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Monday, December 7, 2009
Around the NFC West: Hasselbeck's mettle

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Matt Hasselbeck showed his mettle against the 49ers. O'Neil: "Seattle's quarterback showed the late-game grit that is impossible to fake. Hasselbeck completed 11 of 12 passes for 89 yards in the final quarter. Not bad considering he spent a good 15 minutes getting his throwing shoulder iced after the game, the result of a third-quarter tackle that left him on the turf following a third-down play."

Jose Miguel Romero of the Seattle Times checks in with Olindo Mare following the kicker's game-winning effort.

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times says Deon Butler made the key grab despite temporarily losing the ball in the lights. Brewer: "In an odd game that began with a timeout before a play was even run and turned into a punt-off, a skinny first-year wide receiver from Penn State set up the game-winning field goal and performed in the clutch when two Seahawks with his name couldn't. Deion Branch dropped a pass with 57 seconds left that could've sealed a victory. Safety Deon Grant, who is playing with a left hand injury that will require surgery at season's end, couldn't corral an interception with 34 seconds left. Deon Butler lost the ball temporarily, but he didn't lose his cool. He's the Deon who wouldn't let the game get away."

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times describes cornerback Josh Wilson as a spark plug for Seattle.

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune wasn't expecting an artful game when the 49ers had to use a timeout after only 6 seconds.

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says the Seahawks set aside recent organizational changes. Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh: "We can’t really concern ourselves with what goes on in the organization because we have no control over it. I think Tim Ruskell is a great dude. He was one of the reasons I came here. It wasn’t just Coach Mora. Talking to Tim put me at ease and made me feel comfortable, but those are things that are out of our control."

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune passes along this quote from Seahawks coach Jim Mora regarding Mare's winning boot, noting that Mare has made 18 in a row after Mora berated him: "I think it has very little to do with my very direct and probably overbearing criticism of him on that day. I think it’s just a testament to the type of professional that Olindo is. Whether I said anything to him or not, he has a lot of pride in his performance and he takes it very seriously. That’s some of the reasons he’s had so much success in this league as a kicker."

Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts singles out Jamar Adams' huge special-teams hit as the hit of the game for Seattle.

Art Thiel of seattlepi.com says the Seahawks could use more Deon Butler and less Deion Branch from here on out.

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com passes along quotes from the postgame Seattle locker room. Branch on the deep ball to him that probably should have won the game for Seattle: "I just dropped the ball. I don't have an excuse. I should've made the play and I didn't make it. I'm not perfect."

Also from Johns: The Seahawks were grateful San Francisco decided against using Frank Gore very often. Linebacker Aaron Curry: "Anytime you play a team that you rushed for almost 300 yards, why not do it again? I mean, at least attempt to. It was just weird that they came out and wanted to spread us out and go deep and pay attention to the pass."