Why is it that announcers insist on calling Matt Hasselbeck, Matt HasselBACK? Because he is a quarterBACK? Because they can't read? If a name gets too long, it seems like the average person just stops reading.
I feel certain that Brett Favre's name is not really pronounced "FARV", that it's more likely pronounced "Fahv", but that ever since Madden pronounces it that way, so does everyone else. And maybe the same is true of Hasselbeck.
Ah, Hasselbeck. He's the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks, don't you know? Mike Holmgren, who coached the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl win (1997), has been toiling in Seattle for a while. He put his trust in Hasselbeck, who seemed like a poor quarterback for several years, but finally seems like he's playing decently, especially with a reliable running back in Shaun Alexander, who is this year's league MVP.
The Redskins have the honor of flying cross-country to face them in the next round of playoffs. They're lucky to be there because the defense pretty much did all the scoring for them.
The much maligned Lavar Arrington, who was benched for quite a few weeks and has earned so little trust from the defensive personnel that he only plays first and second downs, managed an interception, that lead Portis to an easy score. Arrington was positively giddy about that, and beamed uncontrollably after the end of the game, trying to say nothing was bothering him. One year with Norv, one with Schottenheimer, two with Spurrier, and now two years with Joe Gibbs, and he's in his first playoff game. That's how bad things had been for the Redskins under the Snyder regime.
The second touchdown came from a particularly odd play. Marcus Washington had stripped the ball from Cadillac Williams, the Tampa Bay running back, that had been injured for part of the season. He picked the ball up and began to run, when he fumbled the ball himself. This was then scooped by Redskins' safety, Sean Taylor, who ran it in for a touchdown. He was later ejected for the game for spitting at an opponent.
With a 14-0 lead, it looked as if the Redskins would run away with it. Little did they know that they'd score only 3 more points. Meanwhile, Tampa Bay almost tied it up with a third down pass by Simms to Edell Shepherd, who bobbled the catch, enough for the incomplete call to be upheld in review. Tampa Bay tried the play again, then gave it up on downs.
Redskins simply could not move the ball, and broke a record for the fewest number of yards made by a winning team in a playoff, breaking the record held by Baltimore, the year they won the Super Bowl. Portis couldn't run (it seemed he was out half the time), and Brunell couldn't pass (intercepted once late in the game). To be fair, Tampa Bay had the number one ranked defense in the league (though that ranking is primarily based on number of yards given up by the defense, which isn't always a good way to measure how good a defense is).
With this win, the Redskins face Seattle. Seattle seems highly favored. Here are the reasons why. With Hasselbeck, Seattle can put up a lot of points. They have a star running back in Shaun Alexander, who was the league MVP.
But here are reasons to think that Seattle may not be all that good. First, they play 6 games in their division. Who's in their division you might ask? St. Louis, Arizona, and San Francisco. These are bad teams, and two are truly horrendous. Houston wins the Reggie Bowl (though they may pick Vince Young, instead) with the worst record in the league at 2-14. The next two are Arizona and San Francisco.
Let's look at some of their other wins: Atlanta, NY Giants, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Houston. Of the bunch, only the Giants made it to the playoffs, and even that game was close, with Eli Manning tying it up late. And the Giants were just demolished by Carolina, who is a visiting team!
The one quality win they had was against Indianapolis, and they had just lost to San Diego, and were resting their starters. Sorgi played most of the game. Harrison didn't even fly out. So it's hard to point to that.
And look at their losses: Green Bay (in the last game of the season), who is awful this year, Jacksonville, who is decent, but just got thumped by the Patriots (admittedly, without a healthy Byron Leftwich), and yes, the Redskins (admittedly, at Washington).
Yes, the Redskins are one of the three losses by Seattle. Now, there is still every reason to think Seattle can win this. The Redskins need to shore up their offense, though there's reason to believe they can move the ball on Seattle (and Seattle used to be the one team that the Redskins did all right against, even when they weren't so good). Although the defense is likely to be the best that Seattle has faced all year, it is a bit banged up. Still, if Shawn Springs can be effective, it's all the more reason to see if Gregg Williams can rattle the Seattle offense.
But the real issue is travel. Redskins must travel to Seattle. However, travelling is usually a bit easier going to the West Coast, because everything is a few hours later, relative to the East Coast. It's tiring to go West to East, where you add a few more hours due to timezone differences, and have to start earlier than usual.
Still, I put the game at just about even, and certainly, the Redskins have a chance to beat Seattle. If they were playing, say, Carolina or Pittsburgh or the Patriots, I'd worry a lot more. All three have stout defenses, and also play a ball control style that the Redskins like. Of all the teams to play, Seattle seems as good an opponent as any for the Redskins.
I wouldn't be surprised if they lost, but I wouldn't be surprised if they won either.
corrections - - Chick Corea (note the spelling) was a member of Miles Davis' band. - Graham Chapman, the only Graham in the group, is the only deceased mem...
2 months ago