Matt Hasselbeck vs Tarvaris Jackson: A Look Back

In the mad rush between the end of the lockout and week 1 of the NFL season, there wasn’t a more heated debate surrounding the Seahawks than the choice in quarterbacks. Despite all the different story lines about this team, only the Hasselbeck-Jackson transition was being talked about.

Equally amazing was how fast the story seemed to disappear from everyone’s mind once the game’s began. I can’t believe how quickly this topic went from being a hot-button issue to yesterday’s news. By the end of the 2nd game, Hasselbeck seemed like a forgotten memory. After week 3 I stopped comparing the stat lines of the 2 QBs each week because it seemed like no one cared.

Now that the season is over, I thought it would be fun to revisit the topic and see how each QB did throughout the season. Lets check out the numbers: 

  Hasselbeck Jackson
Games 16 15
Rating 82.3 79.2
Attempts 518 450
Completions 319 271
Comp % 60.3 60.2
Yards 3,571 3,091
Yards/att 6.89 6.87
Touchdowns 18 14
Interceptions 14 13
Fumbles 4 5
Sacks 19 42
QB rating in last 2 min 105.4 30.7

As you can see, both QBs had very similar numbers, Hasselbeck threw more passes and thus had more yards, but their QB rating and completion % were pretty much the same. Both QBs also had about as many TD as interceptions, and almost identical yards per attempt numbers. I should also note that both players had about the same numbers of fumbles, since the most vocal of the Jackson detractors seems to think that Jackson fumbles more than any other QB; a fact that simply isn’t true.

The first major difference between the 2 stat lines is that number of sacks taken, with Jackson getting sacked more than twice as many times as Hasselbeck. This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise when you consider the poor quality of the Seahawks offensive line and Jackson’s tendency to hold onto the ball too long.

The other major difference is why most Seahawk fans are already to move on from Jackson. In the final 2 minutes, Jackson’s QB rating was a dismal 30.7, while Hasselbeck’s was an extremely good 105.4. It’s impossible to spin this in any way. At the end the game, Jackson struggled while Hasselbeck stepped up his game.

Obviously, any comparison of these numbers is purely meaningless in terms of determining if the Seahawks made the right choice. The Seahawks and Titans are very different teams. Hasselbeck benefitted from a vastly superior offensive line, while Jackson clearly had the better receivers, etc. I wasn’t trying to re-open that debate. I simply thought it was interesting that by the end of the year, the 2 QB had put up almost identical stat lines.

Topics: Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks, Tarvaris Jackson, Tennessee Titans

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  • Hawk_Eye

    The real question you need to ask. How many Seahawks fans think Matt Hasselback would have stood up to the beating that Tarvaris Jackson took? Me, I think Matt would have been out for the year after the 2nd or 3rd game of the season. As far as QB ratings in the last 2 minutes of the game. Matt is clearly the better, faster, smarter decision maker. Tarvaris is the better athlete and has the better arm, but not the football smarts or decision making. The Seahawks need to upgrade the QB position to advance in the playoffs. Take it how you want. That is the reality of our situation.

  • Hawk_Eye

    The real question you need to ask. How many Seahawks fans think Matt Hasselback would have stood up to the beating that Tarvaris Jackson took? Me, I think Matt would have been out for the year after the 2nd or 3rd game of the season. As far as QB ratings in the last 2 minutes of the game. Matt is clearly the better, faster, smarter decision maker. Tarvaris is the better athlete and has the better arm, but not the football smarts or decision making. The Seahawks need to upgrade the QB position to advance in the playoffs. Take it how you want. That is the reality of our situation.

  • Hawkman

    I watched every game by the Titans (NFL package) and the O-line for Tennessee was not what it was made out to be. They had NO run game what so ever! Plus their pass protection was BARELY adequate. If Matt had been here the ability to read and move through progressions would have made it possible for him to survive. They actually were supplying a longer time from snap to throw this year on average than last. (2010 1.91 seconds-2011 2.32 seconds) We would have made the playoffs for sure (hindsight) with Matt. That was the big mistake Pete and Co. have made so far . Should have kept MH and drafted a rook to learn under him!!!

  • Hawkman

    I watched every game by the Titans (NFL package) and the O-line for Tennessee was not what it was made out to be. They had NO run game what so ever! Plus their pass protection was BARELY adequate. If Matt had been here the ability to read and move through progressions would have made it possible for him to survive. They actually were supplying a longer time from snap to throw this year on average than last. (2010 1.91 seconds-2011 2.32 seconds) We would have made the playoffs for sure (hindsight) with Matt. That was the big mistake Pete and Co. have made so far . Should have kept MH and drafted a rook to learn under him!!!

  • glor

    Matt wouldn’t have taken the beating TJ did because Matt would have thrown the ball the BMW 70x this season. TJ got demolished because the guy couldn’t or wouldn’t look to BMW and some of the other receivers, he progressed through his reads slowly, and refused to throw the ball away. MH would have done just fine, and we would have won the 1st 9r’s game, the browns game, probably the Atlanta game and most likely the last 9rs game.

    Anyway, agree with Hawkman, big mistake by the FO on MH.

  • glor

    Matt wouldn’t have taken the beating TJ did because Matt would have thrown the ball the BMW 70x this season. TJ got demolished because the guy couldn’t or wouldn’t look to BMW and some of the other receivers, he progressed through his reads slowly, and refused to throw the ball away. MH would have done just fine, and we would have won the 1st 9r’s game, the browns game, probably the Atlanta game and most likely the last 9rs game.

    Anyway, agree with Hawkman, big mistake by the FO on MH.

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