Seattle Seahawks: Why Matt Flynn Should Be Under Center Week 1 Against Cardinals

Alex FieldCorrespondent IIJune 1, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 13: Brian Schaefering #91 of the Cleveland Browns pursues Matt Flynn #10 of the Green Bay Packers during the second quarter at Cleveland Browns Stadium on August 13, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Browns defeated the Packers 27-17. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

When the Seattle Seahawks kick off their season Sept. 9, Matt Flynn should be the man taking snaps under center.

The Seahawks took a gamble on Flynn, who has mostly played second-string up to this point in his career. Seattle rewarded him with a three-year, $26 million deal.

Nonetheless, there is no way Flynn should not be starting during week one.

After Hawks fans suffered through a season marred by inconsistencies revolving around Tavaris Jackson, Seattle is practically begging for a competent quarterback.

Jackson was mediocre at best in 2011, posting a 60 percent completion percentage while throwing for 3,091 yards and 14 touchdowns.

However, Jackson threw 13 interceptions and lost five fumbles.

He ranked 22nd in the NFL in touchdown passes, 20th in passing yards and 21st in quarterback rating.

Those rankings scream average quarterback.

Due in large part to Jackson’s erratic play, the Seahawks finished a mundane 7-9.

With a better signal caller, the Seahawks could contend for a division title next season.

Enter Matt Flynn.

Flynn shined in his only start of last season, racking up 480 yards and six touchdowns against the Lions.

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 19:  Quarterback Matt Flynn #10 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass during the third quarter of the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 19, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Patriots won the ga
Elsa/Getty Images

Some critics discounted his performance, saying the Lions simply had nothing to play for and their pass defense was shoddy at best.

But Flynn’s performance was simply magnificent, as he set the team record for touchdown passes in a game.

If history is any indicator, Seahawks fans will be quick to compare Flynn to the last great Seattle quarterback, Matt Hasselbeck.

When Hasselbeck came to Seattle, he had two less seasons of experience than Flynn and even less pass attempts.

Hasselbeck was a three-time Pro Bowler during his time in Seattle and still holds the franchise record for most passing yards all-time.

If Flynn can come in and do anything close to what Hasselbeck did, Seahawks fans should be overjoyed.

Furthermore, Flynn had more time than Hasselbeck to mature, all while sitting behind the most efficient quarterback in the NFL last season.

Rodgers even had high praise for his former back up, as he told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King that Flynn would be a top-15 quarterback.

If Rodgers is correct, and Flynn can perform as a top-tier quarterback, the Seahawks will have a good chance of returning to the playoffs.

With Pete Carroll and John Schneider bolstering an already potent defense that ranked ninth in yards allowed last season, the offense could get a lift with Flynn under center.

A healthy Sidney Rice and the re-emergence of Mike Williams could aid Flynn’s adjustment to Seattle’s offense, but those are big if’s.

Rather, the offensive line needs to be healthy in order to protect Flynn. Especially after the line allowed a whopping 50 sacks last season.

Russell Okung and James Carpenter must stay healthy next season and show they were worthy of being drafted so high.

If they can perform up to their potential, and keep Flynn comfortable in the pocket, the offense could be prolific.

The Seahawks defense is not the question mark heading into the 2012 campaign. Rather the offense is the major question mark.

With new faces such as Kellen Winslow and Flynn, the Hawks are moving in the right direction offensively.

Seattle must be able to stay away from the injury bug if they want to be successful in 2012.

If key players can stay healthy, the Seahawks could be primed for a playoff run.