Friday, November 13, 2009
Around the NFC West: Hasselbeck's health
By Mike Sando
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says Matt Hasselbeck is feeling better than he has felt in five weeks.
Also from Williams: "The Seahawks have to go back into the team’s collective memory banks to 2004 to find a win against a playoff team on the road, a Dec. 12 victory against Minnesota, and that came against an 8-8 Vikings team. Seattle would have to rewind even farther back -- to 2002 -- for a road win over a playoff team with a winning record. That came against a 9-6-1 Atlanta team, with Seattle earning a 30-24 overtime win against the Falcons in December of that year."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says Marcus Trufant and Patrick Kerney are healthy heading into this game against the Cardinals. Said Larry Fitzgerald: "I love Marcus, man. I got a chance to really forge a great relationship with him a couple years back at the Pro Bowl. I relish the opportunity to go against a player of his caliber. He makes me a lot better player. This week is extremely stressful, getting prepared for him, and I know what he’s capable of .Just two years ago, he had what, three interceptions, one for atouchdown return? He’s a phenomenal talent. I know I’m going to have my hands full whenever I see him." Not that anyone stresses about matching up against Fitzgerald.
Also from Farnsworth: Josh Wilson is the Seahawks' man of the year. By all accounts, Wilson has matured significantly since his precocious rookie season.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks really do face a must-win situation in Week 10. O'Neil: "The next eight games will loom large in the evaluation of three of the very most important components of this franchise: coach, quarterback and architect, Seahawks president Tim Ruskell. The playoffs aren't going to be the only measuring stick used in the evaluation of those positions moving forward."
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says the Seahawks rank 30th in rushing and are on pace for the worst rushing season in franchise history. Johns: "Only two Seahawks teams have ever averaged less than the current 3.5 yards per carry average, with the worst being a 3.3 figure in the 1984 season when star tailback Curt Warner blew out in his knee in the opening game and Chuck Knox wound up rotating Franco Harris, David Hughes, Eric Lane and Dan Doornink."
John Morgan of Field Gulls thinks a receiver screen could help Seattle against the Cardinals.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic checks in with Sean Morey after the Cardinals receiver failed to report concussion symptoms a week ago. Morey: "I don't think it was a mistake (to play). My flu symptoms complicated the situation, and I felt if I could go out and play with better technique . . . limit the helmet-to-helmet contact, then I'd be able to play through it. Maybe it was just wishful thinking. Maybe it's a little bit of foolish pride on my part."
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic says the Seahawks' Aaron Curry and the Cardinals' Beanie Wells are among several NFL rookies making impacts in 2009.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com wonders if the Cardinals' 27-3 victory at Seattle will have a carryover effect into the rematch. Ken Whisenhunt: "I don’t think the first game has anything to do with this game. They are a different team now. They are healthier. They are playing well. We are playing pretty good football. It will be a good matchup."
Also from Urban: Will the Cardinals finall have to shake up their offensive line? Urban: "Deuce Lutui, left guard Reggie Wells, center Lyle Sendlein, right tackle Levi Brown and left tackle Mike Gandy make up the five who never fail to show. They also make up a line coming off arguably their best game of the season, after the Cards scored 41 points, rushed for 182 yards and had five touchdown passes. The streak is also in jeopardy, with Gandy having sat out the first two days of practice with a pelvic injury. If Gandy cannot play, veteran Jeremy Bridges would be put in at left tackle. Bridges can play anywhere but center, having started at right guard and right tackle in Carolina last season and having come into the NFL as a left tackle."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' receivers have struggled with dropped passes. Check out the comment someone left at the bottom of this entry: "What a suprise. Everyone said we had the worst receiving corps in the league and it looks like that is the case. I really thought Tim Carter and Ronald Curry were going to be able to carry this team. Too bad they are terrible. And too bad donnie avery is made of glass. But hey, we got Danny Amendola as our #1 WR." Zing!
Also from Thomas: The Rams have not exceeded 20 points in a game this season. The Saints are averaging nearly twice that many. Marc Bulger: "Drew (Brees) and his whole crew, they score so many points, and their offense is rolling so well, that we're going to have to keep up with them. I think it's one of those games where we know we're going to have to score more points."
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams received a 24-hour blackout extension.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says fans in the Rams' market were upset when the local Fox affiliate cut away from Warner's masterpiece performance against the Bears in Week 9.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee isn't giving the 49ers much credit for their 10-6 victory over the Bears. Barrows: "The story of the game was not the 49ers but Jay Cutler, who threw five interceptions, some of them pretty terrible. The bottom line, however, is that the 49ers have snapped their losing streak and their playoff dreams are still alive. Here's some other food for thought: One of the theories as to why both teams played so poorly on offense is that they only had one real day -- Tuesday -- of practice in such a short week. If that's true than the converse also has to be true: The 49ers should be more fresh and more prepared for their Nov. 22 game against Green Bay."
Also from Barrows: "Relief" was what 49ers coach Mike Singletary felt after this one.
More from Barrows: The Bears tried to rough up Vernon Davis.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers knew they would get opportunities to intercept passes against Jay Cutler.
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News says Singletary was calm following the 49ers' victory.
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers knew Cutler would be looking for Greg Olsen on the final play.
Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider says the 49ers will be back at work Friday.