It’s time to eat some crow. I think I’ll have mine grilled with a side of rice.
I’ll admit, I wanted Charlie Whitehurst to start last Sunday’s playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. Nothing about Matt Hasselbeck’s recent play led me to believe he was the right choice. I felt Pete Carroll was making a mistake in starting Hasselbeck. That’s why I’m writing on a blog while Carroll is making the big bucks.
I would have been thrilled if Hasselbeck matched his performance in Chicago in Week 6. He didn’t. He blew that game out of the water. Against the Saints, Matt Hasselbeck had the greatest game of his life.
He did all the things that he hadn’t been doing in previous weeks. He spread the ball around to all of his receivers instead of focusing on Mike Williams. He didn’t force throws into coverage and threw the ball away when he should have. He took advantage of what the Saints’ defense gave him rather than try to make the perfect play every time. (Granted, the Saints’ defense gave him a LOT.)
Hasselbeck played confidently with a cool head. It would have been easy to press the panic button when the Seahawks were down 10-0 and 17-7 early in the game. Instead, he calmly took control of the offense and led the team to a 24-20 halftime lead, then started the second half just as he had ended the first.
If this game was indeed Hasselbeck’s last as a Seahawk at Qwest Field, he couldn’t have gone out on a higher note. In what has been primarily a disappointing season, Hasselbeck showed that he has plenty of gas still in the tank.
Hasselbeck’s legacy would have been the same regardless of what happened Sunday. He is a lock for the Ring of Honor and will probably be the last Seahawk to wear number 8. He handled himself with grace and class through some very trying times the past few years.
Mr. Hasselbeck, no matter what happens this Sunday against the Chicago Bears, all Seahawks fans respect what you’ve accomplished over the years. Congratulations, and thank you.
You’ve earned it.