SMQB: Seahawks 35, Redskins 14

SMQB: Seahawks 35, Redskins 14

The Seahawks won their fourth straight post-season game at Qwest Field and they did it with a dominant defensive effort. Every layer of the defense played solid ball for sixty minutes and bailed out a mediocre offensive performance. 

Seattle Seahawks 35, Washington Redskins 14
Saturday, January 4, 2007
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Play Of The Day:  With just over five and half minutes remaining in the game and the Seahawks leading by 7, Marcus Trufant fielded a Todd Collins heave-ho and returned the ball 78 yards to the house to spot the Seahawks a double digit lead, and effectively put the game on ice.  Special credit goes out to Santana Moss who made absolutely no effort to tackle Trufant after the interception.

Handouts to the StandoutsPatrick Kerney was a one man wrecking crew blowing up double and triple teams to be a constant presence in the Washington backfield.  Kerney's Herculean efforts allowed role players like Howard Green and Craig Terrill to make big plays in the middle of the field.

Leroy Hill was a force of nature at the linebacker position absolutely steamrolling FB Mike "Pump Up The Volume" Sellers on his way to collecting one of the Seahawks four sacks on the night.  In addition, Hill made his usual big impact plays in the running game.

Marcus Trufant not only made the play of the day, he also made several other huge plays in coverage, not the least of which was knocking down a Todd Collins pass to Santana Moss on 4th down.

Things That Made Me Go "Blech":  How in the world do you allow a team to recover a 60-yard kickoff?

Mike Holmgren displayed more questionable clock management skills by allowing too much time to elapse at the end of a second down play at the end of the first half before calling a timeout.  If he'd been a bit quicker on the trigger finger, the Seahawks might have been able to kick a last second field goal that would have put Seattle up by 17 heading into halftime.

Offense:  The Seattle offense sputtered most of the game, racking up five 3 and outs and punting the ball seven times.  Still when the team needed it the most, Matt Hasselbeck came through, completing a 20 yard touchdown pass to D.J. Hackett to retake the lead early in the fourth quarter.  Hasselbeck finished the game 20-32 for 229 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.  Both picks were on long throws forced into tight coverage. 

The Seahawks remained true to their pass first philosophy only rushing the ball on occasion to keep the Redskins defense honest.  Even so, Leonard Weaver managed to score on a beautiful first-quarter draw play from 18 yards out.  Once Weaver hit the secondary, he outran the Redskin linebackers and safeties to the corner of the end zone.  The Hydrant has wheels, folks.

The much-maligned offensive line played a solid game, surrendering just one sack on play where Matt Hasselbeck held the ball waaaay too long in the pocket, and managing to at least hold the line on running plays.

In general, the play of the offense was substandard by Seahawks standards although they came through when they had to have it.  Still, one hopes for a bit more consistency from the unit in the hostile confines of Lambeau Field next weekend.

Defense:  The Seattle Defense was rock solid in all facets of the game.  Marcus Trufant and Jordan Babineaux both returned interceptions for touchdowns, and Patrick Kerney was simply a force of nature at defensive end.  Julian Peterson, Lofa Tatupu and Leroy Hill all registered tackles for losses in the running game, and Peterson and Hill both contributed one sack each to the teams 4-sack total.  Things looked like they might be unraveling when, for reasons only known to him, John Marshall called off the dogs to start the second half and defense immediately surrendered two touchdowns.  But soon the blitzes were back on, Todd Collins was taken out of his comfort zone, and two game icing interceptions would follow.  One hopes that Marshall has learned that in the postseason, you don't take your foot off of the gas, and you certainly don't want to change a defensive scheme that has held your opponent to 2.9 yards per play and zero points at halftime.

Special Teams:  The kicking game was fantastic, with Josh Brown knocking both of his field goal attempts through the uprights, one from 50 yards out.  Ryan Plackemeier may not have the strongest leg in the NFL, but his well placed short kicks kept the Redskins pinned back deep in their own territory more often than not.  Nate Burleson did a fine job in the return game, but once again, the Seahawks kickoff coverage was poor at best.  Late in the second half, only an illegal block in the back penalty against Washington kept the Redskins from starting with the ball in Seahawks territory.  It's only a matter of time before somebody returns a big one.

The Golden Microphone Award:  Kudos to Tom Hammond and Cris Collinsworth who offered up the best booth coverage of Seahawks game in the 2007-2008 season to date.  One has to wonder why Hammond is relegated to "B Team" status on a network that usually only broadcasts one game a week.  Collinsworth resisted the urge to swap war stories as he's been prone to due when matched up with Bryant Gumbel and offered accurate and unbiased analysis throughout the game.  In addition, NBC didn't miss one snap of the ball nor were we subjected the usual constant barrage of sideline nonsense that ESPN and FOX are prone to.  It only took eighteen weeks, but we finally got a broadcast that was a pleasure to watch.

Random NotesRocky Bernard made a great play on the first series of the game, chasing down Clinton Portis from behind.  That's great hustle.

Kelly Jennings made a great play on third and long in the second quarter on a Todd Collins pass intended for Reche Caldwell to force one of the Redskins six first half punts.

Roger Goodell has to breathing a huge sigh of relief that the Seahawks won the game after watching the officials butcher a fumble call in the second quarter.  The ruling on the field was fumble and Seahawks ball when Joe Gibbs threw the red challenge flag.  After talking with Gibbs, the referees reversed their call and called the play an incomplete pass.  Gibbs got to have the play overturned without even using a challenge.

On the Seahawks go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter, Nate Burleson toasted ex-Seahawks cornerback Shawn Springs for 15 yards on a third and eight that kept the drive alive.

Summary:  The Seahawks won their fourth straight post-season game at Qwest Field and they did it with a dominant defensive effort.  Every layer of the defense played solid ball for sixty minutes and bailed out a very mediocre offensive effort. 

Next Week:  Rematch on the Frozen Tundra.

Dylan 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.

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