For weeks, Seahawks head coach Jim Mora vowed that Seattle would bounce back from its bad stretch once some good players came back healthy. Yesterday, it turned out he only needed one good player to come back healthy: QB Matt Hasselbeck.
Hasselbeck spread the ball to seven different receivers and threw for four touchdowns in his first game back since breaking a rib in Week 2. Hasselbeck threw for 241 yards and victimized Jaguars corner Rashean Mathis, who was the man covering on three of Hasselbeck's four touchdowns(one to Nate Burleson and both T.J. Houshmanzadeh scores). Despite missing three starters on the offensive line, Seattle only gave up one sack against a much-maligned Jaguars pass rush. On the ground, Edgerrin James saw his most productive day as a Seahawk, nabbing 46 yards on 16 carries. Julius Jones added 34 yards on 12 carries.
Defensively, the Seahawks shut down a Jaguars offense that was explosive last week against Tennessee. Playing without top wideout Mike Sims-Walker(who was made inactive for violating team rules), Jags QB David Garrard only threw for 188 yards and was sacked five times. One of those sacks led to a 79-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by rookie defensive end and preseason breakout star Nick Reed. Jags star running back Maurice Jones-Drew was held in check as he only was able to manage 34 yards on the ground(as well as 23 yards receiving) against this stout Seahawk defense.
Despite the defense's outstanding performance(which looks even more outstanding given it played without star defensive end Patrick Kerney), the story of the day was Hasselbeck. His return to top form goes a long way to getting Seattle back into the swing of things in the NFC West. Next week, they have a huge divisional showdown with Arizona. A win there will move them into 2nd in the West and only a game back of division-leading San Francisco, who will be on a bye.
Of course, what would a Seahawks game be without injuries. Left tackle Brandon Frye left the game with a neck stinger and was replaced by Kyle Williams, who was playing with a knee injury. Wide receiver Nate Burleson, who put in another stellar performance with six catches for 98 yards and two touchdowns, played most of the game with tender ribs after a big hit in the first quarter. The team also saw safety C.J. Wallace(hamstring), corner Travis Fisher(hamstring or groin) and guard Mansfield Wrotto(ankle) leave the game with injuries. They'll have tests on Monday and will be added to the other six starters on Seattle's injury report. The Seahawks should be getting most of those guys back in the coming weeks and, if this week's blowout is any indication, they will make this team very dangerous over the last half of the season. Just as coach Mora said they would.
About the Author
Written by Dave Leonardis
Born and raised in New Jersey, I've been writing since I was 10 and blogging since I was 18. I'm a huge sports nerd, following football, baseball and basketball in particular in close detail. My style is very upfront. I don't pull punches and I'm not shy about criticizing anything I feel deserves a proper tongue-lashing. If you're looking for someone who says what he wants, when he wants, then look no further than this guy right here.