NFC West: Packers-Seahawks

Silver linings: Seahawks vs. Packers

October, 13, 2008
10/13/08
10:32
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The facts: Seattle lost at home for the second time this season, falling 27-17 to the Packers while gaining only 177 yards on offense.

The upside: Even the worst defeats tend to offer a bright spot or two...

  • Brandon Mebane won't go to the Pro Bowl playing for such an underachieving defense, but he looks like one of the better defensive tackles in the league. He had five tackles, a game-high for defensive linemen. One was for a loss.
  • Leonard Weaver's run blocking is vastly improved.
  • Josh Wilson played reasonably well while starting ahead of Kelly Jennings at cornerback.
  • Julius Jones played far better than his 12-carry, 44-yard numbers suggest. A holding penalty wiped out a 51-yard gain.
  • Rookie tight end John Carlson caught a touchdown pass for the first time in his NFL career.
  • Olindo Mare made a 50-yard field goal. He has made all 12 field-goal tries this season.
The Seahawks head to Tampa Bay for a prime-time game Sunday night. Three of their next four games are on the road. More silver linings ahead, in other words.

Around the NFC West: Seahawks in trouble

October, 13, 2008
10/13/08
8:45
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune says the "Golden Age of Seattle Seahawks Football" has ended.

John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune revisits the holding penalty that wiped out Julius Jones' 51-yard run in the third quarter.

Frank Hughes of the Tacoma News Tribune thought Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren appeared resigned to the team's fate following the latest defeat.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune charts the Seattle defense's ineptitude on third down.

Hughes and Williams say Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck could miss the next game as well.

Doug Pacey of the Tacoma News Tribune says Patrick Kerney's hit on Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers didn't have the desired effect. Rodgers improved from that point forward.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Holmgren isn't used to coaching a team this inept in the passing game. O'Neil: "There was no resignation in his voice, just reality."

More from O'Neil: Rodgers completed 10 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown on third down alone. 

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times says the momentum turned against Seattle when Packers receiver Greg Jennings blew past Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant for a 45-yard touchdown.

O'Neil, Allen and Jose Romero say quarterback Matt Hasselbeck might need more tests on his knee.

Also from Romero: Safety Deon Grant saying the Seattle defense didn't do enough, but what about the offense? Seattle gained only 177 yards.

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Seattle safety Deon Grant played despite strained knee ligaments. Also, Koren Robinson caught two passes for 23 yards.

Also from Farnsworth: It's tough to see how the Seahawks are going to win a game.

Art Thiel of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says the Seahawks could use a federal bailout after falling to 1-4: "The crisis fairly screamed on offense, where the game began with an unwanted third-string quarterback throwing his first pass to a recovering alcoholic, recently jobless until his emergency hire by the Seahawks, who once fired him. Movies are made of such weeper stories. First downs, however, are not."

Greg Johns of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Charlie Frye struggled at quarterback in replacing Hasselbeck. Frye tossed two interceptions after Seattle opened up the offense.

Also from Johns: Even the Seattle running game struggled. Jones managed only 44 yards.

Michael Steffes of Seahawks Addicts says the Seahawks' performance against the Packers means it's time to view the team through a different lens.

Rapid Reaction: Packers 27, Seahawks 17

October, 12, 2008
10/12/08
7:26
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Seahawks have 11 games remaining, which means there's plenty of time for improvement, but also a sense that things might get worse.

Losing at home to the Packers made official the Seahawks' decline into a below-average team in almost every sense. The one improved area this season -- the running game -- isn't going to matter when Seattle can't score enough points to offset recurring problems on defense.

When coach Mike Holmgren announced his intention to step away from coaching the Seahawks after this season, he never figured his team would take a sabbatical as well.

Injuries at receiver and now quarterback largely explain the issues on offense. Those issues are naturally affecting other aspects of the team. But they can't account for the full extent of Seattle's problems on defense.

This division is the Cardinals' to lose. Seattle still plays Arizona twice. That's the good news and the bad news for a team that can't get a break or make any of its own.

Going where no roster has gone before

October, 12, 2008
10/12/08
10:52
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

PHOENIX -- Greetings from the sunny, cloudless and soon-to-be warm desert. The weather isn't the only reason it feels like training camp around here. The other reason: Expectations remain high for the home team, usual for mid-October.

The Cardinals (3-2) can claim legitimacy with a victory over the Dallas Cowboys at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Let me recognize the occasion by providing roided-out rosters for the Cardinals, Cowboys and the other NFC West teams and their Week 6 opponents. If that's not enough, be sure to check out the sheets allowing you to sort each team's offense and defense by 18 statistical categories through the first five weeks. This is a relatively weighty file -- 3.5MB -- but worth the trouble for those of us who simply cannot get enough. Download here.

(Read full post)

Seahawks might need third quarterback

October, 10, 2008
10/10/08
4:31
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The Seahawks have not yet made public their official injury report, but there's a good chance Matt Hasselbeck will miss the game against Green Bay. This is consistent with what John Clayton reported Thursday night and another indication that this simply does not appear to be the Seahawks' season.

Hasselbeck's availability will be determined at game time, coach Mike Holmgren told reporters, but the quarterback's knee has not responded well to treatment.

Backup quarterback Seneca Wallace is also limping -- a bad calf is to blame -- and that means Charlie Frye could be the primary quarterback against the Packers.

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