December 27, 2009
Blow. It. Up.
The last three weeks have been traumatic for me, and I'm sure for most of you readers as well. Since Olindo Mare's game-winning kick sailed through the uprights against the Niners, the Seahawks have plummeted from the down side of mediocrity to shameful, historic failure/incompetence.
They've been outscored 106-24 over these terrible 180 minutes, and as Mark Tye Turner pointed out over on his twitter feed, the 2009 Seahawks have suffered more losses of 17 points or more than any other squad in franchise history. Matt Hasselbeck has morphed into Stan Gelbaugh before our eyes, and ceded any rational claim that he should be allowed to play quarterback for the Seahawks ever again. Sentimentality might dictate that he starts in his final home game next week, but all the arguments that he should be back in 2010 as anything but a back-up have been obliterated by two particularly awful performances. Unless your name is Mark Sanchez or Jay Cutler, no NFL QB should commit 9 turnovers in two games.
Beyond that, Beck's overall decline, that I tried to deny and wish away until very recently, couldn't be more obvious now. Over his last 20 starts, the Seahawks are 6-14. Beck has thrown 20 TDs, but also 26 picks. His QB rating? 69.6. That's comparable to the career numbers of Joey Harrington and Rex Grossman. Ewwww.
I might not think he's a good quarterback anymore, but I still love Hasselbeck. He's a warrior, and what he's accomplished as a Seahawk can never be denied or taken away. However, I have nothing but contempt for Jim Mora, whose inability to inspire, prepare or motivate this team is the main reason Seattle has become the worst team in the NFL at the moment.
The talent gap between NFL teams is, by design, never THAT wide. Hell, just today Tampa Bay beat the playoff-bound Saints after falling behind 17-0, and Carolina laid a 41-9 lead-pipe beatdown on a Giants team playing at home and needing a win to boost their wild card hopes. Yes, you need good players, and the Seahawks need a LOT more of those, but just as importantly, you need an emotional and mental edge when you take the field. You also need coaches with strong strategic and tactical skills, and excellent aptitude at interpersonal relations and dealing with the media.
Jim Mora would get a failing grade from me in ALL of these areas. You could see it today in the way the Seahawks WILTED after Hasselbeck's first interception. It was if the attitude was "well, we made a big mistake... might as well pack it in, because we are fucked."
No one in the organization should be safe from the scrutiny of the new GM. His first act should be Mora's firing, followed by a brutally honest assessment of the roster. High-priced veterans should be cut or traded (Hasselbeck, Big Walt, Kerney, and Branch are obvious candidates for outright release). Younger players should be made available for the right bounty of draft picks. In free agency, get players who have experience in successful organizations and can show the young guys what it takes to win in the NFL. Only by getting younger, cheaper and nastier will this organization have a chance to return quickly to contention.
Right now, the Seahawks are the worst team playing in the NFL. Despite their 5 wins, they might be the worst squad in team history. In some sense, the good news is that we've hit rock bottom. With the right (albeit painful) moves in the coming months, we can climb out of hell.