NFL: Was Choosing Tarvaris Jackson over Matt Hasselbeck the Right Choice?

Jeremy HolienContributor IIIJanuary 2, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 12:  Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson #7 of the Seattle Seahawks rushes against the St. Louis Rams at CenturyLink Field on December 12, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

After the Seattle Seahawks lost to the Chicago Bears in the divisional round of the playoffs in 2011, much of the attention turned to whether or not the Seahawks would re-sign Matt Hasselbeck. In the end, the Seahawks signed Tarvaris Jackson to a two year deal worth eight million dollars, and the Tennessee Titans signed Matt Hasselbeck to a three year deal worth twenty million dollars.

Was this the right move? The stats on the field indicate otherwise.

Here are the stats for Tarvaris Jackson: 271 completions, 60.2 completion percentage, 3,091 yards, 14 touchdowns, 13 interceptions, 79.2 passer rating, 206 yards per game, and sacked 34 times.

And here are the stats for Matt Hasselbeck: 319 completions, 61.6 completion percentage, 3,571 yards, 18 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, 82.4 passer rating, 223 yards per game, and sacked 11 times.

In every single category, Matt Hasselbeck was the better quarterback in 2011-2012. Many will point to the Titans having Chris Johnson as their running back and therefore allowing Matt Hasselbeck a better chance of success, so let’s look at their numbers.

Here are the stats for Marshawn Lynch: 1,204 rushing yards, 4.2 rushing yards per attempt, 12 rushing touchdowns, 80.3 rushing yards per game, and 3 fumbles.

And here are the stats for Chris Johnson: 1,047 rushing yards, 4.0 yards per attempt, 4 touchdowns, 65.4 rushing yards per game, and 3 fumbles.   

As the stats indicate, Marshawn Lynch was a better running back than Chris Johnson in the 2011-2012 season. However, Chris Johnson was a better receiver than Lynch, having caught 57 passes, totaling 418 receiving yards, and averaging 7.3 receiving yards per game. Lynch caught 28 passes, totaling 212 receiving yards, and averaged 7.6 receiving yards per game. But Lynch also recorded a receiving touchdown, and Johnson did not.

The only positive thing regarding having Jackson over Hasselbeck is that Jackson cost less money. Jackson signed a two-year deal worth 8 million, while Hasselbeck signed a three-year deal worth 20 million.

However, the Seahawks paid Jackson 2 million this year, while the Titans paid Hasselbeck 3 million this year. And in 2012, Matt Hasselbeck will make 5.5 million, and Tarvaris Jackson will make 4 million.

Where the biggest difference comes in is the signing bonus: Hasselbeck's was 6 million, while Jackson's was 1.5 million.

Barring a hugely successful season for Jackson in 2012 and a incredibly disappointing season for Hasselbeck in 2012, it’s clear the Seahawks made a mistake in letting Hasselbeck go and signing Jackson. It’s impossible to say, but with the numbers that Hasselbeck put up this season, the Seahawks might have been able to sneak into the playoffs as a wild card team.