Monday, December 8, 2008

Another Perfect Ending?

by: Mike Parker

In yesterday's Battle of the Backups at Qwest Field, the Seahawks came away with the expected result--another loss--but, surprisingly, what was basically a second-string unit made the defending AFC champions work for their victory.

The outcome aside, it was still the perfect ending for the 2008 Seahawks at this point in the season. The team showed a drive to win and a rare cohesiveness in the offensive line and defensive secondary that had been missing in recent weeks. The team also did this without Walter Jones, Matt Hasselbeck and Leroy Hill, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around that. (I'm on my third Advil today.)

Still, a loss is a loss, and the team remains in a very good position to get a top-tier draft pick in April. (Note how this has been the shift in conversations lately, which tells me there's still a bright spot lingering somewhere in the heap of crap that's been this season. Keep hope alive, friends. Keep hope alive.)

That being said, here's a few notes on yesterday's action, from the oft-blurry and weird perspective of yours truly:

-I don't think I've ever seen Seneca Wallace play so well. I t was only the second time in his career that he's thrown for three TD passes, and what's more, he went 20-for-28 with no interceptions against a depleted but still very sharp defense.

-On the subject of defense, Marcus Trufant seems to be either ignoring John Marshall entirely or just being the same Marcus Trufant we've been sorely missing this season. Maybe it's both? Either way, he's largely to thank for holding Randy Moss to 56 yards on three catches. He was the one receiver I thought would burn the Hawks the most, but instead it turned out to be Wes Welker who appeared to be catching balls thrown at him from every stadium hosting an NFL game yesterday.

-Not using Julius Jones during the entire game was a weird decision, especially with Mo Morris getting stuffed for just 39 yards on 12 carries. The offensive line may have been more concerned with pass protection than making running room, but either way, when Seneca Wallace leads the team in rushing with 47 yards on the day, the coaching staff should've considered their options a bit more.

-WHERE HAS DEION BRANCH BEEN HIDING?! Does anyone remember him ever playing this well in Seattle? Did it take him until someone in a red, white, and blue jersey showed up here and took the field and tried to bat passes away from him? Should we just hand him a cup, show him the door to the bathroom and say "fill 'er up" on pure suspicion? He hasn't logged a 100-yard game in almost a year, so maybe a visit from his old team gave him the kick in the butt that we were hoping he'd get.

-Brian Russell brought the heat a couple of times on some receivers, which was nice to see. Can't you just see him and Deon Grant throwing John Marshall into some dark corner in the locker room somewhere before the game and pulling their best impersonations of Murtaugh and Riggs from Lethal Weapon? Except I could see Grant getting in Marshall's face and telling him "YOU ARE TOO OLD FOR THIS S***!" while Russell paces back and forth and twitches randomly. Maybe they held him face-first off the overhang of Huskies Stadium and forced him to change up the playbook? I can only hope.

-Baraka Atkins pulled his best impression of a shorter, rounder Patrick Kerney by getting to Matt Cassel twice yesterday. Brandon Mebane joined in on the fun once himself, and getting through the Patriots' pass protection is never easy. Meanwhile, our makeshift offensive line consisting of duct tape and Mansfield Wrotto only allowed one sack. I'm chasing another Advil with more coffee now.

-John Carlson is the best rookie tight end I've ever seen. Ever. I say that without bias, and you can chalk it up to me being a ridiculous homer if you want. But Carlson was all over the place yesterday. He's caught a touchdown pass from every Seahawks QB this season, which is just the tip of the iceberg as far as his abilities go. I can't wait to see what he's capable of as he matures.

For the sake of length and making it appear that I'm actually getting work done today, I'm cutting off my list there, so I'll let you all take over by adding your own in the comments. Overall, it was a worthy effort put out yesterday by an unproven group, and we still get a shot at Michael Oher or Michael Crabtree. Ah, more silver lining in a season that's otherwise a huge stinking raincloud of suck. -END-