You're up, kid.
Near the conclusion of today's debacle, I peeled off my Matt Hasselbeck jersey and hung it up in the back of my closet. I can't shake the feeling that I won't be wearing it again until the day Beck takes his place in the Seahawks Ring of Honor.
To be fair, Hasselbeck wasn't the sole reason Seattle took its 2nd 17-point road loss in three weeks today. His performance wasn't nearly as fetid as it was in Denver two weeks ago; Today he was merely average and uninspiring, going 20/36 for 191 yards and two turnovers. The bigger issue is that with Beck at the helm, Seattle's offense seems about as lively and fresh as a hefty bag filled with roadkilled varmints. The offense is loaded with potential at WR, sports a promising RB in Justin Forsett, a near-great TE in John Carlson, and a solid offensive line. If Whitehurst has anything to offer, it's athleticism and a competent deep ball.
I hate joining this chorus, but even I think it's time to give Whitehurst his shot after the bye in Chicago. The big risk is that CW may be even worse than Hasselbeck, and it would be VERY difficult to go back to Beck based simply on Whitehurst being extra-sucky. However, with two weeks to get ready for the Bears, this is the right time to get Buddy Christ ready to face live fire.
Will I gnash my teeth and curse Carroll's name if he doesn't make this move? Hell no. Right now, it's a total crapshoot in terms of which QB gives us a better chance to win games. But if he DOESN'T make this move now, it's a pretty clear vote of No Confidence in Whitehurst's future as Seattle's starting QB.
I have said for a while that I'd support Beck as the starter as long as he gave the team the best chance to win NOW. I no longer think that is clearly the case. If Beck is still under center in two weeks, I'll support him lustily and hope he at least "manages" enough games solidly so the defense and special teams can rack up some wins... But I think it's time to see if Charlie Whitehurst has what it takes to WIN some games for the Seahawks.
If you look at this team and the division we play in, we still have a great shot to steal a division title while in the midst of rebuilding for an even brighter future. We're still tied for the lead in the NFC West, and there's no indication any of the other teams are going to break out of the pack and win 10 or more games. This division will come down to the season's final Sunday, and it's highly likely that whichever team notches its 9th win that day will advance to the playoffs (Rams at Seahawks and Cards at Niners on January 2, y'all).
There's SO much about these Seahawks that should excite the Twelve Army. From Red Bryant to Leon Washington, there's a lot of talent on this roster... there's already a great special teams unit, the ingredients of an elite defense, and even a few gems on offense. Carroll and Bates are making weird decisions too often, but I still think our coaching staff has been massively upgraded. I want Whitehurst to play not just to see if he's the right choice for the unknown future.... I want him to play because I don't want blind loyalty to Matthew to keep us out of the playoffs this year.
I really think the NFC West is going to come down to that final game against the Rams at Qwest in January. If we get Whitehurst's FTL drive up and spinning now, his arm and legs might just carry us into the postseason.
What do you think, sirs?