NFL Nation: Seahawks-Giants

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Forget all those offseason stories about defense being the Seahawks' strength this season.

Forget the notion that Seattle's opponents would have to fear the NFL's only defense with 2008 Pro Bowl starters at defensive end, linebacker and cornerback.

And forget about the Seahawks competing against good teams in the Eastern time zone.

The Seahawks' best players on defense, from Lofa Tatupu to Leroy Hill, missed tackles and appeared lost during this game. Seattle has the look of a finesse defense with the speed to play well at home and none of the swagger needed to compete with good teams on the road. This game had the feel of the Seahawks' shutout defeat at Pittsburgh last season, with one difference: The Giants are better than the Steelers.

The softer-than-soft NFC West might be the only thing Seattle has going for itself heading into the remaining 12 games. Yes, the Seahawks can still win the division even after falling to 1-3. The division is that bad. But with upcoming games against Green Bay and Tampa Bay, the Seahawks' season could conceivably get worse before it gets better.

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is completing 48.5 percent of his passes with a 60.1 rating, but the Seahawks aren't worried about him at all. They know his struggles stem from what might qualify as unprecedented turnover at the receiver position over the first three games.

The bye week allows Seattle to address the situation in ways that go beyond the stopgap solutions of previous weeks. Bobby Engram, who caught 94 passes last season, should be back from a shoulder injury in Week 5. Deion Branch, sidelined by a knee injury suffered during the playoffs last season, also might make his 2008 debut.

Those options beat anything more Seattle might do to address the passing game. The Seahawks are past the point of hitting the panic button at receiver. Save for Billy McMullen's surprisingly strong performances, that button was about as effective as Samie Parker's four-day tenure as a receiving option with the team.

Hasselbeck might face another tough week when Seattle visits the Giants in Week 5. Seattle won't fix its passing game right away. We should expect improvement, however, as the season progresses and key players return to health.

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