Hasselbeck Vs Warner: Showdown in Seattle

mike landryContributor IOctober 14, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 13:  Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck #8 of the Seattle Seahawks with the ball against the St. Louis Rams at Qwest Field on September 13, 2009 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

This Sunday the Seattle Seahawks face the visiting Arizona Cardinals in a pivotal division matchup.  Neither team has had the start they were hoping for with Hawks at 2-3 and the Cardinals at 2-2, however the tides seem to be shifting.  Both teams are coming off huge wins.  The Seahawks with an impressive blowout over the favored Jaguars and maybe even more impressive than the score, was the fact that Hawks were able to sustain a game ending drive that lasted over 11 minutes without one pass being thrown.  The Cardinals had a much needed win with an impressive goal line stance against Houston that was reminiscent of last years win over the 49ers.


Matt Hasselbeck vs Cardinals Defense 

The Seahawks are a much more exciting team to watch with Matt Hasselbeck at QB.  His leadership takes this team to the next level and he gets his weapons involved in the action.  Nate Burleson and TJ Houshmandzadeh are both having excellent seasons. The two both rank in the top 10 in receptions.  http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/player/_/stat/receiving/sort/receptions

This Sunday Hasselbeck faces a firey defense.  The Cardinals know that if they can get to Hasselbeck, there is always that chance they could take him out of the game.  With the loss of Brandon Frye, the Seahawks are now down to their fourth string left tackle, Kyle Williams and newly aquired veteran tackle Damion McIntosh.  Guaranteed the Cardinals smell blood.  Look for Arizona to mix it up on defense and put pressure on Matt from all angles.  If Seattle can match the line play they had against the Jaguars, look for the Seahawks to blow this game wide open.  The Cardinals are currently last against the pass.  http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=2&defensiveStatisticCategory=TEAM_PASSING&conference=ALL&role=OPP&season=2009&seasonType=REG&d-447263-s=PASSING_NET_YARDS_GAME_AVG&d-447263-o=1&d-447263-n=1


Seahawks Defense vs Kurt Warner

Seattle cannot give Kurt Warner time to pick them apart.  They're three big receivers are just that, with Fitzgerald at 6-3, Boldin at 6-1 and Breaston at 6-0 and all are fast.  No doubt that there will be mismatches that Warner will try to exploit.  If the Seahawks are to be successful and avoid a shootout, they must attack Kurt Warner and make their presence be known.  The Seahawks currently are tied for fourth in the NFL in sacks. http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?archive=false&conference=null&role=OPP&offensiveStatisticCategory=null&defensiveStatisticCategory=SACKS&season=2009&seasonType=REG&tabSeq=2&qualified=true&Submit=Go  If Warner is hit hard and flustered, his decisions will have to be made much quicker and that leaves him open to mistakes.  Look for the Hawks to mix in guys like Nick Reed to keep the D line fresh and active.


Outside Factors

The 12the Man.  Need anymore be said.  By far and away the loudest atmosphere in the NFL.  The 12th Man must not take any plays off.  If the fan sitting next to you is not screaming loud enough to make their head pop, let them know that today, you play for the Hawks.  You wouldn't want to see Housh walking a route because its a run play, so no plays off.  Everytime the Cardinals huddle up, let them know why they call us the 12th Man.


Final Analysis

The Seahawks should be able to get pressure on Kurt Warner and cause havoc on defense.   The Cardinals will bring everything they have at Kyle Williams to try and get to Matt.  The Hawks should have a scheme to give him help from the tight ends and backs.  If Hasselbeck can get Nate, TJ and John Carlson involved early, it should open up the run game.  Seattle takes this crucial home game.


Seattle 31, Cardinals 17