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Article:The Hawks Nest: Mondays with Matt (Afraidofedhochuli)

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I'm trying to come up with a catchy name for this now weekly segment thingy we are doing as part of our beat reports. Read it and weep punks!

1. The Seahawks used a much more balanced form of running with Leonard Weaver, Mo Morris, and Shaun Alexander, and it worked very efficiently. Should Holmgren think about using this in the Redskins game?

- Yes and no. I don't want him to go back to the run game, because it obviously wasn't working, but the mixture of the backs was wonderful. I hope that they stick to the pass game (with proper protection) which will then allow the run.

The best part of yesterday was that it felt that Holmgren would use the swing pass as a fake. He would swing pass it to the back and then later they would use the same back to run it. That is what I want to see. As it has been, the use of one back as a runner and one as a receiver is blatant and lets the Defense know what is happening, but mixing up the backs as they did makes it tougher to read the play.

2. I'm concerned that this Seahawks defense is actually getting worse, every week for a month now they've given up a long touchdown pass or run. What are your thoughts?

- They have given up one or two long touchdown plays, but I don't see that as the biggest issue. The long touchdowns would be fine if that was all. The problem is the sustained drives they have allowed. But did this happen the last few weeks because they have nothing to play for?

Also, the pass rush has had some problems. I expected this when we lost both starting DTs and are having to start a rookie. A GOOD rookie but a rookie all the same.

I wouldn't count the Defense out, though. They are still much better then the one that went to the Superbowl.

3. Assuming Seattle wins, they will go to Green Bay. How much of a chance do they have against them after seeing the Packers struggle a bit in these last 3 games?

- I give them a great chance.

The Pack has shown that they are beatable and that they are vulnerable in certain areas. Do I think that Pack will win? Yes…but I could see it either way.

After yesterday's game, it is hard for me to get on the Hawks' wagon. When they are supposed to win they don't. Very much like the 2004 team.

4. Not a Seahawks related question, but is Tom Brady getting too much credit for the Patriots 16-0 record?

- Umm….that is tough. The players around him are great and a definite upgrade from previous years. I would say no, though. I think that the QB is the most important position on the field, and whether or not you have the pieces around him, the QB still has to make the throw.

Also, I want Hasselbeck to get the credit so I have to give it to Brady.

5. Who needs to step up his game the most in the playoffs? Name one player on offense and defense.

Offense: I can't take a player…I have to say the Offensive line. Matt is dangerous when he has the time to pick apart the Secondary. If he doesn't have the time, then the secondary is able to jump routes, etc. Also, the line has started to run block better and that will be needed in a game where the weather is shaping up to be cold and rainy.

Defense: Darryl Tapp. He has 1.5 sacks since October. He is lined up on the right side because he is seen as a great DE, but if he isn't able to get the pressure then Kerney will be double-teamed and Collins will have time to utilize the weapons HE has in the WR core.

6. Give me a breakdown on the Redskins strengths and weaknesses.

Strengths: Offensive line, Run game, Veteran Leadership, Resiliency, Emotion, Coaching

Weaknesses: Offensive line, Run game, Receiving Core, Punting, Pass Defense

The Offensive line is in both because they have a great line, but they are a bit banged up (especially at right tackle which may be the worst since he will be against the NFC Sack leader). That then correlates to the Run game. Portis is good, but he has been inconsistent with 9 games where he didn't break 70 yards (4 where he didn't break 50 yards).

The Receiving core is a weakness because I am only counting receivers. They did not have one over 900 yards. Chris Cooley is another story.

Pass Defense was ranked 16 th.

7. Finally, early predictions for this one.

I will not be surprised either way. Both teams match-up well and we will see a very good game.

But, I will root for my team: Seattle 24, Washington 13

Unlike previous times, it is indeed worth breaking down a competent team like the Redskins. That preview will come later in the week. Thanks to Matt, and check out his blog at, and check out mine at

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