I apologize for the 35-14 victory by the Seattle Seahawks over the Washington Redskins. It was wrong, the Skins had magic, a better team, better players, Sean Taylor, and the Seahawks beat them. We know you guys wanted them to go to the NFC Championship Game, but those bastards won the friggin game. I'm quite sorry that Seattle gifted Washington 14 unanswered to give them a 14-13 lead in the 4th quarter, only to make a total fustercluck out of a chip shot field goal after recovering a wayward kickoff deep in Seattle territory. I'm really sorry that the Seahawks scored 22 unanswered, and that included 2 interception returns for touchdowns. Finally, I'm sorry Leonard Weaver ran for a touchdown, it was wrong. Let's breakdown the keys to the game....and the results that ensued.....which I'm sorry for.
1. Running game in short yardage. The last 2 weeks, Seattle has been using the split back formation on 3rd and 1 and 4th and 1, which usually means Leonard Weaver on one side of Matt Hasselbeck, and Mo Morris or Shaun Alexander on the other side. That seems to be the most successful formation for them, running Weaver on a fullback blast type of play. They need to continue that instead of off tackle plays with Morris or Alexander to keep the drives going. They are going to have to throw everything at the 4th best rush defense in the league.
Result: They had this type of situation just once, and they converted on a toss play by Mo Morris. So nothing big here.
2. Exploit the secondary. The Redskins' defense is a middle of the pack team as far as the pass goes (13th). Matt Hasselbeck cannot afford to have a bad game because this Seahawks team is horrible when he is having an off day. Deion Branch, Nate Burleson, and Bobby Engram also need to step up, as they are Hasselbeck's main targets.
Result: Hasselbeck finished 20-32 for 229 yards, a TD, but 2 really stupid interceptions. Not a good game by Hasselbeck. But DJ Hackett and Nate Burleson each had 6 catches, Hackett caught the go ahead touchdown pass, and finished with 101 yards receiving (Burleson had 64).
3. Offensive line. This is the 26th ranked pass rush in the NFL this o-line is going up against, and although the pass blocking has improved, and Hasselbeck has rarely been sacked (and when he is, it's his fault for not throwing the ball away when he knows he is being chased), this is a make or break game to show how much they have improved from last season, and if you protect Hasselbeck, he is an elite QB in the NFC. Result: Hasselbeck was sacked once, and that's his fault for waiting 7 seconds to throw the ball, and it was a good coverage sack by Washington. Otherwise, best performance by the offensive line this season.
1. Force turnovers. Seattle in their 10 wins have forced 28 turnovers, and in their 6 losses, have forced only 3, and that is frightening. This should be a big day for Seattle's D though because Washington has a -6 turnover ratio, and keep Todd Collins and company off the field. It's going to be very slippery tomorrow as the weather is going to be wet and windy.
Result: Two game ending pick 6's by Marcus Trufant and Jordan Babineaux. It should've been 3 on an obvious fumble by Todd Collins in the 2nd quarter, yet ref Walt Coleman called it an incomplete pass.
2. Don't give up the big play. The Seahawks have had a lot of trouble defending deep down the field in the last few weeks. I'm not sure Kelly Jennings or Marcus Trufant can keep up with speedsters like Antwan Randel El or Santana Moss.
Result: Seattle allowed the 30 yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss to give the Redskins the lead, which was the largest play of the game for the Redskins. Great job by the secondary, mainly to Marcus Trufant and Jennings.
3. The trick play. Again, Seattle has played against teams that have either a west coast offense, or a "conventional" offense. Al Saunders, offensive co-ordinator of the Redskins, has a lot of trick plays in his play book, like Randle El throwing a deep ball, or Portis throwing in short yardage situations. If you remember, the Steelers delivered the knockout blow in Super Bowl XL to Seattle on a trick play.
Result: They tried 2 end arounds, and neither one of them worked.
Result: 3 sacks, a lot of hits, Collins just had no time in the pocket, and he rarely rolled out.
Now for the Redskins....
Sean Taylor Pound it with Portis. The Seahawks rushing defense has given up the big running plays time and time again for 2 months now. Clinton Portis is a strong running back that you need to gang tackle, and he could have a big day against a quick but small Seahawk defense.
Result: 20 carries for 52 yards for Portis. Horrific running day for both teams.
2. Trick plays. See Seahawks defense #3.
Result: See Seahawks defense #3.
3. Protect Todd Collins. See Seahawks defense #4.
Result: Nope, horrible blocking.
4. The 12th Man. Mike Sellers said that the crowd noise is piped in at Qwest.....the last time someone said that, the Giants lost 42-30 (42-3 at one point before garbage touchdowns). Let see if Washington can handle an atmosphere like Seattle's.
Result: Meh, one false start, but the 12th man caused Washington to spend timeouts because of play clock and positioning issues.
Sean Taylor Take away the passing game. This is really the only key for the defense of the Washington Redskins, because Seattle waited until week 16 to run the football efficiently against bad teams. When Hasselbeck isn't clicking, the passing game isn't clicking, and the Seahawks offense is a mess.
Game Ball: Marcus Trufant. I'm not supposed to like people from Washington State University, but this dude is slowly becoming an elite DB. His interception returned for a touchdown gave them a 28-14 lead, effectively ending the game.
@ Green Bay Packers, Saturday, January 12th, 4:30 PM ET/1:30 PM PT on FOX.
By the Numbers
2 is the number of interceptions thrown by Todd Collins.
0 is the number of interceptions thrown by Todd Collins during the 4 game winning streak.
10 catches by Antwan Randle El, a game high, Randle El scored a TD as well.
36 4th quarter points combined after a 13-0 Seahawks lead at the end of the 3rd.
The Redskins played their guts out, but those mean Seahawks woke up at the midway point of the 4th, and they should've let you guys win. The defense didn't play well, they just got lucky the Skins forgot that Sean Taylor was dead. Good night, and bad luck Seattle.