Although the Seahawks exceeded expectations by making the playoffs and pulling off one of the greatest upsets in playoff history, it’s hard to find and MVP candidate. This biggest problem is that nobody really stands out. Sure, a few guys had a big game or two this season, but consistency was one thing the Hawks never really had. I got it narrowed down to 3 players on offense: Mike Williams, Marshawn Lynch, and Matt Hasselbeck.
Unfortunately for Mike Williams, Michael Vick decided to have the best year of his career despite having the worst 3 years of his life just prior. On one hand, good for Vick. He’s probably traveled farther between failure and success than any athlete in recent history. On the other hand, so has Mike Williams. Williams did the unheard of by shaking off his “Bust” status this season. Although Williams only had 751 yards and 2 td, he seemed to gain momentum as the season endured. Williams played through injury and said all the right things. He has earned the status as a legitimate wide receiver in the NFL, and has left fans with high expectations believing that last season was just the beginning. This award could very well be Williams’ next season and many more to come, but this season is just way too early.
Marshawn Lynch had one of the greatest runs in NFL history against New Orleans. He eluded well over half of the entire defense to score on a run designed to kill time. The problem with Lynch is that his play on the field looks nothing like his statistics. Seattle finished 2nd to last in rushing last season. The offensive line struggled early losing their coach in the preseason and Max Unger early in the regular season. Despite the poor blocking, Marshawn Lynch made some incredible moves this season and demonstrated a power and tenacity when breaking tackles that had long been forgotten in Seattle. The only bad thing was that all this happened behind the line of scrimmage. Lynch routinely turned 4 yard losses into no gains. Tom Cable and the return of Max Unger should help the line considerably next season. Marshawn Lynch is the player that I am most excited to see next year. His attitude and effort could not be better right now, but he will need a better line to get this award next season.
Matt Hasselbeck led the Seahawks to victory in one of the greatest games in franchise history. He also threw just as many interceptions as he did touchdowns during the regular season. Hasselbeck did not start well, but he did finish strong. In his first 4 games he threw for a total of 840 yds, 4td, and 6int. He was obviously struggling with a new offense and the lack of a running game only put more pressure on Matt. Oh, and did I mention that this was his 3rd head coach in as many years. Hasselbeck may not be the most accurate passer in the league, nor does he have the big arm, but he has moxie. He beat the life out of New Orleans in front of the same crowd that chanted, “Charlie, Charlie, Charlie….,” and he never made us feel bad about it. Hasselbeck then went into Chicago and did everything in his power to will his team to victory, but fell just short. Dropped balls were an issue in that game, yet Matt still managed to rack up 258 yards, 3 td, and 0 int. On any other playoff team, Hasselbeck might have followed up the game of his life by having another one just like it. I know he had a rough start and nearly lost his job to the likes of a guy referred to as, “clipboard Jesus,” but he finished strong when it counted most amassing 7 td and just 1 int in 2 playoff games. Matt Hasselbeck is this year’s MVP.
Honorable Mention: Leon Washington took back 3 kicks for touchdowns; his longest being 101 yards. Without Leon Washington, Seattle loses to the Chargers, and without that win, miss the playoffs and the greatest upset in franchise history. Washington provided some big plays early in the season. I hope Seattle uses Washington for more than just returns next season. His combination of speed and hands is lethal enough to have at least a few plays designed around it.
Here’s to Pete’s inaugural season as the head coach of the Seattle Seahawks. He exceeded expectations and left fans wanting more. Let’s just hope this momentum can carry effectively into next year.