No one saw that coming.
A 41-0 win over Jacksonville? And four touchdown passes from Matt Hasselbeck, playing with two broken ribs?
It was just what the reeling Seahawks needed. They had to win, and they did it much more easily than anyone thought they could. It was Seattle's biggest margin of victory since the Hawks shut out Philadelphia 42-0 on a Monday night in 2005.
Forget the sharp pain in his ribs, Hasselbeck was just sharp—sharper than anyone could have expected. He completed 18 of 30 passes for 241 yards and, as mentioned, four touchdowns—two to T.J. Houshmandzadeh and two to Nate Burleson.
He was sacked once and hit four times total, and he even ran three times for 23 yards. Hasselbeck was so pumped after a nine-yard run out of bounds in the first quarter that he quickly scrambled to his feet and sprinted back to the huddle to show he was not hurt. And he also tried to throw a block on Justin Forsett’s run after an aborted halfback option pass in the second half.
If there were any fans left who thought Seneca Wallace should be starting over Hasselbeck, or even that Mark Sanchez should have been drafted and installed as the starter over Hasselbeck, the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback shut them up with his busted-rib performance against the Jaguars.
Now he just needs to stay healthy the rest of the way.
DEFENSE POSTS SECOND GOOSE EGG
Darryl Tapp, Aaron Curry and Lofa Tatupu led a front seven that put a lot of heat on David Garrard, sacking him five times and hitting him 13.
Tapp was around Garrard all game, notching a sack and four quarterback hits while coming up with two tackles for loss on running plays.
Curry led the Hawks with nine tackles, including a sack that caused a fumble, another hit on Garrard and a pass defensed.
Tatupu had eight tackles, one for loss, a quarterback hit and a pass defensed.
The bonus was the play of rookie Nick Reed, who tallied a sack, a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits. Oh, and a 79-yard fumble return for a touchdown.
The defensive line didn’t miss Patrick Kerney at all. In fact, the Hawks might have found his replacement in Reed.
FIVE LINEMEN LEFT STANDING, MAYBE
The Curse of Hutch continued as the offensive line took a couple more hits in what has become a regular feature of Seahawk games over the last four years.
With Walter Jones and Sean Locklear already out with injuries, No. 3 left tackle Brandon Frye was playing with a bad groin. He left on Seattle’s second series with a neck or shoulder injury. That brought No. 4 left tackle Kyle Williams into the game, who reportedly sprained a knee but continued to play.
At left guard, Hutch’s old spot, Rob Sims was already out and Mansfield Wrotto left with a sprained ankle in the second half. He was replaced by backup center Steve Vallos, leaving the Hawks with no healthy backups.
If any of Frye, Williams, and/or Wrotto is out in Week 6, the Hawks might finally have to make a decision on Jones and put him on IR in order to sign another lineman. They have two more reserves on the practice squad: Na’Shan Goddard and Brian De La Puente.
Coach Jim Mora told reporters last week that there aren't any veterans they are interested in and that they will probably just go with the guys they have. But if they lost three more linemen in this game, they are going to have to bring someone in.
STATS AND STUFF
**What was Cory Redding thinking on his third-quarter fumble return? He had a chance to score a touchdown, but he chose instead to veer right into Garrard and bowl him over, effectively tackling himself.
**Owen Schmitt is insane.
**This is the first time since 1986 that the Seahawks have posted two shutouts in one season. That 1986 team was very streaky. They started 5-2 before losing four in a row to fall to 5-6, then won the final five to finish 10-6. They missed the playoffs by one game.
**The Seahawks' running game has failed to develop because of the constant shuffling up front. The Hawks gained 143 yards on 40 carries, a 3.6 average. But Julius Jones averaged just 2.8 yards on 12 carries, and Edgerrin James averaged 2.9 on 16 attempts. The numbers were bumped by Justin Forsett's 43 yards on six carries.
**What was up with that halfback option pass by Forsett with the game well in hand? The Hawks were just giving the Arizona Cardinals something else to think about next week. And maybe trying to make them forget Seattle still has Seneca Wallace.
**Why is Travis Fisher on this team? Yeah, he's an experienced cornerback who probably isn't that bad when healthy. But ever since signing with the Hawks in August, he has rarely been healthy. He finally got over a hamstring injury in time to play against Chicago and he ended up getting knocked around by his own teammates on the Bears' go-ahead touchdown and two-point conversion. Now, after just three games, he's hurt again—either the same hamstring injury or reportedly a groin pull. With Josh Wilson back, the Hawks can probably afford to let Fisher go if they need room to add a lineman.
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