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Monday, December 13, 2010
Around the NFC West: Seahawks' laments

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks gift-wrapped a victory for the 49ers with five Matt Hasselbeck turnovers. Hasselbeck: "I know that today was as bad as it could look. More than anything I feel like I let the guys down in terms of protecting the ball, because that's the No. 1 job, and I didn't do that job well." Hasselbeck will have to play much better for Seattle to win another game this season. The team faces long odds against Atlanta in Week 15 even though the game is at Qwest Field. A cross-country trip to face Tampa Bay on the day after Christmas looks like another tough one. This season will stand as a success if Hasselbeck can get Seattle to 8-8 with two victories in its last three games. Getting Mike Williams back gives him a chance, but 7-9 is probably more realistic.

Also from O'Neil: Deon Butler's broken leg is the latest and most serious injury suffered by a Seattle receiver.

More from O'Neil: a quick look at the NFC West.

More yet from O'Neil: The screen pass San Francisco threw to Brian Westbook was the perfect call against Seattle's defense.

Jerry Brewer of the Seattle Times found some symbolism in Butler's misfortune. Brewer: "It was a broken leg so nasty that Seahawks running back Leon Washington, who suffered a compound fracture last year, cried after visiting with Butler postgame. For a Seahawks team clinging to unexpected playoff hopes, the injury is more significant than the loss of yet another receiver. The misfortune reflects where the Seahawks (6-7) stand with just three games left. They're valiant, but not victorious. They're admirable, but inadequate. They're brave, but broken."

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Hasselbeck was at his worst Sunday. Hasselbeck said the 49ers played him differently this time. Hasselbeck: "Because of the score, I think they didn’t have to be as aggressive, and they just played very, very soft, doubled one guy on the left and one guy on the right pretty much most of the day on third down. They were opportunistic making turnovers, and stopped us when we tried to run the ball, and stopped us in some critical situations.”

Also from Williams: Leon Washington's 92-yard touchdown return stood out as a rare bright spot for Seattle.

More from Williams: thoughts on Butler's injury. Running back Justin Forsett: "We were definitely praying for Deon, he’s a heck of a player. He handled it like a pro. He was calm and we just went on to encourage him. He is a big part of this team and it is sad to see him go down."

John Boyle of the Everett Herald says Ruvell Martin stepped up for Seattle on a day when the team played without Williams and Ben Obomanu.

Also from Boyle: When Seattle loses, the team loses big.

More from Boyle: Hasselbeck made no excuses.