Seattle Seahawks: Would Hawks Be Playoff Contenders Had They Kept Hasselbeck?

Micah ChenAnalyst IIIJanuary 11, 2012

I'm not one to play the "what if" game, but every once in a while it's fun to contemplate a different scenario of your team's season.

All year, it seemed that the Hawks lacked veteran leadership on the offensive side of the ball.  Tarvaris Jackson is an OK quarterback, don't get me wrong, but he lacked the veteran leadership that Matt Hasselbeck provided.

Hasselbeck has had his usual share of injuries this year, but they were very minor.  No broken ribs or anything like that.  Overall, he is still playing quarterback at an above average level with the Titans.

In Hasselbeck's final years in Seattle, the Hawks had a tough time establishing the run.  This made things harder for Hasselbeck in the passing game.

But with the emergence of Marshawn Lynch, Hasselbeck's passing game would open up and he could  relax more in the pocket knowing  those linebackers would be a little bit more hesitant going back in pass coverage.

When veterans play relaxed, they usually do well.  When they worry too much about taking a hard hit, they tend to tighten up a bit.

I totally understand the Seahawks need of a fresh start at the quarterback position, but there was no reason to think that Hasselbeck couldn't have one more run in the Emerald City.  Especially after that electrifying game he played in a win against the Saints.

The defense is set, the running back position is set, special teams has Leon Washington, wide receivers have a lot of depth, even if they don't have a bonafide No. 1.

Had the Seahawks gotten just a bit above average play from their quarterback, I believe they would have a winning record and challenged the 49ers for the division crown.

Unfortunately, the best Tarvaris Jackson could provide was average and below average play for most of the season.

Maybe the Seahawks wouldn't have been an elite Super Bowl contender like the Packers or Patriots.

But a team capable of going deep in the playoffs, you bet.  If Hasselbeck had come back for one more season and played at the same level he played this year, the Seahawks would've been a much better overall team.

In the short run, the Hawks would have been really good, and by short run, I mean just this year.

In the long run, though, I'm OK with parting ways with Hasselbeck, we need to move on with a new quarterback (preferably not Jackson).