Go 2 Guy: Hawks better off losing last 2 games
By Jim Moore
I was one of many who thought that Charlie Whitehurst should be the Seahawks’ starting quarterback on Sunday in Tampa Bay. And it’s not because he’s all that special – it’s more in light of the fact that Matt Hasselbeck is either in a wicked slump or at the end of his career.
I prefer to think it’s the former, that Hasselbeck will snap out of it and lead the Seahawks into the playoffs by playing well against the Bucs and the Rams. Even though I felt he deserved to be benched for committing 12 turnovers in the past four weeks, I still hope the Seahawks re-sign Hasselbeck and bring him back for two more years until they find the quarterback of the future, which apparently Whitehurst is not.
Pete Carroll said he’s going with Hasselbeck because he gives the Seahawks the best chance to win. That doesn’t say much for Whitehurst. You’d prefer to go with a guy who has been throwing it up for grabs for the past month over the guy you thought so much of when you traded for him and overpaid him in the offseason. Just so you can maybe – and I mean MAYBE – squeeze into the playoffs with a 7-9 record?
ESPN’s John Clayton talked this week about the importance of getting playoff experience regardless of a team’s record, but honestly, I think this whole NFC West race is such a joke that the Hawks would be better off losing their last two games to improve their draft status. What sense does it make to get your doors blown off by New Orleans in the first round if it costs you the chance at drafting Ryan Mallett or Jake Locker? Someone explain that to me.
If the Seahawks were 8-6 instead of 6-8, I’d buy the premise of entering the playoffs on a roll at 10-6 and perhaps having a talented enough team to parlay it into a Super Bowl appearance. But this team is nowhere close to that – whatever momentum they gather in the next two weeks won’t carry them past the Saints.
I’m not going out of my way to be negative here, just trying to be realistic. I also thought if Whitehurst played, the Seahawks would get a better idea of what they have in him and subsequently have a better idea of what they should do in the draft. (In spite of what the Seahawks think of Whitehurst’s future, whether he’s the guy or not, I’d like to see them go for the best offensive lineman or defensive end available in the first round.)
But Carroll said he’s putting questions about the future on hold, focusing on the present and the Bucs and this crazy notion of winning the NFC West. I guess it’s not crazy in that it could happen – Clayton even favors the Hawks over the Rams and those plucky little 49ers who just won’t go away. It’s crazy to think that this team will benefit from being a 7-9 playoff team.
And while we’re talking about this laughable race, how bad are things when a 5-9 team like the 49ers is not only alive but kicking, and kicking really hard. This team is the epitome of dysfunctional. The coach, though I like him, is a piece of work. Their quarterback situation is worse than the Seahawks’. They’ve lost their best player, Frank Gore. And still, if they beat the Rams and the Cardinals in their last two games, I’m guessing they’re in.
Another laughable aspect of this NFC West race – when was the last time you rooted for a team that you’re competing against to WIN? That’s the case this week with the Seahawks needing the Rams to beat the 49ers so that Mike Singletary’s pesky 5-9 team will finally be eliminated from this football farce.
Here’s what I want to happen: I want the 49ers to beat the Rams in the 10 o’clock game on Sunday, just because I want to see how the Seahawks react in their 1:15 game at Tampa. They will know whether they need to beat the Bucs or not depending on how the early game in St. Louis plays out.
And this is what I’ll say about that – if the 49ers win, the Seahawks need to beat the Bucs to have any chance to win the division. If they lose, crown the 49ers as champs because all they have to do is beat the dreadful Cardinals next week in San Francisco.
In this scenario, I fully expect a competitive game against Tampa Bay, a beatable team even if it’s 8-6 and two games better than the Seahawks in the standings. The Bucs are banged up and have not beaten a winning team all year. They also lost at home to lowly Detroit last Sunday, suggesting vulnerability to anyone, even the Seahawks.
But if the Rams win, the game means absolutely nothing to the Seahawks because win or lose in Tampa Bay, it will all come down to next week’s game at Qwest Field against St. Louis for the NFC West championship.
In that scenario, the Seahawks will not play with any urgency to win because they don’t have to. Which means that Tampa Bay giving six would be the bet of the day.
Jim Moore also writes for seattlepi.com and his website, www.jimmoorethego2guy.com. You can reach Jim at [email protected]. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and thanks for listening to “The Kevin Calabro Show.” It’s greatly appreciated.