Poor play, injuries leave dark cloud over Seahawks

Pete TreperinasCorrespondent ISeptember 8, 2008

Your average Seahawks fan went into Sunday thinking their team had a great shot to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

Although receivers Bobby Engram and Deion Branch are both injured, it seemed as if quarterback Matt Hasselbeck would be able to connect with Nate Burleson and squeeze by until Branch and Engram return. The running game would surely be better than last season. The Seahawks added Julius Jones to go along with Maurice Morris, guard Mike Wahle, and former Chiefs offensive coordinator Mike Solari to be the o-line coach. And then there's the defense, which is absolutely stacked and would be able to stuff Marshawn Lynch, or at least contain him to a certain degree.

Well, nothing turned out the way Seattle planned. Burleson is now out for the year with a torn ACL, and Morris left the game injured as well. Hasselbeck's receivers couldn't catch a ball for their life, and the offensive line looked like crap. Hasselbeck was pressed all day with extraordinary blitz packages from the Bills. The defense played decent in the first half, but when special teams flubbed several times in the second, it made it tough for the defense, which was on the field a lot, to make stops.

Above all, Seattle's special teams were disappointing. A fake field goal by the Bills that translated into seven on the board, a kick-off fumble by Josh Wilson, and a punt-return touchdown for Roscoe Parrish were just several of the reasons why Holmgren should be tearing special teams a new one.

With the 49ers coming into Qwest Field this Sunday, the Seahawks, who probably thought this game would be a cake walk, now have their work cut out for them this week in practice.

An extremely unexperienced receiving corps will likely be a main area of focus for the offense, as well as getting the offensive line back on track.

It may be too early to say that there is a crisis in the Northwest, but until Branch, Engram, and Morris return, this team will need to rely heavily on the stinginess of the defense, and the production of the back-ups who'll be getting time.

To give credit where it's due, the Bills did an excellent job of beating the Seahawks in every way possible, and with Tom Brady out for the year, the door is slightly open for someone to make a move in the AFC East, and that team could very likely be a Bills team that seems to have their man at QB and an explosive defense.

So now, your average Seahawks fan sits awake on a Monday night, pondering what will come of what looked like a season that the Hawks could go deep. That fan needs to remember that the last time Seattle lost their opener, they went to the Super Bowl, and the Patriots lost 31-0 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in 2003 when they went all the way. So, even though it's looking like there's an awfully gray cloud over Qwest Field, just remember, there are still 15 more to be played.