Sunday, October 11, 2009
Hasselbeck, Warner tightening division race
By Mike Sando
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Matt Hasselbeck and Kurt Warner are showing what Pro Bowl-caliber quarterbacks can do against bad defenses.
Hasselbeck has two long touchdown passes in staking the Seahawks to a cathartic 20-0 first-half lead against the Jaguars. You remember the Jaguars, right? Kurt Warner set an NFL record for completion percentage against them not long ago. Now it is Hasselbeck's turn.
Warner, meanwhile, has completed 20 of 23 passes against the Texans, twice finding Larry Fitzgerald for touchdown passes. The score is 21-0 at halftime and it could get worse if Warner keeps having so much time. Warner has completed 44 of 49 passes against AFC South teams this season (minus those pesky Colts, of course, but they're in another class). Take that, Paul Kuharsky.
The 49ers, meanwhile, are finding out what coaches mean when they say turnovers tend to even out. They do not always even out, of course, and the 49ers should continue to fare well over the long haul in that category because of their conservative style. But turnovers have proven to be the main reason for their 28-10 deficit against the Falcons.
San Francisco's last-second defeat to the Vikings is costing them now. A loss to the Falcons would leave them at 3-2. The Cardinals appear on their way to 2-2. Even the Seahawks could be within striking distance at 2-3.
As we discussed during the week, it's a long season and far too early to jump to any conclusions about which team will prevail in the end.