammates. Seattle gave up
massive chunks of yards on every kickoff. Punter Ryan Plackemeier continues
to be below average on his distance, although his placement has improved.
Nate Burleson and Josh Wilson did a very good job in handing the return duties
although Burleson will have to answer for his bonehead offsides penalty on
what would have been a successful onsides kick at the end of the game.
The Golden Microphone
Meyers and Jason Sehorn were the booth crew for
the game and despite a fine job done by Meyers, Jason Sehorn
couldn't keep his foot out of his mouth long enough to make the broadcast
enjoyable. Between calling players by the wrong names ("Matt"
Morris??) and missing calls (crediting the Seahawks receivers for good
downfield blocking during a replay that showed nary a block to be found),
Sehorn has a long way to go before he's ready for prime time
as an analyst.
Still, even he was upstaged by the horribly inept direction from the truck.
No fewer than three snaps were missed due to either not getting back from
commercials in time or because we were being treated to a FOX Promo.
Several important plays were not shown on replays and to cap it all off, the
game was not shown in HD. So for the second time this season, the FOX
technical crew has earned a Golden Microphone Award. Maybe next year
we could hire some people who actually enjoy football to work the games?
Notes: WR Courtney Taylor caught only
two passes on Sunday, but on each reception he fought hard for extra yards,
showing the kind of tenacity that will keep Taylor on the team despite having 4 starting caliber guys in front
of him on the depth chart.
During the Falcons first possession,
Kelly Jennings had absolutely perfect coverage on Joe Horn on a 2nd and 12
was running down the sideline with Horn stride for stride and easily knocked
the ball away from Horn. The Falcons would be unable to convert the
third and long that followed and would have to punt.
Kudos to Mike Holmgren
for not getting fancy on the 3rd and short plays and running directly at the
Falcons defense ... and converting them all.
what amounted to a "preseason for the postseason game" for the Seahawks,
the team walked away without any major injuries and valuable snaps for the
second string on offense and defense. Sure a win would have been nice,
but the team showed enough on both sides of the ball for the game to be considered
a positive experience.
The January Postseason in Seattle
tradition continues, as the red-hot
Redskins come to town. .
is a die-hard Seahawks fan trapped in Eagles Country and firmly believes that
"Live At Leeds" is the single greatest live performance since a deaf Ludwig
Van debuted his final symphony in Vienna in 1824. You can e-mail Dylan at NJSeahawksFan@gmail.com.